What Is An International SEO?

Let’s take it in simple words – have you seen your website’s stats? Surely, you would have. Then there is a report which talks about how many visitors you are getting from countries which were not your target map.

Now, why is it necessary? Well, to become global. Why become Global? To get more visitor’s traffic. Why more traffic? To earn more. Period.

So International SEO is simply managing your Search Engine Optimization settings in such a way that your brand, website, or product can be accessed and can become global i.e. International customers get attracted to it.

Different companies opt for International SEO because well, it gives them – Name (Brand Building), Fame (Again Brand Building), and Money (Well, that’s the whole point of business, right?). See, the thing is that keywords, tricks, and all the things you are doing in your region may or may not work in another region – that’s where International SEO will come into play.

So if you want to attract visitors and customers from regions other than yours – then read on!!

What comes in International SEO?

Before going for International SEO, make your mind after proper research – are you ready to go international? This is a self-reflective question based on your current position in the market. Think about it! See your website reports on Google Analytics, Search Console.

Now if you are ready then where to start!!

Worry not, we will take you through this step by step-

  1. Keyword, Keyword, and Keywords

Simply put – the keywords which are generating huge traffic in your area may not work in different countries. So what to do?

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There is an article by Semrush on researching your core terms for new markets – https://www.semrush.com/blog/guide-how-to-do-international-seo-with-semrush/ Read it thoroughly. It will give you many insights and you will know how to use keywords that will work in your targeted countries.

This is important – why? Because people who are coming to your site will first their keyword in search engine and then the search engine will show the results – and if there is your site listed there, then you will get traffic. But guess what – search engine lists the site based on the user’s location and keywords – so if your content is not optimized according to that particular location – well you will be far behind your competitors.

So research it.

2. Website Structure Is The Backbone

How will your customers and new customers know that you are there for ‘them’? Well, you have to do something unique and provide them the satisfaction that you are thinking about their language/country. That’s where website structure comes into play.

Websites structure clearly states whether the site is for that region or not – for example –

www.example.us  – it clearly states that it is for us citizens

us.example.com – it also clearly states

and there are other versions too – we will talk about them.

  • CCTLDs :

It is a top-ranking method for search engines to locate your site. Here you buy country-code top-level domain belonging to a particular country.

Examples –

      www.example.in – for India

      www.example.The UK – for the United Kingdom

  • Sub-directories or Subdomains:
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These are easy to set up and provide hosting flexibility. An example of subdomain geotagging is –

      http://uk.example.com – subdomain

      http://www.example.com/uk – subdirectory

These methods are much preferred because this way you don’t need to make changes in your main domain. You just have to work with sub-domains based on the areas you are targeting. It also gives you freedom from making in-depth pages which can confuse your visitors and make your website hotch-patchy.

But there are some cons too – they are not as strong geo-tagging partners as CCTLDs. And you have to make particular sub-directories per the region and language you are targeting.

3. Never Forget the Language Targetting:

Well, think about this – you have designed your website according to a particular region and it is really good but you are using the language of your region. Where does that leave people living in your targeted area but who don’t know your language – they only work in their language. Got it!!

See, that’s where language optimization comes in. Many people tend to structure their website according to language rather than area.

A language-based structure can also follow CCTLDs and Sub-domains/Subdirectories method.

Language specifications will include the following things –

  • hreflang:

This tag is used by Google to specify which version of your webpage will be shown to the user based on the language and country you have specified in it.

<link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com/” hreflang=”en-US” /><link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com/ae-ar/” hreflang=”ar-AE” /><link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com/ae/” hreflang=”en-AE” /><link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com/am/” hreflang=”en-AM” /><link rel=”alternate” href=”https://www.example.com/at/” hreflang=”de-AT” />

The above example will give you an idea – how to structure your website for a large number of areas and languages. Google will automatically show the relevant version of the webpage to the user. There is one thing though – don’t depend on auto-translation. They are not so good and not that much user-friendly that they can engage them. So go for manual translations for each language.

  • X-Default Tag:
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It is used when the area or language of the user doesn’t match any one of the terms specified on the page. Then they will be given a default page. This is good for crawling your site and give you a strong impression in the eyes of search engine.

4. Google Search Console is Your Friend

Google Search Console allows you to select your targeted country. That means the country you want to primarily target – Google will show your website in that country specifically. This is good and can be used for your benefit. Also, Google Search Console allows you to check whether your language tags are working properly or not.



International SEO is an in-depth process. It is very necessary and rewarding if done properly. So first go through these points, then find the strategies which can work with you. See, every business has its own strategy and that’s what makes the site rank.

Also, don’t forget to register your business on Google Business and Bing Business. This will give you an edge and reach customers around the world.

For more SEO Learning tips keep following us. I hope you reach a lot of users worldwide. Till then, keep working. Keep earning.

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