Does your business sell internationally?  If it does, it’s crucial that you tailor your SEO efforts to be effective across the world.  But learning how international SEO works can initially feel like learning a foreign language, leaving many people unclear on how to utilize it and how it can benefit them.

Below you’ll learn more about how best to reshape your SEO strategy and give your business the international exposure it deserves, from an internet marketing company.

How International SEO Works

When you utilize international SEO strategies, it means you optimize your web pages so that search engines will identify countries you want to target as well as the content and language of users in a specific location.  It’s similar to how small businesses use SEO to target a variety of nearby locations.   

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 domain for your requirements, as 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 perfect 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 do this, you’ll want to do several of the following:

Start by using a country-specific domain and use the Google Search Console to specify the location you want to target.  Next, 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.  Finally, make sure to use the local language.

Using an International Strategy

Some companies, such as specific niche businesses, 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. 

International SEO strategies usually target multiple countries.  If this is your goal, you’ll need to connect to all of your desired locations.  One way you can do this is through content marketing.  By generating leads through content and promoting that content with SEO, you can improve page rankings.  This is a good idea for companies that exist online, but if your business is more traditional, it will likely not work as well. 

If country-specific content is important to you, adding localized sub-directories in your website that you then geotarget in Google Seach 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 management issues. 

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 (such as uk.site.com to target the UK, or de.site.com to target Germany) can be especially 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.  And it’s essential 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 only translate to any additional websites you create.

International SEO strategies can vary depending on your goals, budget, and audience, but these tips will help you get started.  To learn more about how to use these strategies, contact Blueprint Internet Marketing at 1.888.533.4886 or info@blueprintim.com.