As I wrote about yesterday, the amount of web users and connected devices will greatly increase in the years to come, even just in the next four years. This will be experienced all over the globe only furthering the potential for marketing and increasing brand exposure to a new and increasing customer base. But another fold of the data is the connection speed predictions. Higher average connection speeds will bring about a more enjoyable experience for web users, but it will result in more being available in terms of what users can do online. Namely – video. And a lot of it. By 2016, video will make up 71% of all data that is used across the globe.
Video has become more important with SEO and branding for a company online as it is a another type of rich content that can be created and put on the web for the search engines to be crawled, indexed, given relevant authority, and most importantly enjoyed by members of a business’ publics/audiences. Let’s take a look at the remaining data from the Cisco study though. The speed of the internet around the world will increase from a level of 9 Mbps at present to 34 Mbps, essentially quadrupling. The time-frame of the 34 Mbps mark is not as specific but appears to be in the years closely following 2016. Lets go by region to look at the difference between developed and developing markets:
- North America: 3.5x growth, from 11 to 37 Mbps
- Western Europe: 3.8x growth, 11 to 42 Mbps
- Central/Eastern Europe: 3.1x growth, 10 to 29 Mbps
- Latin America: 2.8x growth, 4.2 to 12 Mbps
- Middle east & Africa: 2.5x growth, 3.4 to 8.4 Mbps
- Asia Pacific: 4.4x growth, 8.1 to 36 Mbps
The rise in speeds across the globe means that more videos across the world will be seen as well, it will not just be localized to a specific region. This provides opportunity for ISEO in terms of creating the videos with other languages and cultures in mind and marketing the videos efficiently across varying markets.
A Little Video Strategy
In terms of search engine optimization, natural keyword and related term mentions should be included in the descriptions and tags of videos (no stuffing) and the video should of course be quality in terms of unique, compelling content that your customers and followers will be interested in. HTML5 functionality on Youtube pushing away from Flash will only increase true SEO value. The quality and uniqueness of the videos will be essential giving your audience members reasons to go to watch your content, and keep coming back for more.
Additionally, it is important that you leverage the video in different locations from YouTube channels and a Vimeo presence to placements on your site. You want your content in different locations in order to get your audience and customers in varying areas depending on how they access your site and information. Also, you want to make sure that you profile the videos on social media, making sure that the followers, fans, and friends all are exposed to the video and its messages pushing more traffic.
The internet is expansive and it reaches all corners of the globe, and thus most languages in use have found their way online to some degree. As such, it is a popular thought that businesses marketing both their presence and product online want to have language-specific sites in order to cater to specific audiences offering content that they can readily consume. This remains entirely true, however, the behavior of web users in relation to their language use and web searching looks a bit different than previously expected now, considering recent research by UK marketing firm Greenlight.
Their study of 500 consumers (70% were Europeans, 25% North Americans, 3% Asian, and 2% were from other regions) showed overwhelmingly that although people may prefer to speak a certain language or do so out of the norms within the culture in which they live, once online it is a different story. The figures are quite telling: 76% of all study respondents occasionally search on the web in more than one language. In Europe, more than 90% of consumers responded that they have searched in a language other than their dominant one – 100% in Belgium, Italy, and Spain.
The researchers point out that this is not surprising for countries such as Belgium which has three official languages, but it is more surprising for countries like Spain and Italy whose respective Spanish and Italian language use is fully dominant. The researchers say contends that this is an indication of English being a “quasi-official” language of Europe as that is the language that was seen as the common denominator. They also point to a previous Geenlight study that showed the country with the most web pages per person was the UK, signaling that there is simply more quality English webpages than those in other languages across Europe.
Opportunities Abound for Quality English AND Language-Specific Content
This brings to light the inherent differences in spoken versus written language and its use, particularly online. The reality is, once online, people can search and consume information with a degree of comfort that they likely would not have in conversing in the language in person. This presents opportunities for businesses to extend English content as well as that in specific languages catered to their markets. If the English content is compelling enough, people will come to it. By the same token, it presents the added opportunity to be different in catering to specific languages, making it more comfortable for people and showing your care and attention to consumers of that market.
