With proper tools available, the question is no longer should I put efforts toward building a global presence, but instead what are the considerations I should be aware of when getting started?
Running international SEO campaigns presents many challenges, but can also result in significant rewards. As time goes on, it's becoming increasingly difficult to rank in Google for targeted keyword due to increased competition and growth of budgets and investments by your competitors in online marketing strategies. Expanding your brand into a multi-national presence compounds the difficulty of your online marketing process exponentially.
A recent report from BrightEdge indicates that the majority of search marketers think it is becoming more important for sites to rank in global search engines. According to the firm's survey, six out of 10 marketers believe it will become either "more" or "much more" important this year, compared to last year, when 36 percent said "more," while 27 percent said "much more."
Google's ability to identify the geo-location and targets of content has vastly improved over recent years and Google continues to show its dedication toward it with the release of tools such as the ability to set geo-targets within Webmaster Tools and the introduction of geo-specific XML sitemaps and language-based meta tags. With proper tools available, the question is no longer should I put efforts toward building a global presence, but instead what are the considerations I should be aware of when getting started? Here are three concepts that should be addressed upfront:
From a business perspective, expanding reach into different local markets can have dramatic impacts on overall branding, awareness and organic traffic, conversions, and revenue. In order to ensure a smooth rollout you must address these considerations upfront and have a rock solid plan for technical implementation and proper content development. These are three critical aspects to address, but certainly not the only ones when beginning or renewing global optimization efforts. What are some challenges your organization has faced that would have made the rollout process easier if they had been addressed beforehand?
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Crispin Sheridan is the Senior Director, Global Search at SAP. As part of the digital team, he established and leads the search and testing practices at SAP. Crispin is responsible for paid, natural, and mobile search and all online testing. Search and testing at SAP are fully centralized and globally funded and run under a hybrid in-house and agency model.
Crispin has proven that search learnings and keyword insights work hand in hand with social media marketing and together can effectively drive B2B lead generation. Furthermore, the development of the SAP.com Test Lab has contributed significant success to SAP's digital marketing efforts.
A frequent guest speaker at conferences, including SES New York, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Delhi, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, Crispin was appointed to the SES Advisory Board in December 2009. He has also been a guest speaker at the e-Metrics Summit and ad:Tech, and is a member of Google's B2B Technology Council. You can follow him on Twitter at @crispinsheridan and read his monthly SEO column on ClickZ.
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