How to Create An Effective International Search Strategy
Mansi Rana

A topic that nowadays no company can afford to overlook is the effectiveness of their international SEO. Indeed, with more than 2 billion people on the Internet and an estimated 25% search activity happening in neighboring countries, having a robust international search strategy might be one of the most important aspects for companies looking to gain online visibility.

It's all about knowing your audience, understanding them, and reaching out through their queries - so EZ Rankings, SEO Company India have a closer look at how your company can achieve this.

If you are planning to scale your business globally, then having a bespoke international strategy is a must. It's one of the best ways to maximize your organic traffic and grow revenues, but it's also vital that you pay close attention to each market individually - this applies to countries with similar languages (e.g., France and Canada), not just non-English speaking regions like Latin America.

Let's take a closer look at some of the aspects you need to consider when looking for new international markets.

The Competition

Any expansion into another country should only be considered if there aren't too many competitors competing for top spots in Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Indeed, there are thousands of websites that fight over rankings every day, so you want to target areas where competition is low enough that your chances of ranking well are high.

If you are thinking of expanding into another country, it's advisable to do so during times when you know global demand is high for your product or service. This will help prevent any additional costs associated with international shipping and logistics. You also want to launch in areas where seasons line up well with yours - for example, launching a clothing brand in the US during wintertime rather than summer might be more effective.

The Geo-Location

Your next step is to determine the geo-location of your audience. This has a significant impact on which languages you should focus on, for example - focusing on US English instead of British English will result in more searches and cheaper traffic acquisition costs, so it's an easy decision to make here.

Other than that, look at what kind of industries and businesses flourish in each location: if you are thinking about launching a fashion brand, then New York might be a better choice than Miami due to its larger population and high fashion standards.

The Search Intent

Every new market is different and understanding the differences can be crucial to your international search strategy. A good example of this is comparing the intent behind search queries in the US versus Russia. In the US, people are usually looking for quality content that helps them solve a specific problem - e.g., "best t-shirt brands".

However, Russian users tend to use more generic keywords - e.g., "clothing" or "style". This means you'll need to craft unique pages for each market - focusing on long-tail keywords will help you rank better here because it's much easier to compete against other "long tail" searches. Competition aside, geo-location determines which languages you should target for organic traffic.

Creating international SEO-friendly URL structure

If you want to launch in another country, take a look at the URL structure of your current website. If each page's domain is geo-targeted to the main country where it appears, then there are two options for how to set up your international SEO strategy.

If you only have a few international versions of your website, then it's best to create separate country-specific sites and redirect ones that are already ranking well in Google. This is the approach Amazon takes with for example - this US version has its own site tailored specifically to Americans, but it also has a domain which redirects to Amazon Mexico.

For larger companies with many regional versions of their sites, using subfolders can be a great solution as long as they have been properly indexed by Google. In short, if each country version is hosted on an entirely different server from the main website, then search engines will index them individually anyway so there is no need for complicated geo-targeting rules.

Find localized content opportunities

When you enter another country, you want to make sure that your international SEO strategy is tailored specifically for the location where you want to expand. Targeting a different language and currency will add an additional level of complexity, but it's important to take this into consideration from the very beginning in order to avoid any future issues.

For example, if you are entering Brazil, then using Portuguese keywords in your articles and content can give you a nice advantage when competing with local websites. Having translated versions of these same pages (or even having them written in English and then translated by a native speaker) can also be beneficial as long as they appear in their own unique domain.

Creating Country-Specific Landing Pages

Sometimes, simply translating your original pages into another language will do the trick. But if you really want to attract targeted local traffic, then it's best to create unique landing pages that are dedicated to specific countries.

For example, if you are launching in France, you might consider creating a new blog post (or product page) specifically for this country with all the related information relating to French consumers (i.e., currency, shipping costs). This can be very effective as long as there is no duplicate content on your website; otherwise, search engines will penalize you for not including all relevant information on each individual page instead of the main site.

Wrapping up!

Creating a robust international SEO strategy for your website is essential, and it's always best to start early on. Whether you're launching in different countries or simply targeting new keywords that are popular abroad, the techniques we discussed today can give you an advantage over your competition. If you don't have an in-house SEO team then it's better to hire a best SEO company that will optimize your website for international markets.