The Best Guide To International SEO

Before we get into international SEO in particular it is essential to be aware of international marketing in general. Since international SEO is just an instrument that you employ to accomplish these larger International marketing objectives.


What exactly is international marketing?

In simple terms in simple terms, simply, international marketing is the method of marketing products or services in multiple countries whether it is across the national boundaries. It is an essential tool to help a business achieve its worldwide growth and growth.

There are many advantages of expanding a company internationally, not the least of which is the possibility for it to market to a vastly expanded potential market. If it is done properly expanding internationally opens up companies to the following advantages:

  • Find new revenue streams
  • Expanding the reach of consumers in new areas
  • Gaining competitive advantages over solely local suppliers
  • Potential for investment from foreign investors
  • Diversifying assets across markets helps reduce economic risk

However, the expansion of international markets is not without risk. The main obstacles an international marketing strategy has to overcome are:

  • Risk of not complying with regulations specific to a country
  • Cultural differences between consumers and business practices
  • Finance resources are required to expand internationally
  • Competition in local markets and the demand

Because of these dangers and difficulties of the world of international marketing due to these risks and challenges, a comprehensive research phase is essential prior to embarking on the world of marketing strategy. The more data you have to begin your initial discussions, the more problems you’ll stay clear of later.

What and how does international marketing differ from local marketing?

While international marketing is an area of expertise in and of itself but it can also be seen as part of a company’s national marketing strategy with an increased focus on international implications of making decisions. It is about gaining a better understanding of the different environment, contexts and methods of thinking that impact the suppliers, customers, and consumers in the emerging market. In essence, it is comprehending the fundamental differences and similarities between different markets will influence your world marketing strategy.

When it comes to an old-fashioned International marketing mix is involved, there are four crucial elements to keep in mind to guide your International marketing strategy – product pricing placement, promotion, and product. These are of course applicable to the global digital marketing strategy, but expanding international operations within the digital world is not without other considerations that must be considered. We’ll get to these in the near future.

Where is SEO fit into your International marketing strategy?

Three key aspects that must be taken into consideration when implementing an effective International SEO strategy.

  • Excellence in technical aspects
  • Global market understanding
  • Innovation & creativity

Each of these three aspects should be taken into consideration in evaluating the three main SEO areas: technicalonpage and offpage.

Market entry analysis

The initial step in the international SEO strategy is to determine the size of opportunities in the markets you are considering. In addition to having to think about the potential by focusing on the market, but you must also consider the financial viability of each market in order to ensure that your international expansion plans are based on the potential to achieve the goals.

You might already know the regions you would like to expand into, however it is highly recommended to review the performance of your site that is happening normally in markets across the globe. This provides you with an understanding of the need for your products and also your capacity to create an search website to satisfy that demand.

You can see your current performance across the globe within Google Analytics by navigating to the Audience tab and selecting Geographic > Localization. If you’re making your first foray into an international business, you’ll receive more traffic from countries where you speak your main language and that is English. Also, you’ll be able to determine if you’re already seeing conversions from various markets, which could be another indication of the level of demand and lower competition in the area.

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You could also gain an understanding of how you are performing by looking over your search results through Google Search Console.

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If you’re able to use third-party software, these tools could also provide insights into your international footprint. For instance, Search metrics gives you a an overview of your top countries according to SEO visibility and ahrefs gives the ranking of your for keywords by country.

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Analysis of competitor benchmarks and benchmarking

Doing a benchmarking activity lets you know how you’re performing within your targeted market prior to investing any money to develop an international SEO strategy. There may be no online presence at present, but finding any exposure through factors like the coverage of news or any other press coverage can provide you with an understanding of how comfortable the public may be with your company’s name.

It is also recommended to do a competitor analysis to determine the players currently operating in your targeted market. They could be identical to your domestic market (particularly when you frequently deal with global brands) however, it is likely that there are different rivals to be considered. Making this clear early is essential, as it allows you to analyze their activities for key commercial terms, as well as knowing what strategy and content have allowed them to establish themselves in the market.

