International SEO – The Complete Guide

A Brief Guide to International SEO

There aren’t many milestones as significant as going global when it comes to the growth journey of any business. But for any organisation contemplating or pursuing worldwide expansion, there’s no time like the present to build a search engine optimisation game plan. Any experienced entrepreneur understands the importance of online visibility, especially when launching into new markets, and international SEO or search engine optimisation (SEO) services from agencies like can help you build brand exposure and let your audience know you exist.

International SEO – What is it?

International SEO - What is it

In a nutshell, international SEO is the practice of optimising online presence for those who might be located in other countries or speak a language different from yours. With this strategy, it’s possible to improve the experience of international users who visit your website. It works primarily by matching the language and location of users with the search results using special signals like hreflang tags, geo-targeting, and more. With these signals, search engines like Google will know whenever websites have content suitable to people from specific countries or using certain languages.

Implementing international SEO

There are two categories of international SEO:

  • Multi-regional
  • Multilingual

Those catering to users in countries like Canada with French and English websites are doing the latter, for example. However, those accommodating people in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom in English are doing the former. Of course, combining both categories is possible, similar to eBay, which offers separate marketplaces for different countries. With that in mind, here are some tips on implementing it for your website.

1. Sort out site structure

guide to international SEO - Sort out site structure

Before you start, you must first organise international content using the proper site structure. This is country-targeting, which essentially refers to specifying regions and countries with internationally friendly URL structures. The objective is to ensure that the search engines understand where to guide online traffic from the targeted countries. Because the URL structure is critical in helping Google identify the pages to display in search results for different locations, selecting them is imperative.

2. Include international content on subdomains

Subdomains are where you can create multi-regional or multilingual third-level domains, and the main benefit is that you won’t have to maintain or build individually unique websites. It’s an especially excellent option if the products or content are only different because of the language used. Perhaps the only limitation with this approach is that links and value you’ve built on one of your subdomains won’t impact the others. Thus, it’s possible for the domain authority score to get diluted the more you create subdomains, so keep this in mind.

3. Nail your language targeting

Nail your language targeting

The importance of hreflang tags cannot be stressed enough. This is because these meta tags tell search engines the languages you’re targeting on the website or specific web pages. In other words, these pieces of code enable Google, Bing, and similar sites to serve results that are appropriate for users using specific languages. It isn’t as complicated as it sounds, either. All you need to do is ensure that all the website content uses the language of the targeted region. You must also avoid using tools like machine translators, which are generally not good.


No global business can be without international SEO. After all, it enables companies and brands to create the exposure they need to draw in consumers and increase sales numbers from specific countries and regions. While the abovementioned tips should help you get started, make sure that you invest in an SEO company, as they can deliver much better results.