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What Is International SEO?

by | 13 Aug, 2022

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International SEO is the process of optimizing your website for foreign markets. It’s also known as global SEO.

Simply put, it is the process of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engines for keywords that are relevant to specific countries or regions.

This includes translating content, adding metadata, and using a global marketing strategy.

There are many benefits to international SEO such as increased traffic and higher conversion rates.

There are many ways to optimize your website for International SEO, such as using the right keywords, proper translation (if the target country speaks a different language), making sure your site is optimized for mobile devices, and using the right social media channels.

How Does International SEO Work?

Search engine algorithms are designed to match relevant search results with a user’s language and location.

International SEO works by telling search engines that your website’s content is relevant for users who are located in a particular country or who are looking for similar goods or services in a particular language.

It is similar to geotargeting, however, it involves optimizing your website for different languages and geographical regions rather than just your city or state.

The following are some important factors to be considered when performing International SEO:

  • Language – The language you choose on your site will affect how it ranks in different countries. If you’re targeting English speakers for example, then you should use English on your site and make sure that all of the content is written in English
  • Culture – The culture of a country can have an influence on language
  • Linguistic difference – Language not used in a country can have differences
  • Language change – Language might change over time
  • Culture change – Different cultures can have different languages due to the people’s lifestyle choices
  • Language richness – The number of languages a country or region has
  • Language diversity- How many different languages there are in the world

You should strive to improve the user experience for all of your international visitors.

You’ll know it’s time to make changes to your site when you discover that a good portion of your website visitors are from other countries and speak different languages.

Why Is International SEO Important?

Many of the largest U.S. businesses rely heavily on foreign sales for the majority of their revenue:

  • Google: 92.96 percent of global traffic
  • Apple: 60.7 percent of sales in international markets
  • Walmart: 23.2 percent of sales in international markets

You may be worried about competing against large businesses with enormous budgets.

The important thing to know is that SEO — and international SEO, in this case — makes it possible for small businesses to compete with large corporations.

International traffic is attainable for everyone. Matching user intent is a major aspect of SEO. Search engines, like Google, try to direct users to the page that best addresses their queries, and for many searches, location is a factor.

Some terms may make sense in one country and be completely confusing in another. The results will be completely different, and any content that fails to address the right user intent will not rank.

International SEO will help your product or service gain visibility in global markets.

To put it another way, optimizing your website and its content can increase your conversions and, as a result, your customer base.

International SEO gives you the opportunity to launch your business in other countries.

The improved global user experience from implementing global SEO can help to make your business a recognized international brand. This will increase the number of customers who visit your website again and boost your revenue.

SEO on a global scale can give you a competitive advantage.

If your competitors don’t optimize their content for certain countries or languages, you can benefit by doing so and increase traffic by creating content specifically for those countries.

How To Implement International SEO?

  1. Research Your International SEO Strategy and assess your potential in the countries you aim to target. Focus your efforts on the countries with the most potential.
  2. Research your competition in your target countries. Look for competitors who have more traffic and rank for a greater number of keywords than you do. Then borrow the best keywords from them.
  3. Conduct international keyword research for those keywords you’ve picked. you need to find out what keywords are popular in the country you want to target so you can optimize your content with those keywords.
  4. Localize your content. Create content in your target country’s language. Avoid solely depending on machine translations. Be mindful of linguistic and cultural differences.

Get a native to translate so you can gain some understanding of significant nuances that only locals are aware of.

However, note that some types of content require you to be explicit and precise, such as technical descriptions.

  1. Tailor Your Content to your target audience. This goes beyond translating your content to the desired language. You must match the user intent of your international audience. This includes your keyword research, the topics you prioritize, and stats.

People use different ways to find the relevant information they want. It’s not always possible to translate a keyword into another language and have it match user intent, even if it works well for you in English.

  1. Determine the key technical factors. The main factors you must take into account are as follows:
  • your website’s structure
  • Server’s location
  • choosing the right hreflang tags
Mihael D. Cacic
“Digital Marketing Mad Scientist”

Physicist turned SEO Content Marketer. For the past few years, Mihael worked with many big SaaS and service businesses helping them rank higher and get more customers. Now here to share his secrets on how to make hyper-profitable blogs in hyper-efficient ways.

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Founder, MailShake

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Increased monthly signups from 20 to 200/month in 7 months for one client.

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