How-To Blog

How To SEO For International Markets

How To SEO For International Markets

Take care of the simple but important challenges before launching:

The most important challenge for international SEO is that you need to strategically adapt your brand for different cultures, all who have their own unique complexities.

Make sure to conduct market research in order to understand your international customers needs and desires. You can do this through keyword research and using social media like Twitter or Reddit to grasp a better understanding of what these customer’s problems are and what questions they are asking.

Research your local competitors, research what strategies your competitors have been using and analyse the gaps between you. Use these gaps to boost your growth into the international market.

Study the infrastructure of your targeted countries, although Google seems like the go-to norm, the preferred search engine may be different in your target countries. So don’t waste time on Google ads if your new customers aren’t going to see them! For example, in China, the most popular search engine is Baidu.

Should I target a language or a country with my website?

There are pros and cons to each option:


Targeting a language: this allows you to target people who live in different countries but speak the same language, additionally you don’t need to optimise it for any specific culture. However, you need to be aware that you’ll be using a ‘broad brush’ approach for a language where some countries may use different keywords/language when searching for services.

Targeting a country: alternatively, you can build your brand presence from scratch; not only translating your content but optimising it for that specific culture and customer preferences.

Which website structure should you choose for your domain?

This question follows on from the previous. Choosing your domain depends on whether you are targeting a language or a country.

If you are targeting a language, you don’t necessarily need to launch a completely new website, but rather you choose a subdomain or subdirectory which will host the translation of your original website. This requires less work to set up and less money to host.

On the flip-side, if you are targeting a country you may have to launch a country code top-level domain in order to gain higher authority in search engines and higher trust in potential customers. However, you will need to build your website popularity and authority from scratch.

How should business localise content on new site?

The main challenge of localising content is that simply translating a few of your pages into the target language won’t cut it. You need a well rounded and extensive understanding of your potential clientele in order to make your content effective.

Identify your keywords in a new language: unfortunately, translating your keywords word by word isn’t an efficient or viable use of your time. Additionally, some words have different meanings in different languages and can rely heavily on context, while local dialect can also play an important role in translating, as your customers may be using completely different terms.

So how can you conduct keyword research?

  • Investigate your competitors: research your competitors in the local market, investigate what keywords they are using and compare them to yours in order to find common phrases.

  • Hire help from a professional: hire someone who speaks the target language to look over your keywords, they can help you determine if you are using the right keywords for the language and customers you want to target.

Adapt your content to the new target market: your website is going to be your customers first point of call when they research your services/products and weigh up if they want to purchase from you. Therefore, it is extremely important that your website copy is up to a high standard. It’s not enough to simply translate, you need to optimise and adapt your copy to your target market.


These key elements of your website also require localisation:

  • URLs

  • Title tags

  • Meta descriptions

  • Image titles and alt texts

  • Phone numbers

  • Addresses

  • Time

  • Currency

How can you avoid duplicate content issues?


Google may identify any new version of your website as a duplicate of the original. You can prevent this by using hreflang tags- this tag informs Google that some of your website’s pages have the same content, but they are aimed for different customers and therefore unique.

What is the best international link-building strategy?

In order to build visibility and local authority, you need to ensure you have local links to your website. You can achieve this through:


Writing for the local media. This will allow you to gain exposure by offering advice and sharing your expertise. You could even start doing this before launching your international site. But remember; when writing for foreign websites, ensure you hire a local writer to make sure that your copy meets the standards.


Find and use broken link building. Find broken links and ask permission from the websites’ owners to redirect them to your content, (if it is suitable for the website of course).

What off-site activities can impact your online visibility?

On-site SEO is a vital process of building your brand’s local visibility but there are other techniques to take into consideration as well.

Guest posting: posting on local websites is a relatively inexpensive way to raise brand awareness.


Social media marketing: make sure aside some time to invest in creating social media profiles on the networks that are popular in your targeted countries.

Attend local events: this is one of the best ways to connect with relevant influencers in person, you can introduce your brand and start building a relationship with them straight away.

How does a global brand’s social media presence impact its search results?

The impact of social media on search engines continues to be debated. Google clearly states that social media presence has no impact on how it ranks pages. However, we know that social media presence can affect rankings in certain areas.

Brand awareness: A strong social media presence will help increase the awareness around your brand or product.

Links: Amplifying your content on social media can result in more links and citations back to your website. Which will in turn build your popularity and local authority.

Faster indexing: Social media shares can significantly increase the speed at which your new content gets indexed.

Improved topics targeting: Engaging with your new pool of customers on social media may inform how and what content you create for them.

What are the best tools for optimising international SEO?

Whatever aspect of international SEO you are focusing on, we have put together a handy list of some tools to help you optimise your website and content.

For understanding your new audience:

  • Google’s Consumer Barometer: can help you understand how people use the Internet in your target countries.

  • Connected Life: publishes an annual report which you can use to gain insight into your potential customers’ behavior in a number of locations, e.g. Brazil, China, Germany, Singapore and South Africa.

