Working with foreign search engines isn’t for everyone, but many companies in the U.S. find that they could have a large following in other parts of the world if they just made their website more visible. If your company offers content that educates, entertains, or informs people about your industry (as opposed to content about your business specifically), considering other search engines might be a good next step.
Google controls nearly 68 percent of the search market so it’s clear that this is where you should start (not to mention many countries will translate Google results), but if you’re looking to get into something creative this New Year then understanding foreign search engines might be a good option. It’s all about looking at your audience through Google Analytics demographics, comments, and getting to know your readers to know if optimizing for something other than Google and Bing is worth your while.
How to Optimize for Foreign Search Engines
As you may already know, there are hundreds of search engine options available, many of which are very insignificant. However, there are a few that are notable including Yahoo Germany, Baidu (China), Yandex (Russia), and Voila (France). Fortunately for Webmasters, how you optimize these search engines is pretty similar across the board.
- Hosting/ IP. Work with Google to roll your website out globally, which you can learn more about here. Foreign search engines tend to look at the host location (IP) of different websites to ensure they’re offering quality results, so unless your website is hosted in the country of the search engine, working with Google is easiest.
- Directories. Registering your website on a few quality foreign directories is an easy way to start and to see if you get any traffic from your mentions.
- SEO Basics. This involves making sure you have a fast load time, quality content (not duplicate), good website navigation, and a website that uses relevant and quality backlinks that are not broken.
- Translation. Setup a translation service on your website so that if you do start gaining visibility on these foreign search engines you’re equipped with your visitors’ native language. Human translation is best if possible. You can visit this article to learn more about translating your website.
It is worth noting that there are of course differences in optimization for each search engine, the above tips just apply to all different types of foreign engines. If you’re really interested in one engine, start with these basics and then move on to that specific engine and its rules.
In the end, optimizing for foreign search engines might be more work than it’s worth. It’s all about understanding your audience and moving forward with the optimization that works they need to find your business the easiest. Again, start with Google and start to really get to know the people reading by talking with them directly and looking at your analytics/ demographics. If a foreign search engine seems like something you should explore, optimization is pretty similar to what you do for Google—you just need a little bit of time and motivation.
Have you found anything surprising about your audience that caused you to optimize for foreign search engines? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.