The difference between international and national is something thoroughly discussed in SEO careers, but not necessarily something that filters through to businesses. There is a major difference between national and international SEO, and, while it may seem desirable to be an international superstar, it’s not necessarily your best move.
Take Men Behaving Badly, for example.
This show, wildly popular in the UK, was picked up by a studio in the US for production. There’s nothing unusual about this, nor was there anything strange about the multiple alterations made to the series for an American audience. The show bombed. Why? It simply didn’t work for an international audience.
The same could be said for websites and search engine optimisation. There are millions of websites whose audiences are very local. For these websites, going for an international campaign just doesn’t make sense.
What do you do?
1. Research your audience. While your company may feel ready to expand, your online markets may not yet be there. Good SEO relies on knowing what markets are looking for.
2. Value home. There may seem to be more opportunities to be gained by approaching SEO internationally, but bear in mind that if someone wants Liverpool home-made preserves, they’re likely to search using your local keywords anyway.
International SEO can be an excellent thing, but it’s important to bear in mind that an international campaign takes more work. Essentially, you’re mounting multiple campaigns. Make sure you’ve exhausted your local opportunities first, and don’t give into pressure to be an international star.