Episode 21 | Posted on

Establish an International SEO Strategy to Expand your Business with Aleyda Solis

If you have considered expanding your business, reaching an international audience could be key. International SEO processes are an optimal way reach to your foreign target market. Aleyda Solis is an international consultant and SEO expert who works for companies in Europe, North America and Latin America. She shares how to reach audiences abroad, how to rank internationally and how to grow your client base. We discuss international tools, overcoming language barriers, optimizing sites for each country and more!

Transcript

Hello, and welcome to Marketing Speak! I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, and today we have Aleyda Solis, who is an international SEO expert. She’s a consultant, a keynote speaker, and a founder of a small agency that’s doing SEO consulting for companies in Europe, North America, and Latin America. Her company is called Orainti and she’s been doing SEO herself since 2007. She’s been agency-side, she’s been in-house and Orainti has been around for several years now. She’s also a speaker at many conferences in the US, UK, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Chile, Israel, Belgium, and others, including SEOktoberfest, which we’ll have to talk about because that’s an interesting one. Yeah, so welcome, Aleyda! It’s great to have you!

Thank you. Thank you very much for the opportunity. I am very happy to be here today!

Awesome! So, let’s talk geek. Let’s talk about SEO and international SEO. Let’s talk about technical SEO but let’s start with what you’re most known for, which is international SEO. So, what is involved with international SEO? I care, as a company, about ranking not just for the US market but also in foreign countries. What are some of the issues I need to be thinking about?

The first should be identifying the different type of behavior that your international audiences might have. Even if they speak the same language as you, for example, if you are based in the US and you want to start targeting and promoting your operations towards the UK, the language might be the same but there’s always a cultural factor and localization involved. Your competitors might be different. The type of preferences of that audience will be different and the currency as well so the first criteria for me, the first validation, is to identify the specific landscape, competition, and audience behavior to develop a full analysis of that specific sector in the specific international market that you want to target.

The first criteria is to identify the specific landscape, competition, and audience behavior to develop a full analysis of that specific international market that you want to target.

Right. So, basically, it’s like developing the personas of the various targets that you’re going to go after.

Definitely. I mention this because sometimes what I usually see is that people are not aware that they need to do this at the beginning. This type of validation or access made in the beginning that I think is something much more straightforward like, just technical configuration, or just enabling other languages, or are just translations of your current content in all the languages, and you’re targeting with some facts and that’s it. However, it’s important to know that the patterns and the behavior of your audience might be completely different and it’s important to validate that from the beginning and based that on how you will then implement and identify the best way to target that audience—if it is with languages or with countries. If it is with sub-domains or sub-directories in dependence of your competition level in each country so everything falls from that initial analysis, I will say.

Okay, and then what’s after that? Keyword research, or technical configuration, or what?

Yeah, after this initial analysis that involves a keyword research and condition analysis, it will be about establishing the best way to structure and to target each language or country—especially identifying first if you should really target languages or countries. Ideally, we should all target our audience per country. However, sometimes it’s not viable. It’s not possible because of resources. For example, ideally, you will need to have a specific site for each Latin American country but sometimes it’s not possible because of resource restrictions and then you need to prioritize and then you will end up having a Latin American version in the beginning and when you identify the traffic and conversions, the KPI’s, and the goals that are going from some specific countries, you will have enough justification and arguments to be able to develop in a presence specifically for this country right after a few months or after a few years even. So, what’s important is, after this first analysis, identify the most cost-effective way for you to target these audiences that you like and start structuring your website around that. Internationalization, if you target countries, can be done in different ways. You can enable ccTLD’s, which is the ideal way if you want to provide the highest level for your location. However, again, sometimes it’s not possible because of technical restrictions and even because of the type of competition that you have in this country—let’s say that you have identified that they have a very high level of link profile there, very authoritative website, so at the end of the day, it’s starting with ccTLD’s from scratch that have no link profile will be harder than leveraging your current .com domain and enabling that sub-directory and inherits and leverage that current popularity that that you may already have and what you will need to do in this case is that, you’re locating this specific sub-directory towards the right country. You can see there are the specific scenarios, pros and cons, validations and analysis that you need to do based on the previous analysis that has been developed and based on that to configure everything around the market that you want to target.

