How To Start Using International Seo: The Fundamentals For Reaching A Global Search Audience? (Professionals recommend)

What is international Seo and why is it important?

  • What is international SEO? International SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that search engines can easily identify which countries you want to target and which languages you use for business. Do you need to go international?

How do you do international SEO?

How to Implement International SEO in 4 Steps

  1. Step 1: Determine What International Content You Will Provide.
  2. Step 2: Set Up an International SEO-Friendly URL Structure.
  3. Step 3: Use Hreflang Tags for Language Targeting.
  4. Step 4: Support International SEO with More Signals.

How do beginners do SEO?

SEO for Beginners: 10 Steps to Optimizing Your Website Now

  1. Do keyword research and use relevant terms.
  2. Place keywords throughout your page.
  3. Include SEO in Permalinks.
  4. Hyperlink your existing content.
  5. Write high-quality content. No keyword stuffing!
  6. Optimize your images.
  7. Page speed.
  8. Don’t forget your mobile version!

What are the fundamentals of SEO?

What you’ll learn

  • SEO Fundamentals takes you step-by-step in having your website rank in the search engines.
  • Get A Good Understanding About Ranking in Google and Bing.
  • Learn About Keyword Research and How to Effectively Use Keywords.
  • Implement a Keyword Strategy.
  • Establishing a Domain Strategy.

How do you target your audience for SEO?

How to Define Your Target Audience for SEO

  1. Understand Your Current Customer Demographics.
  2. Utilize Social Insights.
  3. Analyze The SERPs.
  4. Know Your Competitors Inside Out.
  5. Survey or Interview Your Current Customers.
  6. Identify the Questions Being Asked Around Your Core Topics.
  7. Use The Semrush Market Explorer Tool.

How do I get international traffic?

7 Ways Of Driving Country-Specific Website Traffic:

  1. Domain Name Extension.
  2. Google Search console Geo-Targeting.
  3. Web Hosting Server Location.
  4. Backlinks.
  5. Content Level Targeting.
  6. Local SEO Using Google my business.
  7. Submit Website To Local Search Engines & Directories.
  8. Use Google Trends.

How do I search internationally on Google?

See results for a different country

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google app.
  2. At the top right, tap your Profile picture or initial Settings Language & region. Search region.
  3. Tap the region you want to get search results in.

How SEO works step by step?

6 Steps of SEO

  1. Step 1: Off-Site SEO Analysis. An extensive keyword analysis is the foundation of each search engine optimization.
  2. Step 2: Technical SEO Optimizations.
  3. Step 3: Usability Check.
  4. Step 4: Link Building.
  5. Step 5: Content Marketing.
  6. Step 6: Social Media Marketing.

How can I learn SEO at home?

6 Steps to Learn SEO for Free – Learn SEO at Home

  1. Understand the goal of SEO.
  2. Master keyword research.
  3. Know the difference between on-page and off-page SEO.
  4. Learn to identify UX signals.
  5. Embrace SEO-friendly content creation.
  6. Start link building.

How do you write effective SEO content?

10 Must-Follow SEO Writing Rules

  1. Write for Humans. Know your audience and write for them.
  2. Understand Google’s Algorithm. Understand the latest algorithms of Google.
  3. Know How to Find Keywords.
  4. Write Long Content.
  5. Make Every Sentence Unique.
  6. Use Related Words.
  7. Link to High-Quality Sites.
  8. Use Varied Content Types.

What factors influence successful SEO?

What Are the Most Important SEO Ranking Factors?

  • A Secure and Accessible Website.
  • Page Speed (Including Mobile Page Speed)
  • Mobile Friendliness.
  • Domain Age, URL, and Authority.
  • Optimized Content.
  • Technical SEO.
  • User Experience (RankBrain)
  • Links.

What is the best SEO course?

The Best SEO Courses to Consider

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Training Course (Simplilearn) – Best for Most.
  • Complete SEO Training (Udemy) – Best for WordPress Users.
  • Semrush Academy – Best Free Option.
  • Yoast SEO Academy – Best for Bloggers.
  • The Beginner’s Guide to SEO (Moz) – Best for Beginners.

Why should learn SEO?

It enhances the site ranking that further helps to gain more visitors. It helps to improve the user experience and usability of a website. Also, it helps the websites to achieve higher ROI and conversions. An SEO-friendly Website also improves Website Speed & Security, etc.

Which SEO techniques should be avoided?

Here are 4 outdated techniques to avoid:

  • Keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is looked down upon by search engines.
  • Exact Keyword matching.
  • Spinning Content.
  • Buying backlinks.
  • So, what are the most effective techniques in 2021?

What is audience SEO?

Put simply: “Your target audience are individuals you intend to attract to your website.” In terms of SEO that means your target audience are current or potential customers who are using search engines to find businesses like yours. These are the people you want to visit the site.

How can a business use SEO to attract consumers?

10 ways how SEO helps your business with client acquisition

  • SEO makes your business more visible.
  • It allows you to get to know your customers.
  • And it also allows them to get to know you better.
  • SEO reveals new opportunities.
  • SEO is trackable and adjustable.
  • Local relevance equals convenience.

International SEO

International SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that search engines can readily determine which nations you wish to target and which languages you are using for business. It is also known as international marketing.

Do you need to go international?

For example, if you know that a significant portion of your website visitors come from a country other than your own, speak a language other than your own, or speak a language other than your own, it may be time to make some changes to your website to provide a better experience for all of your international visitors. The notion of international SEO may appear to be a strange one on the surface, but it is likely that you are more familiar with it than you are aware. In the same way that geotargeting works, international SEO works by optimizing your website to attract visitors from other nations and languages, rather than optimizing it to attract visitors from your own city or state.

Create a new domain name; 2.

Create a new domain name.

  1. With an international-friendly URL structure (for country targeting), specify the country and/or area that you want to reach. Language tags (also known as language targeting) are used to specify the languages your pages are intended to be read in. Create and manage content in the language of your target audience (s). These are the basic elements with which you’ll really be compared.

