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International SEO Strategy in 2021

: 29th Jan 2021         : Lovetto Nazareth

International SEO in 2021: 12 Trends to Follow in Order to Get Ranked

Search Engine Optimization is an ever-evolving process having multiple aspects. This Blog dives into the subject of International SEO and talks about newer trends that an SEO company should consider focusing on in the year 2021

Table of Contents

What is International SEO?

International SEO is a process of optimizing your online presence in a way that search engines can identify and analyze which countries you want to target and the language you plan on targeting.
It uses techniques like Hreflang tags, geotargeting and other localization signals to deliver content to your target audience around the world. There are two aspects to International SEO, one focuses on regions and is also termed as multiregional SEO and the other focuses on the language aspect and is also known as multilingual SEO.

How Does It Work?

You might have noticed that when you search for something, it automatically gives you results from your particular area specifically. That's actually because of international SEO.
So, whathappens is that when you search something on the search engine, Google tries to match the search results to the location and language of your area. It happens because there are certain signals added to the websites while creating them, to help target the right audience.

Why Do You Need to Focus on International SEO?

Going international is important if you know that your website traffic is largely based in different regions. It becomes a necessity so that you can provide the same experience to people sitting in different regions and speaking different languages.
It not only elevates the experience for the visitors of your site but also tends to improve your ranking online.When people from a specific region search for a query, Google tends to show those pages first that are optimized for that region.


International SEO Strategy in 2021 Infographic

2020 was a year of uncertainty and change. It dramatically changed almost everything. Fortunately, 2020 revolutionized the internet because it made the world realize how almost anything can be handled online. It created new potential for businesses seeking to compete in the market worldwide, for which, SEO holds great importance as almost 68% of all the online experiences start with the search engine.
Following are some of the strategies or ways that make for promising results regarding International SEO today and in the years to come.

1. Analyze Competitive Landscape

Before doing anything else you need to first evaluate the market and analyze the competition. Don’t just rely on apparent competitors, you can use tools such as SEMrush or any other tool to analyze competition and then make further strategies.
You can even go on to see what keywords they are targeting and if you can target them too. This makes it easier for you to at least jump into the competition.

2. Conduct an International Keyword Research

It is important to note that keywords have different rankings in different parts of the world. Even more so, meanings differ too. Football means something in the UK and it means something entirely different in the US.
That is why you need to make sure that you target the right keywords. That is where in-depth competitor analysis comes in. You can target the worthy keywords that your competitors are targeting to start with.

3. Choose the Right Structure for the Website

You need to define who you are targeting first, before finalizing the structure of your website. Furthermore, you also need to define if you are targeting a language that’s being used in different countries or you are targeting a specific country. Then you can decide on domains, subdomains, and folders.

4. Local Hosting

Hosting is one of the most important factors because it directly influences websites’ speed. If the server location is too distant, it means the website speed will be lower and it eventually means that the user experience will be worse and your site won’t rank well. That is why you need to find out the best hosting solution for your website.

5. Hreflang – Language Targeting of Your Webpage

Now, when you have spent time translating your whole content in different languages, you will obviously want search engines to show it to the appropriate audience. Hreflang is basically an HTML used by companies like Google and Yandex to specify the language and to target the specific geographical location for the webpage.

How does it Work?

You use Hreflang tags to tell search engines about the variations to get multiple versions of the same page in different languages. It helps them to provide the correct version to the specific user.
For example, in the following link, The HTML tail “en-uk” shows the search engines the location and languagethat you intend to target, which in this case, is English and the United Kingdom respectively.

6. E-A-T is Here to Stay

E-A-T primarily comes from a set of Google published guidelines for the benefit of its “Search Quality Raters” team. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. These are the three main factors Google has been using for the past many years to measure how much trust it should place in a website.
Businesses with the best display of E-A-T on their websites get promoted by Google. Even after so many years and so many improved technologies, E-A-T remains the domain authority for Google. If anything, it has become more important of a factor as the scam rates are increasing by the day.
Most of the Google evaluations take place off-site, so you should try your best to write your own content, instead of hiring a freelancer to do the work for you. You should make sure to put author names and biographies in the editorials and finally, you should try to get as many off-site mentions and citations as possible.
All these steps will help get a better E-A-T position leading to an overall increase in the ranking.

