Are you going international? What you need to know for your Glocal SEO

It all comes down to a local content gap analysis. Local keyword research is only part of the equation – although it is important.

The next part of the equation is real local expertise.

In addition to doing the keyword analysis of each market from scratch, you also need to do an analysis of the local services already available to each audience – and their respective local rankings (which may surprise you).

These often rather small and very local competitors can be completely different from region to region.

They probably have a lot of influence on their audience.

You need local language and local marketing expertise not only to translate your content, but also to do competitor research.

It is important to understand the environment and culture in which you operate, and this goes far beyond word-for-word translation.

Learn from locals

Once you know the local competitors, dig deeper:

  • What do they offer that you don’t (yet) offer?
  • What are their top ranking content formats?
  • What gaps in their offerings can you fill?
  • Are they using videos successfully? How are they structured?
  • Do they focus on image carousels? Blog posts?
  • What types of content are most effective for them?

And of course : In which keywords do they invest the most?

Answering these questions provides valuable information for your own strategy in each region.

Check your own content for the respective market in comparison and be honest with yourself. Is your approach to the target audience really relevant?

As an example, take a look at what different cultures look for when searching for a “dress”.

We compared Portuguese and German search volumes:

Screenshot of Acolad’s comparison of the most popular short and medium term keywords for ‘dress’, Portuguese vs German, June 2022

Can you proceed based on strictly translated content, just optimizing it?

Or do you need to create new targeted content from scratch, possibly in new formats?

Consider local video trends and preferences

Suppose your local expert has provided you with information indicating a need for additional video content.

Don’t just jump on the bandwagon and convert any written content into moving chunks of text on the screen.

Instead, get an in-depth analysis of which video formats perform well for each respective market.

Can they be more text-based or does your regional audience prefer human interaction?

If so, do you need to produce content in those regions on location using a local team and local actors?

Or do you want to meet the needs of a region that demands high interactivity video formats, such as live commentary, directly on the screen? China is a good example.

Do you need to get started, seize the opportunity of flash sales? Or would you rank better with explainer videos, directly related to your products?

The same in-depth local analysis should be performed for each format identified as most valuable to your target audience in each location.

Consider how channels and content formats change for different audiences

How you leverage channels and content formats may change as you go international.

The marketing wisdom at home about what works best for your goals might not apply abroad.

Even how you present a blog post to your audience depends on their preferences: are you catering to a market that prefers a lot of visual support?

If so, do they connect better with photos of humans they can relate to, or do they prefer logical support through diagrams?

What are the cultural implications of certain colors?

Do they need information presented in highly “digestible” forms like eye-catching bullet points, or do you need to provide in-depth reasoning to gain their trust?

Are they competitive, enjoying the “Top Ten/Five/Three” list format?

Do they relate more easily to information when brought in personally, via an interview?

Do they prefer a formal tone or more informal content?

Localization experts can help you understand how audiences interact with different channels and formats in your target locations.

If there are cultural differences or different digital marketing frameworks to consider, you might not even know them.

That’s why you need localization experts, not just translators.

Glocal SEO means treating each region and each audience as unique.

Glocal SEO needs both technology and local expertise

All of these questions and problems can be solved with data.

However, it takes expertise to filter and interpret the data, as well as convert the results into successful local content.

It takes the right technology, with tools like Semrush and more.

But don’t be fooled.

No technology is smarter than the person using it. this is where the real experts can shine.

The local cultural knowledge of an expert enables them to:

  • Find the information that matters to you.
  • Validate the accuracy and validity of data in your target market.
  • Interpret data to inform your local campaign and predict future trends.

If your product line is very specialized, make sure your local SEO specialist knows your product line as well.

The same goes for local linguists who will recreate your content for each respective market.

Remember to apply Glocal principles to technical SEO

Even the technical approaches differ from region to region.

In some markets in Asia, for example, you might want to trade your website completely for microsites, integrated with apps from major local portals.

Other locales require your own apps, often as an add-on option and sometimes as an alternative.

It all depends on the individual combination of your sociological target group, its location and your product.

If the technical needs of your audience are very different, you may need to revise the scope of your project.

The wrong payment method can cost your business

Finally, even with perfectly localized content and channels, you can’t create sales if you don’t also embrace payment options!

Believe it or not, neither MasterCard nor Visa works everywhere.

There are countries where you don’t have to worry about it.

Payments via apps have become practically mandatory in many countries – but which system does your local target group trust?

Some audiences are very demanding about the payment services they use.

Adapting payments is a critical aspect of localization and overall business. It’s also easy to forget!

Glocal SEO is a matter of experts

The national SEO team does a fantastic job with your home market.

But when it comes to growing across borders, there is no “one size fits all” approach.

Even the most perfect native strategy must be adapted to each new market.

For your SEO strategy, this means: When you go international, you have to go local. With local SEO experts.

This is what glocal SEO is.

It takes experience and a global network.

Get the best experts on board for optimal ROI from your hard work!

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