Review and analysis of SERPs

In addition to checking and evaluating your SERP existence, it is recommended that you must conduct an analysis of the SERP environment in your targeted market. This will enable you to understand the market maturation by examining details like the types of SERP features available and determining the distinction between informational and transactional search purpose and the kinds of competition that have the ability to be found on the terms you are interested in.

Technical SEO configuration and performance

Technical SEO is at the core of any site’s ability to be successful organically. It is even more crucial in the event of an the possibility of expanding into international markets. You’ll have to ensure your websites are correctly set up to be crawled, indexed and crawled in your intended market while also making sure that your websites don’t end up being in competition with each other.

If you don’t set up your site correctly, it could result in such a situation, for instance, your US website ranking on the UK and your UK site being ranked in the US which means that users tend to abandon the website and not make a purchase. Here are a few of the most important aspects you’ll need to address from a technical perspective.

Selecting the best international setting for your website

There are three choices for organizing your international setting:

  • Subdirectories
  • Subdomains from international subdomains
  • Separate country-code Top- Level Domains (ccTLDs)

Each option comes with its pros and cons, and it’s essential to understand the implications at the beginning, because it may be difficult to change setups later on.


The correct configuration of hreflang set up is vital to ensure that there is no cannibalisation of websites from different countries. Hreflang can be described as an HTML attribute that must determine how the geo-targeting and language for the website should be. The presence of hreflang tags is a method of telling search engines what version of the page is appropriate for the users it is aimed at, helping make sure that the correct version of the page is presented to the correct users.

Tools like the generator for hreflang tags as well as this Test Tool for hreflang tags are extremely helpful in making the right hreflang configuration for your website, as well as confirming that it is working as it should. It is essential to verify your configuration once you’ve added tags to your website since there are a variety of methods for the implementation to be faulty. We recommend that you follow this guide for Hreflang implementation to walk you through the steps.

Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)

If your plans to expand internationally involve markets separated from your home market You may be interested in utilizing the content delivery network (CDN). A CDN is essentially a set of composed of servers which are geographically dispersed, with the intention to deliver more performance as they are close to the users.

The major advantage of making use of CDNs to serve your content CDN to host your content internationally is that the necessary assets for loading the content (such like HTML styles, stylesheets Javascript images, etc.) can be moved much faster. Thus, your site’s loading time will be much faster and this is advantageous for the people you want to reach as well as for Googlebot. Making sure that your page speed low is vital to increase conversion rates as well to ensuring greater visibility on search results.

Set-up of tracking

We also suggest reviewing your tracking configuration when you expand into new markets, to ensure that your information is as thorough and clean as it could be. Check out the forthcoming Measuring International SEO performance section to get more information.

International keyword searches

Keyword analysis is the basis for any effective search marketing campaign It’s the same when it comes to any International marketing strategy. Whatever the product you sell, or the service you offer, it’s important to ensure you’ve got reliable global search engine research for the marketplaces you’d like to enter into.

Making a global list of keywords

Making an inventory of keywords that can be applied to all markets you intend to work in is an essential first step in establishing international expansion. It should be different from the list of keywords you have in your home country in that it shouldn’t be localized to your initial market but instead should cover all of the keywords in the source language so that it can serve as a reference for translation into the target language.

For instance, a footwear company based in the UK could possess a keywords list that goes such as:

  • High-heeled sandals
  • Ankle boots
  • Court shoes
  • Trainers
  • Football boots
  • Flip-flops

However, if they’re thinking of expanding into markets like those in the United States, then this list must be expanded to include variations like:

  • Sneakers
  • Tennis shoes
  • Pumps
  • Soccer Cleats
  • Soccer shoes
  • Soccer boots
  • Thongs

It’s unlikely that they’d be focused on these terms as part of their strategy geared towards the UK (particularly the last one! ) These keywords are all valid American phrases for their products and services, so they must be included. This list of global keywords can effortlessly be translated to other language needed and serve as the foundation for international research on foreign-language keywords.

Research on keywords for transactions

After you’ve the global keywords list into the target language It is essential to conduct localised research on your most important phrases in transactions. There’s often a variance in the manner in which the products or services advertised to in different markets, be it at the national or regional scale, and this step is essential for identifying nuances and colloquialisms that might be missed if one simply relied on the translated global keywords. The preferred terminology along with any brand guidelines must be considered at this stage.

