10 Best International SEO Tips for business

If you have come in looking for tips for international SEO for business we must tell you that you will have them.

By the end of this article we assure you that you will know the basics needed to reach anywhere in the world.

However, we will also explain a little more about this topic to make sure you don’t overlook it.

Learn International SEO tips to improve and get immediate results.

International SEO tips
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What is international SEO for business?

SEO on a computer keyboard

To sum it up, it is all the techniques and strategies that you must carry out so that your website starts to be positioned in the different countries that you have marked within your target audience.

The definition of international SEO refers to the set of techniques, practices and optimizations that are applied to websites in order to gain greater exposure abroad. 

It should always be taken into consideration that those companies that stand out in the first results of Google are the ones that have a good SEO. Just like in any other search engine. And this is thanks to the fact that they pass the filters of its complex algorithms. 

Let’s think then for a moment in the common SEO, and remember that this exists under the purpose that can be improved the performance of websites without defining the market in which we expect all this to act. 

We can already conclude that international SEO aims to effectively expose the brand outside the territory in which the organization is geographically located. So it is the one to keep in mind when you want to cross borders.

What are some advantages of International SEO?

The advantages of international SEO have to do with increasing the productivity and profits of any business. Having clarified the above, you can be specific with the following:

International SEO has to be seen as an opportunity to open a store in a different city, to expand a franchise, and to be able to be recognized more than just locally.

sticker with the inscription SEO in female hands on the background of a laptop

Why should businesses do international SEO?

Have you ever come across websites that have business units in different countries, but only rank in one?

This happens because they are not able to comply with the guidelines of search engines, such as Google, for example, so that the content is positioned internationally. 

The importance of international SEO lies in the opportunities.

It should be understood that those sites that do not have any strategy, or do not implement it correctly, what they do is lose opportunities for their business because they do not become visible in their target markets. 

From this point on, you can become a little more aware of why it is important to take care of international SEO, since it will be the key strategies that will help you reach all those countries, or regions, that have a certain level of importance for your business, specifically speaking. 

Apart from that, it should be taken into account that when these strategies are carried out in the right way for the business it should not be seen as an unaffordable investment.

If managed correctly, this investment will generate a high return making it, in most cases, worthwhile. 

If you are looking for a more technically oriented answer, in order for Google to give you visibility, improving your results for a particular region or language, the algorithm will have to understand your site’s content perfectly.

Otherwise, the problems will start. 

In case you have a web project that will go beyond a region, or country, it is important that you follow all the guidelines of international SEO, and Google’s specific standards, as this is the only guarantee that you will gain positioning in the countries you hope to reach.

10 international SEO tips for business

If you want to start one of these strategies we will give you 5 international SEO tips for business that should be taken as the main ones, since it is from them that any good strategy that takes your website to the top of the search results will start:

1. Study your target audience

old map

This is arguably one of the most important steps in the construction of any strategy, as it allows you to understand what these users are like in the various countries you are targeting. 

Among the points you may be interested in defining the search engines they usually use, the level of Internet access they have, the devices they use (whether they have tablets, cell phones or computers), and the language (i.e. how they speak and the terms they use most frequently).

Reaching international markets with the help of search engines will need your website to have the proper Hreflangs set up and the foreign language.

2. Study your competition

Closeup image of a woman using and working on laptop computer

Although for many it is an obvious point, it never hurts to talk about the importance of knowing your competition at an organic level in each of the different countries in which you are looking to position yourself. This way you are not going down a blind path.

Among the things you should analyze is the type of content they work with and the way they do it in order to give you a clearer idea of the audience in the country in question. What you should do is look for ways to improve this content and thus position yourself better.

Understanding what keywords and reankings your competition has, could give you also a heads up or ideas of where you can attack or what you can improve to reach a better position.

Remember that a good backlink SEO strategy is also necessary to follow up to improve rankings.

3. Choosing an appropriate domain. ccTDL vs Subfolder vs Subdomain

Big Data Domain Web Page SEO Concept

On the one hand, we have ccTDL, which is considered to still make some sense for common languages starting from a country where that language is spoken, such as Russia, Israel, and any of the Scandinavian countries. Or in Latin America with Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, among others.

Considering a second possibility is Subdomain, which for any purpose is never to have been on the list of what is recommended for SEO since its disadvantages will outweigh its advantages. Their strong point is the creation of instances of specific countries or languages in the direction of users.

This is where we find the Subdirectories or Subfolders. From an implementation perspective, they are the easiest to use since they are just another folder on the site. These have the ability to inherit all the branding and ranking value that the root domain has.

In conclusion, an International SEO tip, based on what Google has been considering lately, is to go with the choice of a subdirectory as it will rank faster, so much so that Apple, Samsung, HP, among others, rely on them.

4. Conduct international keyword research

white stickers with the words SEO and keywords on a yellow background, attached to a rope

Doing a keyword search is another of the international SEO tips for business, since it is not only about knowing which keywords are successful in a region, but in all the places where you expect to position yourself. 

What we mean by this is that you should know that just because a word has a high search rate in Spain does not mean that the same should happen in Mexico. They may be similar, and this is where the way in which that specific public expresses itself comes in.

Search intent might be different according to the country.

Keywords should always be seen as the foundation of SEO. In case there is no one searching for what you are writing about then you will not get any traffic from Google, no matter how hard you try.

