International Search Summit (IntSS) Barcelona is back this month, first time in 2 years. I am so pleased to see there is an in person event in my new home city. My first IntSS was in New York in September 2012 where I met the Marketing Manager, Gemma Houghton. I then went to their London event and for the past few years have been coming to the IntSS in Barcelona.
I was proud to speak at Barcelona on my topic “Saying Yes to International Projects” – even if you do not have the resources. Please find here a link to my slides.
There were a lot of experienced marketing professionals sharing their experience and marketing tips. I covered just a few from the day
Managing knowledge panels on Google for International Brands
Jason Barnard, CEO and Founder of Kalicube
Jason is also known as The Brand SERP guy and he says if you work well on your Brand SERPs, you can tell your story. Jason is also called Mr Knowledge panel, thanks JohnMu !
1. Context Brand SERP
The brand search can be varied. When we search a brand’s name, we should see something like Microsoft.
- Important for your audience. It is for your clients, prospects, investor and partners It is your Google Business card.
- Important for Google too – it is their assessment. It is the option of the world’s opinion of you. E-A-T
- It is important for you as it is a window into your digital ecosystem
2. Brand Knowledge Panels
- It is Google’s assessment and understanding of your entity.
- What role does it play for Google? The aim for Google is that it pulls info from different places in the web and presents it as fact.
- The idea that one size fits all, is totally false.
- Brand Knowledge Panels are commonplace.
- 18,723 brands from Kailicube Pro dataset. Two years ago it was 43% of brands had a knowledge panel in the US, now this is 51%.
3. International Variations
- But what is relevant to show – far from it. They vary according to country. For example Kalicube have 2,567 unique attributes for companies. BUT changes depending on country.
- Social profiles – IKEA in the UK, have the UAW Instagram account in the knowledge panel instea of the UK one.
- The “People Also Search For” – this changes depending on country.
- The number of entities changes so you need to take care of that.
- Entity Statements – also called People Also Ask in the Knowledge Panel. Over 25% of KP now have them, up from 10% a year ago.
4. Google’s Sources
- Google Gets Data from Wikipedia. A lot of info comes from this, but also from Linkedin, YouTube, other sites too. Kalicube has done a study to see where the sources are from.
- Wikipedia is no longer necessary, put it to one side. Work on relevant industry niches.
- GEO is also vital.
- For an authoritative source in your niche and type.
5. What can you do?
- Take control – you can heavily take control.
- Every entity needs a home. JohnMu call the process “reconciliation”
- Google is looking for a source on your site you can see your version?
- Need an entity on your home, then site it on multiple independent and authoritative 3rd party sites. Cummulation of Corroboration – preferable pointing both ways.
- Build confidence in the understanding,
- Make your page the reference for you. Google should site your site and your details. It will show your description as soon as it feels confident.
- You can “feed” the Knowledge Graph”.
6. What is Next
You need to control the Knowledge Panel. Jason took us through the different areas he needs to control, for example the songs he produced.
- Blue Dog – Boowa and Kwala – the cartoon he produced, another company now opens it but Jason is working on it and is seen as the authority.
- Jason also showed us how he cleaned up his “Barking Dogs” knowledge panel.
- The ultimate aim is control through the entity home. BUILD YOUR ENTITY Around your entity home.
International SEO in 2021: Top challenges with & beyond Google
Natalia Witczyk from Novicell Spain
Natalia gave us an insightful talk about the international SEO Landscape of SEO.
- Search engine Marketing Share – Google dominates 91.66%, then Bing 2.74%. Baidu 1,91% and then Yahoo 1.5%
- Google dominates but in Europe, some countries not dominating. Lowest market share, UK, France and Germany. UK has 86% share, France is 83% and German 84%.
- Traditional more developed countries still use BING.
- Worldwide, in India it is 95%, Australia, 90%, USA 83%.
- Russia, 49% and China 5%. These are estimates.
International SEO in Google
SEO Friendly Website in Google.
Keywords – keyword stuffing, spam and low quality not a thing anymore. Keywords is not enough anymore. Speed has been more important over time.
