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Creating an International SEO Marketing Strategy

Samantha Hops
October 14, 2022
12 min read

Search engine optimization (SEO) and an SEO marketing strategy are crucial to ensuring that your brand appears on the first page of Google search results and, preferably, in the top five for your target keyword.

But what if you wish to venture beyond local markets? With Google receiving over 3.5 billion searches daily, marketers have tremendous potential to acquire new clients.

Current SEO tactics don’t always convert because of issues like localizing your site, optimizing your numerous languages, and implementing SEO best practices. In some cases, SEO could even harm your brand’s reputation in foreign nations.

To make SEO marketing strategies for International Markets much simpler, we’re here to help! We’ll begin by outlining what you should know about SEO and the benefits it can provide for your business. Then, to develop a successful action plan, we’ll look into the ten best tips for perfecting your International SEO Strategy.

What Does International SEO Look Like?

Here is a look at the key aspects of international SEO, and International SEO Strategy.

What is SEO?

SEO involves increasing the amount of relevant traffic to a site from search engines such as Google. International search engine optimization is similar to domestic SEO in that it strives to improve exposure online. However, it targets customers in different nations or regions and uses different languages (multilingual SEO).

What Is an international SEO marketing strategy?

An SEO Marketing Strategy comprises the procedures, techniques, and guidelines you employ to fine-tune your search engine results pages for audiences in different countries. International search engine optimization aims to ensure that search engines can quickly determine your company’s physical location and the languages you represent.

Effective techniques use geographic and linguistic data to construct SEO strategies that generate a consistent return on investment. A solid international SEO strategy will assist your brand in expanding into new countries and increase its revenue.

How Does It Work?

Search engines like Google are designed to tailor search results to the customer’s geographic location and language. An SEO marketing strategy operates by informing search engines that your website contains material appropriate for searchers in a specific country or users seeking services or products akin to yours in a select language.

Using localization signals cues like dedicated URL structures, hreflang tags, and language targeting international SEO helps you tailor your site’s content to clients worldwide.

How Do International and Local SEO Compare?

The primary distinctions between Local and International SEO lie in the following:

  • Cost: International SEO initiatives incur substantial expenses, given their scope and scale.
  • Content: To achieve worldwide exposure, you should produce more content than you could for a domestic SEO campaign.
  • Target Audience: International SEO widens your potential consumer base; thus, you’ll need to go deep into the local market to ensure your brand meets client expectations.
  • Competition: International SEO is far more competitive for both keywords and clients. Besides competing with firms in your geographical zone of influence, you’ll face multinational enterprises. But that also means you can get a competitive advantage if the opposition is not investing in international SEO.

What Different Factors Come Into Play With International SEO?

Your enterprise should have no location-based restrictions. Using tactics such as a citation campaign and creating content in specific native languages, you can execute an international strategy without sacrificing your domestic one.

However, International SEO has different SEO factors than domestic SEO.

International SEO concentrates on global traffic and keyword strategy. When trying to get traffic to your website, you should address prospective clients worldwide. This strategy begins by optimizing blog content for your target audience across different search engines.

Google is the most dominant search engine. Other commonly used search engines include Yahoo, Bing, Baidu, and Yandex.

Based on your preferred search engine, as per your potential customers and marketing plan. Positive search engine rankings mean that your site appears on the first page of your search terms.

The Importance of Having an International SEO Strategy

Having an international SEO strategy provides everal benefits to your business.

SEO marketing strategy - Transifex

Does Your Business Need an International SEO Strategy?

If you have no intentions to develop outside your local client base, like your city or state, an international SEO marketing strategy isn’t worth the additional expenses and efforts.

If your enterprise is solely local, international SEO could harm the business. Clients who land on your foreign site will be disappointed to learn that you only serve a narrow geographic region.

However, international SEO is a worthwhile investment if you plan to grow outside national lines and generate leads abroad. Because of the vast number of businesses operating worldwide and the growing difficulty of achieving high rankings for relevant keywords, an all-encompassing SEO strategy is essential.

What Are the Advantages of an International SEO Strategy to a Business?

Still not certain if you should engage international SEO efforts in your enterprise? Here are some benefits to consider:

More Exposure In Various Nations

The primary objective of SEO is to boost search engine rankings. Once you employ international SEO efforts, you can extend your firm into new markets and improve your organic search.

Improve Sales

You can connect with people worldwide by promoting your site globally and boosting lead generation. An online store can easily initiate foreign sales and significantly increase your return on investment.

Besides, it’s easier for potential clients from different countries to locate your site when searching for relevant content. Some firms even use a customer journey to monitor the requirements and concerns of prospective clients, thus, leading to higher conversion rates.

Enhance Brand Recognition

Enterprises attempting to reach a bigger target audience could enhance brand recognition through international SEO. As a result, it will become easier for you to establish credibility with international clients and inform them of your firm’s ideals through quality content.

Furthermore, you can demonstrate to potential consumers what differentiates your firm from rivals in the same field. Besides, you can improve your rankings through signals to search engines.

10 Tips for Perfecting Your SEO Strategy Internationally

The recommended SEO practices remain consistent regardless of your international SEO strategy, whether nation-based, language-focused, in-house, or outsourced.

For instance, you should respond to queries in the local language and appropriate context and be thorough when translating pre-existing material. Likewise, you should consider the user experience and avoid directly rerouting prospective clients depending on their location.

However, if you overlook the fundamentals, such as on-page SEO, your likelihood of ranking on the first page of Google is limited.

Adhering to these SEO-recommended practices will set the framework for your website’s improved search engine visibility. After laying the groundwork, you can proceed to more comprehensive keyword research and link development techniques.

