International SEO

International SEO: A Guide to Reaching a Global Audience

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If you have started a business, you wouldn’t want to limit yourself to boundaries. This is when international SEO comes to help you. International SEO is a way to reach a global audience. How? Why? And most importantly, what is it? It will all be discussed in the sections below.

What is International SEO?

International SEO can be defined as a technique where you can optimize a website to rank well, not just in your city or country but worldwide. By optimizing your website using international SEO, you are making an attempt for the search engines to identify which countries you want to reach and what languages you should use to achieve that.

The main aim behind using this technique is to not just limit yourself to the locals by being a frog in the well but by making yourself global and attracting organic traffic from around the globe. Every country is unique, and every country has a unique audience, so limiting yourself to one group will not benefit you in the long run.

Why Is International SEO Regarded So Important?

International SEO is important because it helps businesses expand their reach and tap into new markets. Well, it’s obvious that your website or your business will do better if it has a larger circle of audience from all around the world. And that is what makes international SEO so important due to its accessibility to a wider audience.

By growing your business globally through international SEO, you will be exposed to a different culture, linguistics, and a different target audience.

This will help you create your content differently, eventually improving the website’s visibility in international search engines and attracting a more diverse audience.

The following are some of the reasons why International SEO is important.

• Increased Reach– By optimizing your website for international audiences, businesses can reach new customers in other countries, increasing their potential customer base.

• Improved Visibility: International SEO helps businesses rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) in different countries and languages, making it easier for potential customers to find them online.

• Connect with the target audience: International SEO takes into consideration cultural differences and language preferences, allowing several businesses to connect with their target audience in each country.

• Competition: Using international SEO gives an edge to you over your competitors who are not expanding their business globally or not optimizing their content according to a different country or language. By expanding their reach and establishing a strong online presence in new markets, you can compete with other companies in your industry and secure a larger share of the market.

• Increased Revenue: By reaching new customers and improving your online visibility, your business can increase revenue and grow. This means that your products will be seen by a wider section of people, and more people will be able to take advantage of your products and services.

How Do You Develop An International SEO Strategy?

By developing an international SEO strategy, you can maximize your reach, improve your user experience, and increase your brand recognition in new markets, all while staying cost-effective. But the question now arises how can you effectively develop this strategy to the best?

Below, you will find the top tips for international SEO you can implement.

Focus on the markets and the target countries you want to reach:

Before you implement any strategy, you will first have to know your audience’s demographic and the geolocation you are planning to reach. For example, targeting Japan through SEO has its own peculiarities. Once you have decided that, you start by assessing how well your website has ranked in your target countries. This will also give you an idea about the additional countries that can be your potential markets.

You can do this best by using various tools such as Google Analytics, SemRush Domain Analytics, and Ahref’s site explorer. You can enter your domain names in these tools and check your rankings. Additionally, you can also enter the keywords you use to check your domain ranking.

To check your website’s position in Google Analytics,

Step 1: Log in to your Google Analytics account

Google Analytics Login

Step 2: Select Geo.

Step 3: From the dropdown list, choose the language or location to see the number of sessions from the particular country you want to target.

Google Analytics

If you want to dig a little deeper and check your website’s ranking according to the websites that you use, you can use SemRush Domain Analytics.

Step 1: Open your SemRush account


Step 2: Type the name of your domain on the search bar provided and click on the search navigation.

You will soon have a detailed report of the organic search report, which will show you the number of keywords you have been ranking for a while and also estimate the monthly estimate on your domain. However, if you are unable to see your domain name on the list, you can improve your keywords by searching for your competitor’s domain and checking how you can improve yours.

You can also easily check your potential market using Ahref’s Site Explorer.

Step 1: You will have to log in to your Ahrefs account.


Step 2: Enter your domain name in the Site Explorer and continue with the search. You will be able to get organic search traffic, backlinks, and paid traffic for the domain.

Step 3: Ahrefs provides comprehensive coverage of organic search traffic worldwide with its monitoring of over 150 million keywords in the US alone, plus additional keywords for more than 150 countries, thereby allowing you to create an accurate picture of website performance.


Using these tools will greatly help filter out which country you can potentially target properly.

