A Quick Guide to Getting Started with International SEO

Let’s say, you have a successful business and a website to showcase your product or services. Your business is going well in the local markets. Now, you’re thinking to expand your business and trying to target the global market. Here comes the International SEO in the picture. International SEO helps to attract traffic from different countries and diverse audience.

What is an International SEO?

International SEO is all about optimizing your website for an international audience, allowing the search engines to figure out your targeted country and the language. There are several important decisions you need to make before showing your content to an international audience.

How is International SEO different from Local SEO?

Local SEO is all about optimizing your website to attract more traffic from local audience. Here the website owners or the SEO specialists will work to rank their website top in the local search results page (Local SERPs).

Global SEO or the International SEO is the process of optimizing your website content in order to attract more traffic from global audience. Here the website owners or the SEO specialists will work to rank their website top in the global search results page (Global SERPs).

Should your business go with International SEO?

Any business that is planning to expand globally and wish to reach out people in their own language must opt for International SEO.

How to start with an International SEO?

1. Research the  Market

To start off, you have to research on the different country or countries you are targeting to attract the traffic from. You need to ask yourself how your product or services fits in there. You also need to know the language of the targeted country, the search engine or search engines they use mostly.  Apart from Google, in Russia, for example, Yandex reigns, and in Japan, Yahoo, so you need to keep an eye on this information. Each one of these has their own algorithm to study and adapt to.You must also research on various digital devices used to view your website by your audience around the globe. You can get refer your Google analytics report for the above study.

2. Audience Targeted

On completion of your Market research, you need to concentrate on your audience language and demographics. If your targeted audience speak different languages, than you need to translate all your website content into their native language,do not do it using an automatic translator since you might lose the appropriate meaning and essence of your content.

Investigate appropriate keywords in each language and destination. You can rely on Google keyword planner tool or any other keyword planner for this purpose. In most cases Google keyword planner gives us the appropriate keyword list and also its search volume and competition details. Next work on your website content with a good human translator. Also don’t forget about adding the keywords on the Meta tags and the H tags.

3. Work on your Website Structure

Before you start working on your website structure, there are a few choices. Each one has its own pros and cons.

Country code top-level  (ccTLD)

Country code top-level  (ccTLD) domain names are the most powerful way to rank a domain or rank a page in a certain country. Country code top-level domains (ccTLD): yourwebsite.co.uk.

Note: Google interprets any top-level domain (TLD) that isn’t a registered country code as a generic TLD (gTLD).


  • Highest degree of accuracy
  • Ideal for Geo targeting


  • Need lot of technical resources and SEO efforts.
  • Comparatively high cost

Sub Domains

The second option is using subdomains. A subdomain is a part of the main website, but the search engines considered it as a separate entity. Subdomains: uk.yourwebsite.com


  • Easy to manage and maintain
  • Can be used to target specific language or countries
  • Have separate IP addresses or hosts


  • In many cases, subdomains are as new domain by search engines. So content duplication might occur.
  • Need a lot of SEO effort
  • Complex and requires more time and attention


Consider your domain is a folder that contains all of your website files. In simple, the subdirectory is nothing but a sub folder within your main folder. Subdirectories: yourwebsite.com/uk


  • Easy to implement
  • Easy to track its performance in both Google search console and Google Analytics
  • Can rank fast


  • It might hurt some of your local seo performance
  • Need a lot of SEO effort

International SEO checklist in Short

  1. Research on your total traffic and organic traffic , country specific traffic etc using an analytics tool
  2. Identify your targeted audience
  3. Prepare your keywords report depending on your targeted countries and languages
  4. Work on your content with a human translator who is well versed in the targeted languages
  5. Identify your website structure
  6. Prepare an effective International SEO strategy
  7. Optimize your website contents
  8. Start the link building
  9. Measure your success using ranking and analytics tool

Wrap – Up:

Before we end, International SEO is essential to the success of any business who wants to market their products or services online on a global scale. There are number of ways and strategies to follow. It might be a time consuming , so be patience and never forget to follow the above checklists.

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