You might only be interested in a single language or a specific nation in some cases, but not always. Depending on your circumstances, you may only want to focus on achieving one or two of those three objectives. Take, for example, your online apparel business, which specialized in T-shirts with slogans in Spanish and sells them only online. Because Mexico is just as important to your company as Spain, you’d want to target the Spanish language rather than a single nation when marketing to them.

International SEO best practices

There are a few different URL configurations that webmasters may use to direct their webpages toward a certain nation or region. They include the use of a country code top-level domain (ccTLD), a subdomain, a subdirectory, or a subfolder, a generic top-level domain (gTLD) with language specifications, or even the use of a completely different domain name. Let’s take a closer look at each of the following possibilities in turn: ccTLD— According to Google, ccTLDs are two-letter codes that are used to signify to users and search engines where a website is registered, whether it is in a nation, sovereign state, or dependent territory.

  • Subdomain— Internationalized material is placed on a distinct “third-level domain,” which may or may not pass or receive link equity from the root domain.
  • Subdirectory or subfolder— Internationalized information is stored in a particular subdirectory or subfolder of a root domain’s root directory.
  • — By attaching aURL parameter to a generic top-level domain (such,.net,, a general top-level domain can be tailored to speakers of a certain language.
  • Every strategy has its advantages and disadvantages, including the resources necessary to adopt and maintain them.
  • You should investigate each choice in further depth before making your final decision on which structure is best for you.

Language-target your website (or website pages)

Make it clear to search engines which languages you are prepared to handle by utilizinghreflangor language meta tags — little pieces of code that indicate which language(s) your material is accessible in. If you use the following example, Google will be informed that an alternate version of the material is available in French at the site you provided: hreflang tag: link rel=”alternate” href=” hreflang=”fr-fr”/ hreflang=”fr-fr”/ Here are a few other excellent practices:

  • Everything from your website’s navigation to its content to its help desk should be written in the predominant language spoken in the region you’re targeting. Machine translations should not be used since they are currently not accurate enough. If a user’s location is detected, do not immediately redirect him or her to a different language. However, you have no way of knowing (without asking) if that English-language searcher in France is an expat, a student of a foreign language, or someone who has been disoriented while surfing the internet. It is best not to use cookies or scripts to display various language versions of the same page. That form of dynamic material cannot be crawled by search engines, and it may not be visible to human users as well

Tailor your content to your target user’s language and culture

Make certain that the information you are presenting is appropriate for your intended audience (s). By include information such as the local language, currency, and timezone, as well as contact information such as addresses and phone numbers, you are sending strong signals to users and search engines that they have arrived at the correct location. When building your design and content, keep in mind that people come from different cultural backgrounds. Color, layout, and the kind of humor are all viewed in very different ways in different areas of the world.

It’s also worth mentioning that, if done correctly, foreign SEO should be virtually indistinguishable from the user experience.

Consequently, the signals are significantly more concerned with assisting search engines in displaying relevant material to relevant users than they are with alerting users to relevant information.

Other SEO signals

Other signals that may be used to indicate to search engines that your website is targeted at a certain country include:

  • Using a local IP address to host your website
  • Creating links to local information
  • Creating connections with local resources
  • Exploring strategies for ranking in local search engines, including Russian-based Yandex as well as Chinese-based Baidu.

International targeting in a nutshell

Local IP hosting for your website; the creation and maintenance of links to local content; Linking local resources to other sources of information. Exploring strategies for ranking in local search engines, including Russian-language Yandex as well as Chinese-language Baidu.

Keep learning

  • The Ultimate Guide to International SEO- Are you new to the world of international search engine optimization? Begin with this
  • It’s time to get started with international SEO, and Aleyda Solis leads you through the process step-by-step. International SEO – Google Technical Support
  • International SEO – Google Technical Support
  • Top 15 Myths about International SEO- Kaitlyn tells the tale of how international SEO has grown over the years and delves into what to worry about and what not to worry about throughout this process. She also shares her own experiences with international SEO.

Put your skills to work

  • Key Word Rankings – If you have an active campaign for your website, keep track of the keywords and ranking pages for your site as well as three rivals in as many as four distinct international search engines. In a search engine results page, you may use the MozBar to acquire real-time ranking information for your keyword searches and to check out the results for your defined target region while conducting competitive research. Overseas SEO Return on Investment Calculator- Current calculator assists you in determining whether or not an international SEO campaign will generate a positive return for your organization at this moment.

A Quick Guide to Getting Started in International SEO

Many organizations are realizing that international SEO is becoming more crucial than ever. Even small firms may anticipate a significant return on their investment if the strategy is implemented effectively. You should be happy to know that you can study and learn a great deal about international search engine optimization (SEO). The bad news is that there is a lot of out-of-date material available, which may lead to you being misinformed. I’ve met several SEO specialists who have been managing worldwide sites for years, but who have entirely missed out on important fundamentals as a result of upgrades and changes in the industry.

If you’re already familiar with these, that’s fantastic. Simply think of them as a certification of your understanding of best practices in your field.

How is International SEO Different from Regular SEO?

Your worldwide sites should not be a “copied and pasted” replica of your home country website in several languages, but I have seen this happen to many websites in my professional experience. Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page. It is true that translation and localization of website content are among the first actions to be taken. However, you must optimize the website for the specific audiences in each nation, from the messaging and services to the whole user experience of the site.

While paying close attention to each individual site, you must also keep an eye on the general functioning of the network.

For example, if you have a website made for Mexico and a distinct website intended for Spain, your website designed for Mexico should not outrank or appear in the search results in Spain.

Should I Go Global? and Where Is My Market?

You should constantly check market studies, statistics, and even your own website data if you are unsure about the potential in other nations or need to persuade your managers. Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page. Here is some information that you may use to identify which nations or markets to target and how to prioritize them.

  • and, for example, are government and trade organization websites that give the most up-to-date international business and trade news and statistics. Internet-related data and statistics are available from a variety of sources, including Internet World Stats, Econsultancy, McKinsey Company, and eMarketer, among others. Aside from that, there are several websites that provide information on certain countries
  • Your own analytic information. Do you have any visitors from other nations that come to your website? What countries send the most traffic to your website? Is there a nation that delivers more visitors to your site than any other? It’s important to pay attention, especially if some of them are already converting

Do I Need a Site for Each Country?