Content – avoid automatic redirecting to user’s perceive d language. To rank well with multiple sites in same language, make the content at least a bit unique. The currency, hosting on local IP, local links help sending. International signals.
Technical – hreflang is the main tool for solving geo-targeting issues. For domain strategy, use either cc-TLD (like.es or .co.uk) or a TLF (like.com) – the choice is beyond SEO, never URL parameters.
SEO Beyond – Yandex
- Yandex has 42% market share. Russia market is divided between Google and Yandex.
- The jumps up and down in the market is due to legal regulations.
Natalia shared how to work with Yandex and what to do with content, keywords and technical SEO:
- The meta keyword tags is still being recognised by Yansex
- Keyword Research in Yandex’s tool Wordstat xan ge cone both on national and regional level within Russia.
- Metadata can be a bit longer, comared to Googe, as Russian Lanuage more complex
These are some free Yandex Tools for SEO:
SEO Beyond Google: Baidu
- Baidu is winning – 85.37%
- Google has a very small percentage points 1.71%
- Baidu has been dominated over time but over time others gaining market shared. One is called Sogou and Shenma
Big Chinese Internet wall
- Internet is lmted and censored – Gaceook boogke and instagrag
- If not hosted in China, the website speed is hube issue, mostly due to scrips and resources like Google Fonts and Analytics.
- If you want to be hosted in China, you have to go through a long process to get the ICP license
If you are not physically there as a business then hard to have your site hosted in China.
SEO Friendy Website in Baidu
Free Tools for SEO in China:
- Baidu Tongi (analytics)
- Baidu Ziyuan (Websmater tools)
- Google is still dominate worldwise
- Bing is occupiny a safe spot, but not seen much important growth
- Baidu is most complete search engine
- Yandex is modern search engine, folliwng similar trend
- Core international SEO Stratey in and beyond Google should be based on the in depth analysis of websmaster tools (did not get)
Why Hreflang isn’t as simple as it should be (and you might not need it)
Gerry White from Rise at Seven
Gerry shared with the audience why Hreflang is complicated and went through the International URL examples of his former company, Just Eat.
It is about the language – without the language, It does not work.
- Many people put the language in as they do not need it. Always start with the lanague and the region is optional.
- Hreflang=”gb” – NO This is not correct.
- It does not improve rankings
- It can even reduce visibility.
- For global visibility you are reducing your visibility. Hreflang means the .com version goes and the .co.uk page is prioritised
Hreflang is between pages
The relationship between the same page in different languages (and regions).
Hreflang is complex
- It should not be at all, but even Google has said it themselves it is complicated.
- Hreflang is a hint, not a directive, means it can be ignored.
So why do hreflang?
- If you are French Canadian, you prefer the French version.
- You do it to improve conversion and reduce bounce rate.
- Reduces duplication issues
- Example – one page was not being indexed
- GSC said it was canonicalised to a separate website service a different country.
- Solution would have been hreflang.
3 ways to do Hreflang
- In the head
- In the XML site map version
- HTTP Headers – can put hreflang in this.
ContentKing is a tool that helps you audit your site including hreflang.
- Hreflang needs a return.
- You can do it cross domain or same domain. As long as Google can see it, you can put it on. The codes – get these right. link rel=alternate” hreflang=”UK”
- There is a list of language codes.
- Canonical tags do not match up
- IP redirects – big issue (Google cannot see the version it should see). If it can only see the UK version, then it will not work.
- Debug in Google Search Console – there are errors in there
Supercharging keyword research via Search Internet Classification in Google Data Studio
Lazarina Stoy from Skale
What is search intent and why is it important?
How can you classify search intent yourself in Google Sheets and GDS? How to adapt your strategy?
What is Search intent?
- According to academic research, 75% of queries can be classified into a single category of user intent.
- 25% of queries into more than one.
Three types of category:
- Informational Search Intent – satisfies an informational need they are struggling with – how, what why etc
- Navigational – looking for a particular location on the site. They are brand aware and they are looking for place on the site
- Transactional – desire something to fulfill or buy.
But there is more:
These 25% of categories align more than 1 can create patterns and when they are unique, create new categories of search intent.
