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How to Use International SEO to Expand Global Search Audience Reach

International SEO

International SEO provides a flexible and cost-effective method to reach a global audience and expand the online presence of your business.  Read below to learn the fundamental steps on how to use international SEO to expand your global search audience reach:

Do your Research

A. Your international organic search status

First, research your international organic search visibility, traffic, conversions, and conversion rate:

1.  Countries and languages that are providing organic search visibility and traffic

2.  Volume and trend over time of the organic search visibility and the traffic generated by each country and language

3.  Keywords and pages that attract the search visibility and traffic for each of the top identified international markets

4.  Organic search click-through-rate and conversion rate of the visitors coming from each of the leading international markets

5.  Conversion volume and trend generated by each of these international markets

You can find these details using Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

A.  Your international organic search potential

Evaluate the potential of each of the top country and language markets you are contemplating targeting.

Keyword research aids you in identifying this potential by gathering the following data for each one of them:

1.  Relevant keywords and phrases used as queries by your international audience to search for your business

2.  Organic search volume and competition for these keywords per country

3.  Current ranking for these keywords in the target markets

Begin by using the ones that are already driving traffic to your website and complete the information by using keyword software. You will need native language support to make sure you are doing proper keyword research because of localization.

Then, you need to check the ‘ranking difficulty’ of your chosen keywords. Use your keyword tool to assess their competitive level, based on relevance and popularity of the competitors.


Next, identify countries which have an adequate organic search volume of relevant and reasonably competitive keywords. Choose these countries to target and prioritize in your international SEO method.

You can apply language targeting when traffic volume for language targeting is higher than country targeting.

A country or language-focused international Web targeting can be rolled out in various ways. Based on different situations, below are suggested alternatives:

For Country Targeting: Country-Code Top Level Domain, Sub-Directories, Sub-Domains

For Language Targeting: Sub-Directories, Sub-Domains


The final step in using international SEO in expanding global search audience reach is the optimization of country and language targeting.

Crawlability and Indexability

They must be featured in their own URLs under their relevant web structure. It is also vital to cross-link between your various international Web Versions.


It is important to either localize (country targeted) or translate (language targeted) the different elements of the pages of each of your international versions. Use the keywords and phrases that you have identified during the initial research:

1.  URLs

2.  The title and meta description

3.  Menu and navigation elements

4.  Headings

5.  Images and ALT descriptions

6.  Main body information

7.  Reviews

8.  Prices, phone, address, should be targeted

Each element must be optimized to target the queries used by your target users in each language and country.

Language or Country Detection

Pinpoint your user’s location via IP address and language through the browser settings and validate that all International Web versions are being properly crawled and indexed by Google.

Language Specification

Specify the language of each of your web pages by using (1) HTML Lang, Content Language Meta Tags and HTTP Headers and (2) Hreflang Language Specification


Geotarget every international Web versions for country-targeting.  Use Hreflang Country Specification, Webmaster Tools Geolocation, and your own hosting location.

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