Last Updated on February 21, 2023 by SWHA
International SEO is the process of optimizing a website for users in multiple countries. This includes optimizing website content, structure, and on-page elements for search engines in different countries. It also involves creating country-specific landing pages and optimizing website architecture for different languages. It is a complex process, but can be extremely beneficial for businesses with a global audience.
When done correctly, it can help a website rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) in multiple countries. This can lead to increased traffic and higher conversion rates. Additionally, it can help a business build trust and credibility with users in different countries.
When it comes to ranking in search engines, international SEO is a whole different ball game. If you want your website to rank in Google for search queries in other countries, you need to take a different approach than you would for domestic SEO. Here are 15 best practices for international SEO to help you get started.
1. Do your research
As the world increasingly becomes more connected, businesses are looking to expand their reach by targeting new markets overseas. However, with different languages and cultures, international SEO can be a challenge. Here are some tips to help you get started.
a. Understand the search landscape.
Each country has its own unique search landscape. For example, Google is the most popular search engine in the world, but in China, Baidu is the dominant player. It’s important to understand the search engines that are popular in your target market and optimize your website accordingly.
b. Consider cultural and linguistic nuances.
When expanding your SEO efforts internationally, it’s important to consider cultural and linguistic nuances. What might be considered an effective keyword in one language might not be appropriate in another. It’s also important to consider local search habits. For instance, in China, mobile search is dominant, so you’ll need to optimize your website for mobile devices.
c. Do your research.
Before you launch your international SEO campaign, it’s important to do your research. Identify your target market and understand their needs. What are their pain points? What are their search habits? What kind of content do they respond to? By understanding your target market, you’ll be better equipped to create an effective SEO strategy.
2. Use the right keywords
As the world becomes more connected, businesses are increasingly looking to expand their reach by targeting new markets overseas. However, with so many different countries and cultures to consider, it can be difficult to know where to start.
One important factor in any international expansion strategy is SEO. By optimizing your website and content for the right keywords, you can ensure that your site is appearing in front of the right audience, no matter where they are in the world.
But what are the right keywords to use for international SEO? Here are a few tips to get you started:
a. Do your keyword research
The first step is to understand the search landscape in your target country. What terms are people using to search for businesses like yours? What are the most popular search engines in that country?
There are a number of tools you can use to do this research, including Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Trends.
b. Target local keywords
It’s important to remember that people in different countries search differently. What may be a popular search term in one country may not be used at all in another.
For this reason, it’s crucial to target local keywords when optimizing your site for international audiences. This means doing your research to understand how people in your target country search for your products and services.
c. Use the right language
Another important factor to consider is language. Even if you’re targeting the same country, there may be different dialects and slang words in use. For example, someone searching for “pizza” in Italy may actually type in “pizza napoletana”, which is the name for a specific type of pizza from Naples.
To ensure you’re using the right language, it’s important to use local keyword research tools, as well as native speakers of the language to help you understand the nuances.
d. Optimize your site for multiple languages
If you’re targeting a multilingual country, or you want to reach a global audience, you may need to optimize your site for multiple languages. This means creating content in multiple languages, as well as ensuring your site is set up to be indexed correctly by search engines.
There are a number of different ways to do this, so it’s important to talk to an SEO expert to ensure you’re taking the right approach.
e. Monitor your results
Once you’ve implemented your SEO strategy, it’s important to monitor your results to ensure it’s working as intended. This means tracking your rankings in different countries, as well as your traffic and conversion rates.
There are a number of different tools you can use to do this, such as Google Analytics and Search Console.
3. Create country-specific content
As the internet becomes more and more globalized, it’s important to make sure your website is optimized for international audiences. Creating country-specific content is a great way to do this.
Think about what makes your business, products, and services unique to each country you’re targeting. What are the differences in culture, language, and even laws that you need to take into account?
Then, create content that is relevant to each of these factors. This could mean creating separate websites or sections for each country, translating your content into different languages, or creating videos or other multimedia content that is specific to each country.
By tailoring your content to the unique needs and interests of each country, you’ll be able to better connect with international audiences and improve your chances of ranking high in search engines.
4. Use local domains
International SEO can be a tricky thing. There are a lot of different factors to consider, and it can be difficult to know where to start. One of the most important factors is choosing the right domain name.
The domain name is the foundation of your website, and it’s important to choose one that will be effective in multiple countries. There are a few different ways to do this.
• One option is to use a country code top-level domain (ccTLD). These are domains that are specific to a certain country, and they can be a good option if you’re targeting a specific country. However, they can also be expensive, and they’re not always the best option for SEO.
• Another option is to use a generic top-level domain (gTLD). These are domains that are not specific to any country, and they can be a good option if you’re targeting multiple countries. However, they can also be more expensive, and they might not be as effective for SEO in some countries.
• The last option is to use a subdomain. This is a domain that is part of another domain, and it can be a good option if you’re targeting multiple countries. However, it can also be more expensive, and it might not be as effective for SEO in some countries.
