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international SEO

How To Implement International SEO

Of the almost 8 billion people alive today across the globe, 5 billion of them are active internet users

To have your content reach the right audience, you need to take advantage of international SEO.

Not every website has what it takes to make money from international audiences due to the sheer volume of content. But utilising international SEO can significantly boost your reach if your content has the potential. 

Wait, What’s International SEO?

If you create content online, chances are good that you know about and use SEO almost daily. But even those familiar with SEO might be scratching their heads at the mention of international SEO. 

International SEO is the process of growing your website’s organic presence in international markets. 

It enables you to reach users in specific countries, increasing your global reach and brand awareness. Simply put, international SEO is how your business can effectively navigate worldwide differences to maximise its presence in multiple countries.

But Is International SEO Important?

Some of the biggest companies in the world rely on international sales as a significant component of their business model.

Some examples include:

  • Apple: 60.7% of sales in international markets
  • Ford: 36.7% of sales in global markets
  • Alphabet (Google): 53.8% of sales in global markets
  • Walmart: 23.2% of sales in global markets

While that’s all well and good for these companies with seemingly unlimited budgets, what about smaller businesses?

Google is an American company, but it drives over 90% of all global internet traffic and is used worldwide. It’s especially powerful when you do search engine marketing right.

That means that your content has the potential to reach a massive audience with the right online strategies. 

SEO is a fantastic marketing channel that enables small businesses to compete with larger companies in any country. 

5 Ways To Implement International SEO

We’ve prepared a list of the most important steps to leverage international SEO. 

1: Start With Research

Any SEO tactics you follow should be backed by thorough research. 

You need to know for sure that your content will have an impact in a particular region. Your business needs to act based on concrete statistics and information.

You should:

  • Understand your capabilities
  • Analyse the competition using tools like Google Analytics
  • Understand user intent by performing manual Google searches and analysing the search results
  • Be mindful of cultural differences, such as the use of different words or phrasing
  • Highlight barriers to international sales and come up with possible solutions

Additionally, give credible evidence that focusing resources on international SEO will be better for your company than focusing those resources on your local SEO.

Ultimately, everybody has a marketing budget, and wasting it on irrelevant targeting will reduce your ROI. Ensure your resources are focused on the countries that have the most potential. 

2: Use The Right International Domain Structure

A strong indicator of international SEO ranking is what country your content comes from. 

It makes sense that a French person wanting to research the Eiffel Tower would look for French content. So, what can you do to improve your content’s chances of being chosen?

You can use any of the following 4 signifiers to tell search engines where your content comes from:

  • a domain with a different country code:
  • a subdomain of your existing generic:
  • a subdirectory on your existing generic:
  • content on a domain that’s targeting a specific language using language parameters:

Each signifier offers its own benefits and detriments. 

While a separate domain is the most potent signifier that content is aimed toward a specific country, it has a downside. 

An individual domain means that you’ll have to run an entire second website. This can be a pain to manage or even impossible to maintain for smaller businesses with relatively small budgets.

Using a generic domain with language modifiers is the easiest option but may not appear as often in search results.

3: Leverage Language

There are over 7000 languages spoken around the world today. While not all of them have a presence in online spaces, your content must support most major languages. 

Google tries to sort search results to fit the user’s native language.

To make the most of international SEO, you must ensure that your translated content is accurate and professional. 

While software translation is impressive, it isn’t up to the task on a larger scale. Instead, find more reliable alternatives, like hiring a translation team, to ensure your content stands up to scrutiny.

4: Match The User’s Intent

Users spend less than a minute to see if a website offers them what they need. That doesn’t leave you with much chance to make an impression.

Your content must tick all their boxes as fast as possible. Matching user intent is perhaps the most critical factor of effective SEO, international or otherwise.

You need to ensure that your content isn’t just in the correct language but also provides the right information for the search results it appears in. 

5: Prioritise Your Targets

Each region you target requires a unique approach to have any impact. This includes research, specialised content, and creative solutions to overshadow the competition. 

It can prove to be a massive undertaking, so you must prioritise which regions you think matter most. Going for too many countries risks spreading your resources too thin.

Using tools like Google Analytics, you can determine what countries your brand of content resonates with the strongest. Select the most valuable targets from there and begin optimising your International SEO to focus on them.

Partner Up To Implement International SEO

To take your International SEO to the next level, consider partnering with a team with years of experience. 

At DigitLab, a complete digital marketing agency, we help website owners get ahead in the competitive digital economy and stand out in the international marketplace. 

Contact our team if your website needs powerful International SEO. We look forward to working with your business.


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