The International SEO Blueprint
Achieve International SEO Rankings
Does your business sell internationally? If it does, it’s crucial that you tailor your SEO efforts to be effective in different markets. Below, you’ll learn how to reshape your SEO strategy and give your business the international exposure it deserves.
How International SEO Works
When you utilize international SEO strategies, it means you optimize your web pages so search engines will identify countries you are targeting as well as the content and language of users in specific locations. It’s the same process you would use if you have multiple locations in a city or country.
International SEO Considerations
The first thing you’ll need to consider before launching an international SEO campaign is your domain name. It’s important that you choose the right one since some domains default to a specific location, while others can be geotargeted to a country.
Although different domains have different rules, they are often not strict. For example, if you are promoting content using a geotargeted domain, that content is still ranked internationally. Most businesses should consider geotargeting because international rankings can be improved by getting the right content to the right audience.
Targeting Specific Countries
If you decide to use SEO to target a specific country, you’ll need to clearly show Google where you’re located and who should receive the content. To achieve this, do the following:
- Start by using a country-specific domain and use the Google Search Console to specify the location you want to target.
- Register your business address with Google My Business and make sure to put your business address on your website.
- To make the website more usable, host it locally and include links from websites that are specific to the country you’re targeting.
- Use local language and content to localize.
Using an International Strategy
Some companies will rank well internationally by using a traditional SEO process, so you should determine how well your company ranks internationally before setting up a complex international strategy.
Targeting Multiple Countries
International SEO strategies usually target multiple countries. If this is your goal, you’ll need to link to all of your desired locations. One way you can do this is through content marketing. By promoting your content with SEO, you can improve page rankings.
Adding Sub-directories on Your Website
If country-specific content is important to you, adding localized sub-directories in your website that you then geotarget in Google Search Console for content and language that is specific to certain countries can provide you with a lot of benefits. For one, doing this can be easier because you only need to expand on your current site rather than worrying about hosting and managing multiple sites.
In addition, all of your sub-directories will gain authority through their connection to the parent domain. Finally, you’ll only have to promote this single site, which is easier and less costly than promoting several sites. The downside to this method is that your users may not recognize from the URL that the site is geotargeted.
Creating Country Specific Domains
Creating country-specific domains, such as uk.site.com to target the UK, or de.site.com to target Germany, can be useful if your business has a physical location, operation, or uses offline marketing in the target country. Although it is more expensive to set up, configure, and market separate websites, it allows you to create clear location signals using country-specific URL links. This is vital if you plan to compete with companies that exist within that country. This is because people trust and prefer URLs that are specific to their home country. Before creating international sites, make sure there are no issues with your initial site, as these problems will translate to the additional websites you create.