For general analysis:

  • Google Search Console – can identify your current search status in your new target location. With the Search Console you can monitor international queries, impressions, and CTRs.

  • Yandex Metrica, Baidu Index or another equivalent of Google’s Search Console – use it for a specific search engine you’re targeting.

For international keyword ideas:


Still have questions? Get in touch with the Creative Bloom team.

How To On-Page SEO

How To On-Page SEO

Hopefully, you’ve arrived here because you’re getting ready to do your own on-page SEO which is something we absolutely encourage at Creative Bloom! It’s not as confusing or tricky as you might think and regardless of what your website is built in, in 2019, pretty much all website builders have an SEO functionality - so whether you’ve already had a free digital clinic with Ollie & Stu or if you’re here for the first time, let’s have a re-cap.


Your website should be shouting about what you do and for Google, you need to be putting the right keywords in the right places. Below, we’re going to break down each element of your page that should be optimised. As our example, let’s say you have an Art Gallery in Bristol.

Choose Your Keyword

Firstly and most importantly, you need to choose a keyword for your page and this should be unique to each page you optimise. So, have a search on google for the types of keywords a visitor would be inputting and ask people you know! Sometimes we have a bias view of what we think people are searching for. If you’re a local business putting a location keyword is a key factor in ranking locally.

In this instance, I would assume the search would be ‘Bristol Art Gallery’ or ‘Art Galley In Bristol’. You can use a keyword planner to see how popular these searches are. We’re going to go with ‘Bristol Art Gallery’.

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Page Title

Your page title (in blue below) is the first element Google reads about your page and this is somewhat ‘hidden’ from a visitor in the tab in your browser.

In this instance our gallery isn’t well known yet so there is no reason to put our brand name right at the beginning because no-one will be searching for it but they WILL be searching for our keyword.

As we’ve chosen our keyword as ‘Bristol Art Gallery’ we’re going to make our homepage title as so: ‘Bristol Art Gallery | The Creative Bloom Gallery’.

As you go through other pages on your site, you could choose keyword variants for those pages that users might search for, for example ‘Bristol Art Dealer’, ‘Art Gallery Exhibition Bristol’, ‘Contemporary Art Gallery Bristol’ etc.

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Header (H1)

Your H1 is typically the main heading on your page (see below). This should ideally start with your keyword that you have chosen - ‘Bristol Art Gallery’. We understand this ideally may not sit quite right with the aesthetics of your page, however, without having your keyword in your header, less people will find your page. We’re all about driving more traffic to your pages and getting you more customers!

Note: Your pages should only have ONE H1! If you have any more headings on your page after your main header, make sure you change their heading tag to (H2) sub headings or (H3) sub-sub headings etc.

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Keywords In Your Content

Next Google will be reading your content. You’ve already told it that you’re optimising for ‘Bristol Art Gallery’ so now it’s going to check your content to make sure you are who you say you are. That means, in the first paragraph you need to include your keyword ‘Bristol Art Gallery’ however you can. You can see how we’ve managed to incorporate the keyword into our first paragraph (below).

Note: don’t forget to include semantics. Similar words to your keyword that other sites are likely to be talking about. In this instance, with art galleries we should be including semantic keywords such as ‘paintings’ ‘contemporary’ ‘specialist’ ‘exhibition’ ‘collectibles’ ‘collections’ etc.

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Alt Text - Image Keywords

Name your images! When looking to edit your page, you will notice when importing or editing images there will be an option to input ‘Alt text’ or ‘Alternative Text’. This just means a keyword to tell Google what this image is - therefore it’s an opportunity to put your keyword in there.

In our example, if we have two images on our page, I will call the alt-text on one ‘Bristol Art Gallery’ and the other ‘Art Gallery In Bristol’ - easy.

Note: don’t get too worried about going through every single image on your site. It’s simply that the more signposting you do to tell Google what your website it about, the better - Image Alt-text is an easy way to do add another positive signal.


And that’s it really. Do that for all your pages, or (if you have a lot) for your main parent/navigation pages and over time you should slowly start to see your rankings improving. You should still work on creating new content, driving traffic to your pages through different mediums, trying to get links from other websites etc. But this is the solid foundation to start getting you found on Google!

If you have any questions about this article, want to sign up for a free Local SEO workshop with us or anything else please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

How to Create a Successful Marketing Strategy

Digital-Strategy.png

At Bloom Towers, we often find that some clients & marketing managers struggle to get traction with their marketing campaigns. In the bewildering landscape of digital marketing it can be hard to work out the right way forward for your business marketing - ‘should I invest more in SEO? Or a content strategy? Or focus on social media?’ A bad marketing strategy can tank your business - just ask these bears.

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Fear not! We are here to guide you through the digital labyrinth.

Successful marketing strategies start with thorough diagnosis

For us strategy is all about identifying the key challenges you face in your competitive & business landscape and creating the means of overcoming them. An effective marketing strategy can be fundamental in allowing a business to effectively build value in it’s brand, services or products.

