Digital WoM

The Ultimate Guide to International SEO

International SEO


One thing that we’ve noticed over the last twelve months is that as more and more businesses shift their offering online there’s more competition than ever before. If you’ve got products or services which will be sold or extended in several markets and to those speaking, or searching, during a different language to your linguistic communication then you will be missing out by not implementing a full international SEO strategy

Part of pulling together an organic search (SEO) strategy is that you just assess the wants of the companies, the wants of the audience and also the potential to interrupt into new spaces. Neglecting a possible audience supported by their location may not be fatal in terms of your numbers but it should be that you just don’t achieve the expansion you expected, and worse still, you’ll ceed ground to your competitors.

Developing a robust international profile for your brand involves over just the creation and translation of articles, blogs and industry news pieces – that’s why you’ve got to integrate multilingual marketing solutions which are multifaceted and fit purpose from the offset.

Remember it’s not what you say, but how you say it. It’s long been the speculation that by simply translating text from one language to a different one you’re developing a global marketing presence. In today’s connected world, this couldn’t be farther from the reality.

In order to grasp the problems that face your business you need to have a combination of local knowledge which before starting your international SEO and ensure that it’s locally responsive whilst developing your international search visibility.

A good international SEO strategy ensures that search engines show users the proper content and within the right language of the web site, in line with the version they’re using. For instance, if users are located within Ireland, it’s fair to assume that they’re more likely to use the national version of Google (

A high performing strategy would therefore help Google Ireland ( show the pages of the web site that are relevant to those users, and would pile up the consumers and also the businesses based in Ireland. The search results would also show those businesses not based in Ireland but who can supply services and products to the country.

The second phase is to urge the language to be right. As an example, if somebody was in Ireland but their natural language was French, you’d want Google to point out to them the proper pages but translated to French, thus contributing to the enhancement of your online business performance and global reach. One amongst the most benefits for conducting international SEO or generating a method that lends itself to global expansion is foresight.

What is international SEO?

International SEO is that the process of optimizing your website in order that search engines can easily identify which countries you wish to focus on and which languages you employ for your business.

With more and more emphasis on data, tracking and site services and also the rise of mobile search there’s an argument that this is often} the long run of search which attending to the proper people once they are in your location can be a true aid to your business growth. If you recognize that a decent share of your website visitors come from a special country than where you’re located, speak different languages, or both, then it’s going to be time to form some changes to your website to make a stronger user experience (UX).International SEO is that the process of optimizing your website(s) to drive organic traffic from multiple regions (called multiregional SEO) and/or languages (called multilingual SEO).If you’re catering to people in Canada with an English and a French website, you’re doing multilingual SEO. If you’re catering to people within the US, Canada, UK, and Australia in English you’re doing multiregional SEO.

You can combine multilingual and multiregional SEO. For example: you’ll be catering to people in Canada in English and French, countries in France, and French speaking people within the Flanders region of Belgium.

Before we continue, let’s briefly recall what the tip goal of doing SEO is: driving organic traffic that incorporates a high potential to convert.

That last bit is very important, as that is the reason why loads and different SEOs leave money on the table when doing international SEO. If you would like to take in a lot of that money, stick with reading it!

Why is International SEO Important?

SEO is Google’s way of determining which websites need to rank highly for every query entered into its program. Without modern SEO, it might be very simple to control the search results in order that the location with the foremost links or the foremost pages—all easily generated by software—consistently ranked #1.

SEO is vital because it keeps the search results fair. It reduces the power to control these results the maximum amount possible, so the sites appearing for every search are there because they should be there. diligence and an internet site that appeals to visitors correlate with high computer program rankings, so if your site meets these criteria, you’ll have a much better chance at contact within the results.

Users trust search engines, and achieving a top spot in program rankings signals to searchers that your site may be a credible source. The higher you rank in results pages, the more clicks and traffic your site will generate. SEO also improves user experience, making it more likely for patrons to become repeat buyers.

And SEO is cost-effective. Competitive industries can spend large amounts of cash on paid website traffic. Of course, you’ll still purchase ad space, but if you’re working with a good budget, SEO may be a good way to drive qualified traffic to your site without directly paying for it.

Why do you have to care about international SEO?

International SEO will be an excellent way to grow a business, because international SEO may okay be in your competition’s blind spot.

In our own example, borders don’t matter. Everyone who wants to watch their website for on-page SEO changes and issues in real time can use Content King. whether or not they are in Brazil, the u. s., Japan, or Italy, it doesn’t matter.

For us, international SEO could be a no-brainer.

As you’ll know, the SEO tool space is very competitive. But, due to our international SEO strategy, we’ve managed to quickly gain market share by specializing in markets the prevailing players within the SEO tool space aren’t specializing in. The lesson here is: pick your battles!

Another example: one in all our customers sells bicycles and bicycle parts online. As they are a Dutch company, they started off catering to the Dutch market. Soon, they saw the large potential to start out selling across borders, so that they founded an English website focused on a people speaking market. Organic traffic started coming in. From the US, UK, and while far as Australia. (This presents all forms of new challenges, but we’ll get to it later.)

