Is doing SEO in the United States just the American Dream? Not necessarily! Today we’ll tell you how to make your debut on the U.S. market, what to focus on and where to start. Let’s begin!
One of the biggest advantages of SEO is the fact that you can do it virtually from any place in the world! You can relax in The Bahamas and at the same time run a company in Europe. You can offer your products to customers from all countries across the globe. The internet and marketing abound in possibilities, however, it’s always worth taking into consideration differences between particular markets. If you want to reach potential customers on the other side of the world, you need to get to know them and tailor your product range to their requirements. There are also technical aspects that have to be taken into account while doing international SEO. Let’s take a closer look at the United States market – one of the most prominent markets in the world.
Internet users in the USA
When discussing the issue of internet users in the U.S., it’s obvious that we should start with the numbers. The USA is characterized by one of the largest internet penetration rates which amount almost to 90%. This means that there are over 300 million users that can be reached with the use of appropriate SEO activities tailored to the local market. The USA can boast that it’s the third-largest internet market in the world (after China and India). Figures are undoubtedly astonishing and in many cases will certainly prove to be a significant incentive to enter the American market.
Search engines in the United States
Unsurprisingly, Google, the giant from Silicon Valley is definitely the most popular search engine in the USA and it’s chosen by 87% of internet users. Bing (7.8%) and Yahoo (4.27%) are respectively the second and third most frequently selected search engines. This means that if you decide to do SEO in the USA, it’ll be necessary to adapt all your activities also to those who prefer Bing and Yahoo. Considering all people living in the U.S., 12% of internet users amount to 36 million people, which is the equivalent of the current population of Poland.
Do Americans shop online?
Of course, they do! Moreover, they do it more and more frequently. The share of online shopping in all purchases already amounts to 10% (the increase is depicted in the chart below). It also needs to be mentioned that in 2017 as many as 24% of e-commerce transactions were made via mobile devices. As you can see, the market is huge but this fact translates into a sizable competition that comprises other online stores and platforms such as Amazon or eBay. Although the presence of these market tycoons can hinder performing your SEO process, it doesn’t make it infeasible. If you choose appropriate keywords (primarily long tails) and focus on local SEO, you’ll be able to quickly enjoy the first results of your efforts.
Useful tips for SEO in the USA
Which domain to choose?
Although it may seem that the range of domains available in the USA never ends, we’ll focus on puzzling differences between the .us and .com ones. You may think that the first domain is more US-oriented, however, it may be a wrong assumption if you consider SEO because even though the .com domain is an international one, Google evaluates it better. What’s more, selecting the .com domain allows you to reach users from other English speaking countries such as Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, or India. If you want to prioritize the United States and target your website at the American market, set it in the “International Targeting” tab in Google Search Console.
British or American English – which one is better?
Surprisingly, the language may turn out to be one of the biggest challenges. British English differs from its variation spoken in the United States to such an extent that sometimes it’s necessary to translate certain British books before launching them on the U.S. market (like in the case of Harry Potter). In most European countries, children and adults are taught British English, therefore, when translating your website, it’s necessary to make sure that keywords and grammatical structures correspond to search queries used by Americans. It’s also worth marking the selected language (British or American English) in the code.
Exemplary differences between American and British English:
Mobile websites are a must-have
Although probably at this point most of us know how important mobile websites are, it’s still possible to encounter sites that aren’t tailored to mobile devices or can’t be browsed conveniently and consequently are ranked lower by Google. The number of people preferring mobile devices increases more and more rapidly every year. In 2017, 75% of American internet users browsed the net with the use of tablets or smartphones. The numbers speak for themselves – if you want to optimize your website for the U.S. market, you can’t forget about mobile-friendliness!
A properly designed mobile (or responsive) website should offer intuitive navigation and buttons or texts whose sizes are adjusted to the audience and devices. The content on both mobile and desktop versions of your site should be the same.
Is local SEO a key to success?
Thanks to local SEO, users can easily find the needed products or services that are closest to their location. The surface area of the United States is comparable to the size of Europe, therefore, it’s natural that most customers will look for products and online stores that are near the city they live in. Everyone wants to save time and money (including shipping time and costs).
In order to do local SEO for your website:
- Add your page to Google Maps,
- Do your best to be ranked higher on Google Maps (How to rank higher on Google Maps),
- Use local keywords including the name of your city or state.
Customize your website for your location. As long as the currency shouldn’t be challenging, time zones can turn out to be more problematic. There are several time zones in the USA and the differences vary even by several hours (there is a 5-hour difference between Hawaii and New York!). Ensure that your website displays the correct time and delivery information for each state of the country.
Every SEO process should be accompanied by external linking which involves linking to your website from other pages such as catalogs, blogs, forums, or social media platforms. While doing international SEO, it’s essential to make sure that links to your page come from domains assigned to a given country (the .com or .us domains in the case of the USA). Remember that it’s not about the quantity but about the quality of the links (ensure that they’re natural and provide unique content) and the authority of the linking domain.
Websites where you can link to your page include:
SEO in the United States – the takeaway
Entering any new market involves getting to know your target recipients and their expectations. Once you know who you want to reach, it’s necessary to tweak your website in terms of all technical aspects (domain, IP address, mobility) and content (language, texts). The American market is very receptive and potent, however, it’s also quite competitive, therefore, you shouldn’t be daunted if your activities don’t bring immediate results. Although doing SEO in the USA is time-consuming, a proper strategy and consistency will certainly pay off in the long run!