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International SEO: Building US Visibility

The Challenge

With an eCommerce business that had a good hold in the UK, our client now wanted to grow their business by tapping into an international audience.

With a big market that would help their business grow, our client was keen to increase brand awareness and their online visibility in the US – they just needed a little help. We could see that their website was getting some traffic and sales from the US, but they had yet to properly break into the market.

Our Audit Findings

While the US gave the client their second highest source of traffic and revenue, we found that they were ranking poorly or not at all for non-branded keywords in America. This meant that online visibility in the US was quite low and the majority of traffic was from branded searches. While there were some loyal customers, they were struggling to gain traction and reach new streams of traffic or revenue.

We also found that US customers use different variations and language for keywords compared to UK-based customers. To effectively tailor the content for an American audience and send the right signals to search engines, we needed to speak their lingo.

Our Solution

We completed a review of competitor brands in the US and carried out new keyword research. This helped us to identify all the different variants US customers may use when searching for our client’s products. Using these variants, we were able to complete SEO work specifically targeted to the US.

Due to campaign specifics, the best course of action was to use a subfolder to create a country-targeted version of the website. We implemented hreflang tags in order to separate the US and UK versions of the site content. This separation of audience was crucial to let search engines know which version of the website to serve to users in different countries. Tailoring to your audience is key after all!

Among other things, we optimised fundamental SEO improvements, such as product titles, product descriptions, homepage text, metadata and created a strong US internal linking strategy to highlight the relationship between pages and help strengthen the US website’s site structure.

The Outcome

In just six months, as many as 41 high-volume, priority keywords ranked within the first page on Google in the US from just implementing international SEO fundamentals. This significant improvement to their online visibility over the pond brought a wealth of benefits, including significant traffic increases each month.

Within the first year, traffic increased by 248.85% and revenue increased by 159%.

This is a great result, but we’re keen to keep pushing forwards and grow international sales continuously for our client. The next stages are to improve conversion rate optimisation to increase revenue from their US website.

Sector

Retail & eCommerce

Categories

Digital Marketing, SEO