Another year, another St. Patrick’s Day. If you’re still recovering from the weekend’s festivities, we have just the thing for you. No, not your grandmother’s secret hangover cure – the Content Marketing Weekly!
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re giving the CM Weekly a slightly global flavor, with updates on international SEO and non-English URLs, among other topics.
So down that Alka-Seltzer, and let’s get to it:
There comes a time in every content marketer’s life where they look beyond their own domestic market and start thinking about expanding into international territory. New markets bring new challenges, not least of which is figuring out how to retool your SEO efforts for different countries.
Over at the always reliable Search Engine Land, BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu breaks down what you need to know before expanding your SEO strategy into the global market.
For instance, mobile adoption is pretty high across the board, so a mobile-first strategy is typically a sound approach to global SEO.
One very important note to keep in mind is that while Google rules the roost in the U.S., that’s not necessarily the case in other countries. Designing a Google-centric SEO strategy for the Chinese market would be kind of like making Yahoo or even Ask.com your primary focus here in the States: silly, very silly.
You also need to account for differences in web design best practices. What appeals to an American audience may not go over as well with Chinese users.
Of course, it goes without saying that all of your content will need to be built from the ground up with an international audience in mind. Dropping existing landing page copy into a web translator is not going to cut it.
Working with an SEO company is a big step in any nascent content marketing effort, and you want to make sure you get it right the first time. On the other side of the fence, SEO consultants should feel confident that everyone’s on the same page regarding expectations, services, payment, etc.
That’s why ironing out a clearly spelled out contract is so important for both parties. Voltage’s Vice President of Marketing, Corey Morris, recently laid out the 13 key areas to cover in any SEO contract.
Some of those items are pretty easy to guess (detailed list of deliverables, pricing structure, cancellation terms, etc.), but Morris also gets into a few areas you might forget to include:
- Ownership of work: At the end of the day, who actually owns the reports, creative work and even customized SEO strategy plans produced by the SEO company?
- Delivery schedule: You know what you’re getting, but do you know when? It’s important to get this cleared up so the right expectations are set.
- Change of scope: What happens if you want to add new services to your contract? How does that process work?
Morris argues that SEO contracts should be as clearly defined as possible to avoid any confusion as far as what’s expected of both parties. You don’t want to find out later on that you disagree on what the terms of your contract actually mean.
If you’re designing a website for a foreign market, it only makes sense that you would want to use the local alphabet for every aspect, including the URL. After all, you don’t want your audience to have to figure out how to type in your site’s URL using characters that may not even be present on their keyboards.
Given all the ways that Google’s algorithms penalize websites, there’s understandably been some concern about how a non-Latin URL will perform. As Search Engine Land reported, however, Google Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller recently put those fears to rest.
“As long as URLs are valid and unique, [using non-Latin characters is] fine,” Mueller said.
You still want to adhere to the same URL best practices you otherwise would, like avoiding special characters. But Google’s best and brightest encourages businesses to use non-Latin characters when it makes sense for the audience.
Odds are your bracket’s already busted (thanks, Virginia), but that doesn’t mean you still can’t get some value out of this year’s college hoops tournament.
The Content Marketing Institute’s Ann Gynn offers up several ideas to spruce up your content marketing strategies – all inspired directly by the greatest event in sports. For example, your team can create brackets to pit different articles against each other. The one with the best metrics (CTR, session time, etc.) moves on to the next round.
There are plenty of other basketball-related ideas over there, so go check it out.
Feeling better? Thought so. The CM Weekly does the trick every time.
Be sure to check back next week for more of the latest industry news and updates.