Yes, without a doubt, if the market is large enough for you to consider investing. In order to deliver a better user experience to local visitors, it is usually preferable to have a distinct site for each of your target nations. This is true not just for SEO reasons, but also for user experience ones. It is possible that this will not be a practical alternative for you, at least not in the short term. In that situation, you’ll have a website for each language spoken in the nations where you’re targeting visitors.

Fortunately, we can useHreflang tags to inform Google about the language and country in which each website was generated.

What Domain to Have – ccTLD or gTLD?

I would have said that accTLD was the best choice if you had asked me this question in 2008. The fact is that not everyone is able to take advantage of this opportunity for a variety of reasons. In 2018, it has less of an influence on your SEO because the search engines have advanced significantly, and we have more possibilities to geotarget the sites, particularly with Google.

It should be noted that certain search engines, like as Baidu, continue to prioritize websites with ccTLDs that are exclusive to their region. Additionally, people outside of the United States are more likely to click on websites with local TLDs than on websites or other generic TLDs.

What Kind of Hosting Should I Get?

Geotargeting was one of the most essential signals for international SEO, and the location of the website’s host was one of the most important signals for international SEO. However, it is no longer as critical as it once was because we now have alternative methods of accurately indicating your website’s target market to search engines and regionally managed CDNs. Advertisement Continue reading farther down this page. The location of the web server has a significant influence on the page loading time.

See also:  Building A Successful Organic Traffic Pipeline In 5 Steps? (Perfect answer)

How Should I Go About Alternative Geotargeting?

Perhaps one of the most straightforward strategies, geotargeting is one in which many websites make mistakes when site owners transition away from ccTLDs and local market hosting. There are a variety of methods for geotargeting your webpages and landing pages. Here are a few of the most often used techniques:

  • Geolocation assignment in the Google Search Console
  • The use of the Hreflang tag for Google
  • And the inclusion of language meta tag information in the Bing Search Console

One last point to mention: Recently, Google began providing results depending on the searcher’s location, no matter what language or region they are in when they use the Google search engine. For example, you used to receive different search results from than you did from Google UK ( or Google Australia (, even while looking for the same phrase on each of those search engines. However, unless you conduct three separate Google searches in three distinct countries, you will receive the identical results in all three searches.

Google or Not Google?

While Google is by far the most widely used of the search engines throughout the world, there are a number of locally developed search engines that are far more popular than Google in some regions. If your target nation is one of the ones listed below, you’ll need to devote some more time and resources to monitoring these local sites as well as performing additional optimization tasks.

  • Mainland China (in the Simplified Chinese language)
  • Russia and Eastern European countries
  • South Korea

What Else Should I Consider Before I Go Global?

One of the most significant issues that most organizations with worldwide websites, even international Fortune 100 corporations, confront is a lack of enough local resources. Anyone who does not have the luxury of having infinite resources in each target nation will have a significant bottleneck, which is especially true given the fact that SEO is not a “one-time” endeavor but requires ongoing efforts. In order to effectively allocate tasks and responsibilities between the headquarter and local offices, it is necessary to prepare ahead.

  • IT and web operations are examples of technical resources. Localization and optimization of content based on language resources
  • Analysis of website data: Creating reports and discovering SEO chances

It’s possible that you don’t have any offices or reps in other nations, or that you don’t have enough resources in your local offices. In certain situations, you must decide whether you want to hire a single outside resource or a group of outside resources.


The information provided above is a fast start guide to international SEO. There is a great deal more that goes into foreign SEO than what I have covered in this post.

In my future posts, I intend to go into further depth about each of the major points that are plainly significant, as well as ones that are missed or considered lightly. Additional Resources for International Searches:

  • Subdomain vs. subdirectory vs. ccTLD: Which Is the Best in 2018? An introduction to international search engine optimization. How to Make SEO Lemonade: Moving the Needle on Missed Opportunities
  • Making SEO Lemonade

International SEO: How To Rank Around the World

When you have numerous sites with multiple locations throughout the world, it’s a totally other ballgame than when you have a single site with one location. For even the most sophisticated SEOs, obstacles such as GDPR, different languages, correct site structure, and country variances can make their jobs more challenging. Some SEOs will suggest that international SEO is one of the most difficult to master, and we don’t necessarily disagree with their assessment. In order to better understand how to rank worldwide, we spoke with international SEO specialists Aleyda Solis, Michael Bonfils, and Gabriella Sannino to learn more about how they rank their clients all over the world on search engines.

You may read what Bastian Grimm, Gianluca Fiorelli, and Callum Scott had to say about their first-hand experiences working as foreign SEOs in the section below.

In terms of site structure, how should a site be best set up to rank internationally? What are some of the fundamentals the site needs to have?

From a domain-level viewpoint – and particularly if there is a greenfield opportunity – I am strongly in favor of operating gTLDs with language sub-folders to maximize user experience (or country, or both, depending on the scale). This includes the geotargeting options in Google’s Search Console, which are relevant to the situation. It would then redirect to the language subdirectory in order to capture type-ins, etc., for the corresponding ccTLDs (for example, Obviously, hreflang is required for appropriate geotargeting as well (and please consider implementing an XML sitemap wherever possible, since it is much easier to manage and does not result in bloating your HTML).

Gianluca Fiorelli

To avoid being sarcastic, I’d want to point out that it all relies on a number of different factors. In the case of a brand seeking to enter a new market while also having a physical presence in it (i.e. stores), it may be suitable to begin with a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) immediately. Another scenario is when we come across an ecommerce site with an extremely vast product database and an extremely complicated technical stack. In this instance, starting with a subdomain may be more cost-effective.

In any case, as time passes and the version we have launched to attack a new market becomes sufficiently established in the search results, it is important to consider whether it is necessary to transition from the subfolder strategy to ccTLDs, which are ideal for what is known as transcreation, which is the deep localization of a brand’s marketing (and commercial) actions towards a specific market.

As soon as you have settled on an international SEO strategy to implement, you can begin preparing the technical aspects of international SEO implementation (i.e.: hreflang).