Research on keywords for informational purposes

From an organic standpoint It is essential to ensure that you have a robust informational content strategy that is in place for a the upcoming market entry is essential because you can’t rely on your target market being conscious of your brand name or product offerings. Based on the degree of knowledge it is possible to begin with blog posts and other permanent content which addresses the queries the audience you are targeting is looking for. If your audience is more familiar about the products offered and the product, then enhancing transactional content by providing buying guidebooks and other FAQ type content is crucial to demonstrate your knowledge credibility, authority, and trustworthiness in the market in which you’ll be seen as a brand new player.

Translation and localisation of content

Similar to conducting keyword research, ensuring that your content is properly translated and localized to be able to reach the intended market is vital. This will not only help to improve your organic rankings However, ensuring that your content appears natural in the language of your target market is essential for establishing user confidence and showing that you’re a legitimate business.

We recommend that you have your content written by an native English speaker to ensure that the content flows smoothly in the target language and doesn’t have any confusing phrases. Make sure that the translator you choose has expertise in the field and is familiar with the style of writing that you require.

In Abydos We collaborate with a group composed of copywriters, native SEOs who assist our SEO experts from around the world. Through this manner, we can ensure that content is read well by native users of the target language in addition to ensuring that our translated content is optimized to be ranked well in search results for the country you wish to target.

Ongoing optimisation

International SEO isn’t just part of a list to be followed when you first begin entering new market. it’s a continuous process that allows you to keep growing and increasing your presence in these areas beyond your initial start.

Optimizing content for translation content

Translating content to your desired language does not guarantee that it’s going to rank in your targeted market. What works well in one market may not work in another. Therefore, adjusting content to meet the demands of various markets is essential to ensure your site’s content meets the correct search intention. It’s crucial to ensure that you have a thorough comprehension of the type of content that is already performing well for your desired keywords in various markets. Optimizing your content for the language of your target is crucial in order to provide search engines the greatest chances of aligning your content with the most relevant keywords that you need to concentrate on based on localised search numbers in addition to search intent.

Informational content strategy

With those of your business keywords search numbers and intentions will differ widely between markets. Although many of your customers’ queries and issues could be similar regardless of the nation they reside in, the manner of how people search for information could greatly impact the effectiveness of your long-tail content. We highly recommend conducting the research of informational keywords using your commercial keywords translated into English to serve as a basis. This will give you a an in-depth understanding of the type of content that your intended market is searching for and the manner in which they’re looking for it. It is then possible to create keyword-specific content to meet the demand and increase your brand’s visibility in new markets , thereby becoming an authoritative source of information for your industry.

Measuring the performance of SEO across the world

After you’ve gone through all the effort of studying, implementing and the launch of the internationally-focused SEO approach, then the final part of the puzzle is to make sure you have a solid tracking system in place. This will help ensure that you’re in a position to accurately measure your results to find out what’s working well and what could be improved, in order to learn from your mistakes in time to improve your visibility on the internet.

Google Analytics

It is advisable to create a separate Google Analytics view for each country you own an account for, and make sure that you create an option to filter out pertinent traffic gets included within the data. Filtering your data ensures that the tracked traffic is only going to the appropriate regional site However, it is important to monitor the reports on Audience > Geo because traffic could still be coming to these sites from different countries. Make sure you have an unfiltered view of your account because you’ll need an original dataset that you can use as a reference.

Google Search Console

If you’re setting up an international website in the Google Search console, we highly recommend creating the Domain property to ensure that each subdomain is part of the collection. If you’re using a subfolder system it is beneficial to have an integrated profile that allows you to see the effectiveness of your .com website. You can also combine your GSC data from each of your individual profiles to create the Google Data Studio dashboard.


International SEO should always be an important consideration when you’re planning to expand your website internationally. It can be difficult to get into the market but by knowing the landscape of your SERPs and working in conjunction with other departments of your company to gain market information, and working with developers right from the beginning to ensure that your site is in ideal position to be efficiently crawled and indexed within your targeted markets.