7. Mobile SEO is the New Go

Google launched mobile-first indexing in 2019 indicating the mobile version of the website, the primary version over the desktop version.It is justified as almost all the purchases take place through the mobile searches It is very important for you to make sure that your site performs well on mobile devices because according to experts, Google will consider your mobile site over the desktop site in terms of ranking.

8. Long-form Content

Long-form content of 3000+ words gets three times more traffic and four times more shares. However, it gets tricky to write engaging long-form content. To tackle that, you need to make sure that your content is informative and engaging for the reader to continue reading it. It is advised to format your content in paragraphs under different headings and subheadings to keep the content clear and engaging.

You don't always have to go for the tiring long-form content writing to climb the Google ranking. In 2017, Google launched featured snippet as a short cut for gaining prominence in search results.
These are brief, attractive little chunks of information, often structured as bullets with pictures or graphs to make them catchier.You should focus more on question-based queries and keywordsto make it to the top featured snippet.

10. Core Web Vitals- Prepare for an On-Page Experience

Every Google update stresses more and more on the importance of on-page experience. Core web vitals are said to become the vital ranking factors in 2021. According to Google, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), first input delay (FID) and cumulative layout shift (CLS) are the three core web vitals.
LCP simply means the time that a site takes for the largest content to appear on the screen when an interaction happens. FID means the time between the interaction is made and the site responds. Lastly, CLS is a matric that is calculated by adding all the layout shifts that happened without the user’s interaction.
These factors will directly impact the rankings of your web page when launched. So, it is better to be prepared beforehand. If you want to learn more about on-page SEO optimization and the factors to keep in mind, check out: 10 On-page SEO Factors You Need to Know in 2021

How Can We Improve the Core Web Vital Score?

It actually depends on the type of website you have. Basically, what you do is, you pop open the Google Search Console and click on the core web vitals. Here, you will find the statistics on where exactly you are lacking and then you can act accordingly.
One thing to actually look out for is the poor URLs. From my point of view, Google tends to negatively target sites with more poor URLs than to boost up the ones with good URL count. So, you should really try to zero-in on the poor URLs.

11. Image Optimization – The Rise of Visual Search

A dramatic rise in the visual image search has been observed over the past few years. People are looking for efficient ways to make their lives easier. Why type and browse through the internet to look for something, when you can get it with a single click?
Google lens, Pinterest, and many other platforms are using this technology to help the users in shopping, finding directions, identifying landmarks, translating, and much more. To give your users a better experience, you should make sure to use high-quality images, use alt tags and make sure that the photo files are labeled, and file names are customized. It will definitely help you in the long run to improve your ranking.

YouTube is one of the most flourishing social sites with over 1 billion users. According to Cisco, video content is projected to exceed all other forms of content in terms of consumption. People prefer watching and learning through video aid rather than having to read and make sense of the stuff on their own. It isjust easier and more convenient.
So, you should try to incorporate video aids in your content. Start making quality videos for your page or even better, make your YouTube channel and link it to your website. It will not only provide thorough content to the users but also improve your ranking.
Our preferences and needs are constantly changing with every passing day. It is really important to stay updated with what's new and trending. Every region has its own preferences and trends and more importantly, SEO is getting complex by the day and that is why businesses prefer to hire an SEO company to get the job done.
Gone are the days when simply optimizing keywords and meta titles was enough. Now, you have to keep an eye on the latest updates from voice control to video SEO.To stay at the top of your ranking, it is important to stay up to date with the current trends and changing metrics. Choosing the right strategy will help you rise to the top in your category.
This is it for this blog. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments and we will get back to you as soon as we can. DO share the blog with your friends so that they can benefit as well. Thank you!

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