Callum Scott

Personally, I don’t care about which method is used as long as the implementation is decent enough. A large portion of our work is with clients who are seeking a diagnosis after their rankings have dropped or if their website is not operating as intended. If a site is attempting to rank worldwide but is not doing as well as planned, we may be contacted by their development team with broad inquiries such as “Should we purchase ccTLDs for every country and migrate everything over?!” That is a significant and expensive decision to make, to say the least!

However, more often than not, when a site isn’t performing well, we discover that the problem is with their implementation – and more often than not, the problem is with their hreflang!

How do you assess what a site needs based on the country or location it’s targeting?

When it comes to developing effective multi-national campaigns, I believe that having a thorough grasp of a market and its culture is essential. Neither pure translation nor the use of freelance resources for foreign projects have ever been a part of our philosophy here at Peak Ace. No matter how hard you try, the ultimate result is always unsatisfactory in terms of quality. So, from the beginning, we began employing native-speaking employees and transferring them to Berlin; this has proven to be a successful strategy for us.

Gianluca Fiorelli

It is preferable to seat next to folks who have done market research before to the meeting. Being able to recognize the characteristics of the market that you wish to target with a customized edition of our website is the first step to taking the initiative. After everything is said and done, it is not unlike to when a firm wants to establish a new website devoted to a new product line in its own primary market, which is why qualitative and quantitative market research are conducted and customer personas are created.

We can now begin to locate the new website in order for it to react in the most effective manner (and not just in terms of SEO) to the demands of these new users as a result of the earlier work that has been done.

For example, in Italy, there will be Italian wines such as the Spumante; in France, the Champagne will be more prominent; and in Spain, the Cava will be more prominent.

What are some of your favorite content strategies to help rank a site internationally?

Everything boils down to appropriate planning and execution once you’ve completed your homework (i.e., completed your market research, developed a keyword strategy, mapped searchers’ intent, and synchronized with other marketplaces). When it comes to sophisticated content that is also intended to promote interaction (e.g., social shares or link purchases), data-driven pieces are frequently preferred. Many advantages exist, including relatively cheap localisation costs (data research is typically only required once, development efforts are minimal – it is only a matter of shifting data sources, for example).

There are however numerous disadvantages. Be advised that your outreach methods and efforts must be tailored to the specific needs of the target audience.

Gianluca Fiorelli

On the basis of well-executed keywordtopical research, which includes a very deep examination of the SERPs elements offered by Google, I find it really enjoyable to evaluate the content strategy. Whenever we are thinking about strategy, we can confine ourselves to relatively broad phrases like those seen on a tourist website, such as the names of the many trip locations. In such a situation, I would ask myself the following questions: – “Can you tell me which of these places is equally popular in the markets where my target website is located?” A guide to the most magnificent castles in France, for example, may be created and published at the same time for all editions, independent of which market we are targeting.

When it comes to Formentera (one of the Balearic Islands in Spain), the Italians are very enthusiastic about it, but the Germans and the British are much less enthusiastic.

Then, using the Formentera guide as an example, I would look to see what questions (People Also Ask), what related searches (People Also Search and Related Searches also in Images Search) and what entities (Google Images tags) Google suggests to us,, because they are always different, and then I would look to see what questions (People Also Ask), what related searches (People Also Search and Related Searches also in Images Search), and And, ultimately, what format should be used?

We can always figure this out by looking at the characteristics that Google offers us (a block of photographs, for example).

Callum Scott

Although it’s a tired bit of advice, “Write for the people, dude!” is a sound one. Many websites just translate their material into the target country’s native language (sometimes in a bad manner) and attempt to rank for the same keywords as they did in the United States, believing that the same content approach will work in Germany or Japan. If you want to develop new content or repurpose any of your existing material in a new language for a different location, you should make sure you grasp the subtlety and local culture of that particular nation before proceeding.

It is not always the amount of time it takes to translate the material, but rather the fact that we have to master a whole new economic ecology for the target audience.

One of my favorite international SEO examples about not doing this is an SEO who was attempting to rank for something in Denmark, I believe it was “Computer Reviews” or something along those lines.

However, no one ever refers to datamat as such; instead, they just refer to computers. I believe the site achieved a high ranking for “datamat” inquiries, but no traffic came from it because no one was actively looking for it in the first place.

How do you develop domain authority and trust when you’re trying to reach several different locations?

Returning to my two comments from earlier (a single gTLD and a correct hreflang setup on top of it), this will be extremely beneficial to you since you will no longer have to establish trust “per domain,” but will instead consolidate all incoming equity under your gTLD, which will be quite beneficial. That trust will be transferred to the root level of your domain even if the inbound links are heading to language sub-folders inside your domain. This, along with effective internal linking (yes, it is quite OK to use named anchor texts for internal links), will allow you to concentrate your trust-building efforts on your most important markets.

Gianluca Fiorelli

As I said above, a content strategy of the sort I’ve outlined above might also serve as the foundation for a content-based link development approach. Consider the following scenario: a guide to the world’s most magnificent castles may serve as the foundation for a worldwide link building effort, allowing us to target media outlets and other websites all around the world all at the same time. The guide to the greatest beaches on Formentera, on the other hand, would be part of a content marketing effort that would target just the Italian market.

However, the report would be broad enough that it could be distributed worldwide by major news organizations while still providing enough (and relevant) data at the nation level to target local and even regional media.

For example, in the United States and the United Kingdom, acts of digital public relations for link building have received favorable reaction from journalists.

Because of this, hiring local link builders (as well as local SEOs in the case of keyword research and localization) should always be considered when building an international SEO budget for a certain country or region.

The Contributors

Peak Ace AGB is the CEO and co-founder. The CEO and Co-Founder of Peak Ace, Astian Grimmis an internationally recognized specialist in large-scale, worldwide SEO – managing sites of virtually any size in highly competitive sectors. Bastian, who has more than 20 years of expertise in internet marketing, technical and worldwide SEO, is always willing to learn new things. He presently handles Peak Ace’s search engine optimization as well as content marketing projects.

Callum Scott

Marie Haynes Consulting is looking for a Senior SEO Analyst. He specializes in detecting significant organic traffic declines and working with site owners to establish plans for recovery and long-term development of their businesses.

He contributes to industry journals and is beginning to speak publicly at conferences such as the DMSS (Development Management Systems Society). Callum may be followed on Twitter at @mrcallumscott.

