Internationalization and SEO

I often get asked if it is important to put your website in local languages and second what that does for optimization.  First lets tackle the question of internationalization of your site. Today, most marketing departments, even those with large multi-nationals are running with 1 and 2 people to handle everything, campaigns, branding, social media and PR. So, adding in yet another component to the website can be overwhelming. Because of the internet itself, English has become the dominant language, particularly if you are selling in a technical space, regardless of whether it be IT or bio medical. If your company is operating primary in the U.S. or former British colonies, i.e India, it makes no sense to try to have a duplicate site in Hindi. But, if you are trying to break into a consumer market within India, it may make sense to reach those customers. Just remember that any time you add in an additional site, you have all that additional content to update, change and optimize.

The second part of this question is how do I optimize that additional content.  First, Google and other search engines frown upon copy websites.  So, whatever you do don’t copy verbatim your content in the U.S and put it on a separate site in the U.K. This can get your banned by major search engines. We have seen it happen and it can be ugly for the company.  From our experience,  we can tell there are a few criteria that drive SEO global listed in this order:

Top Level Domains – I.e.

Metatags – In the local language

Content on your website – In the local language

Backlinks for Country of Origin – From that local country

Location of Your Server – Should be in the country of origin