Expand The Global Reach Of Your Business; Capitalize On International SEO’s Vast Potential
The location of your business and your target audience may have less or nothing to do with each other, if at all. Assume that you have a significant number of website visitors overseas. They use their preferred search engines and speak different languages (quite obviously so). What are the odds of your website being visible to your online audience overseas? To put it bluntly, quite diminishing. In order to fix this, you may need to perform an International SEO of your website, which entails several things, such as optimizing your website in a way search engines can identify the countries you want to target, using an international domain and building a multilingual store, and adopting a robust International SEO strategy. To put it as briefly as possible, International SEO means ‘geo-targeting’.
In this guide, we walk you through some of the most effective global SEO tips that help ensure global reach, build your brand reputation internationally, and, of course, boost your international sales. But before moving on to those categorical tips, here are three of the most important to-dos:-
- Country targeting i.e. using URL structures that specify the country your website wants to target.
- Language targeting i.e. using language tags to determine which language speakers are your pages targeting.
- Preparing the raw materials i.e. creating and maintaining content in the language(s) of your target users.
On to the International SEO expert tips now. Here they are:-
- Country targeting using URL structures for International domains – A URL specific to a country is known as an International domain. Using an International domain name for your website can provide a localized shopping experience to visitors. A localized shopping experience essentially means offering the website in the local language of a particular region or country, using the local currency, and offering payment options that suit your target audience. The first step towards localizing your website is to choose the right International domain structure. A few URL structures could be used by webmasters to target a particular country with their websites. Such URL structures include:-
- country code top-level domain (ccTLD) – A .com domain website could be anywhere in the world. However, a ccTLD domain structure uses a specific two-letter country code that indicates which country a website is registered in. For example,
The .fr ccTLD domain structure indicates that the website is registered in France.
Such a domain structure is costly to set up and is, therefore, best suited for internationally recognized big brands.
- Subdomain – Identified to the left of the main URL, a subdomain structure is used when one wants to keep their main website but needs to create a version in a different language that would target a specific country. For example,
This structure is best suited when a company wants to keep its brand name in the main domain, but needs separate international sites for business reasons.
- Subdirectory or subfolder – It is a section of the main URL that is used to host a specific subdivision of content. For example,
This URL structure is great for those websites that, although well-established, do not have a global brand or big budget. Besides, it is also suited for websites that do not have significantly different products to sell to each country.
- gTLD with language parameters – gTLD stands for general top-level domain. Using a gTLD along with language parameters implies appending a URL parameter that is meant to target speakers of a specific language. For example,
- Using a different domain name altogether – Under this option, the Internationalized content and the non-internationalized site are placed on entirely different root domains. For example,
- Language targeting using multilingual URLs – The hreflang tag, or, the language meta tag, as it is popularly called, is a bit of code that reflects which languages your website’s content is available in. For each language version of your website, always use localized URLs. The hreflang tag lets Google show the correct language version of your website to a visitor based on his geographical location. What localized URLs achieve for your website is that they help your brand appear higher in the search results of country-specific search engines. For example,
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://website.com/fr” hreflang=”fr-fr”/>
- Create content according to your target users’ language – The use of local language, time zone, and currency is a strong indicator to the users and search engines that they are in the right spot. Also, while creating the design and content of your website, keep in mind the cultural perceptions and tastes.
- 301 redirect strategy – Before you migrate onto a country-specific domain, make sure to implement a 301 redirect strategy. This way, you won’t have to start from scratch as regards your ranking and site authority because the 301 redirect strategy transfers your ranking and site authority to the new locations.
- Proper localization of keywords – Always ensure that your keywords are translated correctly for your target audience. Relying solely on machine translation such as Google Translate won’t help. If need be, hire a native translator or speaker for the translations.
- Implement steps to rank your website on local search engines like Yandex and Baidu in Russia and China respectively.
For making your e-Commerce business a global success, it is first important for your website to be visible to international visitors. Only then can you be successful with those conversions. For this, it is imperative to implement International SEO techniques. Although the key points elaborated in this article should be effective enough for you to notice an increase in the number of international customers who discover your brand using their preferred search engine. However, for even better results, you may get in touch with an SEO company that specializes in International SEO. If that sounds like shelling out a lot of money (and you don’t happen to have that kind of budget for the International SEO of your website), you may hire an International SEO consultant.