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International SEO: A Practical Guide for Businesses Without Boundaries

Are you looking for a way to improve your search marketing strategies? Do you plan to expand your target market outside of your country and into the global market?

SEO is a key element in your digital marketing strategy. Yet, did you know that international SEO also exists for targeting global markets? It’s not as simple as copy-pasting your website translation in other languages.

Keep reading to learn how international SEO works, how it differs from regular SEO, and how to do it. We also included a few examples of failed attempts at practicing international SEO. We also added some international SEO tips throughout the article.

International SEO vs. Regular SEO

SEO or search engine optimization is the practice of improving your website and web pages. With SEO, you’re making it more likely for Google or Bing to see it as a relevant site when someone searches online. The more optimized your website is, the higher it will appear on the search engine results page (SERP).

However, there is also what we call international SEO. With a good international SEO strategy, you’re likely focused on writing guest posts. This is to help you build high-value backlinks.

Unlike regular SEO, you use more international keywords, as well. Your goal is to create versions of your website for the demographics of other countries. For example, you have a German version of your website for German-speaking customers.

However, you mustn’t apply a simple translation of your website to its international versions. While you need to translate what’s written on your website, you must make content edits first. Optimize for the target country or area first by adjusting to the culture and tone best used.

You must also ensure your international websites don’t compete against each other. For example, if you have Mexican and Spanish versions of your website. You must ensure that neither of them outranks the other.

Why Go Global?

A benefit of international SEO is that you’re improving your website’s visibility. If you want your brand or business to reach people from other countries, this is what you must do. Going global also opens your business to new customers, expansions, and other opportunities.

The more optimized your websites are for global markets, the better they’ll rank. The higher your online rankings, the more visible the website is. This is also why you must consider excellent international SEO strategies.

You can use a variety of tools and processes to improve your SEO strategy. Search engine advertising or SEA is one such tool you can use to improve your SEO strategy. Learn more about SEA by clicking the link.

Optimized websites are also most likely to be faster than non-optimized websites. This creates a great experience for your visitors and potential customers. The better their experience on your site, the more likely they will convert and buy from your brand again.

When You Should Optimize for the Global Market

Go international once you’re sure about grabbing the opportunities in different countries. Start marketing for international customers once you’re sure that you can keep up with more product demands. If you’re unsure, you can review market reports, stats, and website data to see if you’re ready.

Try visiting government and trade organization websites. These sites can provide the latest international business news as well as statistics. You can also use Internet-related reports and statistics from companies like eMarketer.

Do you want to make a more country-specific search on statistics and information?

You can also look at stats about specific countries provided by such websites too. Finally, check your analytics data. Check where your visitors come from and which country sends more traffic to your site.

How to Practice International SEO

Not all businesses work well as international businesses. The first thing you should do is to check whether you should go global. Are you ready to compete at an international level?

Once you’re sure, the next step is to pick a website host that uses geo-targeting. The host location also impacts page speed. You want to make sure that foreign visitors can access your website without waiting too long.

Keep in mind that Google isn’t available in all countries. Local search engines are more popular in countries like China, Russia, and South Korea. If you want to target consumers from these countries, use their local search engines.

Create translated versions of your website for each country you want to market to. Don’t depend on shared languages unless those are official languages. It’s better to hire locals who understand the culture and language to help translate for you.

How Not to Practice International SEO

Below are some fails at international SEO marketing made by famous international websites. Consider what went wrong and learn from the examples below. Avoid the same mistakes when you also apply your international SEO strategy later.

Let’s start with how not to practice international SEO as Target did. Target ships to three countries: the US, Canada, and Mexico. While it also ships to Mexico, Target doesn’t have a Mexican Spanish version of its website.

Only one-eighth of the Mexican population can speak English, so only that many people can use the Target website well. It’s most likely why Target is almost invisible to Google search results in Mexico. This is an example of providing a poor user experience for global consumers.

Another example you should learn from is Amazon and Marks & Spencer. Amazon has a UK version of its website. When people from the UK search for it on Google, the first thing they often see on their SERP is an Amazon ad.

The problem here is that when they click on the Amazon ad, they often get directed to Amazon’s US version. The same occurs with Marks & Spencer’s website for German users. When they Google “Mark Spencer,” they can only reach the US or English version.

The companies are making their international and local websites compete with each other. This leads to a loss of potential conversions. If you’re creating international versions of your site, avoid making the same mistake.

Go International With Your Brand Today

That’s our quick guide on using international SEO for your business. Watch your brand grow and thrive in the global market today!

We hope you found this guide useful, informative, and educational. If you want to see more educational content like this, check out our other guides now.