Great, and just define for our listeners who may not be SEO geeks like ourselves—ccTLD’s, or country code top leveldomains, so .uk, .fr for France, and .de for Germany—sometimes, it’s ideal to have your company .de, for example, and sometimes, it’s more ideal to leverage your .com that has all the authority and have sub-directories but then you have issues with having to compartmentalize these different country sites that are simply sub-directories or, perhaps, sub-domains of your main site or your main demand. You definitely need to kind of keep the listeners in mind here that they may not be as geeky as we are but I’m totally following you because I love geeking out too. So, and I’m curious, have you worked lot with clients where you don’t speak the language at all? I’ve worked in Despegar in Latin America. I don’t speak any Spanish. I’ve worked with Sarenza in France and I speak a little bit of French but it’s not very good. It’s kind of interesting when all the content is in a language that you don’t work in. Is this a common occurrence for you?

Yes, in my case, I am a native Spanish speaker and I also speak French. However, I have needed in the past to do SEO processes in German, or in Polish, or in Portuguese, and etcetera. And yes, in this case what you need it is a native support. That is important. That understand the goal that they have very clear workflow and steps to follow and that you are in an ongoing and a very clear communication with them so these people, maybe if people can validate and develop the keyword research and then also the content and everything but knowing very well the criteria from a marketing and an SEO perspective and then that you can validate also with other people so just to make sure that everything is in line and everything is as you want, especially without knowing the language. Of course, for validating yourself, much more from a technical perspective, you can use tools or you can use translators but to develop the content, to do the actual research, and etcetera is fundamental that you have the native support. I think that this native support—sometimes, people tell me, “Oh my God but the professional translation is not cheap. It is really expensive,” and I will say, “Finally, a lot of my clients have not, because of the fact that they have hired a professional translators means that the content is well-optimized,”—because let’s remember that, it’s like, if you hired any copywriter who have not necessarily an idea about SEO, or about how the people actually search, sometimes the content is, of course, perfect from our grammatical perspective but it is not necessarily well-optimized to be able to rank and connect with those queries that the users search in those countries. So, from my perspective, sometimes it’s even better to work with someone native who has more SEO knowledge or who can validate from an SEO perspective that the content that they are writing is really the type of content that the your audience wants to consume and are searching with. Then, to make sure that it’s someone—yes, copywriter or something who is a specialist on writing well in that language who can validate from a grammatical perspective tends to work much, much better. It’s much more efficient and to perform in the best possible way by this.

Yeah, well SEO copywriting is much art as science because it’s not just about getting the right keywords and key word themes coming across but also to be persuasive and, perhaps, rate with neuro-linguistic programming techniques like NLP’s so pattern interrupts, anchoring, and so forth as well as having the great optimal approach to the copy so—

Yes, thinking from a conversion perspective too. I mean, even copywriters, in general, it’s important that they know also not only about SEO but about conversion at the end of the day.

Absolutely!

And to know how to place a call-to-action, how to use the content, develop content that will also actually serve to sell the service and serve as if it was a salesperson, clarifying any doubts, and providing necessary criteria and confidence for the users to end up converting, or end up getting the action that they want them to take, or they are looking for in your website. Well, for me, this is actually SEO too because at the end of the day, when I do SEO, I don’t do SEO only to get maximum visibility in the search engine results pages but to actually fulfill the final goal of my clients, which is to get the sales done, or get a registration, or provide support, or etcetera. At the end of the day, for me, this all is a line. And yes, the problem is that sometimes, translators are translators and they are not necessarily going to take this into consideration too.

Yeah, so whenever I work with a client where I’m not going to be in charge of the copy myself, I’ll point them to some resources that will help guide them such as, for example, there’s a great article from Brian Dean on backlinko.com about SEO copywriting and he goes for 16 different tips for SEO copyrighting. I really like that article that talks about bucket brigades and things like that so, listeners, if you want good cheat sheet on SEO copywriting that’s compelling and converts, check out that article on backlinko.com/SEO-copywriting. Do you have any other resources that you quite like in regards to not just maybe copy-writing for SEO but also, perhaps, keyword research, or international SEO, or any favorite books that you recommend?