No matter which option you choose, it’s important to make sure that your domain is effective in multiple countries. You can do this by doing keyword research, looking at search engine results pages, and checking out competitor websites.
Once you’ve chosen the right domain, you can start working on the rest of your international SEO. This includes things like optimizing your website for different countries, building backlinks, and creating country-specific content.
If you have a website that targets users in multiple countries and languages, then you need to use hreflang tags to ensure that users in each country are directed to the correct version of your site. hreflang tags are HTML tags that tell search engines which version of your website is intended for which audience.
For example, if you have a website in English that is also available in Spanish and French, you would use hreflang tags to tell search engines that the English version is for users in the United States, the Spanish version is for users in Spain, and the French version is for users in France.
If you don’t use hreflang tags, then search engines will likely show users the English version of your site, regardless of their location. This can lead to a poor user experience, as users may be presented with content that is not intended for them.
To use hreflang tags, you need to add them to the section of your website’s HTML code. Each hreflang tag should specify the language and country code for the version of your site that it is linking to. For example, the following code would tell search engines that the English version of your site is for users in the United States:
You would then need to add similar code for each other language and country combination that you are targeting.
hreflang tags are a vital part of international SEO, so if you have a website that targets multiple countries and languages, be sure to use them.
6. Optimize website for mobile
As the world gets more and more mobile, it’s important to make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
a. Use a responsive design.
This means that your website will automatically adjust to fit the screen size of the device it’s being viewed on.
b. Keep your design simple.
Mobile users are often looking for quick, easy-to- digest information.
c. Use large, easy-to-tap buttons.
Mobile users are often using their fingers to navigate, so it’s important to make sure your buttons are big enough to be tapped easily.
d. Load your content quickly.
Mobile users often have slower connections than desktop users, so it’s important to make sure your content loads quickly.
e. Use images sparingly.
Mobile users often have to pay for data, so it’s important to keep your image usage to a minimum.
7. Translate your content
As the internet has become more globalized, so has the need for companies to market their products and services to consumers in other countries. This has led to the rise of international SEO, which is the process of optimizing a website for users in other countries.
There are a few things to keep in mind when translating your content for international SEO. First, you need to make sure that your website is available in the language of your target market. This can be accomplished by using a language plugin or by manually translating your site.
Once your site is available in the target language, you need to optimize your content for that market. This means using the right keywords and phrases that consumers in that country are searching for. You can use a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to research which keywords are most popular in your target market.
Finally, you need to make sure that your website is accessible to users in other countries. This can be done by using a CDN or by hosting your site on a server in the target country.
8. Use international link building
When it comes to ranking in search engines internationally, link building is an important part of the puzzle. By building links with other websites in your target country, you can improve your chances of ranking higher in search results.
There are a few different ways to go about building links internationally. One option is to find websites that are already popular in your target country and try to get them to link to your website. This can be done by reaching out to the webmasters directly or by guest posting on their site.
Another option is to submit your website to international directories. This will help to get your site in front of a larger audience and can also lead to some high-quality links.
Finally, you can also participate in international forums and comment on blog posts. This can be a great way to get your name and website out there, as well as to build relationships with other webmasters.
By taking the time to build links with other websites, you can improve your chances of ranking higher in search results and driving more traffic to your site.
9. Monitor your international search rankings
As the world of SEO becomes more complex, so too do the tools and techniques needed to ensure your website is visible to international audiences. One of the most important aspects of international SEO is monitoring your website’s search engine rankings in different countries.
There are a number of different ways to do this, but one of the most effective is to use a tool like Google Search Console. This tool allows you to see how your website is performing in different countries and regions, and can be a valuable asset in helping you to adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
Another useful way to monitor your international search rankings is to set up Google Alerts for key phrases and terms related to your business. This will allow you to receive notifications whenever your website appears in the search results, giving you the opportunity to track your progress and make necessary changes to your SEO strategy.
Finally, it’s also worth keeping an eye on your website’s organic traffic levels in different countries. This can be done using Google Analytics, and will give you an insight into which countries are providing the most traffic to your website.
By monitoring your international search rankings, you can ensure that your website is visible to the people who matter most – your potential customers. By making use of the tools and techniques mentioned above, you can stay one step ahead of the competition and make sure that your website is seen by as many people as possible.
10. Analyze your website traffic
As the global economy has become increasingly interconnected, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a presence in multiple countries. However, simply translating your website into different languages is not enough to ensure success in other markets. You also need to take into account the different ways people in different countries search for information online.
By analyzing your website traffic and tailoring your content and keywords to the different markets you want to target, you can ensure that your website comes up in search results no matter where in the world someone is searching.
There are a few different ways to go about this. First, you can use Google Analytics to see where your website traffic is coming from. This will give you an idea of which countries are already interested in your product or service.
Once you know which countries you want to target, you can start to optimize your website for those markets. This means doing keyword research to find out what people in those countries are searching for online. It also means making sure your website is properly translated and that your content is relevant to the cultures and customs of those countries.