When you talk about researching international keywords you are referring to knowing which set of words, redundantly, are the most searched for worldwide. Those that match users from any country, and know how you can include them in your content.

On the other hand, in many cases, as a tip for International SEO, it is also important to know which keywords work and which do not depending on the country in which you want your content to be positioned. Since the way to put together a query in Mexico may not be the same in Venezuela.

5. Create multilingual content tailored to the target country

Content marketing

At this point, perhaps it is superfluous to tell you that the population of different countries lives different realities.

This means that their needs, or interests, also vary, a point that you can check with the topics they consult most frequently in search engines.

Focus your content marketing efforts on really understanding the localization of your website.

Taking inspiration from the previous point, one of the most important tips within the International SEO is the creation of multilingual content, and it is important to remember that what you are trying to do is precisely to gain more traffic to your website with users from all over the world.

Ideal customers will be much more attracted to content that has been written in their native language. Apart from the fact that it is an opportunity to transmit the information to them better, retaining it for longer, and increasing the probability that they will share it with other users who have the same interest.

And within this we can talk about the automatic translations that browsers do nowadays. It should be known that this is not one hundred percent effective, and that sometimes parts of the website will remain in the original language, or the context of the sentence will not be understood correctly.

Therefore, if you want to do International SEO the best thing to do is to prepare your website with multilingual content always thinking about the target country you want to reach. Sometimes a simple idiom, or the way you write a sentence, can make the difference.

6. Have a good web structure

Website development

There are issues such as having different domains by country, you can also consider the issue of subdomains, as well as subdirectories.

All of this comes into play when it comes to helping the algorithm know which region to launch a website to.

If you are able to have different domains for each country, that could be the best form of International SEO for Business, but if you are a small business looking to grow, then subdirectories is the recommended way to set up your structure.

7. Use an SEO plugin such as Rank Math or Yoast


On the one hand, we have Yoast SEO, which is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin today. It was founded by Joost de Valk who had already worked as an SEO consultant before he came up with his own SEO plugin.

Rank Math, on the other hand, is considered to be the emerging SEO of WordPress. It was launched at the end of 2018, when it had already been in development for a couple of years before that. It has grown widely in popularity to rank second in the preference of users worldwide.

Among the International SEO tips we will be giving you is to highly consider the importance of these optimization tools and take the time to evaluate each one to find out which one best suits the project at hand. Sometimes that one is above another popularly does not speak of its functionalities.

8. SEO backlinks from international websites

Link building

A backlink, is nothing more than an external link, worth the redundancy, which has the task of leading to a website or a web page. That is, when you click on it, you go directly to the site.

The quality of a backlink will always depend on the online reputation of the website, as well as its credibility in the eyes of search engines. So nowadays, the unbridled exchange of backlinks that we used to experience in the past does not make much sense.

One of the most important International SEO tips is to create quality content and make sure that international websites use your link in their entries so that their users can be directed to your site whenever they want to know more about the product or service being mentioned.

When a website is successful, has a high level of credibility, and goes with the theme of the others, usually these backlinks are generated on their own since in some cases they are taken as a reference. In others it will be necessary to work them a little more, or to reach a mutual agreement always with content that matches.

9. Technical SEO

SEO or search engine optimization concept

Technical SEO refers to the set of improvements and alterations that can be made to websites and blogs in order to ensure the correct crawling and indexing of content by search engine algorithms.

The objective with this type of strategies is divided between getting a good positioning in the SERPs (not only highlighting a content, but the entire website), as well as providing a good user experience (makes the user stay longer and reduces the rejection rate).

To do International SEO the two points we have mentioned in the previous paragraph must be worked correctly so that in that new country in which you try to position yourself you have the algorithm and users in your favor.

10. Use a multilingual plugin such as WPML or Weglot

wpml vs weglot

Among the tips of International SEO will always highlight the use of multilingual plugins because we do not always want to reach audiences who speak the same language, and carry out translations manually can be exhaustive apart from the fact that it would require a greater investment to pay the right professionals.

What multilingual plugins do within International SEO is to take the content that is already done in one language and translate it into the one that is requested. Of course, each of them will work differently and, depending on the project, you can take more or less advantage of them.

On the one hand, what WPML will do is create a duplicate version of each page or post in a new language, save it as a normal WordPress post and then link to it. It will be up to you to make sure that all the new content in each of these posts is translated correctly.

On the other hand, Weglot is known for detecting all the content from the original web page, passing it to a translation API and thus replacing the original content with the translations that have been made. No additional element is created in the WordPress back-end.

Weglot vs WPML

WordPress Multilingual Plugins

If your business is running on a WordPress environment, or it could also be that you are already in Shopify, Wix or Weebly, there are some apps or multilingual plugins that can help you to have multiple languages.

As stated in WPML vs Weglot, these are the two best WordPress Multilingual Plugins that can easily support with the previous tips.

In just a matter of seconds you can start your multilingual language that fulfills al the SEO requirements that are needed to rank your website in international markets.

WPML is most recommended for websites that aim for content, since they don’t set a limit on the translations.

On other hand, Weglot is recommended for all those E-commerce websites that want an accurate and fast translation.

Either way, they are good decision to work with an International SEO for Business.

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