Yeah, I am reading many articles about international SEO and doing analysis for new markets in international SEO. In fact, at most, I have published many of them, for example, if you search for most international SEO, I have written from at more technical about configuring initial limitations I’ve done do’s and don’ts. I have an article sharing important tools to implement international SEO and then all the more about—yeah, how to do a keyword-research, and how to develop an analysis of the audience too. Also, in Search Engine Land, I am a columnist for them too. I have written a couple of articles regarding typical issues around international SEO so in general, you will see that I provide tips and sometimes, these are mixed from issues that might be more audience—yeah, targeted to work the content, how to write, etcetera, and then more about the technical issues that are also key in international that you will find in there.

Perfect! Let’s talk a bit about some of the technical issues that are a tref link tags, there are misconfiguration that folks need to fix—what are some of the technical issues that are most common? Or, what are some of the biggest things that need to be addressed with regards to international?

Yeah, well the most common one, really, is even if the websites have their international versions already established, they don’t have their international versions, sometimes, effectively mapped or configured together to perform well in their target search results, like for example, the American version end up right in the U.K. one, and the UK one ends up ranking in the Australian google.com.au results so the visitor ends up arriving in the incorrect version of the website so that is very typical and that that can be easily solved, which Google and all the supporters too allow you to map and to specify which URL is targeting and which language or which country so they can understand, which should be shown in each search results. So, that is the most fundamental or the very, very typical. Then, all the typical question that I get all the time is like, “Oh, I have, I don’t know, 30 versions of my websites targeting to all of these countries but I don’t have resources, or I don’t have the time, or I don’t have people to create unique content or compelling content, and optimized content for each one of them so what do I do?” Right to the content duplication issues, these are very, very common and they are afraid and sometimes, they have ccTLDs then you provide additional scene now that each one of these copies are really targeting independent and different audiences but sometimes, they are not. They are in sub-directories. They are not correctly targeted and etcetera, and at the end of the day, yes, he’s fixing this by sheer locating one of them but also, coming up to a situation saying, “Okay, if you really come up with, I don’t know, 15 extra versions that you have here is because, you don’t generate any businesses,” because they don’t attract any new clients toward your business so at the end of the day, what would we should do is to validate if there is enough audience and if you’re not performing well at all and it will compensate to develop an international SEO process for them or, that they didn’t really have enough market in the first place and you just enable it because maybe your boss asked for it or because you want to just to replicate what you had in your offline business, right? But the behavior online might be different so sometimes it’s about even eliminating or putting together some of these versions so they don’t generate issues and because it doesn’t compensate, you need to have them there as independent versions. So yes, it’s a mix of decisions but the typical questions I get all the time is like, “Oh, I have all this versions here and I don’t have resources,” so if you are ready at that point, it’s because you haven’t done your homework in the beginning. You have validated well at the beginning so you end up to that situation.

Right, and how important is it to have separate Google search console set up for all these different separate sites, even if they’re all part of the same .com domain and you’re using sub-directories? And, why would they want to claim each of their separate countries within that .com within Google Search console?

Yeah, if you are using sub-directories or sub-domains to establish your international versions then you’re locating, first registering them independently and then your locating with the international target and setting in the Google Search console is fundamental. So Google can’t understand that, each one of this are really targeting to a different audience. If you are using ccTLD’s country extensions then it’s not necessary and in fact, you cannot do it because it’s automatically located by default towards its own country. However, if you are not using ccTLD’s but sub-directories and sub-domains is a must. You really need to, on one hand, provide the information to prove that you are locating towards a specific country and on the other hand, to get each one of your international versions performance information at an independent basis so you really know how the French version is really performing in France or your “/es” version is performing in Spain, etcetera, otherwise, you will get all the data mixed together in your domain and that might not be necessarily the easiest way to analyze it and to identify opportunities to improve in each one of them.

