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International Search Considerations

December 18, 2012

International Search Considerations

As a company expands into the international market, it is often necessary to make major changes to its marketing strategy. This post discusses some key considerations in crafting an International search strategy.

Don’t Just Translate

Contrary to popular belief, translating your existing content is not a suggested strategy. While your content may work well in the original language, many shades and nuances can be lost in translation and in the worst case scenario, it may even offend your target audience. For an international search strategy, locally written content is crucial. This is the only way that you can be sure that your audience will be able to relate to your content; poorly written text with broken sentences and confusing terminology will not gain the trust of your readers.

Understand your Target Market

No two countries are identical. Their differences might be in language or culture but they can also vary in their preferred social platforms. There will almost certainly be a different method you must adopt in order to appeal to that specific market. Understand more than just the superficial about the countries you are targeting; try to learn about cultural differences and build your strategy based on this understanding.. Consider Russia; the most popular search engine amongst the Russian population is not Google, it is Yandex. It is a similar story in China; the most popular search engine is Baidu. An understanding of how Google works is not enough; If the majority of a target country is using a different search engine, you must learn about it and adapt your strategy accordingly.

Payment Methods

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to understand which payment options are preferred in different countries. For  example, Germany predominantly prefers to pay via online bank transfers.

Technical Setup

The technical setup of a worldwide strategy is a common discussion point in the digital industry at the moment. There is no technical consensus on whether a TLD (Top level domain) or ccTLD (Country code top level domain) is best, and Pierre Far from Google stated that search engines look at both setups in the same way. With this in mind, it is best to pick the setup that most suits your business needs.  However, there are certain measures that need to be put in place to ensure that search engines are clear on your setup and indexing preferences. This can be done with an Href Lang Sitemap.


To find out more about International Search Considerations, please contact us: Marketing@4PsMarketing.com

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Written by
Hannah Miller
Hannah Miller
Director of Consulting
E: Hannah.Miller@4PsMarketing.com
T: 0207 607 5657

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