The takeaway here is: this business saw a chance. They gave it an endeavor with a comparatively low investment, and that they validated their gut feeling—there was a large demand. they had ambition and therefore the right background (The Netherlands—a typical cycling-centric country). and that they took Nike’s mantra to heart: they only did it.

How and why does international marketing differ from domestic marketing?

Whilst international marketing could be a specialism all on its own, it is often viewed as an extension of a company’s domestic marketing strategy that features a greater target the international consequences of higher cognitive process. This involves gaining an understanding of the new environments, contexts, and ways of thinking that may impact consumers, competitors and suppliers within the new market. Essentially, understanding the elemental similarities and differences between markets which will affect the worldwide marketing strategy.

As far as the traditional international marketing mix is concerned, there are 4 key points in mind which will drive the worldwide marketing strategy – product, pricing, placement, and promotion. Naturally these also are applicable for a global digital marketing strategy, but international expansion within the digital realm comes with additional considerations that require to be made. We’ll come onto these shortly.

Keyword Research for International SEO

The keywords you employ on your website will go an extended way towards determining how high it’ll rank on search engines. it’s common for people from a particular country to use similar keywords when looking for particular things. Thus, you would like to make sure that your website contains the correct keywords in order that when your targeted audience searches for the products or services that you provide, the program will find and show your website. to confirm that you simply are using the correct keywords, there are some handy analyses that you just should do concerning your targeted market.

First, you ought to check the final keywords that are associated with businesses with an internet presence. These are phrases that drive traffic to the homepage of an internet site. Once you compile a listing of the generic keywords utilized by people in your targeted market, you’ll then start making an inventory of keywords that match the category of your business. These keywords are more specific to your business, and that they can help increase the reach of your business to more of the folks that are trying to find it. If you’re handling products, you would like to incorporate keywords your customers look for regarding those products.

There are several tools online that you just can use when checking for the keywords that have the very best traffic online which are specific to your business and targeted audience. Google Trends is one such tool. it’ll show you the share of individuals during a region that searches for a selected keyword. you’ll be able to also use tools like SEMrush, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs and Lsigraph to search out keywords that are associated with those that are popularly searched. a number of these tools may even provide you with good suggestions on which keywords are best for your business.

Developing an SEO strategy

There are a series of questions that you just should call in order to urge the most effective from your strategy. They are:

  • Have you researched your international SEO potential?
  • How will you target the chosen audience?
  • Is it better for you to use a country-targeted or language-targeted approach?
  • Which is the absolute best international targeted site structure?
  • Have you used the hreflang tag to steer away from duplicate content?

With these questions in mind, let’s undergo them.


Any international SEO process should begin with an initial research process to validate both the place to begin and therefore the potential for every international market. this can show you where your focus should be and therefore the changes that you just must make so as to urge the foremost from international SEO.

The first step of the method is to establish your current international organic search visibility, moreover as your traffic, conversions, and conversion rate. you’ll be able to do that in an exceedingly large number of ways. By watching your place to begin and going into a platform like Google Analytics you may be able to identify the secondary countries and languages which are already providing organic search visibility and traffic for your website.

The answers that you just receive to the current query will show you if there’s already a possible market that you simply are missing and can highlight any demand you will have to fulfil.

From your base of where you rank certain terms following a period of keyword identification, you’ll be ready to ascertain answers to many questions. Identifying the quantity and trend over time of your organic search visibility and traffic coming from each country and language will allow you to focus on what opportunities are currently worth exploring. Doing similar research on competitors both in your native market and in international markets which you’re targeting will highlight new opportunities.

Asking which keywords and pages have attracted the best search visibility and traffic for every of the highest identified international market, will provide you with the long-term aims for a world SEO campaign. they’ll highlight the top of the market and something to aim for. viewing the stats and determining the organic search click through rate (CTR) and conversion rate of the visitors coming from each of the highest international markets will provide you with a real reflection on whether or not there’s a financial benefit to conducting SEO. it’ll tell you if the business and demand are there and whether or not you must target certain terms. you’ll answer these questions by analyzing your existing website with Google Analytics, using the “Geo” reports under the “Audience” section: Answering these questions will allow you to spot your top current international countries and languages markets and therefore the behavior and trend of your current international visitors coming from all of them. If you have already got a comparatively high organic search visibility with a positive trend or above-expected conversions, you may want to prioritize these markets and directly validate all of them for his or her organic search potential.

These will form the subsequent stage of a global SEO strategy as they offer you an opportunity to hit the bottom running. it’s better to run tests and expand in areas with some existing audience instead of ranging from zero.

If you identify that you simply have only minimum organic search visibility and traffic, it doesn’t mean that you simply shouldn’t take these markets into consideration for a possible international SEO process. It just means, if, within the next step, you discover that there’s enough organic search volume for them, your place to begin with them are going to be lower and you may need more resources and time to earn the specified search visibility.

