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Going International? Here’s What You Need To Know For Your Glocal SEO

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Going International? What You Need To Know For Your Glocal SEO

Everything SEO is on point in your enterprise – when it comes to your home market. Time for a big decision: It’s time to go international.

You hire professionals to get your keywords translated. Everything works well at home, so direct translation is your bet. That’s a common first mistake, as your foreign audiences don’t just speak another language.

They also use language differently, search differently – maybe even for different things. Or they look for different things in the same products. This is where even your product management comes into play!

In other words: Your future international customers are not only from different countries. The cultural backgrounds of your global audiences are diverse, and their needs may be different. When it comes to content formats, for instance, your international audiences may have preferred styles and possibly even search engines.

This is where glocal SEO comes into play.

Whats Glocal SEO?

Glocal SEO is a simple idea with an incredibly complex execution. We’re combining the words global and local because executing global SEO requires a unique local SEO strategy for each location. “Global” feels bigger and separate from local SEO, but the truth is that global SEO is made up of many different local SEO campaigns.

There’s a lot to consider when entering a new market, so let’s make sure you don’t miss out on anything!

Local Competitors: A Global Concern For Your Business

Your target audiences may already live in fruitful relationships – with very local vendors you may not ever have heard of. More likely than not, this will be somebody who’s not on your list of global or domestic competition.

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It all comes down to a local content gap analysis. Local keyword research is only a part of it – albeit an important one.

Always keep in mind that this doesn’t mean a mere translation of your keywordsEach market needs its own keyword analysis from scratch, as thoroughly as you did for your home market. And with the same – local! – expertise.

“Each market needs its own keyword analysis from scratch, as thoroughly as you did for your home market.”

This also comprises an analysis of the local services available to each audience – and of their respective local ranking (which may surprise you). It can’t be stressed enough that these often rather small, very local competitors can be completely different across regions.

In other words: You need local language and local marketing expertise not just to translate your content, but also to perform competitor research. You need to understand the environment and the culture you’re moving into, and that goes much beyond word-for-word translation.

Learn From The Locals

Once you know about local competitors, dig deeper:

  • What do they offer that you don’t (yet)? What are their best ranking content formats?
  • Do they use videos successfully? How are those structured?
  • Are they focused on picture carousels? Blog posts? Of what kind?
  • And of course: What are their most successful keywords?

All of these aspects provide the most valuable information for your own strategy in each locale; audit your own content for the respective market in comparison – and be honest to yourself: Is your approach to the targeted audience really on point?

Let’s look at how different priorities are among cultures, even when just searching for a “dress”.

We compared the top five rankings of short- and midterm keywords used in Portugal vs. Germany (Semrush rounds the absolute numbers, so that they only seem to be identical on various ranks. Please also bear in mind the different sizes of the countries, thus the different scales of volume):

Acolad’s comparison of most popular short- and mid term keywords for ”dress” searches, Portugal vs. Germany.Image created by Acolad, June 2022.

Now, draw your conclusions:

  • Can you proceed based on the foreseen content, just optimizing it?
  • Do you need to create new, targeted content from scratch – possibly in new formats?

A Video Is A Video Is A Video? No – Do Your Glocal SEO First!

Let’s say your local expert provided you with insights indicating a need for more video content: Don’t just hop on the bandwagon and convert any written content to text bits moving on the screen.

Instead, get a deep analysis of which video formats are performing well among your target group for each respective market: Can they be more text-based, or does your regional audience prefer human interaction? What should the dress code be for the protagonists? Could you possibly need local actors?

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Do you rather intend to cater a region that demands video formats with high interactivity, such as instant commenting, directly on the screen – as in China, for instance?

Do you need to go live, seizing the opportunity for flash sales? Or may you rank better with how-to videos, directly linked to your products?

The same thorough local analysis needs to be done for each format identified as more valuable for your target group – at each locale.

Consider How Audience-Specific Channels & Content Formats Are

Always keep in mind that how you leverage channels and different content formats may need to change when you go international. Once again: The marketing wisdom from home may not be applicable abroad.

Even how to present a blog post to your audiences depends on their preferences: Do you cater to a market that requires a lot of visual support?

If so, would they rather connect via photos of people they can identify with, for example – or do they prefer the logical support of diagrams? What are their cultural implications of certain colors?

Do they need information presented in very “digestible” forms such as catchy bullet points, or do you have to provide thorough reasoning to earn their trust?

Are they rooted in a competitive society that always strikes for efficiency honoring Top Ten/Five/Three lists?

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Do they easily relate to information when brought across personally, via an interview? Which tone do they prefer: rather formal? Or do you blend in more naturally with an informal approach?

Glocal SEO means treating each region and audience as unique.

Localization experts can help you understand how audiences interact with different channels and formats in your target locations – even when there are cultural differences and different digital marketing frameworks to consider. That’s why you need localization experts, not just translators.

