The Essential Guide to International SEO

4 mn read

International SEO can be smartly defined as an SEO tool for optimizing international websites to determine the target country and language for the website. This could help any business looking to break into the maximum markets possible with their website with an untested potential.

Market Research

It is essential to mention that you must always have a complete idea of your market competitors regardless of your website’s global scale and potential. It is easy to figure out the local entities competing with you to expand their business in the online market. However, when it comes to the international market, the picture is entirely different 

Are You Ready Logistically?

If you aim to do business in foreign markets, you should have your business structure nailed down to the dot and be ready to trade. You must have the system running to attend enquiries, business prospects, calls, complaints and all. This necessarily means that your business must have suitable local phone numbers, native speakers, distributors to work on the international delivery times, calls and emails and costs etc. This goes without saying that your logistical set up should be equally efficient and seamless since local reviews will be critical.


When it comes to penetrating the foreign markets, you must make sure that you have all the relevant and fitting information for the target audience. When you should leverage the currency, time zone and local language with the contact information like phone numbers and addresses, your business will be effectively signalling the consumers that they are in the ideal place for their demands. 

Moreover, you must pay special attention to cultural difference when developing your content and design. There’s no denying that different regions will have different takes on your designs, layout, colour, and style of humour. When you make a special effort to dedicate the website to their taste, you make it explicitly clear that it is for them. This will immediately increase your chances of converting those prospects into customers.

Furthermore, it is noteworthy to mention that a strategically executed international and Local SEO should go under the users’ radar. Ideally, they will be exposed to relevant content, both in their language and in their regional backdrop. Additionally, you must not take Google Translate into account when establishing a communicative channel with prospective leads. 

If you are stepping into a broader market, you must be ready to face fresh challenges and issues different from the existing domestic market. You must take reference from this possibility when developing your content. You must ensure that the content contains relevant, engaging and compelling information to your target demographic. To put it simply, you must channel your content to endorse your business’s value in its terms.

Website Structure Choices for International SEO

Definitively speaking, if you are developing a business website for the global market, you must choose from any of the three main website structure options: 

  • Country-Coded Top-Level Domains (Cctlds)
  • Subdomains
  • Subdirectories

International Link Building

You must concentrate on the technical aspect of the international SEO you are implementing. In this respect, link building holds a prominent position that you must not overlook. They are critical if your business websites are structured with sub-domains and ccTLDs. Here’s a detailed breakdown of benefits that link building brings on to the table.

  • Determining the location of the server
  • Determining the suitable structure for your website
  • Picking the ideal hreflang implementation

International Targeting In A Nutshell

It is essential to mention that you must adopt different approaches when it comes to targeting international markets. Briefly speaking, if you are aiming for a particular region, you must consider employing a ccTLD. However, if you zero on a language targeting only, this solution won’t serve you well. This is because a ccTLD is highly suited for targeting particular geographic regions like countries. 

Hence, if you are looking for appropriate solutions for language targeting, you could explore different internationalization options such as employing subfolders, hreflang or subdomains instead of combining with a ccTLD.

Website Structure

It would be best if you had your purpose for the website chalked out inside your head before determining the website’s structure. You could be targeting either a country or a language for your business. Moreover, you could be targeting a country that borrows their language; in that regard, language targeting will seem the only viable option. Similarly, if you are looking at a particular region, you must rely on country targeting instead of superior results. 

Local Hostings

It is essential to mention that the location of your server will influence the ranking of your website on search engines. Simply put, a remote server will provide slow speed, which can spoil the user’s experience.

Hreflang Implementation

As explained already, if you can successfully execute international SEO by bringing in a professional SEO company, you will ensure that users worldwide will visit your website to enjoy relevant country or language-specific content. This is where hreflang annotations step into the picture. Hreflang can be skilfully utilised to cross-reference pages that share identical content but have different audiences. There’s no denying that improper hreflang implementation can significantly affect your search engine rankings along with the overall user experience.

In conclusion, it’s only fair to claim that SEO is a time-consuming process, although it pays back short-term quick win goals. If you have a competent SEO company on support, you can develop a long-term strategy that will effectively contribute to the benefit of your website and, in turn, your business in time. However, when it comes to international SEO, you should make special adjustments to ensure that every nation has its dedicated strategy.

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