International SEO

international seo strategy

International SEO

Last updated on December 15th, 2023 at 12:36 pm

What is Global SEO? And How to Make the Best of It in 2024

Curious about international SEO?

It’s like the geolocation of SEO, where you optimize your website to reach different countries and languages.

Without further ado, let’s dive into the exciting world of international SEO and understand what is it, how it differs from local SEO and how is it useful.

We’ll also explore the major factors that influence international SEO and the best international SEO practices.

Starting from the basics.

What is International SEO?

International SEO involves the process of optimizing your website to ensure that search engines comprehend the specific countries and languages you intend to target.

Think of international SEO as the geolocation of SEO.

Instead of focusing on attracting traffic from your local area, you optimize your website to reach different countries and cater to various languages.

But then, how is it different from local SEO?

International SEO vs Local SEO

The distinction between local and international SEO lies primarily in the scale of operation. The four key factors that differentiate local SEO from international SEO are:

Cost: International SEO requires significant financial investment due to its larger scale and broader scope compared to local SEO.

Content: To achieve international reach, you’ll need to produce a substantially higher volume of content compared to what would be necessary for a local SEO strategy.

Capture: International SEO expands your target market.

Competition: Instead of competing primarily with local businesses, you may find yourself up against multinational corporations and global players.

Wondering why should we use international SEO?

How is International SEO Useful?

Google and other search engines are putting more and more focus on customizing content based on languages and various geographic locations.

By adopting international SEO, you can tailor your website and content to the user’s language and location.

But diving in a little deeper, here’s why you should consider international SEO:

Increased exposure: Implementing an international SEO strategy can enhance the visibility of your products or services in worldwide markets.

Expansion of consumer base: By targeting international markets through SEO, you can effectively broaden your consumer base, resulting in an increase in conversions.

Competitive advantage: By tailoring your content specifically for specific regions, you can tap into market segments that your competitors might be overlooking.

Enhanced brand recognition: Implementing international SEO practices helps you position your brand as a global player in the market and increases brand recognition.

Factors That Affect International SEO

There are various factors that can influence your international SEO performance. The most common ones being:

Customer Reviews: Positive reviews create a stronger association with your primary keyword, leading to improved visibility in search results.

Mobile Responsiveness: It’s essential to ensure that your website delivers an excellent user experience across different devices and locations.

Consider using a reliable content delivery network (CDN) that can provide optimal website performance globally.

Google My Business Account: It allows Google to gather geographic and language metadata, enhancing the search engine’s understanding of your site’s relevance to different regions.

Link Building: The more high-quality links you have from reputable international sources, the better your SEO performance.

Things to Know Before Targeting International SEO

There is no doubt that international SEO requires tedious efforts and investment. So here are some factors to consider before you jump on the bandwagon.

1. The Target Market

The international SEO approach and investment required may vary depending on the specific region you are targeting.

For instance, if you have plans to target China, it’s important to note that Baidu is the dominant search engine in that region.

2. The Target Language & Country

If your goal is to reach a wide-ranging audience regardless of their location, language optimization can be an effective strategy.

On the other hand, if you aim to enhance brand awareness in a particular region, country-based SEO is the recommended approach.

3. The Localization Factors

Localization involves optimizing your website and content to align with the language and cultural nuances of the local audience.

First and foremost, it is crucial to ensure the accuracy of translated keywords and slogans.

Direct translations can lead to misinterpretations and potentially harm your brand image.

Secondly, keep in mind that the terminology used to describe your business may vary across different languages.

4. Building Local Links

You would need to

  • Write articles for local blogs
  • Get sponsored mentions on websites
  • Connect with local social media influencers
  • Sponsor local events

5. The Social Media Question

Although, Google has explicitly mentioned that social sharing sites do not directly impact international SEO rankings.

But, having a robust social media presence can still contribute to building brand awareness and establishing connections with local influencers.

6. The Keyword Strategy

Your current keywords help you rank in the top 5 locally. However, because of the high competition you need to rework the strategy.

Additionally, it is important to analyze the usage of these keywords, their rankings, and consider if there are any alternative keywords that could potentially yield more favorable results.

7. The Right Tools & Talent

If you’re not familiar with SEO and the tools required to pull off a strategy, then you might have to hire talent.

But, do you have the right tools and talent?

Tools for International SEO

To make the most out of your international SEO efforts, utilizing the appropriate tools can greatly enhance your results.

