It's no secret that the USA recruitment market is booming post-pandemic. With a largely untapped industry within the US compared to the UK, we're seeing more and more brands taking advantage of the surge in vacancies and placements across the pond.
The US economy added 916,000 jobs in March as the vaccine rollout took effect on the hiring market. With the tech sector maintaining strong growth throughout the pandemic, other industries are now catching up. The USA has recently seen a rise in manufacturing, pharmacy, and construction.
However, with this rise in jobs came a pause in hiring as businesses struggled to find enough workers. This labour shortage leaves a huge gap and opportunity for recruitment agencies to help the market find the right employees.
At Venn, we work with a wide range of global recruiters specialising in everything from tech to life sciences. With 10+ years of experience developing international strategies, we understand the importance of treating each new market carefully, maintaining and optimising a brand's digital assets.
There's never been a better time to expand your business into the USA market, and we're here to help you grow effectively. Using our expert knowledge of recruitment sites, functionality, and international SEO, we go through the top considerations for businesses expanding into international markets.
What is international SEO?
International SEO is the key to thriving online in a new market. Some businesses assume that their website will simply follow suit building them visibility in a new country when they expand into a new location. Unfortunately, this is not the case. To attract the right users, improve brand reputation and appear visible in search in different countries, technical SEO must be optimised.
A successful international strategy begins with an optimised international site. A carefully considered technical SEO strategy should be at the forefront of this.
"For our customers that have expanded into the US we used to see this make up, on average, 25% of their annual turnover. Now, for many of our customers, this has tipped to over 50% of their annual income and placing increasing importance on having a presence in the US market. Building a team 'on the ground' is costly and time-consuming, so usually the website is the biggest representative of the brand until they have their offices and team set-up."
- Leah Tillyer, Operations Director at Venn.
Venn’s International SEO Checklist
1) Country folder set-up
Your country folder set-up has a huge influence on the search engine results page and your businesses rankings. When creating a new country folder, it's important to get the domain structure correct and consistent.
Domain Strategies include:
- Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs)
- Subfolders or subdirectories
- Locale-Adaptive (Dynamic)
The domain structure should be at the start of your strategy because this will decide how the website structure will look at the end. Whether it's www.example.co.uk (ccTLD), www.example.com/uk/ (subdirectory) or www.uk.example.com (subdomain).
With multiple domain strategies available, businesses need to understand what they are, how they compare, and the costs associated with each option. For example, when going with the Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLDs), there is a cost factor related to buying extra server space. Depending on the size of your business, this cost may be relatively cheap. You can find more information on domain structures and the pros and cons of each here.
2) URL sub-folder structures
Sub-folder URL structures for a website, mean anything after the .com or .com/uk/, depending on what your set-up is.
For example, with our clients Medusa 19, we've gone down the localised translated route.
https://www.medusa19.com/es/prueba-rapida-de-proteina-en-saliva/ is the Spanish equivalent for; https://www.medusa19.com/en/rapid-saliva-protein-test/.
In US markets, this option may not apply because English is the first language. However, brands need to consider and understand the options as they continue to expand globally.
The second option is to go with standard English as the URL sub-folder structure.
It's easy, quick, and saves you a lot of time and effort in the long run to maintain and manage your website.
There is no hard and fast rule for each. Yes, having a localised URL subfolder structure looks better for each market and will have some slight benefit from a search perspective, however the bigger the company the more unmanageable it can get.
3) Localised copy & content
Whilst localised copy is more important for non-English speaking markets, for the US you would have to factor in localised nuanced keywords. This includes considering different spelling, local keyword research and search behaviour.
Knowing the market and the search behaviour is key for the site to become a success. We recommend conducting keyword research to know how the audience is searching and the search volumes behind it. From this, you will be able to define the structure/layout and content strategy for the US market.
4) HREFLang tags
HREFLang tags are another important factor in any SEO International Strategy.
"The hreflang attribute tells Google which language you are using on a specific page, so the search engine can serve that result to users searching in that language."
It will help to show the equivalent page in another market, so wherever the user is searching from, the correct content will be served in that market. And yes, our CMS can do this for you when doing international SEO builds.
5) Google my business creation
To create your physical presence within the market it is important to utilise the Google My Business Tool.
This is step is even if it is just a PO Box, so you can associate yourself with a physical location and get your business verified for that specific market. Improve your reputation, optimise your brand search results, and enhance your presence within that market using this simple tool.
6) Google Analytics set-up
Now you've got your website set up for a new market, how are you tracking its performance?
When creating a new country folder, either adopt the existing tracking code on the current site for the new site or use an entirely new GA tracking code for the US country folder. This will allow you to effectively analyse and monitor the traffic to the site, based on location.
7) Google search console set-up
Whatever set-up you choose, it's always best practice setting up a new google search console profile and submitting the new site sitemaps.
This tool will give you insights into how the website operates in different countries, supporting your ongoing international targeting SEO strategy.
When expanding into new markets, international SEO is the key to success. We support brands at every stage of the journey. Whether you're are looking to optimise your existing international site, or just beginning your global domination.
Working closely with our Strategist and SEO Manager, our clients benefit from a wide range of knowledge and experience within the international recruitment space. We understand the importance of doing things right to achieve your goals, so if you're looking to take on your next venture, we are here to support you.