International SEO: A Complete Guide for Beginners
Having a website and optimizing it with effective SEO services is a daily struggle for businesses to stay in the game of ranking on search engines like Google and Bing. But International SEO is a completely different warfare. With it, your website is fighting like hell roosters against a vast and diverse region, making it a highly challenging task to rank on search engines like Google and Bing.
How many agencies want to go international with their business and services or products to reach a wide range of target audiences. With more website design and development services available, it is becoming easier to target foreign countries through global websites. But the question is how you will improve your brand visibility in different countries.
In other words, just because you have a global website in several regions doesn’t mean you will be successful in them. Please note: that one standard SEO strategy will not be applicable for different regions.
To know the reason, first and foremost you need to understand what international SEO is and why it is important. This we will delve into international SEO to give beginners a complete and easy guide. Let’s wrap it up:
What is International SEO?
When you optimize your website and its content through a method known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In the global market, when you optimize your website and its content for different regions and countries through a method, it is called international SEO. The goal of international SEO is to achieve organic website traffic from different linguistic groups and geographical regions. It allows search engines in different regions to discover your website.
However, with a strategic international SEO, you can target an international audience with your website content. It helps businesses to grow their business all around the world. In this guide, we will give you a clear insight into the best practices of international SEO.
How Does International SEO Work?
International SEO (Search Engine Optimization) involves optimizing online content and websites to attract and engage a global audience. This process takes into consideration the diverse languages, cultures, and search behaviors across different regions. Successful international SEO requires a comprehensive approach that integrates technical, linguistic, and cultural considerations to reach and engage a global audience effectively.
One fundamental aspect of international SEO is the use of hreflang tags, which signal to search engines the targeted language and regional targeting of a webpage. These tags help search engines deliver the most relevant content to users based on their location and language preferences, ensuring a more personalized and effective user experience.
Why is International SEO Important?
If you have a dream of growing your business on the global market, international SEO gives you that chance to make your dream come true. It helps you to get a huge range of exposure for your products or services in the international market. In simple words, the more people see your offerings, the more you will be able to convert potential audiences into loyal customers.
If you optimize your website content to expand your business in the global market, you will stay one step ahead of your competitors. If you see your competitors aren’t optimizing the content via an International SEO strategy, then this will be a win-win situation for you.
Benefits of International SEO for Businesses
Investing in international SEO not only helps you to improve your brand recognition but also offers you more organic traffic to your website. Here are some benefits of international SEO for business which are given below:
1. Enhance Brand Visibility in the Global Market:
If you optimize your website and its content with international SEO it helps search engines like Google and Bing to understand why your website content is valuable and relevant for specific regions that you want to target. However, it also enables you to appear on local SERPs for relevant search queries.
For instance, If any US-based shoe brands want to grow their business in the UK, then first they need to identify the keywords related to their industry on search engines in the UK.
The keyword they might find is “ UK Shoe Brands” or “Famous British Shoe Brand”. Now they need to add localized versions in their meta description, titles, and product descriptions. The words you need to choose are “mules”, “boots” and more.
They need to add these specific geographical region-related keywords into content, meta descriptions, URLs, product descriptions, titles, and more. Moreover, it is crucial to achieve backlinks from an established shoe brand in the UK.
These strategies can help the US-based brand to grow its market in the UK and it helps to attract more people who want to make more purchases from the brand.
2. Grow Customer Base:
With International SEO, you will get a chance to improve your brand visibility on search engines in different regions and expand your potential customer base worldwide.
By tapping into international markets, businesses can unlock new opportunities for customer acquisition and revenue generation. The optimized online presence ensures that the business is discoverable by users searching for relevant products or services globally. As the business gains traction in different regions, it can experience an influx of international customers, leading to increased sales and market share.
Additionally, a diversified international presence can serve as a risk mitigation strategy, as economic fluctuations or market challenges in one region may be offset by stability or growth in another. This global approach to SEO allows businesses to capitalize on the unique demands and preferences of diverse markets, fostering a more resilient and adaptable business model.
By embracing the opportunities presented by diverse markets, businesses can expand their reach, build a global brand presence, and capitalize on untapped opportunities for success.