By taking the time to analyze your website traffic and optimize your site, you can ensure that your business is visible to customers all over the world.
Social media can be a powerful tool. By engaging with users on social media, you can build relationships and trust, which can lead to increased traffic and conversions.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using social media for international SEO:
a. Use Localized Accounts
When possible, create localized social media accounts for each country or region you’re targeting. This will help you better connect with users in that area, as you’ll be speaking their language and understanding their culture.
b. Monitor Social Media Mentions
Be sure to monitor social media for mentions of your brand, product, or website. This can help you quickly address any negative sentiment and take advantage of any positive buzz.
c. Optimize Your Social Media Profiles
Make sure your social media profiles are optimized for SEO. This includes using keywords in your profile descriptions and including links to your website.
d. Post Relevant, Engaging Content
Of course, one of the most important things to do on social media is to post relevant, engaging content. This content should be tailored to your target audience and should help promote your brand or product.
e. Use Social Media Ads
Social media ads can be a great way to reach a larger audience and promote your brand or product. Be sure to target your ads to users in the countries or regions you’re targeting.
12. Advertise online
Google Ads is an effective way to reach potential customers all over the world. You can target specific countries, regions, and even cities. Additionally, you can use keywords in different languages to target even more customers.
Other paid advertising platforms, such as Facebook and LinkedIn, also have global reach. You can use these platforms to target specific countries, industries, or even job titles.
When creating your ads, be sure to use clear and concise language. Your message should be easy to understand no matter what language it’s in. Additionally, consider using images or videos to better capture your audience’s attention.
To ensure your ads are seen by as many people as possible, be sure to target a variety of platforms. This will give you the best chance of reaching your target audience no matter where they are in the world.
13. Participate in online forums
As the world becomes more interconnected, businesses are finding that they need to adapt their marketing strategies to account for a global audience. One way to reach a wider audience is to participate in online forums that are relevant to your business. This can help you to build relationships with potential customers and learn about what people are saying about your industry.
When choosing which forums to participate in, look for ones that have a large international audience. You can also look for forums that are specific to your industry or niche. This will help you to connect with people who are interested in what you have to say.
When participating in online forums, be sure to be respectful of other users. This will help you to build a positive reputation for yourself and your business. It is also important to be helpful and informative when answering questions. This will show that you are an expert in your field and that you are willing to help others.
By participating in online forums, you can reach a larger audience and build relationships with potential customers. This can help you to grow your business and expand your reach.
14. Speaking at conferences
If you’re looking to reach an international audience with your SEO efforts, one great way to do so is by speaking at conferences. This can help you get in front of potential customers and partners in other countries, and give you a chance to share your expertise with a wider audience.
There are a few things to keep in mind when speaking at an international conference, however. First, be aware of the language barrier. If you’re not fluent in the local language, it’s important to have someone who can help translate your presentation. Additionally, be sure to research the culture of your audience before the conference. This will help you avoid any potential cultural missteps, and ensure that your message is well-received.
Finally, don’t forget to promote your appearance at the conference ahead of time. This will help ensure that people in other countries are aware of your talk, and can help you attract a larger audience. By following these tips, you can make the most of your international conference appearances and reach a wider audience with your SEO efforts.
15. Hire an international SEO Expert
If you’re looking to take your website global, then you need to hire an international SEO expert. International SEO is the process of optimizing your website for different countries and regions, so that people from around the world can find and access your site.
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when optimizing your website for international SEO. First, you need to make sure that your website is accessible in different languages. This can be done by either translating your site into different languages, or by providing a language selector so that visitors can choose their preferred language.
Secondly, you need to consider the different search engines that are used in different countries. Google is the most popular search engine in the world, but there are other search engines that are used in specific countries, such as Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia. You need to make sure that your website is optimized for these search engines as well.
Finally, you need to take into account the different cultural norms and expectations in different countries. What works well in one country might not work so well in another, so you need to be aware of these differences and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.
Hired us as your international SEO expert, you can be sure that your website will be optimized for all of these different factors, and that it will be able to reach its full potential global audience.
As the world of SEO continues to evolve, so too do the techniques and strategies used by SEO professionals. One area that has seen significant change in recent years is international SEO.
Whereas in the past, international SEO was largely about optimizing website content for specific countries and regions, today it is about much more. With the rise of global search engines like Google, Bing, and Yandex, international SEO has become about optimizing for a global audience.
This means taking into account the different search engine algorithms used in different countries, as well as the cultural and linguistic nuances of each region. It also means understanding how users in different countries search for information, and what they are looking for when they do so.
Fortunately, there are a number of resources available to help with international SEO. These include online forums, blogs, and conferences. There are also a number of software tools that can help with keyword research, website translation, and link building.
By taking advantage of these resources, and by understanding the challenges and opportunities of international SEO, businesses can ensure that their website is visible to the widest possible audience.