Yeah, now one of the limitations within Google Search console is it only gives you the last 90 days of data and things like the reports on keywords that are driving clicks to your site so what are your workarounds for that? Are you logging in at least every 90 days? Are you downloading the data and using some third party tool? Or, are you using some other approach?

Yes, well, at the end of the day, the cures that also Google provides are very—like, the fundamental ones or the tops ones and there might be many, many other tools that have the opportunity where there’s definitely opportunity, so what I have done always with keywords that I target and terms that I target in general is that, yes, of course, especially at the beginning, I take the Google Search console once into consideration but then I use SEMrush. I use Search Metrics. I use Similar Web. They all support dozens of countries, each one of them. There is another one that also provide data for a cure for a lot of countries. I use them to get a special at the beginning of a keyword data and then, I start tracking myself—all of these keyword data along the one that Google Search console provides with the trackers. I really like one that is called, SEOmonitor, that integrates with the Google Search console data and also Google Analytics data and then you can also add any keyword of your own that you want and they suggest your keywords because they connect with SEMrush–because they are integrated with SEMrush so it’s great because you can have a way to monitor not only the top keywords but all of the keywords that you’re including there and see their correlation with your traffic. You can segment by or filter by device so you know the information and then you’re ranking for desktop and versus mobiles sometimes are not the same, of course, and sometimes there also there’s also opportunities that you need to identify based on that so I really like this tool and I use it a lot on a day-to-day basis right now because of this and then, on the other hand, for monitoring purposes, I really like another tool that is called SERPWoo. SERPWoo, what it does is that you provide the term, you provide a cure and you provide your website and that’s it, you don’t need to provide your competitors. Like, for example, the SEOmonitor one, the one that I mentioned before, they also can track your competitors and they’ll compare the same keywords that you have provided to track with your domain with the rankings and performance of your competitor’s one and get the traffic data pull the one from SEMrush tool so it’s great. You have a reference, not only from rankings but in general like, search visibility and traffic coming from these rankings. However, SERPWoo provides you the top 30 results for any keywords so, for example, if you want to know what’s the ranking behavior after an update, you can see really clearly which websites were the ones that started to grow after and which one lost visibility and which one was a training general. It’s amazing that they all have all the functionality that is called ORM functionality towards reputation management, towards, which they showed the top 100 results of any SERP so it’s great. It’s a great way to track any type of update and to understand better the nature of any algorithm update that happens and we don’t necessarily tracking each one of them independently. I mean, you can see clearly also, there is a new player coming in the industry or if there is a trend going on that can be much more clearly tracked and visualize rather easily the whole SERP.

I use SEMrush. I use Search Metrics. I use Similar Web. They all support dozens of countries, each one of them. Click To Tweet

Yup. Those are great stuff and in fact, I am going to make sure that every one of these tools is going to be mentioned with links in the show notes so listeners, be sure to check the show notes on MarketingSpeak.com after you listen to this episode. So, any of these are ranking tools or just competitive intelligence tools handle YouTube as well, like for example, can you track your YouTube search rankings with SEOmonitor?

No, in fact, now, and that is great that you have mentioned because actually, it’s very funny, in the last two days, I have had different scenarios and different situation where I have ended up, yes, talking about SEO and YouTube. On one hand, because it’s actually the second largest search engine, however, the type of tool that exists around YouTube is, whether a keyword research, for example, Keyword Tool.IO, yes, they provide keyword research for YouTube but usually, the rank-tracking tools they don’t really focus on YouTube ranking, it’s more about rankings in main search engines and maybe, the universal search results for any of them but not specifically for YouTube as its own search engine. Then on the other hand, the amount of queries, especially I have a client, for example, that is in the gastronomy sector or the recipe sector and the amount of traffic that YouTube drives for queries about how to cook something or recipes for something. It’s amazing. There are lots of searches, a lot of interests of people who don’t want to see an article or a how-to post or guide, what they really want to see is a video.

Right.