Here are some widely used tools you can consider:

Analytics Tools: Tools like Google Analytics provide comprehensive data on your website’s performance, including visitor demographics, traffic sources, and user behavior.

Keyword Research Tools: Tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz Keyword Explorer can help you identify high-performing keywords in different regions, languages, and search engines.

Rank Tracking Tools: Tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Moz Pro allow you to track keyword rankings in various locations, track competitor performance, and gain valuable insights to refine your approach.

Localization Tools: Localization tools such as Smartling or Transifex can streamline the translation and adaptation process for your website content, ensuring accurate and culturally relevant messaging.

Backlink Analysis Tools: Majestic, Moz Link Explorer, or Ahrefs can help you analyze your backlinks, assess their quality, and discover opportunities for building authoritative links from international sources.

Well, there are many tools to produce better results. Some of them are website score checker, plagiarism checker, content audit and LinkedIn marketing tools.

The question is:

How to do international SEO?

International SEO Best Practices

Now that you know everything about international SEO, here are some best international practices to follow.

1. Determine Your Market Approach

Tailoring your SEO strategy to international markets requires careful consideration of your company’s goals and target customers.

If you cater to diverse language-speaking audiences, a language-based segmentation strategy is recommended.

On the other hand, for varied products or services across international markets, a country-by-country approach with individualized websites is required.

2. Conduct Market Research

Before implementing an international SEO strategy, it’s crucial to identify your potential buyer personas and understand their preferences.

Conduct keyword research and explore channels that your target demographics use to discover products.

3. Analyze Competitor Strategies

Evaluate the SEO, content marketing, and paid advertising tactics employed by your potential competitors.

It will help you uncover untapped opportunities in specific markets or languages.

4. Answers Local Queries

One key aspect of international SEO is speaking the same language as your customers.

It’s vital to conduct research to ensure that you consistently provide answers in their native language and in a context that resonates with their cultural nuances.

5. User Experience

International SEO also involves ensuring a seamless user experience across your entire website.

This includes multilingual form fillings, displaying prices in local currency, and offering multimedia assets that feature native speakers.

6. Prioritize Target Audiences

When expanding globally, focus on targeting one additional audience at a time.

This phased approach allows you and your team to gain valuable experience and momentum in international SEO.

7. Carefully Translate Existing Content

Literal translation tools may not capture the true essence of your content for locals.

Instead, focus on “transcreation,” which involves recreating content using the cultural and linguistic nuances of your target market as a guide.

8. Optimize Your Website Language

Ensure that each page on your website uses the correct language, whether you choose country-specific subdomains or a single domain with subfolders.

This sends a clear signal to search engines about the location-specific relevance of your content and enhances the user experience for local visitors.

9. Avoid Automatic IP-Based Redirects

Automatically redirecting visitors based on their IP addresses may seem convenient, but it can be frustrating for users and confusing for search engines.

Instead, inform visitors and search engines about alternative versions of a page through banners or messages with links.

10. Adapt Topics to Local Cultures

Tailor your country-specific pages to the interests and preferences of the local audience.

For example, Australians may not find American fashion or politics particularly engaging.

Create content that is specific and valuable to the demographic of visitors to each country-specific site.

11. Develop a Market-Specific Link-Building Strategy

Similar to local SEO, the value of inbound links varies based on their origin.

To signal relevance to specific countries, aim to acquire high-quality inbound links from domains associated with those countries.

Developing a strong link-building strategy for each market will have the most significant impact on search results.

12. Consider other SEO Signals

In addition to the aforementioned best practices, other SEO signals can indicate your website’s relevance to specific countries.

These include:

  • Hosting your site on a local IP address
  • Incorporating local content links
  • Improving search engine rankings on country-specific platforms like Yandex in Russia or Baidu in China

FAQ(s) About International SEO

Measuring the success of international SEO efforts involves tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) specific to each target market like:

  • Website traffic from different countries
  • Analyzing organic search rankings and visibility in country-specific search engines
  • Assessing engagement metrics
  • Evaluating conversion rates and revenue generated from international markets

Local content creation is crucial in international SEO as it helps establish relevance and connection with the target audience in different countries.

By producing localized content, businesses can address specific cultural nuances, preferences, and language variations.


International SEO plays a pivotal role in expanding businesses’ reach and success in global markets.

By optimizing websites for different countries, languages, and cultures, businesses can enhance their visibility, attract a broader audience, and gain a competitive edge.

However, navigating the complexities of international SEO requires expertise and careful planning.

So, get in touch with a professional SEO get ahead of the competition.

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