Check out the following ten tips for improving your SEO marketing strategy for international markets:

1: Do Your Research & Know Your Audience

Before initiating your international SEO campaign, you should determine the target audience for your service or product and what they value. You may accomplish this by studying how these audiences normally locate services and products by conducting keyword research.

After that, you will know what audiences to target and how to reach them.

Optimizing content for all nations and languages isn’t necessary when implementing international SEO. It could be a multi-phase rollout.

Begin with targeting a single new audience to learn how to apply international SEO, and then proceed. This will assist you and your staff get more comfortable with international SEO strategy and gain traction for future endeavors.

2: Get the Right Domain Structure & Dedicated URLs

To minimize confusion, assign a unique URL to every page of local content. Webmasters utilize various URL formats to target specific countries.

Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) are appropriate if you require country-specific websites. Domains such as yourbrandname.fr and yourbrandname.es indicate to search engines that these websites are geared to audiences based in France and Spain, respectively.

Nevertheless, because ccTLDs are independent domains, this approach is often time-consuming and costly. Every ccTLD must have its plan for content marketing, link development, and digital public relations. Besides, you cannot transfer any links or domain authority obtained through off-site activity on other websites.

Suppose the geography of your audience has no bearing on your goods and services. In that case, you can employ a single domain and subdirectories or subfolders to house country-specific or language-specific pages.

3: Consider Hiring an SEO Agency Based in That Country

SEO aims to improve your business’s ranking for your target audience’s keywords. To achieve this, SEO firms utilize a range of tactics, such as designing an SEO-first content marketing strategy, changing your existing site structure and layout to be more SEO-friendly, and constructing backlinks to your site.

However, to guarantee the best SEO marketing efforts, you should hire an SEO firm based in that nation.

They understand the area and whom to target. A domestic SEO agency knows the local trends and can tap into local networks to better market your site.

4: Do Keyword Research for Each Country

Using relevant keywords is a crucial part of search engine optimization. However, you shouldn’t simply translate these keywords if you’re working on international SEO. Instead, you should trans-create them.

After finding and rewriting your keywords, you should see how often they’re searched.

Utilize tools like the Google Keyword Planner to establish the monthly search numbers in the relevant areas. Then, integrate the high-ranking keywords into your SEO Marketing Strategy for International Markets.

5: Translate & Localize Your Content Carefully

While you still need to remain productive and stay on task while doing this, it is important that you slow down and double or triple-check things to make sure you haven’t made any mistakes.

Whether you’ve chosen country-specific sites or subfolders on a specific domain, you must ensure that every page is written in the correct language.

This will send a strong message to search engines such as Google that your information is relevant for customers in particular locations, resulting in greater rankings for your sites.

It will also improve the overall satisfaction of local users, increasing the likelihood that they’ll buy your product or service or revisit your website later.

If this isn’t possible or beneficial for your organization, you could integrate subfolders with web pages specified in every language spoken in your target nations.

6: Use the “hreflang” Attribute in Your Code

The hreflang element specifies the target language and geographical area for your website. Using hreflang properties also aids in avoiding duplicate content concerns across your site’s many language variants.

For instance, with English language web pages allocated for the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States, you could integrate the ‘hreflang’ attribute by:

  • Include it in your HTML’s ‘head’ section
  • Including it in the XML sitemap markup
  • Include it in the HTTP headers

7: Understand Cultural Differences & Adapt Your Content Accordingly

Every piece of material you include on your chosen nation’s web pages should be appropriate to the local audience. For instance, if you publish content that discusses U.S. news or trends, these topics may not be relevant to Australian site visitors.

Therefore, you should tailor the information presented on the country-specific pages to be relevant to visitors from that location. When generating localized content, consulting someone based in that nation on things like copy and landing page design is advisable.

8: Automatically Redirect Users Depending on Their Location

Geo-redirection is a strategy for personalization where users access material that correlates to their geographic regions. It entails utilizing location data, notably geolocation data collected from IP addresses.

As firms strive to explore prospects in new areas, the demand for geo redirection increases.

Clients are typically more open to a brand that resonates with their culture, speaks the local dialect, or can ship directly to their location. Therefore, ensure you automatically redirect customers based on their area.

However, do keep in mind that not everyone likes to be redirected to their native language. Some are more comfortable with English. And that’s why you should first make sure that this is not the case for your audience before automatically redirecting them.

9: Get a Native Language Speaker To Proofread Your Content

While non-native speakers can do this work, natives can translate sentences and words in their dialect, which might reduce miscommunication or editing errors.

More often than not, native speakers capture certain idiomatic expressions and words entrenched deep in the language that somebody with a different mother tongue may not understand. Native speakers are more conscious of the dynamic nature of their native tongue.

10: Make Use of an SEO Tool

The correct tools will help you optimize the effectiveness of your international SEO strategy by giving actionable statistics regarding site traffic, click-throughs, and site dwell time. Among the most widely used instruments are:

Final Thoughts

The appropriate SEO strategy distinguishes your brand from the competition. Although this is vital in domestic markets, it becomes more crucial if you expand internationally.

International SEO ensures your site is designed to accommodate high-value content and keywords in many areas and nations. By taking into account local language, context, and customs, you could enhance customer interaction, boost search engine rankings and optimize your global effect.

This article is a guest contribution by Sam Hops, a content writer at MarketSplash.

Samantha Hops
Sam Hops is a content writer for MarketSplash - a digital magazine that covers design, eCommerce, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship-related topics. Sam is passionate about all this digital marketing but has a particular interest in graphic design, SEO and social media
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