Gianluca Florelli

Gianluca has been working in the Search Marketing sector since 2004, and he is widely regarded as an expert in both strategic and international SEO by members of the SEO community. The partnership with clients like Glassdoor, Meredith Inc., GoOverseas, Magoosh, Iberostar Hotels,, Idealista, and many more business enterprises all over the world is included in Gianluca’s portfolio of work. A highly active member of the community, particularly on Twitter (), Gianluca is also the founder of The Inbounder, a digital marketing conference that takes place in Spain every two years and is attended by thousands of people.

How to Implement International SEO in 4 Steps

Do you have consumers in more than one country? If so, how many? Do any of your consumer groups speak a language other than English? You should be aware of international SEO if you answered yes to any of the above questions. With these international SEO strategies, you may increase traffic to your website, expand your global presence, and provide better service to your clients by using best practices on your website.

See also:  What Is Geofencing Marketing?

What Is International SEO?

International SEO refers to improving your search visibility for those who live in different countries or speak different languages than you and your business. Geo-targeting, hreflang tags, and other localization signals may be used to provide content to people all over the world through your website. Geo-targeting, hreflang tags, and other localization signals may be used to provide content to people all over the world through your website. To send a tweet, simply click here. The following is an explanation of how international SEO works: In order to provide search results that are relevant to the language and location of the searcher, Google makes an effort.

You can learn more about special signals here.

Step 1: Determine What International Content You Will Provide

You may optimize search results based on language, geo-targeting, or a combination of the two. Some websites, such as Facebook’s home page, opt to concentrate on language, allowing visitors to pick their preferred language. In order to allow certain customers to pick their language and nation, Air Canada employs a pop-up window, which directs them to a specific URL based on their option. Visitors to Air Canada’s home page are given the option of selecting a language. You may also target information based on your nation and language preferences, such as eBay, which offers distinct markets in the native languages of 23 countries.

As you can see, the breadth of content available extends from just translating your English content into additional languages to developing completely personalized experiences, such as those offered by eBay.

You may also be interested in:3 Content Marketing Case Studies You Should Know About Not sure which nations to target for international SEO?

One factor to consider is identifying nations that are providing a significant amount of links or traffic to your website.

If you see a significant amount of traffic from a nation for which you are not optimized, you should consider optimizing for that country. If you want to know what languages your users speak, you may check out the Language report in Google Analytics.

Step 2: Set Up an International SEO-Friendly URL Structure

Your URL structure assists Google in determining which of your sites to display to searchers in various countries based on their location. This is an example of geo-targeting, which is a technique that focuses on a certain place. In addition, we’ll teach you how to utilize the hreflang tag to further target a certain language in a minute. The majority of firms either create a whole new website for each target nation or modify their existing website to include a subfolder structure. The technique you use will be heavily influenced by the amount of time and resources you have available to devote to its development and upkeep.

A Subdirectory for Each Country on Your Main Website

To construct a subdirectory structure on your website, create a folder for each target nation on your website that is identified with the country’s two-letter ISO code. Using the example above, if you want to indicate material that is intended for individuals in Spain, your subfolder might look something like this: The following are some advantages of utilizing subdirectories: A subdirectory structure is simple to create and keep up to date. Making subdirectories for your website is a straightforward and cost-effective process.

This alternative, according to some, has emerged as the clear choice for practically every type of organization.

Best suited for:A business or group that want to service clients in many countries while maintaining a single website for all of its communications.

  • The following websites cater to consumers in the United Kingdom: Apple ( users in the United Kingdom)
  • Nike ( users in South Africa)
  • Spotify ( users in Argentina)
  • And

A Separate Website for Each Country

Some businesses prefer to create a different website for visitors from each of the countries they wish to target. This is referred to as a top-level domain with a local country code (ccTLD). A ccTLD for your Spanish users might look something like this: Some codes are “open,” which means they can be registered for purposes other than that of representing a particular nation. For example, is the actual country code for Columbia, you’re probably more familiar with it because of its link with the words “business” and “corporation” than anything else.

  • The ICANNWiki maintains a list of country-code top-level domains that are available for registration.
  • It also communicates to website visitors that your company is committed to maintaining a presence in that nation.
  • It is also necessary to create authority for each website independently when it comes to international SEO.
  • As a result of the high cost of maintaining many websites, it is often not a suitable option for small enterprises.

It can be difficult for websites to rank on Baidu, China’s most popular search engine, if their top-level domain does not have extension. The following are examples of firms that have distinct websites (ccTLDs) for each country they operate in:

  • Sony (corporate website for China:, Disney (retail website for France:, McDonald’s (corporate website for Serbia:, and more companies are represented.

Subdomains Not a Popular Choice for International SEO

A third option exists in theory: you could create a subdomain on your website for each nation in which you want to sell your products. However, the drawbacks exceed the benefits in the majority of cases. If you have a subdomain, the international SEO signal is smaller than it is if you have a specific country domain. Using the authority of the main domain for subdomains may also be more challenging than using the authority of the main domain for subdirectories. (While Google claims that subdomains and subdirectories are treated similarly when it comes to ranking websites, SEO experts are divided on whether this is truly the case.) There is a widespread belief that sites on a subdomain do not benefit from the benefits of the root domain and are instead treated as independent domains by Google, or that subdomains may potentially undermine the authority of the parent domain.) In addition, you will incur hosting fees for each subdomain registered.

  1. If the appropriate URL structure for your company does not appear to be obvious, look at the URL structures of rivals in your target nation.
  2. Using Alexa, you may gather worldwide competitive data about your top 10 competitors by doing a Site Comparison on their websites.
  3. If one of your primary rivals is receiving a significant amount of traffic from one of your target nations, you should investigate their international SEO strategies for that particular country.
  4. Also remember that no matter what choices you make for your URL structure, Google may still display incorrect material to searchers from time to time.

Step 3: Use Hreflang Tags for Language Targeting

Hreflang tags are short pieces of code that are used on websites that include material in more than one language to direct visitors to that content. They assist search engines in matching the proper language to the searcher’s search query. In the case of French speakers, your French material will be shown instead of your English or Italian content, for example. What is Google’s method of determining which language a user prefers? Of course, the terms that the searcher inputs are significant hints., for example).

