International SEO Guide

What is International SEO? If you have a website with different languages, perhaps you already know that there is something that is essential that you take care of and keep in mind. I mean international web positioning.

This is a key factor or piece for your website to be positioned in different languages, countries, or locations. Although it starts from almost the same bases as the traditional SEO of any website, it has certain very special characteristics.

This may seem like a real mess because we have to think more globally and design different strategies to position a web project in other markets with different languages.

What to take into account for an International SEO strategy?

It will depend to a large extent on what type of web project we have in hand and how we decide to approach the creation and subsequent optimization of our website.

To deal in depth with International SEO and learn first-hand everything you need, Hire the best SEO Agency/Company such as MagentoBrain to rank higher on search engines. We offer E-commerce SEO services, SEO audit services, keyword research, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, google penalty recovery, link-building services, pay-per-click services, local SEO services, and much more to our clients across the globe.

Without further delay, we are going to learn more about the subject of International SEO positioning.

Step-by-step International web positioning, what should you look for?

I am sure that you have heard the phrase that I am going to give you a lot of times, but it is no less true that:

Doing International SEO is one of the most complicated things to do, not only at the positioning level but also at the marketing level.

As I told you above, it is true, but it is also true that if you are methodical and know what to play, the task is greatly simplified, and that is precisely what I am going to teach you about in this article.

To organize this article a little more, I wanted to divide it into two different parts that I hope will help you at least to organize yourself when you have the arduous task of facing a multi-language web positioning project:

  • First I am going to tell you what you should pay attention to for all your projects since they are common things whatever you do.
  • Then I am going to tell you what you should look for depending on whether the site is corporate, a blog or informative site, e-commerce, or the complete package.

I hope you enjoy it!

Also Read: Magento SEO - Ultimate Guide

All the extra complications that International SEO has

There are seven main points that you should pay close attention to in your international SEO campaigns, and we are going to deal with them one by one:

1. What domain extension do I choose?

At first, the decision on the web domain should be between two large groups:

  • On the one hand, those known as TLD (Top Level Domain) are, for example, .com, .net, or .org among others.
  • On the other hand, a regional domain (.es for example) will give you a little more push to position yourself in the country and much less in the rest of the world.

Logic would incline us to think that a TLD is always better, and this is usually the case. In fact, as a general rule, I always tell my clients that if they can bid on the .com, do so.

But of course, it is not always like that, imagine this case:

Here we all have more doubts and, on occasions like these, it is not unreasonable to opt for the regional one.

As you can see, these are isolated cases (yes, I said isolated cases) but it is a reality that sometimes happens.

2. Where do I contract to host to improve International SEO?

The IP of the web hosting is one more positioning factor.

It is true that it is much more interesting to have a fast server and that you are not going to notice an amazing change in the positions of your keywords, but it does something.

And of course, when you want to dedicate yourself to positions in several countries, the same question always arises:


3. The IP of my domain, from which country should it be?

This answer is much simpler: The most sensible thing is that the IP is from the country in which you want/are going to have the primary acquisition of your business.

In Roman Paladin:

The good part of this is that you can always change the IP of the server when you do a migration and, as I mentioned before, you won't notice much difference either.

To give you a piece of information: The latest conversations with people in this sector who know a lot about the subject, well-known people from the world of Yankee positioning, usually give me the same figure, which fluctuates between 0.7 and 1 extra position.

Little thing, as you see.

4. The paradox of the former colonies: Different country, the same language

It happens in a lot of countries, but in Spain, we take the cake since Spanish is the official language of many countries like Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Uruguay, and that long etcetera.

I am not going to deceive you, it is practically impossible to be able to make unique and original content with a different URL for each country, there are too many efforts for a result that is usually poor.

That being said, my recommendation is just the opposite: Make really good, well-laid-out, super-readable content and try to get it to beep in local versions of the search engine.

Yes, I just read your mind:

By having only one URL, the relevance you get thanks to your promotion and your link building will always add up, but your efforts should be aimed at getting links from IPs from different countries to the position.

That is, it is a greater effort in terms of promotion, but the results can be spectacular.

Also Read: Tips for Magento Website Speed Optimization

5. Search Console can and should help you

Within Search Console, well known as Google Search Console Tools, you have a part that should help you a lot, it is in a section within "Search Traffic" called "International Segmentation".

Here there are two little tabs, the first one we will discuss in the next point (it is called "Language") and the second one, which is called "Country", is the one I want to give you more information about.

This “Country” tab lets you do two things:

  • Target geolocation to users from one country, which is ideal for single-language projects
  • Orient the geolocation to "none", which is ideal for the case of international SEO or multi-language

6. «Hreflang» is A label not as well known as it should be

Whenever we have a project in several languages, each URL of the same must incorporate a small tag called “hreflang”.