Focus on the technical aspects:

Just by changing the language, you won’t be able to fulfill your aim of achieving the top spot on the search engines of your target countries. Therefore, to enhance your performance, you will also have to focus on the technical aspects of your international SEO. You can easily do this by following these steps:

Step 1: Set a goal

To move ahead technically, first decide what your ultimate goal should be. Whether it is to target a country or the language, if you are planning to target a country or its audience, you should follow a country-targeting approach. This is basically a practice of optimizing a website specifically for a target country or market.

This involves creating localized versions of the website and tailoring the content, keywords, and technical elements to meet the target audience’s specific needs.

On the other hand, if you are focusing on the language, follow a language targeting approach where you will optimize a website specifically for a target language which involves translating the content and tailoring the keywords and technical elements to meet the specific needs of the target audience.

Step 2: Work on the structure of the website

Once you have decided your goal and your targeting approach, work on your website to get better visibility and better SEO results by optimizing your domain with different URLs to give a personalized experience to the users. You can choose from various ways, such as:

• Country code top-level domains (ccTLDs): ccTLDs are domain extensions specific to a certain country or geographical location. For example, .fr for France, .de for Germany, .in for India, and so on.

A map of country code top-level domains (ccTLD)

• Subdomains are a sub-division of a main domain in the URL. For example, for Germany and for France.

• Subfolders are a different term but work similarly as subdomains, with the country code being at the last such as for France and for Germany.

Step 3: Use CDN

Once you are able to reach a wider network, it is important that you make use of a Content Delivery Network (CDN). This system of distributed servers delivers web content to users based on their geographic location.

Content Delivery Network (CDN)

In the context of international SEO, a CDN can be an important tool for delivering localized content to users in different countries.

In this fast-moving world, users don’t want to wait for the results to delay when they are searching for anything online. This is when CDN comes into the picture. The goal of a CDN is to provide faster and more reliable delivery of content by caching content on servers closer to the user, reducing the latency and improving the website’s performance in addition to improving a better user experience.

Hire an SEO agency:

Though you might know your business better than anyone else, an international SEO expert will have a better idea of making your business visible globally through their SEO techniques.

Tools You Can Use To Implement International SEO

If you are planning to use international SEO as one of the digital marketing strategies, you should be aware of the best tools available that will effectively impact the purpose you are looking for.


SemRush is known to provide a detailed analysis of any information you are looking for online regarding your domain’s performance online. By using Semrush as part of your international SEO strategy, you can gain valuable insights into your target markets, identify opportunities for improvement, and track your performance over time.

With the right approach and the tools, you can effectively reach your target audiences in different countries and languages and achieve success with your international SEO efforts.

Google Analytics:

Google helps the strategy of international SEO to flourish by providing its tool Google Analytics. By using Google Analytics for your international SEO strategy, you can get detailed information on the geographic location and traffic analysis of your website. It is an integrated set of tools that enables you to assess the global impact of the material on your website.



If you struggle with creating the perfect content for your target audience, using Hubspot as a tool for your international SEO strategy will greatly help. It will help you in creating a content strategy and help you organize your website in an effortless way that will be easy for the users and the search engines to understand.

Google Search Console:

Google Search Console

Google and international SEO go hand-in-hand, as Google provides tools for businesses to analyze their performance better online. Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google that can be used to support your international SEO strategies. The tool makes you familiar with the types of queries that are attracting traffic to your site, specifying your place on Google Search, and examining global site impressions.

What are the factors that may affect your International SEO strategy?

While international SEO may be highly beneficial for businesses, they have its own challenges. Before implementing international SEO, you must know that there are many factors that may affect your SEO strategy. Some of the most common ones are:


One of the most common factors that affect international SEO is language. Developing content in multiple languages and optimizing it for different countries can be time-consuming and challenging. But if you are willing to expose yourself to a wider audience, it is important that you move from a comfortable space.

Language plays an important role in the distribution of your content online. You should, therefore, try to produce content in your local language as well as the geolocation you are concentrating on. If you want your website to target different countries, it should be optimized for the local language and culture.

Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?

For example, if your business is in America, it is obvious that you will be focusing mostly on the English language. But if you want to expand to Indonesia, you will have to make sure that your target audience is able to relate better to your products and services in their own language. So what should you do? Optimize your website using their local language, which is Indonesian.