Essentially, businesses can supply one kind of content, the other, or both. But in the end, my main recommendation is for businesses to cater to each specific market they are in (which I have written about before), but at the same time not shying away from English content that is available on separate sites or related pages (considering the survey results). With these pages, the businesses would want to make the conscious decision to have the language less complex for easier comprehension or fully developed as that may be more enjoyable for the users in terms of learning and language exposure.
The aims of the company would need to be weighed up in order to make this decision, which has implications for international search engine optimization as companies need to balance the different opportunities. ISEO and internet marketing agencies can assist in this process – reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen(at)webimax.com and @ryanwbudd for more information or connect with us through our contact page.
Here is a look at the percentages of web searching in a second language for the countries that had enough respondents to base conclusions off of:
- Belgium, 100%
- Spain, 100%
- Italy, 100%
- Portugal, 95%
- Netherlands, 94%
- Germany, 91%
- Canada, 44%
- United Kingdom, 42%
- United States, 35%
The domain landscape has been largely untouched for years now, but that is set to change come January. At the beginning of 2013, new top-level domains (TLDs) will be rolled out that expand the available domain options. The Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the organization that manages the Internet address system, announced its plan to expand domain offerings last year. For those not familiar, TLDs domains are the terms that come after the final period in a url address (e.g., .com, .org), only 22 of them exist besides the 250 country-specific TLDs. Now, ICANN approved 290 applications for new generic TLDs and expect more by the close of the first round of applications on April 12.
The plan to expand offerings has been met with great opposition from separate US-based and international trade, marketing, and advertising groups. They stand firm with the position that the cost of applying and registering the domains for branding purposes will cost companies a great deal of time and money, let alone frustration in dealing with the reportedly complex application process. The cost of initial application fees at $185,000 alone has priced out many SMBs from the process. Another cost issue is that of protecting your brand, if companies want to purchase domains to protect themselves from cybersquatters then that will only run costs higher for businesses. As such, larger corporations are the only ones that can compete on this level this early in the process as prices will come down in a possible second round of applications, especially with subdomains.
What Does this Mean for Businesses, SEO, & Branding?
In short, there shouldn’t be great changes to SEO, at least according to Google’s Matt. On his Google+ page he spoke to how the new TLDs will likely function in Google’s algorithm. What he says allows us to draw some prescriptive conclusions:
- New TLDS will not directly lead to greater authority and higher search rankings
- “Google will attempt to rank new TLDs appropriately,” with no preferential attention given to them for rankings in short-term or long-term – Matt Cutts
- TLDs offer value for branding purposes as companies can create domains that describe what they do, like a design company using .design or a subdomain that includes .design. Further, a business could use their name, like .Nike, or location, like .newyork to create close customer associations with the company and their industry or location. Buzz and publicity surrounding the first companies to do so would be beneficial as well.
- It is yet to be determined the impact on ISEO and SEO that new city and regional TLDs will have on geo-targeted searching. The likely impact though is that sites with a city or regional domain will be more relevant to searches either containing keywords related to that city or region, or originating from that location itself. This would follow the same geo-targeting process that is experienced currently on Google with country-coded TLDs. For how this impacts the UK, check out this blog post on our UK site.
Thank you for reading, and reach out to me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions or concerns regarding how the new TLDs are going to impact your business and how you can use them to your advantage.
Good morning or afternoon (depending on SEO hemisphere). A lot of good posts and discussion took place recently. Let’s tear into last week’s can of online marketing posts. You know you can’t read just one.
Our regular bloggers are at it on a daily-weekly basis, providing beginner insight on a number of SEO topics.
Ryan gives great insight, often from an international search engine optimization perspective. Ryan penned an insightful, three-part piece last week, addressing the changing landscape of search (and associated technology and implementations) and how a business can prepare
Jason writes from our SEOservices community on a range of online topics. He enjoys discussing SMO topics and platforms and tech trends.
Anthony aka Content Muse enjoys writing about content, branding, and reputation management, as well as about himself in third person.
Now, let’s branch out; we’re all in a larger community.
Of course, there was tons of great content not listed above. What would you like to bring to the community’s attention? Please contribute – enjoy the rest of your day.