Search engines can typically tell which language is being used on a website without the use of hreflang tags, however using the tags can help keep your multiple page versions from competing with one another in search results results.

However, some users choose to use them because they believe that the hreflang tag will help to reinforce the location signal.

If you opt to employ hreflang tags, be sure to adhere to the rules listed below. WordPress users, take note: It is possible that you will be able to utilize a plugin to control your hreflang tags.

How to Use Hreflang Tags

Consider the fact that international material is frequently a translation of pages in the English language. Consequently, you will have a distinct version of the same page with a similar URL for each language, which implies that these versions may compete with one another in search results. A hreflang tag is associated with each different version of a URL on your website, which helps to avoid this type of rivalry. It is possible for the hreflang tag to include two components:

  1. The language code (as represented by ISOISO 639-1 codes) is required. It is optional to provide a country code (using ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country codes)
  2. And

The hreflang tag has the following format: ishreflang=”languagecode-countrycode.”

Hreflang Tags Example

By looking at the source code for Apple, you may identify the following hreflang characteristics: Take a look at how Apple employs hreflang tags in its code to inform search engines about the language and country being used. Each tag, which indicates the nation and language of users, is inserted after the URL and precedes the URL. In the United States, “en-US” refers to English speakers; in the United Arab Emirates, “ar-AE” refers to Arabic speakers; in the United Arab Emirates, “en-AE” refers to English speakers; and so on.

As Google notes, this property value “informs our algorithms that this page does not target any one language or locality and that it is the default page when no other page is more appropriate.” When it comes to where to employ hreflang tags, you have three options:

  1. Located in the source code of the header of each page (this is the most frequent location)
  2. Every page’s HTTP header contains the following information: Include a sitemap for your website.

Choose the one that will be the most convenient for you to manage, but make sure to only use your hreflang tags in one of these locations on your site at a time.

Step 4: Support International SEO with More Signals

Localizing material entails more than just the technical considerations discussed above. Users of a target country or language can benefit from having a well-rounded understanding of the people who use that country or language.

Consider Search Engine Preferences

Google has the greatest proportion of Internet searches in the globe, accounting for 92 percent of all queries. However, this is not always the case in every nation. In China, for example, Baidu holds a 65 percent market share in the search engine category. Yandex is a search engine that is popular in Eastern Europe. While there will be many similarities across search engines, you will want to dig more into how to optimize your international SEO efforts for Baidu or Yandex, for example, if China or Eastern European nations are part of your worldwide presence.

Target Content to Fit Device Preferences

In various nations, people prefer to access the Internet in a variety of different methods. Making your material simply consumable on the most common devices may aid with usability, which can have an influence on search engine optimization (SEO) results. Knowing how people use search can help you choose where to concentrate your efforts in order to improve their experience. Source:

Consider Additional Local Signals

Additional geo-targeting signals may be beneficial to your campaign.

Consider using one or more of the solutions listed below to identify the nation or language of your users:

  • Include links to your social media profiles on major local social media platforms. Prices are displayed in local currencies
  • Include information about your local offices’ location, such as their address and phone number.

It will be worthwhile for you to research local preferences for colors, design aesthetics, content organization, and other cultural elements, because the ultimate aim of your international SEO efforts is to provide excellent customer service to your foreign consumers. If at all feasible, ensure that your translated information is written by a native speaker and vetted by members of the intended audience before submitting it.

Get Started with International SEO

Understanding how to best serve your clients and then making efforts to tailor your content and search experience to meet their demands are the first steps in international SEO strategy. If you follow the procedures outlined above, you may begin optimizing your website for audiences who live in other countries or who speak different languages. Remember that you may utilize Alexa tools to assist you with your international SEO by providing competitive insights and other information. Sign up to receive a free trial of our Advanced plantoday service.

Basics Of International SEO

The majority of businesses situated in the United States concentrate on search engine optimization on one or more of three levels: global, regional, and local. The addition of geographically specific keywords to a company’s emphasis may be done at each level, allowing a website to be optimized for phrases that are more relevant to a company’s business. In the case of a Chicago dentist, for example, optimizing her website for a generic term like “dentist” would be a waste of time and money because the term is extremely competitive, and even if she were to rank well for that term and drive traffic to her site, the majority of that traffic would be useless because only people in the Chicago area would be interested in her services.

Using keywords that are as precise as possible to the region immediately surrounding her business, where her patients are most likely to live and work, this dentist would be able to optimize her return on investment.

This type of SEO for a dentist would be an excellent example of what we refer to as “local SEO.” An organization that operates in many metro regions or multiple states may choose to concentrate its efforts in one or more of these areas.

Targeting customers who live within a few hours travel distance of each other outside of the United States, with its relatively homogeneous population, becomes a more complicated matter because, instead of living in different states, these customers live in different countries, with different languages, cultures, and infrastructure than those in the United States.

Everything is different, and everything is the same at the same time Before proceeding, it’s crucial to realize that search engine optimization (SEO), no matter where you do it, is comprised largely of four activities: making technical improvements to your website, providing helpful content, developing high-quality inbound links, and assessing outcomes.

  1. The devil, as they say, is in the details.
  2. Language Although it may seem clear that one should connect with clients in their native language, it can be difficult to know how to go about doing so in the most effective way.
  3. The effects will be detrimental to your visitors, as well as to your SEO efforts as a whole.
  4. Professional language translators may be found on services such as oDesk, although the quality and price of their work might vary substantially.
  5. Google is the most used search engine in Hong Kong, according to the Internet Society.
  6. If you want to reach the Chinese community in Hong Kong, you should concentrate your efforts on Yahoo.
  7. However, Baidu is the dominant search engine in mainland China, while Google is prohibited.
  8. It is less difficult to run one website than it is to handle ten.
  9. Think at it as an opportunity rather than a problem to be solved.