The exact construction of this tag is something like this:

This tag should be in the "head" section of each URL in your project and what it tells the search engine is what language it is written in, which will give it a true idea of ​​how to read it and, most importantly, that it does not take other language versions as duplicate content.

How do you implement it? Well, there is a painless way and another quite painful way:

  • About the painless: we will talk about the last point of this list, which is if you have an open source CMS via a plugin, extension, etc.
  • The painful one: if your website is made by hand, you must insert this label in each and every one of the URLs also by hand.

You can analyze if HREFLANG is well implemented on your website using Screaming Frog.

7. How do I create the URLs to have the maximum potential?

When you have a product or content in multiple languages, each one must have a URL.

Well, there are three very different ways to do it:

7.1 Have a domain for each language

An example: for English, for Hindi, and so on for bingo.

7.2 Do it via subdomains

Which would be for Hindi, for German, and the following.

7.3 Do it via subfolders

The option would be for Hindi, for English, and the following.

If you choose a domain for each language, I must tell you that you have chosen the easy path in the short term and a very bad one in the long term, since you will have to multiply your promotion and link-building efforts and each country will have to be treated as a separate project.

Overall, I do not recommend it in any way.

If you choose to go with subdomains, nice try, but it's not the best either because even though subdomains give you a lot of flexibility, instead of passing all the relevance of the overall project to each of the subdomains you're going to take about 70%, And we're not here to lose 30% of the job, right?

If you choose subfolders, you just hit the nail on the head yes and only yes:

  • You keep URLs as short as possible
  • You keep the URLs enriched with keywords of each language

8. Choosing a good multilanguage plugin

The last point of this first part is the choice of a multi-language plugin, I am going to recommend for WordPress:

For Magento:

Both are good, work well and adapt, so it's as simple as choosing the one that best suits your project.

The good part is that in addition to the content, it will solve the hreflang part, so you do a 2×1, which is always very good.

What do I have to pay attention to...

Below I list the 4 main cases when you face an International SEO project:

1) I have a corporate site

It is the most straightforward case by far since a corporate site as such contains very few pages and, since the orders or degrees of freedom are few, things also get a little out of control.

This case is the only one that, due to its low complexity, could allow me the luxury of creating a different URL for each country, even sharing the same language (you know, make all the pages of the site differently depending on whether they are for Russia, Japan or Korea), yes, always measuring and as long as they are a manageable number of pages.

Be careful, I said, "I could afford the luxury", and this does not mean that it is mandatory, far from it.

2) I have a blog or informative site

If you have a blog, things change because you are going to have a lot of pages with tons of content, and of course, the idea is to concentrate everything possible on subfolders, yes or yes.

If you make a multi-language blog or informative site, for example, Hindi and English, there are two different streams:

  • I make all the content in both languages
  • I take into account the differences between each country and create specific content for each of the two languages

The decision you make is not universal and depends on the problem, one will work better than the other, and among the different questions you should ask yourself are:

  • Are the posting times the same for the different languages ​​I have?
  • What time slots will I be late? Since publishing soon is not a problem
  • Do I have the writing and translation team at the same office and with the same hours?
  • How can I fit the work of the entire writing team?
  • Are the tastes the same in all the countries and languages ​​for which I want to write?

With these five questions, I am sure that you have answered yourself and you will know what your best option is.

3) I have an eCommerce

If you have an online store, one of the best things you can do is try to internationalize it, and the fundamental step where most of your resources should go is in multi-language SEO.

For this, it is essential that you follow the seven points of the first part by heart, and when I say by heart you must read: Absolutely by heart.

In addition to that, you are going to have to take into account a couple of things that have nothing to do with SEO, but are a consequence of it:

  • Google Analytics measuring as commanded

It is vitally important that you measure with great detail in Google Analytics, taking into account not only the traffic from each geolocation but also its conversion rate and how much billing and margin they contribute to your business.

  • Measurement of search engine positions by country with SEMrush or Ahrefs

On the other hand, you must have a position monitoring system that allows you to measure keywords by country.

Thanks to using tools such as SE Ranking, SEMrush, or Ahrefs, you will see your evolution of visibility and positioning in each regional part of the search engine, and with this, you will know where to aim and what gives you the best results, something vital in a complex strategy.

Let’s wrap it

Of course, the long-term results will surprise you a lot. And for good.

If this is your case, you should look one by one at each of the small legs that I have been telling you about, from the seven points at the beginning to the blog and eCommerce part, but the most difficult of all:

You must do it based on a weighted positioning strategy that allows you, with the budget (resources and investment) you have, to maximize performance in each of the points, always looking globally and in the long term.

Leave a comment right now telling me what international multi-language SEO positioning strategy you are going to follow…