What is the Difference Between International SEO and Methodical SEO?
International SEO is a part of methodical SEO or regular SEO best practices. As we know search engine algorithms work the same way but not the same from different regions to regions. In simple words, an International SEO strategy is built on the knowledge and skills of methodical SEO or regular SEO. For international SEO, you need the following elements:
- Local competitors
- Local audience
- Several Website
- Popular Search Engines
When you have global websites, you need to pay attention to their overall performance as well. In this case, you may face competition between your local market websites or, in the worst-case scenario, none of your websites will be indexed at all.
How to Create an International SEO Strategy?
Your international expansion requires an effective international SEO strategy. For that, we are here to discuss how to create an international SEO strategy with you. Let’s get started:
1. Perform Market Research For Different Regions:
According to marketing professionals, it is crucial to perform market research based on your target audience’s behavior and interests. It helps you to identify what your target audience is looking for and what they are more interested in. However, more importantly, by conducting competitive marketing research you can easily identify what your competitors are doing in different regions and you will find the loopholes and use them in your international SEO strategy.
You can use various tools to discover your competitors, their strategies, and the keywords they are using and learn more about the audience.
2. Explore Targeted Keywords for International Markets:
Keyword research plays a vital role in search engine optimization (SEO). But when it comes to international SEO, you need to be more careful while searching for keywords in different regions. For international SEO, keyword research doesn’t only require translating the keywords word to word, it is more than that. Translating keywords depending on a case-by-case basis. For IT and health companies, most English word terminologies are the same worldwide. Therefore, sometimes, translating keywords will be meaningless.
For example, if you have a law company in the United States and you want to grow your business in the United Kingdom too. Now first thing first, you need to search for relatable keywords on search engines for UK domains. You should be aware of keyword distinctions such as the word “trial lawyers” which is mostly used in the United States but in the UK, people usually say “barristers”.
Instead of focusing on translating the keywords, you should see what people from specific regions are searching for. To select the related keywords, you can use a free tool like Google Keyword Planner to expand your business internationally.
3. Select the International Domain Structure:
Having an international domain structure helps your audiences and search engines to discover your business in a specific region. There are different options available for domain structure which are mentioned below:
This term refers to a two-letter domain associated with a specific country, called a Country Code Top-Level Domain. Or ccTLD. For example, .ca for Canada, .uk for the United Kingdom, and .us for the United States. To improve your international marketing efforts, you can use these domains for specific countries where you want to expand your business.
gTLD, known as Generic Top-Level Domain, is supervised by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), a domain extension consisting of more than two or three letters. The most commonly used gTLDs are .org, .gov, and.com. Search engines will not restrict results by region when you use a gTLD, but it may result in a reduction in total traffic since many users prefer sites that include their country code.
4. Create Content Based on the Language and Regions:
Depending on the customer’s communication ways, values, and cultural norms, you need to create content. As we have said before, focus on localization, instead of translation.
During translation, content is converted into another language without losing its original meaning. Accuracy is the focus. The goal of content localization is to adapt content to an audience’s preferences and expectations by taking into account regional, cultural, and contextual factors. If you use localization over translation, it will offer more user engagement. However, it creates a positive reputation for the brand.
5. Built Relevant Links:
Building relevant links is the most important element if you want to gain your user’s trust. Achieving links from reputable sources helps you build trust on search engines. Once search engines crawl your website and feel that your website has been maintaining Google’s guidelines of E-E-A-T or Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness, then Google will help you to rank higher on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
6. Implement Hreflang Tags:
Implementing Hreflang tags for informing search engines you are targeting different regions with multiple languages and multiple websites. It helps search engines identify which pages are relevant to user’s queries from different regions. By using hreflang tags, you help search engines deliver the appropriate language version of a page to your users in foreign markets.
International SEO is crucial if you want to expand your business in the global market. Using the mentioned tactics can help you to achieve brand visibility internationally. We hope this article on the complete guide for beginners on international SEO will help you to understand better. If you want any help, then we are here to help with our digital marketing services. If you like to read our articles on trending topics, keep your eye on our blog page.