A video so yes, I think there’s a lot of opportunity there—of developing tools, specifically, to track more and provide more information because the ones that we have right now are like very, very basic indeed over on YouTube.

There are some tools I’ll mention that are amazing for YouTube tracking search rankings within YouTube, tracking other engagement metrics, views, likes, dislikes, video replies, comments, and that sort of stuff. One is called Voot, voot.net. They also created a new tool that tracks some different things as well and this is from Touch Storm so they created Voot and they also recently created something called Video Amigo and both of those are definitely worth checking out and Voot, you can apply for a free beta invite to utilize that tool and then Video Amigo, I believe, is still free. It was free last year so definitely check those out. Also, this is a great rankings tracker that I’ve just recently fallen in love with. It’s called Rank Ranger. They’re based out of Israel and they track not only Google, Yahoo, and Bing, but also YouTube search rankings. Yes, so it’s a phenomenal tool set at RankRanger.com. Another thing that’s really cool is, you mentioned, Search Metrics, SEMrush, SimilarWeb—one of the really cool features that I use all the time like, with Search Metrics and SEMrush is to go in and look at competitors and what are the keywords that are driving clicks to those competitors. Now, it’s not exact. It’s an estimation. It’s not like these guys hacked the Google Search console of your competitors but they are tracking rankings across you know, countless millions of keywords and they’re seeing your competitors show up and they’re tracking what positions those competitors are ranking for various keywords and then estimating the search volume. I mean, estimating the number of clicks based on the search volume numbers from the Google AdWords Keyword Planner and from the typical click-through rate based on the position in the search results. It’s a really cool feature that helps fill out your keyword portfolio as you’re defining good keywords in your research looking at your competitors—it’s a great tactic. I’m presuming you’re using Search Metrics and SEMrush for that capability among other things?

Yeah, I use a lot of tools. SEMrush, actually, is not only a keyword tool anymore, it has so many other functionalities at the end of the day so yes, I use many other functionalities.

What would be some of your favorite tools?

The ones that I mentioned already are some of my favorite ones. For technical SEO, I would say that OnPage is my favorite one. Right now, it’s facilitates a lot in your life because the type of the way the display of the crawling information in general and how they validate everything. It’s pretty straightforward and so, it saves a lot of time. For linkbuilding, I love Pitchbox. It’s really good to automatize a lot of the outreach process too. It’s very good in general. URL Profiler, I really like, because it integrates data from many sources so it facilitates a lot, the link analysis together with the technical optimization data that it can provide, so I like that very much. One that I really, really like is, is also a new tracker that is called AccuRanker, because, again, they connect with Google Analytics and the way that they display results by connecting with Google Analytics so that’s very good. But in general, I think that there are more and more, and this is what I love, more and more tools that are highly-specialized and are good on one thing specific because at the end of the day, when I started, I remember SEO a long time ago, it was like, what position goals, right, and it was like an only one and there are still like, now more and more tools that start with one functionalities and they start growing more capabilities and functionalities but at the end of the day, is what they started with—I mean, if they end up being really good like, for example, about, again, YouTube rankings. I know that, for example, I don’t know, Link Assistant—they provide rank tracker and they also support YouTube, right? But it’s better if you use a specific tool that will provide you only the basic ranking data but that will provide additional information regarding likes, comments, and etcetera that will allow to improve in a much better way. The time that you spent analyzing the data and crunching the data and developing your recommendations based on the data, which at the end of the day, is the final purpose.

Yeah, so you mentioned Screaming Frog, that’s a crawler, and it can tell you where you have 404 errors, 301’s, or 302’s, you know, when your title tags are across all your different pages, and so forth. DeepCrawl, do you use that tool?

I use that too, yeah!

So, you mentioned OnPage, any other crawlers that you think are particularly important for our listeners to utilize?

I think that the main ones are DeepCrawl and Pitch at the moment. I guess, I have tested all although, at the end of the day, they provide more or less the same type data so I tend to go with the ones that really facilitates more of my life and provide more functionality so, I will say that, yeah, it’s not necessarily like, using more but making sure that you test the one that really do the job for you and use it well because sometimes yeah, we use tools that have the a lot of functionality that we haven’t even seen that it’s there so it’s pointless, I would say.

