The Basics Of International SEO For Hotel Search Engine Marketing
International SEO is in essence the process of making sure your website is optimized for those countries oversees which you want to target for better search engine rankings. In the case of the hotel industry, this could be a truly global endeavour – and a key component of your hotel search engine marketing strategy.
Why Practice International SEO?
If you are aware that a significant proportion of your visitors arrive from overseas, it is well worth ensuring that your website is in the best possible shape for giving them a great experience and is highly visible in search results in their country of origin.
Where to Start
Before considering branching into the world of international SEO, it’s important to first establish where you currently stand on the international stage.
Ask yourself a few key questions:
• How much of your site’s current traffic comes from overseas?
• What is your organic search visibility in foreign countries?
• Which keywords identify you alongside the countries you are seeking to market to?
How simple is it to establish international SEO?
How easily international SEO can be established in the initial stages depends largely on what sort of traction you are already building without additional effort – and how far you would like to take your international SEO project. It can be kept as comparatively simple as targeting a different country without targeting a different language – or targeting a language without specifying a country; or combining both – which requires a more high-level approach. In any case, you need to make sure your users see the right content when they type a query into a search engine.
In summary, you can:
• Specify your target country with an international-friendly URL
• Target a particular language by using language tags
• A combination of both approaches
Research Prior to International Targeting
Before deciding on a course of action, try:
• Identifying customer characteristics – Just as you identify the behaviours of domestic customers in order to fuel an effective SEO-strategy, so it is with international SEO. Understanding the behavioural patterns and characteristics of your overseas audience will be important to building international content, so research carefully.
• Identifying and analysing international competitors – A key factor in establishing where your hotel ranks alongside overseas competition and how their activities match up.
Creating International URLS
When it comes to structurally building an international version of your website, you are left with a few different options.
• ccTLDs (such as .uk) offer the most straightforward signal to search engines of your international presence, and therefore provide the simplest way of ranking locally.
• Subdirectories (such as /uk) give your original domain more authority, but can be detrimental if your users prefer to browse local websites.
• Subdomains (such as uk.) are the simplest to maintain but suffer from the same problem as subdirectories, in that many overseas browsers prefer to search locally.
Measure Your EffortsMeasurement is as important in international SEO as it is in local or more generalised efforts. This way you can take account of any flaws in your international website or content and adjust to continual improvement.