According to Ani Lopez, from the search-friendly folks at Cardinal Path, there are a lot of interesting issues with International SEO. As more and more affiliates embrace international offers, this becomes a more and more relevant topic.
Lopez claims there are many examples in International SEO failures, but finds a great example in a study of a medium-size hotel chain with hotels in several European countries. Even though it has six possible languages to navigate the site, there are some interesting things to learn:
– Visitors from Costa Rica, whose navigator was set for native English produced the same amount of traffic as those who had the browser set in Spanish. Yet, visitors from China, Dominican Republic or Turkey who have it set in English produce a bunch more revenue.
– Egypt bookings were 100% English browsers
– Latvia customers used German and English browsers.
What does this mean exactly? We aren’t sure, but it definitely points to the fact that people from other countries are viewing sites in English and using them, right?
Well, another study shows otherwise. According to JP Morgan, in a report prepared for the US Department of Commerce, only 27% of international online shoppers actually speak English. This means that folks all over the world are not shopping in other languages, and unless you focus on them in their own language you are costing yourself a lot of potential revenue.
So, is it a good idea to provide alternatives to English speakers, perhaps making some of your pages in another language and linking to non-English offers? It would seem so, especially if you already have a very popular site about a certain topic. Creating subpages in other languages could provide you with a lot of additional income, especially since much of the affiliate marketing world is still ignoring international offers.
Here’s a great video on International SEO from SEOMoz.
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