Excerpts from my latest article at Resource Interactive’s weThink blog: “10 Tips for Sending International SEO Signals.”

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Search engine optimization for multinational sites isn’t all that different than SEO for a single U.S. site. It all boils down to the same three pillars: getting indexed, being relevant by using the most popular keywords and being popular by acquiring links and social mentions. That said, the specifics of those three pillars are different for multinational sites versus a single U.S. site.

Each country has its own language, languages or even dialects within a language. Each country has a different mix of search engines that are popular among its citizens. China has Baidu, Japan still clings to Yahoo and most of the Americas, Europe and Africa prefer Google. In addition, international SEO multiplies the challenge of optimizing a single site by the number of countries targeted. A site for a single country with a host of SEO issues will likely have 10 times the issues or more when multiplied across 10 countries and languages. International SEO is an incredibly complex challenge, but these 10 geotargeting tips will get you started.

1.    Site Structure: Where to host each country’s content is the first critical question. The best option for SEO is a subdirectory such as www.site.com/en-uk/ and www.site.com/fr-ca/. Hosting content on a single domain enables each country to benefit from the links acquired by the other countries and the domain as a whole. Register the ccTLD—the top-level domain for each country—as a defensive measure and for promotion, and redirect that ccTLD to the content at the subdirectory. For example, site.co,uk would redirect to www.site.com/en-uk/. Country content can also be hosted at the ccTLD or a subdomain, but each comes with its own drawbacks.

Nine more geotargeting signals to come! Read the article in full at Resource Interactive’s weThink blog »

International SEO WebinarIf you’d like to see a webinar on this topic, head on over to Practical eCommerce for my recent presentaton on International Search Engine Optimization. The archived presentation is free, but you’ll need to log in to Practical eCommerce (also free) to view it. Enjoy!

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