Creative Bloom’s approach to Digital Marketing strategy takes inspiration from a US strategist called Richard Rumelt and his book Good Strategy/Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters (2011) (we suggest get a copy if you haven’t read it). Rumelt explains that strategy should not be defined by ambition, leadership, vision or planning; but a coherent action backed by an argument, and we agree entirely. For Rumelt, the essence of a successful strategy is thorough diagnosis of a situation, creating an overall guiding policy to overcome challenges and the design of coherent action plan, that is driven to effect.

So, applied to marketing, a good strategy can be broken down into three key ideas.

  1. Diagnosis: getting to grips with what’s really going on. This involves effort and a deep analysis of your current marketing efforts & available resources, the competitive landscape you operate in. You need to gain insights into your market environment, your customers and assess your competition and internal situation. These insights are important as Rumelt says “an especially insightful diagnosis can transform one’s view of the situation, bringing a radically different perspective to bear.” When a digital marketing diagnosis is carried out properly, it will correctly inform how you respond to weaknesses/challenges.

  2. A Guiding Policy; the purpose of this is to direct your actions, it is the context in which your actions are made and helps to ‘guide’ them. “It is like a signpost, marking the direction forward but not defining the details of the trip”, the guiding policy should outline the overall approach for tackling the weaknesses you identified with your deep diagnosis. An example of a successful guiding policy is Barcelona FC who developed a guiding policy of embracing ‘Total Football’ throughout the club in the 1970s to then become a powerhouse in European club football.

  3. Coherent Action; strategy is nothing without action or measurement. Just as a diagnosis informs the guiding policy, the guiding policy informs the coherent action to achieve your goal. These actions should be coherent, consistent and coordinated. “A good strategy doesn’t just draw on existing strength; it creates strength through the coherence of its design” , these actions should support and build upon each other, steadily building towards the goal. Performance measurement is critical for good strategy: Are our actions making an impact? Is the strategy working? Do we need to adjust things?

Only through the process of regular performance monitoring can you develop a successful marketing strategy, be prepared & geared up to adapt.

In summary, when all three areas have been considered and you haven’t rushed or skipped any steps, you can maximise your opportunities of delivering fantastic results!


NEED SOME HELP? WE ARE HERE TO ASSIST

CONTACT US TO HELP YOU CREATE AN IMPACTFUL MARKETING STRATEGY

How to build the marketing strategy for your eco business

Marketing strategy for eco businesses - Creative Bloom

Promoting a brand, product or service with limited marketing resources is a difficult challenge. We've been working with the University of Brighton's Green Growth Platform for the past few years, hosting regular free workshops to their members, to help give them the tools to execute a great marketing campaign on a low budget. 

One practice that we use to put together a marketing strategy for all of our clients, as well as advise in our workshops, is "POST". 


What goes into a POST marketing plan?

Target - marketing strategy

P | People

Who are you trying to target?

Every successful business is centered around solving a pain point for people. However, in order to reach the people with the pain, you need to know who they are and how you can reach them.

When we talk about ‘people’ at the start of a strategy, what we’re really doing in “official marketing terms” is creating different ‘audience segments’.

The more detail you can go into on who you’re trying to target, the more creative you can get with the messaging - and the lower the risk of alienating people.

The most effective marketing strategies identify and target between 3 and 5 different ‘personas’, painting a picture of them with the following types of data: 

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Location

  • Occupation

  • Routine (specifically relationship commitments and work patterns)

  • Buying habits (what they choose to spend their money on)

  • Views (political, sociological and other topics important to them)


Objective - marketing strategy

O | Objective

What are you trying to achieve?

 

'Marketing' is an open ended practice. There are so many different ways that a product, service or brand can be marketed, but the most ineffective campaigns are those who spread their efforts too thinly. 

This is where separating your marketing efforts by campaign objectives is vital. Firstly, it enables you to keep your "eyes of the prize" through the campaign, but it also acts as a pinnacle through the strategy planning stages to help you keep on mission.

And you need to be specific: How many more sales do you want? How much higher would you like your reach or engagement to be? How many more site visitors or social media followers do you want?


Marketing strategy

S | Strategy

How are you going to achieve it?

 

This is when you start really getting into the creative thinking through identifying the messages that would both speak to your audience and help you to meet your objective.

The best marketing plans include a range of different ways that you can do this.

Examples of strategies that would be implemented include educating the audience on your industry, directly selling your product, highlighting certain aspects of your product, and building or supporting a community to promote brand awareness.


tactics - marketing strategy

T | Tactics

Which tools will you use?

 

Here's where you get into the details and map out which platforms you're going to use for getting these messages out there - with a big focus on where your target audience are.  

For instance, if you're trying to promote discounts to certain organisations, it can be most effective to flyer outside of their building. Alternatively, if you're trying to sell a type of food to families across the UK, Google display ads would be better practice.

You can use a range of different tactics per strategy.

You can find out more about POST, as well as a whole range of marketing practices that keep costs low and success rates high, at our very popular two-day digital marketing workshops.

 

Or you can contact us and we can run them for your business