Why is it important?
- Search intent corresponds to the marketing funnel.
- Understanding the query is the first step in evaluating the task (Google)
- Understanding the intent will help you write pages fulfilling the intent.
How to classify keywords into intent
- Lazarina shared her Google Data Studio report that she has been worked on these past few months (insert image)
- It only shows the opportunities set up by the filters so still need to dig into the data.
- OR can see via google Sheets – It shows all the opportunities. Do not ned to adjust the filters.
- SEMrush – cost for many people. If no access cannot see it.
- OR via some Sorcery? Lol – using your gut.
- How to filter for search intent.
- Filter based on keywords that indicate intent
- 4 categories and 5th if you have a local presence.
- Informational – how, why, does, which , when, who, which guy.
- Commercial = buy, price with brand terms
- Transactional – best, top, review, cheap
In GDS, you create the filter based on these categories. You can also create a custom dimension.
- In Google Sheets – use a formula. (regex filter)
- Analyse search intent indicated in your titles
- You also need to incorporate other metrics like CPC, competitive density.
- Simply the translating the keyword is not enough. When talk about location, need to think about the expectations. Also think about the cultural references.
Eg Football means soccer in USA but football in Europe.
Intent is also important from a brand perspective. Single keyword intent is hard to estimate but can be via different search trends per location, paired with local and interested.
SO what can you do?
- Use REGEX Strategically.
- Translated the keyword you know means the same thing in all languages.
- Incorporate trends data and analytics data.
- Use different data sources for keyword research. Use GA to analyse user behaviour and site interactions from this location
- Beware of discrepancies – try to understand search behaviour in the country via Google trends.
Intent is expressed differently in different industries
Eg Transactional intent:
- In SAAS – what is the licence, what is the product key, , sign up/demo and request. Alternative.support
- In Service industry you have terms like call, book, contct, privicng, consultancy.
Find out what is unique about the industry and incorporate this into the research
If you plug in your data set, then you can get an overview of the keyword. Find the search intent keyword distribuoib for a related keyword. Impressive GDS that Lazarina built.
You can search keyword by feature.
Optimise the site’s main pages based on the type of intent they serve
Key take aways
- Everyone is using search intent
- Three are three main types of intent but many opportunities to niche down
- Understanding intent and incorporating can help you build better uX
- There are different wants to classify intent of keyword, choose the one that suits your preference.
For the full presentation, you can view it here on slideshare.
How to ran for more keywords using semantic terms and advanced internal linking
Kyle Roof is Co-founder of Internet Marketing Gold
- Good SEO is right about 50% of time. That is just one out of two.
- Most SEO is only right 30 – 40% of the time,
- A GREAT SEO is getting it right 70% of the time
Give yourself the best chance
- Cast a wide net
- Decrease volatility
Mindset – remove the burden of success
So it is failing.
BUT you will fail and all the best fail.
Track your success – not just KPIs. Do you make predictions on how fast the page will rank. If you do not you will not know.
Are you doing repeatable things? Do you have a 3 month, 6 month plan. Then you can evaluate.
Cast a wide net
- Aim wide to miss small in SEO
- Sooo create pages that have the opportunity to rank for the keywords.
- Health pages can rank for many keywords
- So do not overthink it. The “money” term, put in the ttitle tag, H1, paragph tags and URL. If you have an established page that is ranking, do not change it.
Choose your lead h2
Choose your favorite related search. It may have the most search volume or less competitors. Then go and look and find matches.
They are the first sections of the page.
(insert the image)
- Centerpiece annotation
What is the page about?
Are the sections related?
- Fill in the first sections
Use Google to help.
- Find two questions
You can change your primary keyword into a question.
- Optional but suggested
Find a list or table (or both).
Step 6. Admire your work.
You have a primary keyword, you have opp for PAA. The page can rank for more keywords.
NOW decrease volatility and how to do that is become an authority. So make sure that smaller pages rank for specific keywords. Create supporting pages and interlink too.
Supporting pages content
- Turn your related searches into questions
- Zero search volume is your friend
- New keywords is better rankings
- Less reliant on boosts (Google updates)
- Interlinking: Building blocks
You need to master the interlinking. There are 6 different templates based on different scenarios.
