SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of optimising your website content for search engines like Google. SEO is an important part of your digital marketing strategy as it puts your business on the digital map, allowing customers to see you as the answer to their query.
When we think about SEO, it’s easy to forget that our strategy needs to target customers beyond our immediate neighbourhood. International SEO is not necessary for every business, you might find that local SEO is more pertinent for you. But, in both cases, it’s crucial to analyse your current strategy and adapt for your target audience.
Imagine you run a bakery that has recipes specifically from your hometown. Your SEO strategy will likely be targeting local and possibly national SEO, but certainly not international (unless you plan to send cakes on a ferry!) How would you adapt your current strategy to target your local audience?
There are plenty of ways to do so, but here are 8 tips to start optimising for local SEO:
Ensure your name, address, and phone number are correct on your website and on ‘Google my Business’
Research your local competitors and their messaging
On your website, optimise URL, title tags, headers and meta descriptionAdd location pages to your website with relevent local content
Ensure your website is both desktop and mobile-friendly
Get inbound links with relevance and authority with local partners
Engage with your llocal community through advertising, events and promotional acitivites. I.e. ‘Free tasting samples on Wednesdays’
You might wonder if International SEO is at all possible. Local SEO seems simple enough, but how can you adapt your strategy to target a global audience? International SEO is naturally a little more complex, with a large audience comes even greater responsibility. It’s important to think about how user journeys will differ from person to person in each country.
Remember, international SEO is also about ensuring a strong search presence, but it aims to drive organic traffic from multiple countries (multiregional SEO) and/or languages (multilingual SEO). An international strategy ensures that search engines can easily identify which countries your business is targeting. It also shows search engines which languages you use to attract customers from different countries. With multilingual SEO, it’s best practice to have your copy translated by a fluent speaker. Stay away from Google Translate! There are many nuances in different languages that translation apps will not understand, and when we’re thinking about creating a great experience for users, technology is not always the solution.
Why is International SEO important?
The primary objective of search engines is to find the highest-quality answer as quickly as possible for its users. As such, they are designed to match search results based on the location and language of the user. If you adapt your SEO strategy for a global audience, your content will find users who require your products or services from different countries.
Imagine you are an e-commerce company that sells jewellery to the UK, US, South America and Asia. If your SEO strategy is only focused on the UK/US audience, you are missing out on millions of potential customers. By adopting an international SEO strategy you will improve the visibility of your products and/or services in global markets. Not only this, but you will also grow a loyal customer/client base and increase conversion rates. You need to ensure your target audience feels at home when they land on your site because you want them to trust your services and convert into a customer.
Improving your current SEO strategy
Changing the language of your copy is not the only way to improve international SEO. Whilst it’s key to reflect the cultural context of different audiences by writing copy that reflects their cultures, international SEO goes far beyond translation. It can feel a bit overwhelming to suddenly realise that you have to adapt your SEO strategy for a much bigger audience. But don’t worry, at My Bright Digital, we’re here to give you some guidance on how to start improving your international strategy.
Here are some of our suggestions:
Market research Learn more about what people are looking for in your market.
Content research Find out what your audiences are interested and then tailor your content towards trending and relevent topics.
Keyword research Use particular key words for different locations
Approach your strategy from a holistic perspective
Consider the entire user journey!
Use Multiple domains and Landing Pages Have different domains for different countries with optimized content in that language
Seperate Local Content Use dedicated URLs for localised content
Link Build towards pages Create a link building strategy for each market
Define your websites language and geographical targeting Use the hreflang attribute, specifiy what language your copy is in and what locations your content is for
Use culturally appropriate imagery
Reflect culture in your website design by using local imagery of local people or scenarios.
The key to building a strong international SEO strategy is to get to know your audience and anticipate their needs. All international strategies are different, and the amount of research you put in is reflected in the outcome. At My Bright Digital, we have plenty of experience in international SEO and are here to help if you want to take a deeper dive into improving your strategy.
Many different tools can help with international SEO and save you time during the research process. This list is not extensive, but these are some of our favourites.
First and foremost, SEO that is optimised to an international audience will grow your business, increase revenue and expand your customer base. These seem like pretty worthy trade-offs for some research and improvements to your SEO strategy. The truth is that the benefits of international SEO are limitless, by establishing your business in the global markets you are proving yourself to be a trust-worthy company that is worthy of the loyalty your customers/clients have for your brand.
Furthermore, with an effective strategy, you can discover where your wins and losses are coming from. For example, you can discover if specific keywords are ranking higher than others, and use trending keywords to create content. You can also understand precisely what stops your potential customers from proceeding to the sales cart, or if they do reach that stage, what stops your customers from making the purchase. Having greater insights into your customers can only bring good things and international SEO can expand the horizons of your business permanently.
Advice From the SEO Experts
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Digital marketing is a minefield of acronyms and jargon. You don’t need to be an expert in digital marketing to optimize your website. There are a few fundamentals that are worth doing to optimize your business online. One of the key aspects to understanding your customer’s behaviour can be revealed with conversions.
