1 Use Country Extension… or redirect them
If you have the resources, build language- or country-specific sites at each respective domain extension (.co.uk, .ie, .nz, etc). Refer to tip #2 if you’re worried about duplicate content. If you’d prefer not to have separate domains for each target country or language, buy the domain extension and redirect it to a subdirectory, e.g. http://yoursite.com/uk. whichever you choose, we will be referring to a country- or language-specific site as a “locale site.”
2 Set up Cross-Domain Canonical Tags
Google now supports using the rel=“canonical” link element across different domains. This means that you can have similar content on both the .com and .co.uk extensions of your site, and use the canonical link element to indicate the exact URL of the domain preferred for indexing. This will make duplicate content a non-issue. Also, keep in mind that this is not required when using different languages. google does not consider foreign-language translations to be duplicate content. but it is something to consider for multiple locale sites in the same language.
3 Set up local servers
In the past, google has stated that the country within which a website is hosted is a very small factor in their international ranking algorithms. So try to have servers set up in your target countries. for example, if your company is based in the UK and you have a .fr extension of your site, have the .fr domain extension site hosted on a server in France.
4 Get a local mailing address
Establish a physical location or mailing address in each target country if possible. Then add this mailing address to the “About” section of each locale site.
5 Send website Visitors to the right domain
Use the country, Ip, or browser language auto detection to automatically redirect people to the right locale site.
6 Use the language metal tag
Bing recognizes the language meta tag: <meta http-equiv=“content-language” content=“en-us”>, so include this in each locale’s website pages <head></head> section. Click here for a complete list of meta tags. Here are some of the most common language meta tags:
- english (u.s.): <meta http-equiv=“content-language” content=“en-us”>
- english (u.k.): <meta http-equiv=“content-language” content=“en-gb”>
- english (Australia): <meta http-equiv=“content-language” content=“en-au”>
- Irish: <meta http-equiv=“content-language” content=“ga”>
- spanish (mexico): <meta http-equiv=“content-language” content=“en-mx”>
- spanish (spain): <meta http-equiv=“content-language” content=“es”>
- french (standard): <meta http-equiv=“content-language” content=“fr”>
- Italian (standard): <meta http-equiv=“content-language” content=“it”>
7 Set proper geotargetting in google webmaster tools
Google allows webmasters to geographically target certain websites or sections of your website to certain locations and regions via Google webmaster Tools. You can find these settings by logging into your webmaster Tools account, looking under site configuration, and changing your geographic targeting in the settings tab.
8 Make Your website Load Quickly
Less than 10% of the users in the most active internet countries have broadband. The faster your website loads, the better rank your site will have on google and other major search engines. Local hosting will also typically help reduce page load speeds, so this is another benefit of setting up local servers.
9 Use UTF-8 compliant CMS/software
Accommodate for international character handling so that you can view the output in Chinese, Japanese, Russian, etc.
10 Submit a sitemap for each locate site
Create and submit sitemaps for each country in google webmaster Tools. This is only necessary if you’re using subdirectories for each of your locale sites, but it is very important that Google indexes and understands all the pages on your site. The best way to do this is to submit a sitemap for each country or region you are targeting. According to Trimark Solutions, many webmasters will simply keep one single sitemap for the entire website, which is not nearly as efficient to maintain and update.
11 Add google translate to your site
You may not have the resources to create locale sites for each country or language you want to target. In that case, add Google Translate to your site to ensure that your website visitors can see your content in their language (even if it’s not a perfect translation).