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SEO for Exporters

SEO for businesses that export products can be complex. For example, should you have different websites for different countries or the same site with language choice? If cultural differences demand a multi-faceted approach to your marketing then so should your websites and SEO.

Here are some tips:

Decide on one website domain or one for each country.

If there are significant cultural and language differences then the answer is probably to have websites in each country. One way to do this is to have a “Country Coded Top Level Domain” (ccTLD) for each country e.g. example.co.nz for New Zealand and example.de for Germany. Google takes the TLD as a signal of where the business is located and TLD as well as where the website is hosted are strong indicators as is the country language code on the website (hreflang tag). Unique TLDs for each site makes management somewhat more difficult. An alternative option is to combine the sites either under one domain with a subfolder e.g. example.com/nz and example.com/de or you could use subdomains e.g. newzealand.example.com and germany. example.com. Both ways allow you to submit the sites as separate entities to Google, but while management becomes marginally easier, you lose the SEO signal from the TLD.

Know your target audience.

For successful SEO, using the right keywords in your content and on Google Ads is critical Each country has its own language nuances. Make sure that you’re familiar with the language. Best get a local to help.

Use Google Ads in your destination country and analyse the results.

Google Ads is a great tool to discover which words and phrases your target audience responds to. It’s a great way to A/B test your keywords and demographics. Translate what you learn from your paid SEO into your organic SEO.

Host your website in the local market and in the local language.

By far the majority of searches end up on a local website. If you have a multilingual website then it’s not good enough to translate word for word, but reflect the local way of thinking. Don’t think multi-language, instead think “multi-country”.

Make friends with the local press.

As an exporter, you probably have a good story to tell and local publishers are likely to snap up your good-news story. Make sure the article links back to your website.

Write Blogs and articles in the local language and style.

Make sure that you link your blogs and articles to local websites. Work together with other export partners, especially where products complement each other.

Share your success and happenings, but use the right platform.

Different countries use Social Media differently. Facebook in Europe as opposed to Orkut in Brazil, for example.

Take a close look at your competitors

Competitor websites in the local market will give you an idea what others do to sell their product. Do an in-depth analysis highlighting the difference between countries and try to understand why those differences exist. It may highlight some improvement opportunities in your approach.

At Hello Web and Hello SEO we understand various cultures and in particular, German, South African and New Zealand.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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Author Details


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Uli Knapp

After 20 years of business ownership in the IT industry, I started Hello Web with the aim of assisting businesses with their online journey – to achieve maximum potential from their website.

To achieve that success, I take time to learn as much as I can about the businesses that I work with. Having hands-on knowledge of various business environments in New Zealand, together with my listening skills and an intimate understanding of the workings of search engines like Google, I can ensure online success for my clients.

My biggest accomplishment is having run a successful business (Base10 Ltd), taking it full cycle from humble beginnings to an ultimate successful sale and leading an awesome team of up to 14 staff. At Hello Web I work directly and hands-on with my clients.

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