What is a conversion?
A conversion can refer to any desired action that you want the user to take.
Some examples of conversion rates are:
Clicking on a video
Subscribing to a newsletter
Downloading a PDF
Submitting a form
What is a conversion rate?
A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a specific action that has been set up as a conversion.
A high conversion rate indicates that your website has been designed effectively with the user experience in mind. If a website is poorly designed it will lead to lower conversion rates and potentially high bounce rates, with less traffic. Slow load speeds, inconsistent formatting, broken forms or overtly complex copy (or text) can damage your conversion rates.
How to track conversion rates
Tracking and optimising conversion rate is an important branch of the digital marketing tree. Business owners and marketeers need to know if conversions are performing more poorly or more successfully than expected so that they can adapt as needed. Tracking conversion rate data throughout the year is a great way of analysing your digital marketing efforts. Understanding where your wins and losses come from is the best way to learn more about conversion rate optimisation, so you can adapt your strategy for the future to achieve CRO success.
Why not check out our CRO case studies, to see how we have improved conversion rates for our clients?
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Optimising your conversion rates is a crucial digital marketing practice that can help businesses achieve their goals whilst learning the keys to conversion rate success. Improving your conversion rate begins with analysing the current data. When analysing your conversion rate, the first step is to find your industry’s benchmark. These range widely across different sectors, and having this data alongside your current analytics can help identify whether your strategy needs adapting.
If you’re curious to know what the 2022 conversion rate benchmarks are for websites and devices, Smart Insight’s data (2022) found that “10% of website users prefer a call direct button rather than sign up form”.
Whilst data is very important when it comes to conversion rate optimisation, we should also remember that it is individuals who drive these numbers in the first place. If your optimisation strategy is not user-centric, then it is unlikely that it will be successful. At MBD, we believe in a holistic approach to CRO that looks at what attracts visitors to your website, what blocks them from getting any further and what convinces them to stay. By focusing on these things, we can give users the best experience possible which in turn will lead to greater conversion rates and customer and/or client loyalty.
Focusing on the final conversion is important, but in reality, the user goes on an entire journey before they reach this point, and it is through understanding the journey that we can optimise our conversion rates appropriately.
So you’ve analysed your data, compared it to the benchmark of your industry and are beginning to think about the users. What’s next? Well, try asking yourself the following three questions.
What ATTRACTS people to our website?
What BLOCKS people from moving on in their journey?
What CONVINCES people to convert?
Often the answers to these three questions will highlight the key areas of weakness and strength in your current optimisation strategy. However, when you’re working on optimising your strategy, not all problems have an easy answer. Sometimes there’s a simple error that is blocking a form from loading, other times there might be no data to explain why a specific conversion has a low rate. When this happens, we dig deeper into the user journey and unravel the mystery behind the current rates.
Imagine that you’ve been tasked with improving the conversion rate optimisation this month for webinar sign-ups. However, you have no hard data to make sense of why current rates are so poor.
Follow your customer’s journey What do you do next? In short, you analyse the user journey for this specific conversion.
Your product is a webinar for productivity at work. How would a website user even begin that journey? What is their state of mind? Someone searching for this product would probably start by feeling overwhelmed or stressed by their current workload. After attempting to resolve the issue themselves they might search ‘how to increase productivity at work’ in Google. The SERP will bring up so many different articles and lists in response to the user’s question that they might feel even more stressed than before! They might leave the computer for a few days and then return to search ‘how to be less stressed at work’.
If they typed this into google and the first thing they saw was a blog article that linked to your website with easy information that reassured the user, they might click on the link. After reading through your blog post, they may try out a few of the tips that you have given. Maybe they return to your website three weeks later for another article and see a banner at the bottom that is advertising a webinar about stress and productivity at work. They might click the banner and investigate the webinar, but there’s no saying they’ll sign up there. The user might revisit this page several times before deciding to fill out the form, they might even submit a contact form to ask the company questions before choosing to attend.
Have we lost you? It’s certainly muddling. The point is that the user journey is not simple. It is often over a long period and involves several interactions with the website before the desired conversion is taken. From the example above we can see multiple touchpoints that could have blockers to prevent the user from converting.
Unlocking the secrets of CRO requires patience, deep analysis and sometimes a little bit of help. At My Bright Digital, we offer a Conversion Rate Optimisation service that may help you if you’re feeling a little stuck.
A/B Testing for CRO
One way MBD optimises conversion rate is through split-testing different potential blockers of the user journey.
Using the productivity webinar example, there are a variety of options that could be preventing the user from converting:
What if the blog post had nonsensical copy?
What if they missed the webinar banner because it was only placed at the very bottom of the page?
What if the webinar form required information from them that they did not want to give?
Once you have identified what might be preventing a user from converting, how do you optimise this? One idea is split-testing. Using the idea of the banner, you might split-test having the banner in different places on the web page. The banner might be shown at the top of the page to one group of visitors, the middle to another group and the bottom to another. By measuring the data from this split test you can get a pretty good idea of which placement is the most successful, and optimise this in light of the data.