You mentioned Pitchbox. That’s a tool for influencer outreach.

In fact, actually since I know that, I can see that you’re interested in tools. I have a website that is about tools.

I was going to mention that, yeah!

Yeah, it’s called The Marketer Toolbox, so if you want to take a look at tool from technical content, link building, also social and analytics, it’s a directory with a lot of tools.

And how does that relate to allSEOsoftware.com? I think you founded that website as well.

Yeah, I created All SEO Software because, yes, I wanted to put together all the software that I tend to test and learn about it at some point together and then at some point I realized or many of the tools that I used are not necessarily SEO focused so I want to create another one that is called, The Marketer Toolbox, so at the end, yeah, I redirected All SEO Software towards the SEO section of The Marketer Toolbox so yes—and there are many tools, really. I had forgotten because I just entered to The Marketer Toolbox but there’s another tool, and this one, specifically, speaking about tools that provide something completely different, Huballin is a content idea generator that is great because literally, they don’t suggest keywords but they suggest, queries or questions to be answered with queries and it’s great because it’s far easier for you to develop content ideas with them and identify content opportunities. Although, yes, they provide such related metrics to search volume related metrics and some competition metrics, but it’s great because they do have great work from a content-related and content-focused perspective to the semantic analysis that all the tools don’t so for yeah, for me, this is really a tool that provides something extra and that will be really cool if you can check it out.

Cool, and what was the name of that tool again?

Huballin. H-U-B-A-L-L-I-N. Yeah.

Cool, and again, we’ll have all these links in the show notes. I am pretty enamored by tools. I love tools but let’s talk about influencer outreach and how do you build links because trying to get directory links and all that—that’s been dead for a long time. It’s really hard to get a high quality site, one that’s got a lot of authority, a lot of trust, a lot of importance to link to you. So, what are your approaches that work the best?

Well, actually, the reality is that they have the benefit of—it’s a criteria that I have—I don’t work with companies or anybody coming to me saying, “I want to build links,” it’s not my specialty. I can understand how is this a specialty, although, all the people in the industry is not mine definitely. I do and I grow the popularity and I do link-building for the processes that I work with at a much more broad level, as an integral project, as an integral process, so in this process, I usually have influence on the content that is developed. Usually, the companies that I work for, I always ask for certain type of resources and some of these resources are having a content counterpart, a PR, a promotion, and a community management counterpart too. Usually, in established companies, they already exist and in smaller companies, maybe even one person who does this whole. However, it’s important to have this counterpart in the company and for the business that you are consulting for who understand on a day-to-day basis what is happening, their unique selling propositions, their stand in the industry, and etcetera. Of course, you’re kind of learn about it and you should learn about it, but the know-how that they have, it’s much, much higher than you and then, in this case, what I work is on a strategy that will help to grow the popularity in a very organic, natural way. First, understanding what they really need. I mean, if they really need links at all, maybe, it may end up being a situation that it’s not that they have less links or links from less quality and link authority in general from many metric but that their own peak situation is really, really bad. However, there are all the situation, “Oh my God! Yes, you are behind in a lot of thousands of links from your competitor,” so it’s about how we can close the gap, not necessarily from a numeric perspective but those link that we know that are not going to play a major role to help them achieve the popularity that they need for the areas of their side that they need to push and they need to attract traffic-wise and in a way that makes sense with their business, that it makes sense with their overall promotion, strategy, branding, and their ongoing and current work from a marketing perspective. For example, if they have campaigns that they will push for Valentine’s Day or for Mother’s Day. Let’s see, how we can leverage all these campaigns that they will have anyway because of their own reasons and how we can leverage those and make the most out of them in order to increase their popularity and links in general, right? What I can tend to work with these type of clients that are not the typical small business who will need to start building links from scratch and using little tactics instead of a much more strategic approach, because this is another type of situation so I have the benefit to say something right to be able to work and decipher and focus myself in this type of projects. It’s funny because, for a lot of these companies, even in the competitor sectors, that are not the main countries or the main ones like, non-US, non-UK, non-Germany—like for example, I have a client who is in the property market in Mexico and this is very competitive industry in Mexico and I will say, is one of the most competitive ones and the financial ones, and even despite that, the fact is that we have been able to grow, not only because there are content and technical situation but there are link situations by focusing and relying on a good content marketing strategy and then of course, knowing how to leverage the promotion and the PR and working with a PR boutique in their case and pushing and promoting certain pieces that they have developed. They know very well, especially because they are in the country and they understand very well the market but we have done content brainstorming sessions and come up with these ideas and saying, “Hey, these are our ideas that, from all the metrics that we have seen and the cases and the previous examples that we see in our market that will work better and promote this in those social classes as well with certain local influencers and media who we know are going to push them as well, right? So, it’s about having an understanding of the local market at the end and having the relationship and knowing how to promote this this content in general how you can get and increase the popularity, right? And the fact is that, the level of difficulty is far lower if we compare it with some of the main markets so I will say that this is actually another reason to do international SEO. Sometimes, it will be much easier for you to rank even for competitive industries in all the languages and in all the non-top markets than if you want to push your results further after you have reached a certain level in the US, for example.

