International SEO includes strategies or technical aspects used to make a website reach an international or global audience. While talking about International SEO, you also need to consider various factors about the international market, like global competitiveness, so that you can analyze the competition and plan your digital strategy accordingly. In International SEO, you need to optimize your website so that search engines can easily identify two essential factors.
Firstly, the various countries you want to target, and secondly, the languages you should use to address your desired audience for your business.
Importance of Internationalization and the Role that International SEO Plays
According to recent financial studies, it has been proved that businesses that internationalize, irrespective of their size, are more productive, competitive, and resilient against macro and microeconomic changes compared to localized businesses. Internationalization of a business thus proves to be an advantage. In the modern world, the internet can play a pivotal role in breaking boundaries, and International SEO can be used as a major tool for the success of a business. Through International SEO, a website is not limited to attracting an audience from only a city, state, or country but helps your website reach out to a larger audience.
Internationalization does not necessarily mean that the task is easy or that it prevents uncertainties, risks, and costs. However, some advantages of internationalization would be market diversification, becoming more competitive, growth in the international market, and a reliable way to get out of a financial crisis.
Let’s take, for instance, that you are operating a business in the US that is running quite successfully in your native country, and the response that you are getting for your business, both physically and virtually, is excellent. You suddenly find that your online presence attracts customers from countries like France, Germany, and other countries with different languages. This may trigger the thought that your business might have the potential to be internationalized. Very soon, you may consider creating content for your website or blog that will cater to the targeted audiences of all three countries simultaneously. This is where International SEO comes into the picture and becomes essential for the success of a business. International SEO can indicate the search engines of your regions and languages. It can also be used to design your website or blog to properly send indications to search engines to reach the audience you want in different countries through the internet.
Fundamental Principals of International SEO:
Different businesses and brands are continuously looking for ways to increase their internet presence by trying to understand how Google and its other search engine counterparts function. If you want to internationalize your brand and create a great online presence, you first need to understand the principles of International SEO, which are as follows.
Use of Keywords in Different Regions
Keywords are of utmost importance when discussing SEO, and the same rule applies to International SEO. If we take the example of Google, as it is one of the most popular search engines globally, we need to mention that each country has its own specific Google domains. If we search for one particular keyword in two different domains, the same content with the same keyword might likely be ranked differently. This is due to various factors like the keyword’s relevance in other countries, the traffic of keywords, and the ways the users search in different countries. Different countries have their expressions, language structures, explicit vocabulary, or even their desire to gather additional information. Thus, content that might be great for a local audience might not be equally relevant when used for an audience in another country.
If, for your business, you need to present content in a second language, the translation part is not only ultimate, but you also need to consider how people search for a specific term. Moreover, the medium used for searching, for example, Smartphones or computers, is also different for different countries. The mediums used to search also change the way the search is performed.
The dynamics of international SEO and its usage also change depending on the search engines. How a keyword is ranked in Google might not be the same when you search in Bing or other search engines.
To get better results in terms of international SEO, you can conduct deep searches using the Google domain for that country regarding the use of keywords relevant to your business. You must observe how the keyword is used in your target audience’s country.
Create Content and Website That Are Mobile Friendly:
In the present-day scenario, people often use their smartphones to stay connected to online social platforms and search for online products. For your business to do well internationally, your website must be user-friendly. Search engines like Google often prioritize mobile-friendly content, so for your website or blog to do well, it must be user-friendly and easy to navigate.
Create Unique and Original Content To Reach Out To International Audience:
One of the most essential features of International SEO is unique, original content that can boast good quality. You can use tools like Google Trends to always involve essential topics at a specific time. The international market is ever-changing and highly competitive, so to be at the top of the game, it is always important to know market trends, what your competition is doing, and then work on your opportunities and weaknesses.
Even if you consider the local internet market, you must do a lot of research to create quality and unique content to top the charts. So, it is needless to say, the international scenario is even more difficult to handle. This is exactly where international SEO plays its role. More countries mean more information and more points to compare and analyze.
Results Should Always be Monitored and Carefully Measured:
When discussing international SEO techniques and digital marketing strategy, monitoring every move and analyzing the results is important to gauge if you can get the desired effect. You must keep a keen eye on every international move and any event in your country or globally that might affect your desired results. Monitoring and measuring results should never be neglected to improve and make a mark in the international market, as it can be a key feature in making or breaking a business house in the global digital space.
The Importance of The Hreflag Attribute:
Lastly, the Hreflag attribute is one of the most important factors differentiating international SEO from local SEO. Google can identify URLS with the help of Hreflag attributes to consider content that should be shown to online visitors based on their geographical location and language. Due to the Hreflag attributes, you are automatically directed to the correct page when you access a website.
The Three Main Target Areas Concerning International SEO
Three main target areas should be considered when businesses want to gain recognition and carve a niche in the international market.
- Market-based on countries- To give an example of this scenario, let us consider an Indian company that produces leather bags and fancy leather shoes. This company may decide to sell leather bags in European countries like England or France, where their craftsmanship is highly appreciated and valued. In contrast, they want to sell their leather shoes to the neighboring countries where there is a lot of demand for reasonable and fancy shoes. So, the business will change its International SEO strategy based on the countries in which the customers are located.
- Market-based on language – Let us consider an Indian company that produces watches and wants to target Indians and customers based in neighboring countries like Nepal and Pakistan. The common factor here is the language that the customers use is Hindi. However, in such a scenario in terms of International SEO, the language would remain the same. Still, the keywords used to optimize content would be based on various factors, like how the audience searches for content.
- The hybrid market – Scenarios where you need to target an audience that speaks a foreign language in a different country can be considered an example of a hybrid market in terms of International SEO. For instance, let us assume that a company produces silk clothing. Part of the target audience for this company can be located in Pakistan, Nepal, and India who speak in Hindi. However, the product might have a massive market in England as non-residential Indians who live in England also prefer buying it, and the audience, though based in England, instead of using English, uses Hindi while searching in the digital space.
The technical aspects of creating a tremendous user-friendly website and Content marketing are the two fundamentals that should be cocktailed with International SEO for a business to succeed.