Making Your Site Available for International Customers

by Neal Kaiser

Q: How can I ensure that my e-commerce site shows up in search results for international customers?

Neal-Kaiser-FEATURED.jpgNeal Kaiser: As people grow more comfortable ordering from retailers outside their own country, it’s important to ensure your site will show up for those people when they search for it. Many things you may have done to improve SEO in your home country will carry over for international searches. First, consolidate item pages so that each product page displays all the variables for a single product (e.g. size, color, cut). If each color/size combination of a given item is listed on its own page, it will not rate as highly with search engines and your site will appear farther down in results. In apparel e-commerce especially, many products are very similar with minute differences. When product searches for a particular item direct to the same page URL (which features all the different size/color/cut options), it makes you more visible — wherever people are searching from.

Another important consideration for international e-commerce are re-directs to native-URL extensions. That means, when someone searches for or clicks on your .com site, it will automatically redirect to a URL with country-specific pages, and translate the URL into their native language. The search still brings customers to your site, you are just also providing them a more localized experience. Using geographic-dependent IP detection, you can automatically send people to a version of your site where the URL most applicable to their location. You can also create country-specific content that, for example, can show seasonally appropriate banner ads. It may take a little effort to get international-friendly SEO features in place, but the increased traffic and sales from people who are able to find your site more readily will make it worth it.