Keeping Up with International SEO

I’ve spent nine years working in search engine optimization and have yet to come across someone in the field who doesn’t feel passionate about it. I’m always amazed at the level of dedication those involved in search have to this ever-changing industry. What was once considered a simple process of keyword stuffing and keyword density targeting has now become an intricate process of content creation, technical development and ongoing data analysis –  and this just skims the surface of the art and science behind successful search engine optimization.

In marketing – and with SEO in particular – the value of being proactive is often measured by big wins and the successful outliers of incremental growth. It is where most of us want to focus, but we instead find ourselves fighting to stay on top with limited time and resources. Duane Forrester put this in perspective in a recent Bing Webmaster Center blog article. He points out where a SEO puts their time is critical to their success and rightfully maintains that time and attention needs to be split across each disciple in order to improve user experience and search engine rankings.

For those of us who are running multiple international websites, the same rules apply regarding effective international SEO. The biggest problem I see with international SEO isn’t lack of dedication, knowledge or skill but rather finding the time to ensure it’s equally successful across each market. This is especially true for tasks like data analysis across multiple countries. Take Chris Liversidge’s recent Search Engine Land article on cutting down overhead when managing multinational SEO. Liversidge details the use of segmented “micro” reports  as means to keep his team on top of international SEO.

Handling established campaigns across multiple countries can quickly become a case of handling overwhelming quantities of data interspersed with never-ending menial jobs, preventing the SEO from developing their strategy to squeeze yet more value from their campaign ROI,” said Liversidge.

international seo management

For many organizations, managing international SEO means finding ways to streamline recurring tasks while they focus their efforts on developing and executing successful SEO strategies. The mere pursuit of finding ways to manage and improve international SEO for them is a task which in itself can consume a lot of time with little to no real ROI. For some, the benefit of working with a partner to perform these tasks gives them the freedom to focus on the big wins for each market they have a website in. For others, they prefer the DIY model and run the risk of spreading themselves too thin. For those stuck somewhere between the aforementioned options, I recommend testing which model has the highest returns in time, effort and results. Starting with a website in one market (other than your domestic market) is all it takes.

How are you managing your international SEO efforts in different countries? What SEO tasks do you wish you had help with?  Let me know and I’ll respond with some specific tips to help you out.

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