Glocal SEO Needs Both: Technology & Local Expertise

All related questions can be answered with data; but it takes expertise to filter what’s relevant, interpret it right, and convert the findings into local, successful content.

It takes the right technology; Semrush is just an example. But don’t be fooled: No technology is smarter than the person using it. This is where true experts can shine.

Thanks to their local cultural insight, they will:

  • Find the information that matters for your purposes.
  • Validate the data about your target market and interpret it right.
  • Enrich it and predict future trends.

If your product line is a very specialized one, make sure your local SEO specialist is familiar with your product range, as well! The same goes for the local linguists who will be recreating your content for each respective market.

Why Glocal SEO Needs A Say In Your Technical Approach

Even technical approaches differ among regions. In some Asian markets, for example, you may rather completely swap your website for micro sites, integrated into the apps of leading local portals.

Other locales call for your own apps; often as a complementary option, sometimes rather as an alternative. Everything depends on the individual combination of your sociological target group, their locale, and your product.

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The Wrong Payment Method Can Cost Your Business

Last but not least: even with perfectly localized content and channels, you can’t create any sales if you don’t adapt the payment options just as well! Believe it or not, neither MasterCard nor Visa work everywhere.

There are countries where you don’t even need to think about generating sales without being integrated into payment options of domestic portals that host your content. Checkout via apps has become practically mandatory in many countries – but which system does your local target group trust?

Many audiences are very particular about the payment services they use. Some of them won’t even accept anything but purchase on account!

As essential as the adaptation to local payment customs is for localization and overall business, in-house SEO departments easily tend to forget about it.

Glocal SEO Is A Matter Of Experts

The domestic SEO team does a fantastic job when comprised of the most skilled SEO experts for the home market.

But when growing across borders, there’s no “one size fits all” approach. Even the most perfect native strategy needs to be tailored, specifically for each market.

For your SEO, this means: When going international, you need to go local. With local SEO experts.

That’s what glocal SEO is all about. It takes experience and a worldwide network. Get the best experts on board – for the optimal ROI of your hard work!

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Top 6 Free Survey Maker Tools For Marketers

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Top 6 Free Survey Maker Tools For Marketers

The number of online surveys has risen dramatically in the past decade, according to the Pew Research Center.

From short social media polls to lengthy feedback forms, it’s never been easier to survey your target audience and find out what exactly they’re thinking.

When it comes to free survey makers, you have plenty of options to choose from.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is you have to wade through your options to figure out the best survey tool for you.

In this article, I’ve done that dirty work for you.

Below I outline the top six free survey makers, with a simple bulleted list of their pros and cons, so you can quickly select the best one for your needs.

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But first up, the caveats.

What You’re Missing With Free Survey Makers

When something’s free, there’s usually a catch. The same goes for free survey makers.

Free survey tools, or the free plan offered by a paid survey tool, often come with the following limitations:

  • Limited export options. You may not be able to export your survey data for review in Excel or Google Sheets. There may be a PDF-only export option or no export ability at all.
  • Limited analytics. Free survey tools often skimp on the analytics. You may be left to your own pivot tables and Excel expertise if you want to create anything fancy from your survey data.
  • Limited survey functionality. This runs the gamut, from a limit on how many respondents or questions you can have per survey, to only allowing so many question types (e.g., multiple-choice, long-form, etc.).
  • Limited extra perks. By perks, I mean those other features that make software from good to great. With survey makers, that might mean easy-to-access support, the ability to embed surveys in email or webpages, multiple user accounts, or integration with other email marketing or CRM software.
  • No branding. Free survey makers give you their tools for free. In return, you provide them with free brand awareness. Don’t expect to be able to swap out their logo for your own. You’ll probably be stuck with their branding, along with a prominent link to their site throughout the survey or on the thank you page (or both).

If any of the above is a dealbreaker for you, you should plan to drop a little dough on a paid survey tool. That’s why I’ve also included the starting price for all six of the tools featured below.

In case you end up having to upgrade later, it’s easier to do so from a tool you’re already familiar with.

Top 6 Free Survey Tools

Without further ado, I present the best free survey makers you’ll find today. These are listed in no particular order.

1. Google Forms

Screenshot by author, June 2022

Do you live and die by your Google Drive?

Great news: Google also offers free survey software via Google Forms.

Alright, I know I just said these were presented in no particular order, but I’ll openly admit Google Forms is my personal favorite. Just look at all of the features they include in their free plan!

All you need is a free Google account to get started.

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Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • Unlimited questions.
  • Unlimited responses.
  • Export to Google Sheets.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Ability to embed images and YouTube videos.
  • Ability to embed the survey on your website and share to social media.
  • Survey analytics, updated in real-time.
  • Integration with Google Docs, Sheets, Slides.
  • Unlimited collaborators.
  • Customizable survey templates.
  • Free branding.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Enhanced security and collaboration options.
  • Integration with your existing Google Workplace account.

