Should You Do International SEO?

Should You Do International SEO?
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International SEO can be a powerful strategy to expand your business globally. Many websites have benefited from it. However, it doesn't mean that international SEO is recommended for every website. Besides knowing the potential that your business has, timing is also crucial. You must conduct an extensive analysis to decide if international SEO is suitable for your business or not.


Measuring Your Potential


How big is your chance to thrive in the international market? Even if you want your brand to go global so badly, you still need to evaluate how big your potential is right now. Don't feel terrible if your business is not there yet because you can still grow it and reach your goal later.


  1. Traffic from Other Countries
    • Total and organic traffic
    • Time-based trends and volumes
    • Page popularity
    • Keyword trends
    • Conversion rate
    • Which countries give most traffics
  2. Take a look at Google Analytics and see how much traffic your website generates from other countries? These factors are what you must pay attention to:



    At this point, you have not done any significant effort to draw international attention. But if all of those aspects are showing positive results, then you can consider moving forward with international SEO.



  3. Can Your Brand Appeal to International Citizens?

    A service or product that is popular in one country doesn't guarantee it will receive the same enthusiasm from people in other countries. You should research how the people from your target countries react to your brand. Find the strength that your brand has to offer your potential international customers.



  5. Understand That Google is Not the Only One


Analyzing your website's potential on Google will not be enough because not everyone using this particular search engine. Yandex, Baidu, Naver, and many other search engines are also popular in some countries. Sometimes, a website doesn't perform well on Google but is spectacular on other search engines. When targeting a country, the first thing you should check is what are the search engines that most people use in that particular country.





Is Now the Right Timing?


If the points above are impressive, you can have the confidence to do international SEO. But before you jump in there, you need a further evaluation to see when is the best time to start it. 


  • Is Your Website Findable?
  • Can Your Products Compete with the Locals?
  • Will Your Team be Able to Handle International Sales?
  • Determine Your Targeting System
  • Discuss Your Budget with Your IT Specialist
  • Decide Your URL Structure
  • Localize Your Website
  • Build a neat URL structure, so you don't have to redo it when your website is finally ready for international SEO.
  • Identify the uniqueness that your brand has and develop it to offer your international audience.
  • Explore the specific countries your website got its most visitors from, and find ways to engage better with the audience.
  • Research keywords from specific countries and search engines your website has potential for, so you can improve the SEO.

Depending on your situation, you can choose either ccTLD, subdomain, or subdirectories to structure your URLs. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages, so you have to decide carefully. Discuss this matter with your IT specialists to get their professional opinions. 


Now that you have everything on track, you can start localizing your website to boost your international SEO. Be patient in the process. Avoid localizing into multiple countries/languages at the same time. Instead, do it one by one and perform an evaluation each time before moving onto the next target. It will be much more efficient this way.



What If Your Website Is Not Ready?


If your website is not yet ready for international SEO, then your job now is to identify the weak aspects and work on those first. At the same time, you can also try some of these tips:





Implementing international SEO will take a lot of time, energy, and money. And once you do it, you need a long-term commitment to maintaining it as well. Therefore, it is highly advisable to not do it unless you can see how far your business can go. 


The cost to do international SEO can range widely, depending on your strategy. For example, automatic translation is significantly cheaper and faster than a manual one, but the results are significantly different as well. Many other things may hugely affect the cost and the outcome quality. Hence, you should make this aspect clear with your IT specialist so you can optimize the budget you set. 


You can either go with country targeting or language targeting. If you are selling physical goods, country targeting is more suitable because locations significantly matter. But if your business is all digital, then language targeting is the best route to take. 


Do even more extensive research on the local businesses that might be your competitors once you target the country. Make an elaborate comparison in multiple aspects such as quality, price, experience, and many other things. Your products should offer something that local products don't. Otherwise, people will hesitate to purchase from you.



Serving customers from your region might be easy, but international service is a real challenge. You should deliver an equally satisfying experience for your international customers. This factor might be easy if you are selling digital products or services. But for physical goods, it might not be as easy. Furthermore, you also need customer service who can cater to non-speaking English customers. 





What If It Is Ready?


It must be thrilling to learn that your website is ready to reach the international market. But before you jump into the hype train, there are things you need to consider. Doing international SEO requires careful planning and considerate execution. Otherwise, you might be wasting time and money without getting so much in return.


Here are some of the things that you should do:


From the steps before, you have already identified which countries your brand has the potential at. Now, the next step is to check the Organic Search Visibility in those specific countries. To get this done, you can use SEMRush, Google Webmaster, or other similar tools.