Put yourself in the best possible position for success;
Then Kyle showed some examples of case studies what he and his team have done.
Why Pinterest is your biggest missed search opportunity
Daiana Damacus from WebCertain
Why is Pinterest a search platform?
- Because CONTENT is shared on Pinterest as result of a search query soooo that is why it is a search platform.
- Pinterest has been slowly growing and last year saw a major increase. People started spending more time on time and they needed a place to browse.
- When it comes to social media, that became Pinterest – Cocid-19 led to an increase of 70% in online purchases from Pinterest.
- Pinterest has over 300 million monthly active users.
- Over 200 billion Pins are saved by Pinners.
- Pinterest ranks high (top 3) in most countries fav social media platforms in 202.
- Means that now 90% of users weeky will make a purchase decision on Pinterest.
- It is NOT just big in the US. Half of Pinners live outside of the US.
- There are some countries you cannot target on Pinterest – eg Qatar, China.
Daiana went through some examples of brands using Pinterest and the results. I took a screenshot of some below:
There are so many stats BUT why are so many brands reluctant to advertise on Pinterest?
Lets bust some myths – Top 5 reasons
- I don’t have enough organic content
- Our images are not pretty enough
- We do nt have a Pinterest account
- Should we not just do Instagram
- We are B2B
Not enough organic content
- Pinterest is the one social platform where you don’t need to have constant organic content to back up your ads.
- You do not need to have lots of followers. You can save content from others so it is easy to create organic content.
Our images are not pretty enough
- You do not need a team of graphic designers or photographs taken to Vogue-standards to catch people’s attention.
- If you are looking for traffic, you do not need jaw dropping visuals.
- A lot of brands are not trying to inspire.
- There are 3 types of media you can upload. Carousels perform the best cause people want to see the same product in different ways.
No Pinterest Account
- Keeping a Pinterest account “alive” is easier than keeping other profiles running because it is hard to tell how active an account is
- It is easy to create and easy to maintain
Instagram vs Pinterest
- Instagram and Pinterest, whilst both being visual platforms are not mutually exclusive, but platforms with unique audiences and goals.
- There are different audiences, different CPCs and different analytics.
Pinterest for B2B
Pinterest is the place where people go to look for inspiration and tips. If your services or products can help make people’s jobs easier, you should be on it (SquareSpace and Adobe)
Good things come in small packages: How to create a success story with a limited budget
Yagmur Simsek from Re:signal
Is it possible to drive organic growth with a limited budget?
- YESSS but we always have buts and depends. Spend some time to look at KPIs.
- 64% of marketers actively invest time in search engine optimisation (SEO) in 2020. (insert the image about the Google sheet)
Where do you start with your SEO strategy?
Answer the specific questions about your company and business model.
- Business goals and vision
- Target audience and buyer personals
- Business KPIs and success metrics
- Why people should choose your business?
- What are the business needs and goals of your website?
Keyword research is the most important area of your marketing, so allocate the budget there.
Carry out an information architecture audit
- Make sure you have a clear site architecture that meets your visitors’ expectations and user behaviour.
- Stick to the plan – be consistent with ccTLD/subdomain/subfolder usage
- Analyse the pros and cons of having different types of web structures. Have a look at location specific search results within your target keywords.
- Google Chrome Extension – SEO Minion (look at this)
Make sure your Hreflang implementation is correct.
- Check this in GSC.
- There are some common issues, like no return hreflang tags, no absolute URLs.
Think both globally and locally when it comes to backlink strategies
- You do not need to have paid terms for looking at this, eg Google alerts. Publish cleverly created “listing posts” industry reports, research papers, case studies.
- Organic increase on the website of a multimedia company operates in the start up ecosystem. (insert image of the graphs)
Check out Yagmur’s SEO Roadmap and the Just Boutique Community Playlist.
International Digital PR: how to run link building campaigns across multiple territories
David White from Connective3
- Ecommerce stats
- Covid was bad for many businesses but for ecommerce that have done very well.