Price: Completely free. Google Workplace pricing starts at $6 per user per month.

Best for: Anyone and everyone, for business or casual use.

2. SurveyMonkey

surveymonkeyScreenshot by author, June 2022

SurveyMonkey is the online survey tool. Established in 1999, it’s still the most well-known online survey software.

Despite the limitations of its free plans, SurveyMonkey continues to be popular thanks to its intuitive interface and brand recognition. Notable clients include Allbirds, Tweezerman, and Adobe.

One nice perk is that you can test out any of the paid features with your free plan. (You just won’t be able to actually use it in your live survey until you pay up.)

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • 10 questions.
  • 15 question types.
  • 100 responses per survey.
  • Over 250 customizable survey templates.
  • Ability to embed the survey on your website.
  • Mobile app.
  • One user.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited questions, question types, and responses.
  • Data exports – this is a biggie!
  • Custom branding.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Team collaboration.
  • Advanced security (single sign-on, HIPAA compliance).
  • A/B testing.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $16 per month for individuals, $25 for teams.

Best for: Those who want a tried-and-true survey maker with all the features you could ask for.

3. Typeform

typeformScreenshot by author, June 2022

Many online survey tools are designed for the general public.

Readers of Search Engine Journal will be happy to hear that there’s a survey tool created just for us. Typeform was built specifically with marketers, UX researchers, and business owners like us in mind.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

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  • Unlimited surveys.
  • 10 questions per survey.
  • 10 responses per month.
  • Basic question types.
  • Basic reporting and analytics
  • Ability to embed the survey on your website.
  • Integrations with MailChimp, HubSpot, Trello, Google Sheets, Zapier, and more.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited questions and responses.
  • Custom thank you screen.
  • Custom branding.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Team collaboration.
  • Ability to accept payment.
  • Ability for survey respondents to upload files.
  • Integration with Facebook pixel and Google Tag Manager.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $29 per month.

Best for: Enterprise users, UX researchers, and marketers hoping to track customer behavior.

4. Zoho Survey

zoho surveyScreenshot by author, June 2022

Zoho Survey is part of the same Zoho suite of apps that caters to sales, HR, IT, finance, and virtually any kind of business user you can think of.

Given their tenure creating SaaS software for business, their survey tool is just as robust as you might expect. Customers include big names like Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, and Change.org.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • 10 questions per survey.
  • 100 responses per survey.
  • Ability to embed surveys in email or website, or share to social media.
  • Export to PDF.
  • 250 survey templates.
  • Password protection and HTTPS encryption.
  • One user.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited questions and responses.
  • Ability to export to XLS or CSV.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Custom branding.
  • Team collaboration.
  • Real-time responses.
  • Multilingual surveys.
  • Integration with Google Sheets, Tableau, Shopify, Zendesk, Eventbrite, and others.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $25 per month.

Best for: Zoho users, or anyone who needs an extra level of security for their surveys.

5. Alchemer

alchemer survey makerScreenshot by author, June 2022

Alchemer is an advanced survey maker developed for the enterprise client.

Paid features include custom coding so you can customize every single element of your survey, from the survey URL to the form logic.

They stand out among free survey makers for being one of the few (besides Google Forms) to offer unlimited questions and Excel exports in their free plan. Clients include Disney, Salesforce, Verizon, and The Home Depot.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Three surveys at a time.
  • Unlimited questions.
  • 100 responses.
  • 10 question types.
  • Export to Excel.
  • Customizable templates.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • Unlimited responses.
  • Unlimited question types.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Custom branding.
  • Ability to embed surveys in websites.
  • Export to PDF, PowerPoint, or Word.
  • Ability for survey respondents to upload files.
  • Survey analytics and reporting.
  • Ability to accept payment.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $49 per month.

Best for: Enterprise users needing to create long surveys with advanced logic and question types.

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6. Jotform

jotform survey makerScreenshot by author, June 2022

With over 10,000 templates, Jotform takes the cake as the survey maker with the most form templates on our list.

Jotform also stands out for letting you accept payments with the free plan (although you’re limited to 10).

This popular survey maker includes clients as wide-ranging as AMC and Nickelodeon to Redfin and the American Medical Association.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Five surveys.
  • 100 questions per survey.
  • 100 responses per survey.
  • Ability to embed surveys in email or website.
  • Export to PDF or Excel.
  • 10,000 survey templates.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • Unlimited questions and responses.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Custom branding.
  • HIPAA compliance.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $29 per month.

Best for: Users who want a template for every kind of survey possible.

Which Survey Tool Will You Use?

There truly is a survey maker for everybody.

The above options are all solid choices. Which one works for you may depend on your organization’s needs and your personal preferences.

Take advantage of the free trials and see which one you like best.

More Resources:

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Featured Image: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock



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