At one point or another, a business will get to a point where it will have the opportunity to grow past national borders. When it comes to the moving industry, this is a logical next step in terms of expansion. However, taking your moving business global will be no walk in the park. From opening up new locations, hiring more employees, and buying more equipment, to expanding your business network – there will be plenty to consider. And among those many tasks, one must not neglect the importance of adjusting your moving company SEO approach. After all, generating international moving leads will be even more demanding than gathering local leads. In this article, Movers Development explores six essential international SEO tactics for achieving business growth:
#1: Reinvent your domain structure
Other countries might not be as welcoming to your domain as your home country. Just like content and services should be focused on specific countries, so should the domain structure as well. Search intent has become a very popular and important trend to satisfy, and a domain that is known to customers is far likely to get their attention than a foreign one. So, having a domain structure that signifies a specific country or language is more likely to get the attention of that audience than your current one. And there are two ways to handle this:
- You can use a different country code top-level domain (ccTLD). This is a clear signpost for online users from a specific country that your website is aimed at their country. And having this domain structure can send signs to search engines that your website belongs among local ranking positions for that country. For example, if you were planning to target Germany as your next international market, you would want to use .de as the ccTLD.
- You can create a sub-directory for your existing domain (e.g. “moversdev.com/de”) or create a subdomain (e.g. “germany.moversdev.com”). This is a simpler way of targeting international markets and audiences without having to buy a brand new domain and build a completely new website. However, you should note that search engines don’t automatically associate subfolders or subdomains with the target country.
#2: Use international SEO tactics that cater to different search engines
According to the most recent records, Google’s market share on a worldwide level is currently 91.38%. All other search engines fall significantly in comparison to it. However, there are search engines that are dominant in certain countries, such as Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China. And while some SEO tactics might work for Google, it doesn’t mean that they will have the same effect on other search engines.
That is why it is important to adjust your website to the search engine used in that country. Otherwise, you are highly unlikely to generate any relevant leads.
#3: Tailor your content to the country it targets
It’s not simply a matter of translating content. You need to take into consideration that you are dealing with different cultural values, laws and regulations, time zones, mentalities, etc. It is important for your website to abide by the principles that a specific country upholds. Otherwise, brand development for your moving business will come much harder and slower than predicted.
Another thing to factor in here are the keywords specific for every market and country. While some phrases might be universally embraced and acceptable in North America, they will be different in the United Kingdom, for example.
- The most obvious example of this for movers would be the difference between moving companies (US) and removal companies (UK).
And it only gets more complicated when a different language is involved. Once again, it’s a matter of cultural heritage and using correct terminology.
#4: Use hreflang tags
As parts of HTML code that indicate the language and location a page targets, hreflang tags help search engines deliver the right localized version of a page to a target audience. Basically, it’s a way for you to signal Google whether or not your page is suitable for other languages or areas. That way, if someone in Paris were to type in a query relevant to your website, the hreflang tag would indicate to Google that a French version of the page should appear in SERP. On the other hand, if you have a page that you only want English speakers to see, having an “en-us” hreflang tag would limit that page to appearing only for English speakers in the US.
#5: Incorporate language variations
Using local languages to target specific areas of a country is a must-have approach when it comes to international SEO tactics for business growth. You need to consider all the official languages that are in use in the country you are expanding your business in. So, while using English will work for most of Canada, you still can’t neglect to translate your website to Canadian French if you want to target leads in Quebec. And the same goes for other countries that have a bi- or multi-lingual system in use.
#6: Manage different cultural expectations
As is the case with every SEO strategy, be it local or international – User Experience (UX) plays a key role. Different cultures nurture different behavioral habits in consumers. And so, while audiences in the US might appreciate a minimalist web design that is transparent and easy to navigate through, audiences in China would be more favorable toward websites overflowing with links. It comes down to understanding your audience before investing in international SEO tactics.
Start working on your international SEO tactics today
The manner in which you implement your SEO strategy directly influences the way your website ranks on SERP. The better your on-page and off-page optimization efforts are, the higher the value of your moving company website will be. However, as you expand your business to other markets and countries, the task of implementing optimal SEO becomes more challenging. Movers Development has the global knowledge and experience that you need to gain favor in global markets. Contact us today and let us start working on your international expansion together!