- Insert image from Euromonitor
Then insert image from Technavio
- Will we see things go back to pre-pandemic levels or not? Look at the 2021 European e-commerce repoirt.
- You can look at whatever cover, see what it is pre-pandemic, after too. Not the same though for each country.
David said to find out what content can build links use BuzzSumo. It shows all the articles about a topic you are looking for. For example holidays in Poland. Run that report within BuzzSumo.
Once it is complete, export it, create a table, create all URLs with no or little links. Then you see the articles have had good links. Learn from that.
The steps are:
- Export csv
- Create table
- Remove URLs with few or no links
- Create a PIVOT table
- See what are the most popular
List features get least links (Poland). The general holiday articles were the most important as they generated more links. However, in the UK list feature articles generated most links.
Therefore you need to be aware that just because one type of article works well in one country, it will not necessarily perform as well in another.
Linkfluence – look at this – social listening – you can input anything, topics, websites, social handles and it will tell you when and where it is being talked about.
Free social listening tools:
- Social Searcher
Campaigns for inspiration
Need to follow the data.
Black Tower Retirement –
- Found out behaviours, social listening and there was a massive conversation on where the money would spread the furthers.
- Results 188 links across 16 countries.
If had not tailored the press releases and outreach then would not have got this.
- Serving NFL fans.
- David did social listening, found everything, what influencers, what times of day posting.
- Ran 3 campaigns off the data list.
- Got 170 links from CNN and other big sites
- You need to follow the data.
- BuzzStream – CRM system – can input all journalists want to outreach – can see if they open email or not. And A/B test it
- Aim High – forget the small bloggers. Aim for the big sites and then gets other links too.
- Batch Analysis – so if you have a link on FoxNews and the journalist links to Fox News but not you,
- Build detailed media lists – make sure the people are relevant – Gorkana, BuzzStream. Ahrefs link to your competitors but not to you.
- Only go with relevant information
- Respect their time (newsrooms have been cut a lot) – do not harass
- Do not harass – David was turned down by many journalists, move on.
- Make them look good – if you make them look good, they will link to you and the whole circle of PR
The future of remote marketing
Liam Martin from the Time Doctor
Karoshi is a Japanese word meaning people are working themselves to death. In Japan, they make 63.12 GCP per hour. In the US they earn 102.GDP per hour. They work less.
Work does not equal productivity. Liam set up Time Doctor and Staff.com. They have teams in 43 countries.
Liam was working himself to death, so he had to change his business model. 40– 45% of US work force working remotely, before covid it was 5%.
Five Rules to Build Remote Team
- Hire people who want to work remotely
Where do you find the remote emplpyees – Upwork and formerly oDesk also TopTal (they find the top 1%), Flexjobs (monthly subscription), driblle – remote designers, 99designs too for project work. Remote OK and We Work Remotely.
Tell people who you are. Have employee testimonials working in the company.
You can see how to put job applications
- Build process into a remote company
Liam has a process called the 4 Ds. ALSO look at about.gitlab.com/handbook
Gitlab have it sorted.
The SEO Handbook – bit.ly/remoteseo. – you can see video training where go through how Time Doctor does everything – what they use to onboard and show what doing SEO.
- Get the right tools in place
There is one password – so if someone leaves, then can lock them out.
When they come and join the company, do a speed test, it needs to be fast. PLUS the team use the following:
- External screen
- Jing – and loom – can create a 5 min video so can explain issues
- Stormboard – use this for whie boarding.
- Skype – good free video.
- Trello – little project management
This is super important.
- In person beats video
- Video betat audio
- Audio beats IM
- IM beats email
If you are doing zoom most of the time, then you are not doing work.
- Adopt an Sync mindset
- Liam takes 3 of his best friends and asks how to maximise the productivity of Liam as a manager.
- Liam values decision making – allow remote team to make decisions. Almost any decision can be reversed in 24 hours.
Remote works gives employers and employees the opportunity to find the best of each other. It is time to stop being limited by borders. People should get paid their worth, no matter where they are.
Liam then spoke about Running Remote – which is the world’s largest remote work conference set up in 2018. In 2020 there were many events and the next one is May 2022.