1. Hreflang – the International Setup
Hreflang tags are used to indicate to search engines which language and country you are targeting for a specific page on your website. They are essential for international SEO, and should be included on all pages that target a different country or language.
2. Choose the right URL Structure
When setting up your international website, it is important to choose the right URL structure. There are three common options: subdirectories, subdomains, and ccTLDs. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you will need to decide which is best for your website.
3. Prepare for Page Experience
With the recent introduction of the Page Experience update, it is more important than ever to make sure that your website provides a good user experience. This includes factors such as page load speed, mobile-friendliness, and security.
4. Avoid Machine Translation
Machine translation can be tempting when you are first starting out with an international website. However, it is important to avoid it if you want to rank well in foreign search engines. Machine translation can often produce poor results, which will reflect negatively on your website.
5. Understand That Keywords & SERPs Vary from Country to Country
When you are doing keyword research for an international website, it is important to remember that keywords and SERPs vary from country to country. What works in one country may not work in another, so you will need to do your research and tailor your keywords accordingly.
6. E-A-T is Here to Stay
E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) is a ranking factor that was introduced with the Google Quality Raters Guidelines. It is important to remember that E-A-T is here to stay, and that it is something you need to take into account when optimizing your website for foreign search engines.
7. Don’t Just Build Links; Build Relationships
When you are building links to your international website, it is important to focus on quality over quantity. It is also important to build relationships with other websites in your niche, as this can help to improve your link profile.
8. Keep an Eye on International & Local Search Trends
It is important to keep up with both international and local search trends. This will help you to understand what people are searching for, and how you can optimize your website accordingly.
9. Create a Plan & Execute
Last but not least, it is important to create a plan and execute it. International SEO can be complex, and you will need to put in the time and effort if you want to see results. By following the steps in this checklist, you can set your website up for success in foreign search engines.