Growing internationally thanks to SEO

When you are operating your business abroad, or have the ambition to grow your business internationally, it is important that your website is findable in all the relevant languages.

Deploying international SEO requires a planned approach, deviating from the situation in which a website only requires to be findable in one country. We use a well-thought-out strategy to make your website easier to find.

Our approach for international findability

If you want to be better found internationally, a good strategy is important. Every day, we help websites, web shops and platforms with their international SEO. Every month, the websites of our clients receive millions of visitors from all over the world.

We use the following approach in an international SEO project:

  1. Carrying out a keyword research so that we know which relevant search terms to focus on.
  2. Performing a technical analysis, focusing on loading speed, crawlability and the implementation of international targeting through hreflang tags.
  3. Carrying out a competition analysis, so that your position in the market and the quick wins can be determined.
  4. Revision of the URL structure to be optimally found internationally.
  5. Elaborating the SEO strategy, so that a solid plan of action is made.
  6. Enabling real-time monitoring so that we constantly know what is happening on your website.
  7. Creating a tracking project within our SEO tools so that we can both measure the keyword positions and position changes daily.
  8. Start with the on-page optimization, to improve the landing pages on your website and expand them where necessary.
  9. Start with international linkbuilding, to increase the authority of your website.
  10. Monitoring and reporting because to measure is to know. We schedule a Google Meet to go over the results and work on a monthly basis.
  11. Draw up new action points and carry out optimizations, based on the data obtained and the trends that we see.

The importance of international SEO

Suppose you have a webshop, with which you send your products to the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain and England. You don’t want to only receive orders from the Netherlands, but also from the other international countries.

To sell your products abroad, you could start advertising. However, advertising has two major disadvantages:

  • Once you have stopped advertising, you won't receive any orders and your business will collapse.
  • With ads, you can easily be outbid by someone with deeper pockets. A good example is Amazon: do they suddenly increase their bids on search terms you also focus on? If so, this will be at the expense of your margin and in some cases you will be forced to stop advertising.

It is important to use a good mix of marketing channels. Using ads is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is important to get your traffic from multiple channels.

By deploying an SEO process aimed at all countries on which you focus, you will increase your findability. And this in turn will benefit your business and company growth.

Points of attention for international SEO

Within an international SEO project, there are a number of issues that deserve extra attention. When something goes wrong here, it can have serious consequences for your findability.

  1. Incorrect implementation of hreflang tags, as a result of which pages are poorly or even not findable in the various countries.
  2. Internal duplicate content, which causes Google to rank pages incorrectly or not at all in the different countries.
  3. Response to search behavior; someone in Spain searches in an entirely different way than someone in the US.
  4. Grammatically correct content in the right language - after all, someone from England does not want to read German content.
  5. A good loading time in every country, someone from Australia does not want to wait 10 seconds for a website to load.
  6. Relevant and qualitative international backlinks, if you have a page with Italian content, you don't need Dutch backlinks for that page.

A good site structure

For international search engine optimization it is important that your website has a good site structure. A URL structure using parameters is simply not enough. You will have to rely on subdirectories, subdomains or country-specific domains.

For the site structure, we think along with you when setting up your international website. Together with the developer and/or marketeer, we think up the structure, including all relevant URLs in the right languages.

Is your website already live? Then in some cases it may be wise to adjust the URL structure. In that case, it is important that the old URLs are correctly redirected to the new URLs using 301 redirects.

Migration to an international website

If you are operating a website that is focused on one language and are going to start using an international website, you must carry out a proper SEO migration.

We advise your web developer on how to migrate your website to the new site structure while maintaining your website’s current authority. Of course, we can also take this technical part off your hands entirely.

Help needed with a migration?

For every SEO migration, we use 7 fixed steps, to perform the migration properly and flawlessly. Read more about the importance of a proper SEO migration,

More about SEO migrations

Taking international search engines into account

Your international customers don’t just search through Google. Search engines such as Yandex, Baidu, Bing and Yahoo also have a large international reach. So knowledge of these different search engines is significant. It is often thought that all search engines work the same. They don’t. Bing has a different algorithm than Google, for example.

Technology is an important part of findability in the various search engines. The crawlers of the various search engines must be able to visit your website completely. Setting up your robots.txt file, for example, is essential here. During the implementation of international SEO, we pay careful attention to the technical SEO.

The proper implementation of hreflang tags

You want your website to be internationally findable, so your pages obviously need to be suitable for multiple languages or regions. The hreflang attribute advises search engines where to find the different language versions of a page.

Our consultants know that a proper implementation of hreflang tags is crucial; otherwise the content will not be findable in the correct language. This can cause major problems for your findability in the search engines.

On-page optimizations

In addition to the technology of your website, your content must also be optimized for international findability. This requires careful consideration of keywords and copywriting. The user-friendliness of your website starts with good texts aimed at your target audience.

A keyword research is the best way to form a basis for relevant content. Based on the keyword research, our search engine optimization specialists will work on your on-page optimization. If you have your own marketers, we can support your marketers with SEO consultancy.

International link building

Besides content and technique, the authority of your website is also vital. With international link building, you ensure a strong link profile and even better international findability.

It is important that the links to your website are relevant and authoritative. The domain extension of the referring website is also important.

Obtaining international backlinks

There are numerous possibilities to obtain international backlinks. It is important that only relevant and qualitative backlinks are obtained, on websites that also receive traffic from Google.

Ways to obtain international backlinks include:

  • Guest articles
  • Advertorials
  • PR
  • Forums
  • Online encyclopedias

International SEO combined with local SEO

If you also have physical branches abroad, local SEO is important in addition to international SEO. We also have that expertise in-house. Naturally, you want your branches to be findable in the right region, for example via Google Maps.

Are you ready to start using international SEO?

Do you see opportunities for your company internationally? Then our SEO specialists would like to help you with your international SEO. Contact us without obligation and find out how we can contribute to your international growth.