When you’re looking to expand abroad, international SEO tends to be one of the top priorities. But where do you even start? Finding a reliable agency is hard enough when dealing with your home market, but people find it gets a bit more complicated when different markets come into the mix.
Know Your Options
Your local SEO agency
There are several options out there when it comes to choosing an international SEO partner. Most people’s first port of all call tends to be the SEO agency they’re using for their local market because they’re trusted, have proven results, and you know whom you’re working with. But that’s not always the best choice. International SEO is a niche, and just because an agency is doing a brilliant job locally, it doesn’t guarantee they have the international expertise to help you abroad. Plus, there’s the multilingual aspect to consider. This leads us to the next point.
Translation agencies are also another consideration as they’re real experts when it comes to languages. One of the downfalls with translation companies is that the multilingual SEO they provide differs significantly from the kinds of SEO services you get from a digital marketing agency. This is because SEO is handled more like a translation with keywords and content transferred from one language to another. However, little thought is given to adapting the SEO to fit international users. Additionally, technical SEO and links aren’t typically part of a standard translation agency’s service.
International SEO agency
Some specialist translation and digital marketing agencies know how to work with international content, giving you multilingual SEO that delivers everything you’d expect from a digital marketing agency. However, before you make your decision, they must be thoroughly vetted.
Questions to ask potential international SEO agencies
Now that you’ve decided which type of agency you’d like, how do you vet them to ensure they’re a good fit? You can ask several questions to ensure that you’re making a more informed decision and not choosing based on promises their salespeople make.
How do they work?
First, you need to ask how an agency operates. Do they have in-house multilingual teams? Or do they outsource their content for translation? If they have multilingual teams, that’s great. But, if they’re sending your content off for translation, you will encounter the same issues mentioned above.
Beware of the buzzwords
When it comes to SEO, there are lots of buzzwords. Did you know that using too many buzzwords could be a red flag? Some SEO agencies might try to entice you to buy by using tons of buzzwords to sound fancy, but if they don’t give you any real insights and results, it’s something to be wary of.
Look for real-life international SEO expertise
One of the best ways to choose a digital marketing agency is to look at results. Regarding international SEO, ensure that you’re shown results from the markets you want to expand into. So if you’re looking to expand into Germany, make sure that the results you’re getting are from Germany. And you can also ask for German content samples to see if the content has been written from scratch or an obvious translation.
International SEO comes at a cost
International SEO is a very specific skill, and prices for SEO can be almost double what you’d expect locally. This is why a quality-over-quantity approach is much better: allocate as much of the budget as required to do one language/market well.
Sounds too good to be true? It probably is
If you’re used to choosing local SEO partners, you’ll be familiar with the fact that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If someone promises you instant results or says that international SEO is just a case of adding some hreflang tags, they’re probably not the right agency for you.
Education, education, education
One thing that’s worth its weight in gold is education. A valuable partner should be willing to teach you all the nuances you can expect when trying to expand abroad and even correct you when you’re wrong. After all, International SEO agencies are the experts in the field, and taking their advice will help you get ahead of the crowd.
If you’re looking for help with your International SEO, the Argos Multilingual team is here for you. We offer the best of both worlds in international and digital expertise.