The level of difficulty is far lower if we compare it with some of the main markets so this is another reason to do international SEO.

Yeah, so, essentially, you have to have remarkable content that’s worth sharing, that deserves to go viral, and then you reach out to influencers, you utilize whatever P.R. channels that you have, and tools—you know, whether it’s Pitchbox or a best stream or whatever—and then you just kind of rinse and repeat. One last question here, because I know we’re short on time, is around SEO dashboards. You’ve written about it, you’ve talked about it, and what is an SEO dashboard? What are the key metrics to track and what does it look like?

For me, there are different roles of SEO dashboard. On one hand, it’s a way for you to monitor your performance indicators of your SEO projects or process at different levels so, for example, I can have the crawling indication, rankings, mentions, links, traffic, and conversions in one page like this so I can easily go and check every day or every morning if it has improved or if it hasn’t. I can easily compare with a previous month or a previous year to see that, in case, it’s down it’s because of this, or because of the natural behavior of the audience or you are already going bad, or something is happening that we need to fix, so for me, it’s a way to monitor and I can take action based on this data and I can take the next steps to improve and to continue what I’m doing or to change what I’m doing because it’s not going well for some reason. This is one of the dashboards—the one that I monitor well and etcetera and then, another thing, is do what you may want to share with your clients. It depends on the type of clients and it depends on the type of involvement. Usually, you send your reports at a certain frequency—usually, each month. However, there are some situations and some cases where you want to enable a dashboard so it’s much easier for the client to enter there and check out how everything is going. However, this situation, I would say, it’s very important that there is a real understanding of their client about this data and TPL and how they work. Although I say, it might be very easy that you get every day or every now and then email saying, “Oh, and when has this keyword started to rank? Longer than this other one?” and things like that quite easily instead of taking the time and be able to inform well at the end of the period when it really makes sense, not on a day-to-day basis, right? So, yes, I have written about it because for me, this actually is a key aspect to be able to monitor and to take the right decisions based on this monitoring, I don’t try to monitor every single area, like for example, the example of YouTube. I mean, it is rather getting traffic or providing traffic or referring traffic, I don’t need to know the exact position that this video has in YouTube itself. If I know that is already also providing this amount of possibility in Google, I don’t need to know everything so I am against redundancy. I am for simplicity and focusing what is key because, again, I can end up if I do this with 10 screens and 10 different tools and it’s not efficient for me. It’s not the best way to handle my time. I could be paralyzed by all this metrics and excess of data so I’d prefer to keep it simple and, yeah, to track along the conversion funnel and the different layers of activities that I have and focusing on the ones with the parental principles, or 80-20 principle, focus on the ones that are really making the difference towards my business at the end of the day. I don’t need to track it all or monitor it all or have it all and that’s what I see every day just to have an overview of it then, I will say. The post I wrote, I share how to do this quite easily with a tool that already exist that is called DashThis. Now, I am actually using a little bit of SEO monitor as if it was an interactive dashboard because it provides a really good look and easier way to track your KPI’s. But, yes, for me, it’s about identifying what is really important and influencing your actions and what should influence your actions based on the type of projects that you’re working with and focus on monitoring that instead of getting crazy with all of this data because you can easily go badly if you do this or you will spend your whole day.

