The Top Four Challenges for Brands Using International SEO Agencies

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A new article on Search Engine Journal reports that international search is complicated, dynamic, and multi-disciplinary, but says an experienced global SEO agency can help, and provides these tips for success.

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The author says that international search is difficult, messy, complex work. Agencies can add a great deal of value through specific knowledge and experience in international SEO, but they can be cost-prohibitive, as well. Here are some practical tips to help brands get more out of agencies and global SEO channels.

  • Technical SEO Is Tough Enough: The complexity starts with technical SEO. Specialized expertise requirements vary by country and region. China, where Baidu rules, or Russia, where it’s Yandex. In Korea, it’s Naver. In Japan, it’s Google with a Yahoo! twist (or maybe, it’s Yahoo! with a Google twist). This is a wide swath of knowledge for one agency to completely master. Usually, it means creating multiple Google Search Console (or choose your flavor by country) accounts and rolling them up into a shared view, then using a third-party tool on top of it for crawls and deeper insights.
  • Content Requirements for International Are Huge: Then, we move into the content side of SEO. The obvious needs for global search are translation, localization, and keyword research performed accurately in the native language, accounting for local dialects and habits or behaviors. This work needs to accurately inform content strategy decisions which, if done effectively, should focus on relevant on-page signals and messaging that leads customers and prospects down the funnel towards a conversion goal.
  • Paid Search Has Its Own Issues: On the paid search side, not only does keyword research per the former criteria need to be accurate, bid strategies and negative matches need to keep reigns on ad spend to ensure lack of continual management doesn’t recklessly increase CPCs. Landing pages must be fast and deliver performance, taking into account country-specific and regional behaviors and expectations.
  • Large Agency Footprints vs Small and Nimble: Traditionally, large agency providers with global footprints provide the most international search support. Agencies like these have offices in every major region across the globe. They have blue-chip clients. They have partnerships with the largest tech providers. All this is fabulous; however, there’s one little problem: they’re not very good at doing global work. Most of these in-region shops aren’t centrally managed. They’re essentially independent but affiliated local agencies lacking federated and centralized global processes. Being more agile, independent agencies often have a unique advantage.
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