Link building is subject to the same linguistic, cultural and localisation challenges as any other aspect of international marketing. Links do not necessarily carry the same value across every market, and a tactic that works well in one country might yield poor results in another.
The importance of links, however, is the same everywhere and therefore getting your global link building strategy right is an essential element of any international SEO project. Bastian Grimm will be speaking on international link building at the International Search Summit @ SMX Munich next month, and here he gives an insight into the topic and what delegates can expect in Munich.
What do you see as the major challenges for organisations targeting a multilingual audience?
“You have to get to know them; all of them – individually!” So what does it mean? Having done quite a bit of work within international companies I’d say the biggest issue is, to find out what actually works on a per-market basis. And to do so you really need to understand your audience which, obviously, differs for each country – and language. That being said, I think a successful multilingual SEO campaign needs a heavy preparation. So if you’re not simply replicating your strategy from another country (which you clearly should not do without further validation!) you have to accept that it’ll just take time, money, market-specific knowledge and a lot of work to successfully conquer another country or language.
What area of search do you see as most important for international marketers in 2012?
Usually companies operating in international environments are big brands – and updating / changing their websites does usually take quite a bit of time (not days, but months and sometimes even worse). Since Google continues pushing in new stuff like the hreflang=X property and because I expect them to continue doing so, I’d say one of the really important tasks for international marketers is going to be testing and validating new stuff before it actually goes live; which means you’d have to have multiple domains in multiple languages just for testing. This is quite a bit of work and might cause some headaches, I’d guess.
What are the biggest pitfalls to consider when developing a global link building strategy? Is it possible to have a global link strategy, when each market needs a localised approach?
It’s still the same problem as it used to be for years now: Markets do need their localised approaches; however this will cause problems with administration, handling all those different agencies and link-builders, etc. – it’s an administrative pain
And very generally speaking one needs to consider that almost everything is different on a per-country basis. Link profiles are very, very different. Looking – for example – at the amount of links, difference in deep- / start-page link ratios, types of TLDs linking-in, anchor-text distribution, geo-distribution in terms of IPs linking in, etc. – it all just differs. And that simply means you have to do a competitive analysis for each market you’re planning to build links for and need to consider the industry as well.What will delegates gain from your session at ISS?
I’ll try to come up with a cheat-sheet on what to actually consider when you start doing link-building in multiple markets. So the idea is to provide some kind of “what’s really important, where do I get it and what do I need to do with it?” kind of approach based on real-world data from various countries, which – I think – will be quite interesting.
And finally, why attend the International Search Summit?
That’s an easy one! There is only one truly international-dedicated conference – ISS. That being said I do like the broad range of topics but still all being focused on international search. So if you’re in international search marketing, be sure not to miss it! See you in Munich.
International Search Summit Munich will take place on Thursday 29th March, as part of SMX Munich. Full agenda and registration information is available on the website. All sessions at ISS are in English.
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