Yeah, so, essentially, you want to avoid the scenario of the CEO, telling you that their trophy keyword that they keep tracking on their own just by typing it into Google is going down and it’s an irrelevant keyword because it just doesn’t drive any volume and also to keep the executives in the loop on what’s important—kind of an executive summary level of reporting rather than just printing out a bunch of Google Analytics reports. You do this dashboard and executive summary for them. So, we’re out of time and I think this was just of jam-packed, information-rich episode. I really appreciate, Aleyda, for taking all this time to share your brilliance with our audience. And how would somebody reach you if they wanted to work with you, or if they wanted to read your material? I understand I’ll see you working on a book that will come out, hopefully, pretty soon since they could go out and buy your book. How would they get in touch with you? How would they find out more?

Yeah, you can get in touch with me. I am very active in Twitter so you can reach me through Twitter, @Aleyda like, my name and then also to my website, aleydasolis.com or through my consultancy website, orianti.com. I’ll make sure to answer—and if you have any additional questions regarding any of the topics we have talked, I’ll be happy to follow up or clarify them out. Definitely! I am a very social person and I always like to share so please just let me know.

Yeah, you have a whole bunch of SEO tips that you share on Twitter. You answer people’s question—that’s very giving of you.

Yes, and in fact, thank you for reminding me because you know, I have a newsletter that is called, Aleyda SEO Tips, which is free and I answer questions that I get online usually so I send it once per month—it’s really not that frequent—so don’t worry, I won’t spam you or anything like that, and what I do is like, every new tool that I started using or I see that is super useful for me or any new situation that has arisen when doing analysis or working with clients and it’s a new situation where I found the answers, I share it with the newsletter so if you want to get free SEO tips, you can register in my AleydaSEOtips.com and you will get the landing page there to subscribe.

And again, all of these great links and resources are going to be in the show notes on MarketingSpeak.com. Also go to MarketingSpeak.com for the transcript of this episode with a checklist of all the different things that you need to do based on the information that you’ve heard in this episode. Again, Aleyda, thank you so much. Thank you, listeners, for spending the time and the attention to learn all of these great SEO geekiness and we’ll catch you on the next episode. I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, and I’ll talk to you next time!

Important Links:

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

☑ Start tracking your SEO today, using the Google Search Console and SEMrush to accurately track your efforts.
☑ Decide if you want to use ccTLD’s. Do you want your French website to be hosted as a .fr, or do you want it as a sub-directory of your current domain?
☑ Research trends, interests, culture and behavior of the countries that you are interested in marketing to, so you can effectively determine your content and SEO strategy.
☑ Practice linkbuilding strategies to grow your visitors and popularity in an organic way.
☑ To help with the organic and natural engagement, continue to create engaging content-utilizing a content calendar can help you stay on track.
☑ Use The Marketer Toolbox to find tools for technical content, linkbuilding, social, and analytics.
☑ Focus on the most important aspects to track on your dashboard. If YouTube views don’t really matter to you, don’t track it.
☑ Watch out for the top three technical issues that you may run into with international SEO, and remember Aleyda’s tips on how to fix those problems.
☑ If you are dealing with a language barrier while working with people in other countries, create effective communication by setting very clear steps and using a translator.
☑ If you are working with a client and sharing SEO information, simplify it. They likely don’t need all of the details that you do, just make sure they have the basics that they understand.

About Aleyda Solis

Aleyda Solis is an international SEO expert. She’s a consultant, keynote speaker, and a founder of Orainti. With more than 8 years of experience, she has successfully developed SEO processes targeted to the US, Europe, Asia & Latin America.

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