A beginner’s guide to international SEO


Overseas customers have different needs, buyer personas, and consumer habits. There are cultural variances and customs that will need to be addressed within your content. Last year, we published a blog on how to tailor your content to an international audience. In this article, we will cover how to reach an international audience with your content through an international SEO strategy. 

Understanding ranking factors

The search engine ranking factors of international countries are the same as domestic. However, there are some key differences. Not every country uses Google as their primary search engine. For example, in Russia, searchers tend to use Yandex. So you will want to use Yandex Wordstat rather than Google Keyword to optimise your keyword strategy. Also, even in countries where they do use Google, the algorithms differ to match the local culture. The key is to look at these cultural and technical differences and adjust your SEO to your target.

Optimising your web address for geotargeting

There are a variety of schools of thought when it comes to geotargeting your website. Some will argue you need a ccTLD (country code Top Level Domain) like .au, .de, or .jp. While others are you can use regional and linguistic subdirectories and subdomains. Which option you choose depends entirely on the nature of your business. For larger companies, with heavy competition, a ccTLD is a better option. While a smaller company in a niche industry will rank across international searches and can use subdirectories and subdomains. 

Reaching an international audience with your content requires an entirely different strategy than reaching a local audience.

Always consider the culture

There are a vast array of cultural differences, so the way you approach international SEO needs to reflect those differences. When keyword optimising, make sure you are using the correct grammatical and structural syntax. Also, recognise that different products and services will be more popular in some countries than others. Just like with local SEO, the more you understand the needs and behaviours of your customers, the more successful you will be. If you’d like a more in-depth explanation of some of the concepts of international SEO we found a great guide (SEER). 

When you are ready to take your branded content to an international audience, ALHAUS can help. Our content management experts can put together a custom-tailored package to meet the needs of your business. No matter what audience you are trying to reach, we’ll help you get there. Contact us to learn more about our content services.