Whether you’re an American company that does business abroad or a foreign company looking to gain traction in the United States, optimizing SEO and SEM/AdWords is likely to be part of your strategy at some point. Marketing outside of your home market can get a little tricky for obvious reasons, but here are four quick tips to to keep in mind as you expand organic and paid promotion internationally.
- Language is key: You can't fake SEO or PPC with Google Translate. You need a native speaker to write effective PPC copy, website copy and do the research and pick words behind an effective SEO campaign.
- Testing: For SEM, the same thing holds true in North America as elsewhere. You can't write one ad and hope it sticks. You need to be testing and writing copy on a continuous basis (ties back to the need for native langauge).
- Know the local market: Despite enthusiasm between startups in SE Asia, Eastern Europe and North America (for example), there is still a quantum leap in terms of how these markets work. Companies that can cross over are still the exception, not the rule. It's more effort, but you might have to rework your messaging completely for a new market.
- Use the same principals for SEO in North America and elsewhere: Divide the campaign into onsite and offsite optimization. For onsite optimization, you might optimize different attributes in different markets. For offsite SEO, it might require a localized PR campaign, and understanding of different search tools.