International SEO Tips for Global Businesses

Written By Alla Levin
November 26, 2020

International SEO Tips for Global Businesses

Many relatively small businesses can target potential customers and clients worldwide with digital marketing, especially service-based businesses because there are no borders on the internet. However, there are, of course, language, and cultural barriers. So what is the best strategy for marketing a business so that the website converts international visitors and visitors in the home country of the business?

The search engine optimisation process for every website, whether for a global, national, or local business, requires certain content and configurations on the website and backlinks and other external websites’ signals.

However, when it comes to international SEO, the website’s content needs to be designed with different audiences in mind, and that doesn’t just mean different language versions. It may also require different currencies, terminology, and images to be an appropriate cultural fit. Besides, concerning external signals, it will also help if these are localized. So backlinks to a web page in, for instance, French will be more valuable if the anchor text is in the French language and if the referring page is also in French.

Web visitors and potential customers expect a seamless experience to reach the relevant content in their country and/or their language. That means one of the fundamental aspects of global business websites is to detect a visitor’s location based on IP address. Then either automatically redirects visitors to a country-specific part of the website or provides the visitor’s option to choose.

Site Structure for International SEO

Creating a great user experience for all visitors regardless of their home country and language will increase conversions. Start by considering the top-level domain (TLD). Is it a .com domain – if not, why not? Change it if you can redirect the original URL to the new .com domain.

Then structure the website in a way that allows a separate area for each target country. There are 2 ways to do this. Either set up a sub-domain for every target country such as or set up a sub-directory for every target country such as

Let’s have a look at some other important aspects of international search engine optimization so that search engines will show your web pages in the search engine results pages (SERPS) to your ideal visitors in whatever country they may be in

International SEO Pro Tips

  • Always provide content in the language of your target audience.
  • For every SEO target page, use a page title and meta description in the same language as the page content because these will be displayed in the organic search listings. People are more likely to click through to the website if they can see it “speaks” their language.
  • Take account of cultural differences when selecting images and also preferred image styles for certain nationalities. Images that resonate with their intended audience will support a higher conversion rate.
  • Ensure there is a clear option to switch language and country if visitors have been redirected to the wrong language/country section of the website.
  • Build backlinks to the country-specific pages from external websites from the same country.
  • Configure the correct language meta tags (hreflang) to highlight which languages the website uses.
  • When monitoring organic ranking positions, use the search engine most commonly used in each target country or language.

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