If you choose this path, the fact that it is tough will work to your benefit. Solis gives us with further information: Don’t use the same URLs for all of your language or country versions; instead, create separate Web structures for each of your language or country versions:

  • The usage of country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) is appropriate for nation targeting (, etc.). As an alternative, if you’re currently operating under a general domain name (such as dotcom, dotnet, or dotorg), you can allow your extra country versions by utilizing subdomains (for example, or subdirectories (for example, When it comes to language targeting, you may choose whether to use subdomains (, or subdirectories (, to enable your extra language versions
  • However, this is not recommended.

All of these solutions have advantages and disadvantages, and the decision on which to select should be based on the features of the business and the site, as well as the flexibility and resources available. Hosting Hosting your website on the other side of the planet from the country you’re attempting to reach might have significant consequences for your business. Not only may it have an influence on SEO results, but no one likes to be forced to wait as your website travels 12,000 miles instead of loading immediately.

  1. It is possible to find a web hosting provider in a neighboring nation, which is the second best alternative.
  2. As my colleague contributorJayson DeMers recently described, and as Eric Enge and Mark Traphagen of Stone Temple Consulting have researched, there is a strong correlation between the two.
  3. However, efficient social media integration on a website may result in significant content sharing, which in turn may result in more linking, which will almost certainly have an influence on rankings.
  4. Baidu has announced that they would be expanding in China “According to Baidu, social signals are picked up depending on the relevance, the time, and the substance of the search query.
  5. While social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ may be advised for a U.S.
  6. A Look at the Big Picture The United States, with its 300 million residents, is a massive consumer market, but firms who just target the American market are missing out on a greater potential.
  7. As a result of this, and the development of low-cost cellphones, billions of people will have access to the Internet.

SEO results take time to appear. To get a slice of the ever-expanding pie represented by this emerging middle class, it’s best to get started with international SEO as soon as possible rather than later.

The Elements of a Successful International SEO Strategy

Chapter 4: Implementing Hreflang Best Practices: A Guide to Best Practices Let’s turn our attention back to what you should be doing in order to obtain results with your international SEO strategy now that we’ve discussed what not to do. According to Aleyda Solis, the following are the eight things you must accomplish in order to be successful:

  1. Identify your overseas target markets in the following ways: From a commercial standpoint, which nations and/or languages are lucrative and viable for you to target and serve
  2. Check to see if you can recruit someone who is native to the area: If you want to succeed in your target market, you’ll need someone who can assist you with the operations. Identify the most appropriate web structure: ccTLDs, subdomains, or subdirectories should you use if you’re targeting new countries? Geolocate: (In the event that you are targeting a specific nation and are not utilizing a ccTLD.) The most effective method for accomplishing this is using the Google Search Console’s geolocation tool. URLs, navigation, content, titles, meta descriptions, headers, main text, currency, and so on should all be localized. Experience and design should be improved to better meet the particular behavior of the target markets, if at all feasible
  3. With hreflang, you may specify which language and nation you want to target: Add hreflang annotations to each of your variants in order to provide Google with an extra signal that the most relevant version of your variation should be served in their search results to the intended audience. Increase your authority by doing the following: Have a content and promotion strategy in place to increase your popularity within each community and industry while also gaining links from other local websites. Examine your ranking: For each of your targeted markets, examine if you’re ranking with the appropriate pages and relevant searches, and whether you’re expanding your presence as intended in comparison to the local competitors.
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Businesses that are successful on a global scale are frequently those who communicate well inside their own organization and have worldwide teams that are always learning from one another. Businesses that are successful have a centralized worldwide SEO strategy, rather than a number of autonomous local or national SEO campaigns. It is necessary to have a team or a single individual who is in charge of SEO on a worldwide scale and who can give assistance to the many local teams involved. The SEO teams in charge of the various markets must interact with one another in order to trade insights and discuss techniques, and they must recognize that they are stronger working together than they are competing for their own interests.

Activity types that are best carried out locally, such as content development and outreach, should be supported by central standards and reviewed from a global viewpoint on a regular basis.

Although it is a cliche, the term “think globally, act locally” is absolutely correct when it comes to international search engine optimization.

Market research

Before you start planning or releasing anything, make sure you conduct the necessary market research in the areas where you want to do business. It may seem like an excellent idea to launch a new website in an unfamiliar nation, but you must be certain that the venture will be successful before spending significant resources in it. A easy place to begin to assure international success is with research and validation to verify that your efforts will have a measurable impact on the bottom line.

Make sure you ask yourself the following key questions before you begin working on the technical planning: 1.

We can learn a lot from Google Analytics and Google Search Console data by just using it.

How many conversions are acquired from each nation is shown in the table below.

To determine whether or not the conversions achieved from consumers in a certain country or who speak a specific language justify the expense of developing a website version just for them, The potential traffic you may receive from that nation or language, and whether or not it is sufficient to achieve break-even in a reasonable length of time.

  1. Which set of languages and nations will the company be aiming for in the future?
  2. Once you’ve determined the global and targeted language versions you want, it’s only then that you can consider which option is best: subfolders, subdomains, or a country-code top-level domain (ccTLD).
  3. What type of business does the customer or firm operate?
  4. This might help you decide the major international SEO architecture that you’ll employ in your campaign.
  5. Lead-generation websites, on the other hand, may achieve successful internationalization of their business with a more straightforward multilingual and subfolder-based international SEO approach.
  6. Is the legislation governing the business the same around the world, or are there significant changes that must be taken into account?
  7. Countries regulate industries in a variety of ways, and they even have a variety of legal requirements.



You require a platform that allows you to radically differentiate the navigation, aspects, and content presented on the main landing pages in order to fully localize the website’s versions.

Discover where the majority of your website traffic and conversions are presently coming from by logging into your Google Analytics account.

Go to the ‘Geo’ tab under the ‘Audience’ section, where you can see a breakdown of users based on their geographic location and language preference.

For example, you can filter by country to see which countries your site is already ranking in without having to do any additional targeting, as well as how many people are clicking through to your site from international search engine results pages (SERPs).

Be sure to check the search volumes of any keywords you intend to target in each market to ensure that they will be profitable enough for your company to justify launching an entirely new site version to target them.


Geotargeting is a technique for directing traffic to a website to a certain geographic region. While this may help to increase ranks in that particular nation, it will have an influence on rankings in other locations or languages, as Google explains: Customers from a single nation who speak a single language can be targeted with your website or portions of your website, and vice versa. This can help you increase your page ranks in the target country, but it will have a negative impact on your rankings in other localities and languages.

