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Recently, I have received several requests from clients to market their web sites internationally, especially our hotel clients. To meet the need, I have developed and implemented an international strategy that works for us but could be improved on. I want to share my experience and strategy and get feedback as well.
International PPC –
·I have found that the volume of international traffic from PPC partners looking for hotels in major US cities is low. However, international conversion is consistent with US conversion.
·To duplicate a US Overture account to say a French Overture account is extremely labor intensive for the following reasons:
oIt requires creating a new account.
oTranslating keywords, titles and descriptions into French is timely and costly.
oTo manage French and US keywords, you need to access two different accounts. Doubles the time to manage the account.
oIf you are using PPC management software, the keyword list is doubled, doubling your costs.
FYI … I spoke to our account manager at Overture at SES Boston regarding the above issues. He said Overture is looking into simplifying the process but it did not sound close to implementation.
·I have not tested Google internationally.
PPC Conclusion: By adding one new foreign Overture account to your existing US Account, work is doubled, and you receive a quarter of the performance. Not worth client’s money nor my time.
Search Engine Optimization -
I have had success with international SEO. Below is the strategy I use (similar to my US Strategy):
1.Write optimized copy, titles, and meta description and keywords in English concentrating on the one to three keywords.
2.Translate copy into German, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese.
3.Use keywords in the file names. For example, “orlandohotel.htm” would be “hotelenorlando.htm” in Spanish.
4.Link to the translated copy from the homepage using the creator of the language’s Flag. Use alt text.
5.Submit translated pages to language specific search engines.
·I have found that little competition exists when targeting foreign keywords that are highly competitive in the US.
·50% of my foreign traffic comes from foreign search engines, the other 50% find my site via US web sites who then enter the translated copy of their native tongue.
·Internationally SEO requires content translation, international se submission, and checking for inclusion. Once those steps are completed, you are done.
Pay for Inclusion-
Never had to use it.
I am interesting hearing other members experiences.
What you describe sounds like a good way to go international without a huge effort.