Home/Blog/SEO/How to bring business to a new market: strategy of international SEO

How to bring business to a new market: strategy of international SEO

Do you want to bring your business to a foreign market? A key element of successful implementation is international search engine optimization, which will help your website to attract new traffic and expand activity horizons. What is international SEO and how to use it most effectively? Let’s consider in turns.

What is international SEO

International SEO is a process of website optimization that allows search engines to correlate a resource with that country for which it is intended, and make content as relevant as possible to users around the world. If you plan to develop business abroad, the website must meet the requirements of the region’s target audience and take into account such aspects as:

  • language of the country;
  • local currency.

Internationalization of online business requires a lot of effort, but with a competent approach, it can serve as a powerful impetus for a company’s development and сan help to reach a wider audience.

Difference between international and ordinary SEO

The usual for us SEO is the basis of international. Promoting a website abroad requires the same skills and abilities as working in Ukraine. However, there are some nuances:

  1. In addition to Google’s algorithms, specialist will have to get acquainted with other search engines. Although Google is the world’s most popular search engine, a significant percentage of the target audience can use Yahoo!, Bing, and more.
  2. International SEO expands the target market, so a specialist should conduct in-depth research to make sure that the brand really meets the expectations of potential customers.
  3. Larger market = more serious competitors, such as multinational corporations. Therefore, SEO specialist will have to make an effort to compete with such giants.
  4. International content requires more content than regular local SEO.
  5. Finally, moving abroad is a large-scale and complex task that requires significant financial resources. Therefore, the company must be prepared for such costs.

Main aspects of international SEO

To avoid failure of your website’s international optimization, follow such rules:

Market analysis and research

The main source of knowledge is competitors. Their analysis will save you from many mistakes, because competitors already have experience in your chosen region and know the target audience well. Thorough market research will allow you to make an accurate portrait of target audience: communicate with residents, follow the news of the country, learn attitudes to certain colors and numbers that have different sacred meanings for some people, and so on.

Setting up URL structure

Before entering a foreign market, a specialist must determine which URL he needs. This, in turn, depends on what resources it has and what settings the website’s management system allows. You can split the localization of the website using:

  • ccTLD. This is a national level domain (for example: .ua, .us, .pl).
  • gTLD. Generic top-level domain (.com, .org) and subdomain.
  • gTLD and subcategories (.com/ua/, .org/ua/).

The advantage of ccTLD domain is that the search engine perceives it as a powerful signal to display in a particular country. Still, it can be expensive, so this is justified for large corporations and Chinese market-oriented companies, where ccTLD is necessary. And the type of gTLD domains is popular for medium-sized businesses, because it does not require such costs. But it has less impact on search engine than ccTLD.

Hosting location

Website placement is an important ranking factor as well. Consider an example: your website or subdomain is hosted by the United States. It means that pages will load faster for American visitors. And this will be an additional advantage for the user (he will not close the website after a long wait and will not go to competitors) and is better perceived by the search engine. 

Geo targeting and hreflang attribute

Geo targeting will allow you to focus on users who are in the wanted region, which will allow you to hit the target audience more accurately. Don’t forget hreflang attribute, which combines geographic definition and language targeting (for example, allows you to target only French-speaking Canadians).

Analysis and strategy of web queries

Web queries for one product may vary from country to country. The most striking example of this problem in SEO of an English-language website is the difference between the English language in the US and the UK: a stroller is called a «baby carriage» by Americans and «pram» by British people. So, how much traffic will you lose by using the pram key for American online store?

Optimize content for the language and region of target user

Not only the keywords require special treatment. Customize the content for selected region, keep a blog based on current issues of the country, indicate prices in national currency. This will increase the loyalty of users to your resource.And remember, machine translation is the worst thing a professional can do. After all, neither search engines nor users will like this translation. So contact an editor who is familiar with the slang and language of the region.

Don’t forget about EAT

EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) is a concept that combines expertise, authority and truthfulness of content. EAT means that content must be created by experts in a particular field. This helps the resource to become better and more useful for guests. And for this, the website will have additional privileges — a Google search engine will be more likely to show it first.

Preventing users from automatic redirecting to another language based on their location

Another important point that is often neglected by SEO specialists. Why is it important to avoid such feature? First, it mostly annoys website visitors. And, secondly, redirects often work mostly with JavaScript, which is perceived only by Google, and sometimes incorrect.Therefore, the best solution is to place a banner or a link to another language version. And the user will choose the right one by himself.

Creating a link building strategy for individual markets

Link building has an important rule for both international and local promotion — you should focus not on the number of links, but on their quality. After all, a relevant link from a domain with a high rating will be more useful than a few domains from non-authoritative resources.

International and local search trends

Among the main current trends in SEO promotion are the following:

  • Voice search is gaining momentum. More and more users are using this feature instead of manually typing in a search engine.
  • Videos are becoming more and more popular. So use YouTube, TikTok, etc. to promote.
  • Adapting content to mobile devices is even more demanding. Your website needs to adapt quickly to mobile devices and tablets.

So carefully study and analyze the market, use Google Trends to keep up with competitors and preferences of target audience.

Additional local signals

In order for your website to target the audience of chosen country the best, you should also consider the following points:

  • your website’s IP address must be local;
  • study regional search engines;
  • use links to your website only from local resources.

Under these conditions, the guarantees that your website will be in the top issue, even more. 


Entering a foreign market is an opportunity for a company to express itself, improve its image, expand its scale of activity. And  it doesn’t matter whether your project is a promotion of an online store or service agency, compliance with the rules of international SEO will allow you to go this way easily and without risk.

Worth a read

Among the best in the SMM category: Lanet CLICK in the IAB Ukraine ranking

Among the best in the SMM category: Lanet CLICK in the IAB Ukraine ranking

The non-profit organization IAB Ukraine, which is a member of the international association Interactive Advertising Bureau, summed up the results […]

How to promote a medical site in 2024

How to promote a medical site in 2024

Promotion for the site of medical services is associated with additional difficulties due to the nuances inherent in this niche. […]

10 Steps to Optimizing Your Local Business (GMB)

10 Steps to Optimizing Your Local Business (GMB)

Google My Business is an essential tool for businesses with a physical location. This service is especially important for companies […]