Split-testing isn’t the only way to improve conversion rates. Here are some other ideas for CRO:
Add a pop-up to your site
Remove unnecessary sign-up form fields
Add testimonials, reviews, and logos to build postive reputation
Remove distractions, uncessisary pop ups and outdated videos
Make the initial step really easy, sign up in three simple steps
Strengthen your CTA call to action within your site copy
Add live chat to your site if you want a direct line to your customers
The mystery of CRO may feel like it’s never-ending, but the more you optimise your conversion rates the easier it will be to adapt your strategy in the future.
Speak to CRO experts At My Bright Digital, our CRO experts have optimised strategies for a variety of clients including B2C and B2B companies. We understand the bug-bears of CRO, and are here to help you avoid any painstaking obstacles that could lead to time-wasting or pulling your hair out!
There is always room for further optimisation as people’s behaviour changes and further conversions are introduced. At MBD, we have the experience to help guide you through the minefield of CRO whilst also explaining our methods. We believe in empowering our clients by growing their own knowledge of digital marketing and are always on hand to answer any questions they may have.
CRO Advice From The Experts
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When we hear the phrase ‘digital marketing’, many think of social media. memes, gifs, trending posts and TikTok. When in fact this is one small branch of the digital marketing tree. SMM or Social Media Marketing is important, but it’s not necessarily the first digital point of contact that a prospective customer may have with a brand.
So, if acronyms like SEO, PPC and CMS are sounding a little off-putting to you, remember that digital marketing is equally creative and analytical. Even if you’re purely working in social media marketing, you need to be able to analyse the results to ensure that your work is having a positive impact.
The beauty of digital marketing is that no day is the same. It requires analysing customer trends and working out what that customer needs, wants and desires. It requires forward-thinking and great organisational skills. As any digital marketer knows, having a content calendar and a clearly outlined marketing plan is the way to success.
If you are looking for a challenging career with storytelling at its heart, then digital marketing may be right for you.
Agency vs In House Marketing
Once you’ve decided that you want to start your career in digital marketing, you’ll want to investigate whether you’d prefer to work for an agency or in-house.
What is Agency Marketing?
Work with a variety of businesses
Gain knowledge in different industries
Become an expert in balancing multiple task lists
Develop fruitful client relationships
Help shape your client’s futures
What is In House Marketing?
Work with one specific brand/business
Gain high-level knowledge within the industry
Become an expert in your brand’s tone of voice and messaging
Develop fruitful in house relationships
Leave a lasting impact
Help shape the future of the business
Both agency and in house marketing have their pros and cons, but it is entirely personal preference as to which suits you better. If you prefer working within a variety of industries, agency marketing is probably the right choice for you. However, if you prefer gaining a deep understanding of one specific industry or company, in house might be a better fit.
So, what is Digital Marketing?
The ‘tree’ of digital marketing is made up of many different branches that come together to create a connected journey for the prospective customer or client. We won’t go into all the different departments as that’ll be an entire blog post in itself! But these are the major players of digital marketing.
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is one of the bigger branches on this tree. Essentially, SEO focuses on improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website so that people on Google can easily find your business.
PPC or Pay-Per-Click Advertising is a paid advertising model where the business only pays when they receive a click on their ads. Common examples of PPC are Google Ads, LinkedIn ads and Facebook Ads.
Email Marketing is just as it sounds! Writing tailored email content for your brand’s loyal subscribers, giving them exclusive offers or updates and rewarding customers for staying loyal to you. Email is a great way of keeping the conversation going with your clients or customers, and ensuring they keep returning to you.
Content Marketing is about creating valuable, high-quality, relevant and consistent content that is distributed on different platforms. From website blog posts and articles to social media stories and videos, in digital marketing content is king with video continuing to storm ahead in popularity.
These are just a few of the branches that make up digital marketing, there’s a whole world out there for you to explore. We know it can be daunting starting a career in digital marketing with so much to learn, but there are some brilliant free resources online to help you get started.
Learn Digital Marketing for free
We know it can be daunting starting a career in digital marketing with so much to learn, but there are some brilliant free resources online to help you get started.
The internet is the best place to learn for free, and digital marketing resources are available far and wide. From blog posts to podcasts to videos to courses and so much more, these are some of My Bright Digital’s favourite digital marketing resources:
There are so many different ways to kickstart your digital marketing career and there is no one size fits all approach. With that in mind, here are the top tips from the team at My Bright Digital.
“Don’t be afraid. Get things wrong, mess up and make big mistakes. That is the best way to learn quickly. Digital Marketing is incredibly flexible and never permanent. You can always change, swap, edit, improve and enhance your marketing efforts. Use your wider network and ask questions from a range of people who have different experiences and skillsets.”
“Consume as much marketing knowledge as you can. Read, watch and listen to different sources and authors so you can understand the truly vast landscape that is digital marketing. Remember, even CMO’s don’t stop learning!”
Fancy a chat with our experts? Fill out our contact form and we will get in touch!
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