After assessing the potential of every of the country and language markets you’re considering targeting (already identified within the previous step), then more keyword research is required. this can help to spot potential by collecting the subsequent data for every one amongst them:

  • Relevant keywords and phrases used as queries by your international audiences to go looking for your business, products, or services
  • Organic search volume for these keywords per country
  • Level of competition of the keywords per country
  • Your current rankings for these keywords within the target markets


When it involves search marketing there’s a good sort of tools which will be employed in order to assist you identify keywords, new users, existing audience and performance. The subsequent list represents a number of people who will be utilized across the industry and the way they will help.

Standing at the helm of the industry it’s no surprise that the overwhelming majority of these operating within the industry use Google Analytics as a place to begin. Google Analytics most generally wants to analyze website traffic offered by Google. It generates detailed statistics about website traffic, and where the traffic is coming from all whilst measuring conversions. Google Analytics is so dynamic it can track the visitors from any indicator, including search engines and thru social media networks. It even tracks visitors on to the location and thru links and referrals. Its popularity is additionally partly because of the actual fact it can display email marketing campaigns.

This is one amongst the foremost important tools to live the rankings from the relevant countries depending upon the visits and conversions. Offering a currency-setting for those looking to create sales abroad similarly as country and traffic visits, and cross-domain tracking, MOZ Rank Tracker is important. It allows the user to live on every international website you control for visits, average conversions, locations and therefore the source of the traffic by country. you’ll use the MOZ Keyword Difficulty tool to spot their competitive level, supporting the recognition and relevance of the competitors.

Once you have got the extent of competition, you’ll check your current rankings for the chosen keywords. (You may have already got this if these are keywords within the same language of your current site but targeting another country) To verify their rankings for the targeted markets, you’ll be able to use rank checkers like AuthorityLabs, Advanced Web Ranking, or, among many others.

One of the premier search marketing platforms, Searchmetrics encompasses a host of features which will be beneficial for those eager to not only form a global SEO strategy, except for people who want to review the strategy. The winners and losers section of the keyword results, shows you the degree of traffic for various terms likewise as what proportion each term weighs towards your search visibility. This can be beneficial for those looking to maneuver their campaigns forward and evolve as new terms become popular with the user.

It is vital that you simply should understand your international competitors’ strategies, link building strategies, and therefore the popularity gap your brand has with them. Through Social Crawlytics you’ll target their international preferences instead of specializing in trends, links, sources etc. It allows you to appear at their social profiles, most shared content, the terms used, and also the most used formats to work out what’s resonating along with your new potential audience.

This tool provides you information from Google Suggest, allowing you to pick from 11 countries and 6 languages, and you’ll be able to use it to urge additional ideas for your audience queries.

With a “Top Sites” list, it allows you to spot the websites with the very best traffic of any country and sector, supplying you with your potential competitors for every international market. It also features a profile for every of the listed websites, including information about their top organic search keywords and search traffic channels which will be used for your keyword research.

SEMrush could be a keyword finding tool where you’ll be able to find all the keywords relevant to your search, and you’ll be able to search a bulk of keywords in any language and country that you just are targeting. It’s a good additional source of keywords (supporting 25 countries) because it allows you to look for ideas and volume not only with a keyword but also any website.

For this, you’ll use the websites identified with SimilarWeb as your potential competitors for every country. Another consideration is that you just will need language support so as to accurately develop this keyword research, whether or not it’s your own language in an exceedingly different country, thanks to localization.

Advanced International SEO Tips

Many businesses find it difficult to rank for his or her key terms in their chosen market place and it’s no wonder that numerous neglect the thought of investing in international SEO. Many are deferred also by big businesses who scare the competition in foreign markets because of their nature as a longtime brand or through their additional spend, which is usually far higher.

Then there’s the more heavily saturated industries like legal, insurance, finance or marketing where there is such a large amount of vying for the amount one spot for similar keywords you’ll see why the overwhelming majority of spend stays within the primary market. Another thing to think about when it involves international SEO is what you wish to try and do following a successful strategy.

Ask yourself whether you’ll be able to deliver your products or services to a global market and delve into the business based questions that require answering such as:

  • Have you got the means to ship products?
  • Will you wish to speculate within the logistics arm of the business?
  • What will your international SEO spend be and the way does this compare to the possible ROI for international SEO?
  • Are you allowed to exchange with certain countries?
  • What additional costs does one have to cover when trading abroad (translators, sales teams, logistics etc.)?
  • What does one have to neutralize terms of pricing in relevance currency fluctuations?

As we alluded to at the beginning of this post, international SEO is instrumental in helping businesses get found online and ensuring visitors remain once they land on your site. If you have got the right content within the correct format, and you’ll communicate your products and services within the preferred language of the user then you’re within the very best position to form conversions and improve your ROI.

Whatever you are doing, don’t make your international SEO strategy an afterthought; it should be a part of your planning process from the instant you choose to expand internationally.

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