Link Building:

Understanding cultural differences and adapting your content and link-building SEO strategy accordingly can be difficult. Therefore, the more incoming links from international sources you get, the better it is for the ranking of your website. To do this, it’s a good strategy to write for local blogs or connect with influencers to point links back to your website.


Through online presence, customers can easily make or break a website’s reputation, negatively and positively impacting SEO practices. If you are better reviewed online, it means that you will have a better connection with your main keyword, which will improve your visibility.

To tackle these challenging factors, conduct thorough research and planning, collaborate with local teams and experts and stay up-to-date with the latest international SEO best practices and guidelines. With the right strategy and approach, it is possible to successfully navigate the challenges of international SEO and reach your target audiences in different countries and languages.

What are some best practices you can implement?

International SEO is one of the most beneficial techniques for marketers to follow: They, however, should use the right strategy to implement this technique. Here is an international SEO checklist that you should follow:

Research and Identify the market approach:

It is important to research and decide on the market approaches you are going to implement. This can be done by conducting keyword research and investigating the channels through which these demographics frequently discover new products.

Determine the countries and languages you want to target and research the search behavior and competition for each market. Following that, you’ll better understand which audiences to target and how.

The main reason for this is that every country and every audience has different demands. And the approach you are taking for one section may not be beneficial for the other.

Know your competitors:

You will need to know how your competitors perform online to perform better. Conduct a competitive analysis to assess your rivals’ performance in search engine optimization, content marketing, and paid advertising.

competitive analysis

If you see that your competitors are not optimizing their websites, you can take advantage of this information and improve your visibility.

Connect with your customers:

The best way to connect with your audience is to make them comfortable and feel seen online. One of the best SEO techniques you can ever have is to answer in the language that your audience knows. If they have any queries, make sure you answer them in their native language. This will build a connection between you and your audience and increase their user experience.

Go for transcreation instead of translation:

Developing and publishing high-quality, relevant content that is tailored to each target market is important while using international SEO. To do this, mostly translation is preferred by many business owners.

While translation may be easy to do when growing your business globally, translating using tools will not always give you the results you are looking for. Therefore, it is always advisable to transcreate, which involves recreating content in a way that is easily understandable by your target audience in their language.

Implement a link-building strategy separately:

Just like you develop a link-building strategy for a local SEO, you should make sure to develop a link-building strategy for each of your targeted audiences in a different language for a different country. Because a link’s value changes depending on where it came from, if your content is valuable to the users you’re trying to reach, your domain’s ranking will rise.

By following these best practices, you can create an effective international SEO strategy that will help you reach your target audiences and improve your search engine visibility in different countries and languages.


An international SEO strategy requires ongoing effort and adaptation to stay ahead of the competition. By developing an international SEO strategy, you can maximize your reach, improve your user experience, and increase your brand recognition in new markets.

While the idea may seem easy, there are many technicalities behind it. With the right international SEO techniques, you will be able to reach your target audiences, improve your visibility in different countries and languages and rank high on search engines.


What’s the difference between International SEO and Local SEO?

International SEO focuses on optimizing a website for global audiences in different countries and languages, while local SEO focuses on optimizing a website for local audiences in specific geographic locations. Though they are different, they are important for reaching target audiences and achieving success with search engine optimization.

Does Hosting Location Matter?

Yes, the hosting location matters because the website’s hosting server can impact your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) performance, particularly international SEO. Having a hosting server located in the same or a different country as your target audience can help improve your website’s search engine ranking for that audience, as search engines may consider the location of your server as a signal of relevance for that geographic location.

Do I Need to Care About Other Search Engines?

Yes, you need to care about other search engines if you want to reach a wider audience and maximize your search engine visibility. It’s always a good idea to optimize your website for other search engines in addition to Google. This may involve using different keywords and meta descriptions and optimizing your website’s content and structure to align with each search engine’s ranking algorithms.

Do I Need To Build Links For Each Website?

Because links are one of the key ranking variables used by search engines, link building is important and should be built for each website. When they crawl a website, search engines like Google take into account the number of relevant inbound links to that page. A website will rank better the more links of better quality it has.

Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

Gaby Alexander

Gaby Alexander

Gaby is a search marketing enthusiast with a passion for helping agencies improve their ROI through effective link-building strategies. With expertise in Google Campaign Manager, HubSpot Inbound Marketing, and SEMrush, Gaby provides valuable insights and guidance to optimize search marketing campaigns.

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