  • Help Improve the connection between your website version and its associated nation by using geotargeting.
  • In the early days of Google’s geotargeting, server IP addresses were utilized as a signal to determine which nation a website was aiming its content toward.
  • The system has become considerably more complex as a result.
  • It is no longer necessary to use IP addresses for geotargeting or local SEO.
  • On July 28, 2018, DeepCrawl (@DeepCrawl) tweeted: Here are some of the factors that Google, in particular, considers when assessing if a page is geotargeted and which nation it is relevant to:
  • Use of country-code top-level domains
  • Proper hreflang implementation
  • External linking from sites inside the target market On-page material that is visible (for example, language, addresses, and phone numbers)
  • Language used in anchor text
  • The position of the server (which is now shown by a light signal)
  • Google My Business settings
  • Google Search Console geotargeting options
  • Google My Business integration

If you don’t have a ccTLD that allows for automated geotargeting, you need create a separate portion of your website for each language and country version that you want to target with Google. Subdomains and subdirectories are effective in this situation. Geotargeting must be explained in a separate area of a website in order for Google to understand it. The Google Webmaster Hangout is hosted by John Mueller. Here are some pointers on how to geotarget your website for search engines in general, and Google specifically:

  1. Use locale-specific URLs, such as ccTLDs, or subdomains/subdirectories with gTLDs — this works on a page or site-wide basis
  2. And Make use of Google’s ‘International Targeting’ report to your advantage. If you have a gTLD that just addresses a single nation, this will function on a site-by-site basis
  3. Make use of hreflang– this works on a page-by-page basis


Localisation is the process of creating a website version and its content that is tailored to a certain target audience and their cultural preferences. Successful localisation does not rely on exact word-for-word translation from one language to another; thus, market research and an understanding of your target audience are quite beneficial. Instead of just translating words into a certain language, localisation entails transforming those words into something meaningful for a particular culture.

  1. It is essential to become familiar with the culture and worldview of your target country in order to communicate effectively with them.
  2. A thorough understanding of regional trends, as well as competence in search engines and the social media platforms utilized by a target audience, is also required for this position.
  3. In order to do this, it is essential that you have a native speaker on board who is well-versed in the language and culture of the nation you wish to visit as part of your team.
  4. If your translations are as excellent as what Google Translate can produce, then you are not providing enough value for your visitors’ time and attention.
  5. From a technical standpoint, one of the most difficult decisions to make when it comes to internationalisation is whether to encode URLs to handle local languages or not.
  6. Not localizing URLs is problematic because in many non-English markets, consumers are unable to comprehend the English characters, which not only reduces CTR but also reduces the likelihood of the English URLs being shared on social networking platforms like Facebook.

Not only will you need to translate but also localize some of the items listed below:

  • URLs, navigation, on-page content, headings, titles, meta descriptions, images, currency, products, delivery choices, customer service assistance, and the overall online experience are all considered.

Page layout, design, and the overall user experience must all be taken into consideration. From one part of the world to another, people explore and consume material in quite different ways. Amazon is the source of this information (UK) Taobao is the source of this information (China) In an ideal scenario, I’d advise appearing as close to your home as you possibly can. This means you’ll have a country-code top-level domain (ccTLD), you’ll include strong connections from the target nation, you’ll localize the tone and photos in the material, as well as office locations and phone numbers.

  • It is believed that the more local your website is to a certain nation, the more trust is generated with both users and search engines – indications that are essential for it to be successful.
  • Make use of tools like as Google Trends to perform spot checks on important phrases and ensure that you’re speaking the same language as them by employing the same vocabulary.
  • In order to avoid mass translations for several nations, have the material rewritten for different languages and cultures.
  • Make your internationalized pages as well as they possibly can be in order to provide your visitors with the finest possible experience.
  • One of the primary reasons why you should localize rather than translate is that languages will include vocabulary that do not have suitable counterparts in other languages, as well as a level of complexity that is really untranslatable in other languages.
  • Jayus (Indonesian): A stupid joke that manages to make others laugh despite the fact that they know how bad it is, or at the very least causes them to react with goodwill rather than frustration.
  • Using Google Translate to machine translate material on a website too often has been identified as one of the most prevalent blunders I have witnessed in the field of internationalization.
  • Google Translate is a great machine translation technology that continues to improve on a daily basis, although it is more suited for one-time translation tasks than for ongoing translation operations.
  • The usage of well-written and natural language is critical when developing content for SEO, and that remains the case when localizing material for other languages.
  • The material that is created automatically is not interesting, and the content that is replicated across sites that are targeted to different nations is not distinctive.
  • Writing unique, localized content will not only benefit your readers, but it will also assist to prevent search engines from grouping together several international-targeted URLs and crawling only one of them if they detect duplicate content concerns on your site.

Unless the material is unique, Google will combine different nation versions in a single search result. The Google Webmaster Hangout is hosted by John Mueller.

Building authority locally

One thing to keep in mind is to make an investment in establishing the authority of your market version websites in their particular geographic areas. Inspire and incentivize members of the local community to start talking about and sharing your website version with their friends and colleagues. This is an excellent strategy to begin establishing natural linkages and increasing brand recognition. A robust technological implementation is important, but it is meaningless unless it is supported by excellent content or a solid product offering that is also supported by an engaged audience.

Pay attention to the balance between compelling content, relevant links, and technological execution since you will need all three in order to be successful in the worldwide market.

In conclusion

Prioritization and meticulous planning are critical for achieving worldwide success. Creating a new foreign website is not as straightforward as launching a batch of new international websites and waiting to see what happens. You must ensure that you have the resources available to devote the time and attention necessary to each language version in order for it to perform well in organic search. This includes everything from ensuring that each version is structured in the most appealing way possible to appeal to users within international SERPs to hiring native speakers to ensure that the language on-site is truly speaking to people.

However, this material will only be visible to them if you have the proper technical setup in place, such as hreflang setting and URL structure.


Rachel Costello

Rachel Costello worked as a Technical SEOContent Manager at Deepcrawl for several years. She spends the most of her time writing and lecturing on search engine optimization.

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