In my final post on the iCrossing Great Finds blog (I start a new job with a new agency next week – more on that later…), I write on the topic of Global Search and Global SEO. After spending the past year or so working on the SEO strategy of a global luxury hotel client, I’ve learned a lot about the nuances of optimizing across 7 ccTLds, 5 languages, and four continents. It’s certainly not easy to pull of this kind of global SEO campaign, and even more so difficult as Google continues to raise the bar for global brands in terms of expecting unique, localized content & properly built & tagged websites. I hope my thoughts are useful to marketers looking to understand how search engines and global brands can work together to create connected experiences:
In the digital age, you don’t build a connected brand at the global level by duplicating and translating your website in different languages. You need to understand the nuances of how people search for what they want online and then customize your content to their behaviors. This post discusses how marketing executives can leverage search to create enchanting experiences across languages and countries.
Search Connects Global Audiences to Localized Content
The most important role search engines play in helping global brands build audience relationships is by facilitating the delivery of localized, in-language content for people based on their location.
For instance, let’s take the hypothetical case of a German-speaking tourist from Munich who is on vacation in Madrid. While in Madrid, she might conduct a Google search for “restaurants.” Google knows to return results that are in the searcher’s preferred language, German. Google also knows to return names of restaurants near where the searcher is currently located (in this case, Madrid) rather than her hometown of Munich. Brands can take advantage of the powerful personalization that search engines provide simply by creating localized content (by region, country, or language) and following search engine optimization best practices so that search engines can quickly an easily decipher what content is intended for which audiences.
I recommend the following for scaling your brand’s website on a global level: