Benefits of an International SEO Strategy

Benefits of an International SEO Strategy

Benefits of an International SEO Strategy

Wish you could generate more revenue from other countries?

According to Statista, in 2016 international sales accounted for 15% of total global eCommerce. And in 2022, they project that cross-border sales will account for 22% of total eCommerce sales.

The world is buying, and International SEO will position your business in search rankings and get your business on track to generate significant revenue in bordering countries; and in some cases, overseas countries.

But let’s address the elephant in the room:

The global supply chain seems pretty F’ed.

The spread of the pandemic has highlighted the fragility of global supply chains, which will continue to be a challenge for logistics firms and brands that need them in 2022.

But there will be a very bright light at the end of the tunnel.

The pandemic has caused brands to re-source and re-shore their production to areas closer to their business and their customers to reduce production and ship times.

Logistics and tech companies are organizing themselves to battle the global supply chain crisis of 2021.

One way that they are doing this is by using innovative technologies such as blockchain and 5G to keep their supply chains running. These technologies are helping to keep communication open between businesses and suppliers, no matter where they are in the world. As a result, companies can continue to produce and distribute their products without any major interruptions.

One company that is using blockchain and 5G to keep its supply chains running is Walmart. They have been working on a project called the “Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform“. This platform is being used to track food items from farm to table. By using blockchain and 5G, Walmart can keep track of every step of the supply chain, from the farm to the store. This helps to ensure that the food items that they are selling are safe and of high quality.


Another company that is using innovative technologies to keep its supply chains running is Amazon. Amazon is using 5G to help them deliver products faster to their customers. This means that Amazon can deliver products to their customers in a shorter amount of time. They are also using blockchain to help them keep track of their inventory. By using blockchain, Amazon can know exactly where its products are at all times. This helps them to keep their customers happy and their business running smoothly.


As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and continuous supply chain problems, small tech companies are stepping up to help battle global supply chain issues.

Radiant and Samsar – provides end-to-end asset tracking

Ware and ClearStream – automates inventory counting

Terminal49, Vizion API, and Ocean Insights – provides ocean shipping container tracking

These companies and similar competitors, along with private equity and venture capital, are dumping investment into solving these issues.

And with that kind of money being thrown at a problem, along with political lobbying, it usually gets solved in a big way.

And when these problems begin to get fixed and allow companies like yours to sell your toothbrushes, camera accessories, or athletic jeans anywhere in the world, wouldn’t it be nice if you started international SEO now so that in a year your brand shows up first in Google for the keywords your customers are searching for around the world?

Don’t snooze. Now is the time.

international SEO, JOHN TIMMERMAN

Why is international SEO important?

The answer to this question is quite simple: because the world is increasingly becoming more connected.

With the advent of technologies like the internet, social media, and international logistics, businesses need to have a strong online presence in multiple countries to maximize their reach to their target consumers.

This is especially true in the wake of COVID-19. As the pandemic has forced people all over the world to stay indoors and rely more on online platforms for their news, entertainment, and shopping needs, it has become clear that having a strong international SEO strategy is no longer a luxury but a necessity for brands that want to sell across borders.

Example of International SEO in practice

The other day I was thinking of ordering some flowers for one of my team members in Brazil. So I go to Google to search “Flower Shops in Aracaju” and up pops 3 options for me to pick from.

international SEO, JOHN TIMMERMAN

The one I picked had the most positive reviews, but had no website (only Instagram), and had to contact them via WhatsApp (which makes it pretty easy if they speak English).

The next one I picked had a URL that was broken, and no way to contact them except by telephone. Unless they speak English I cannot order through them.

The third one listed in the Google Local Pack had a decent website, translated to English, but I couldn’t order any products directly from their website.

I clicked through fourteen–yes 14–different Google listings until I found one that allowed me to purchase on their website, checkout with PayPal or credit card, and would deliver the flowers to the address I needed.

As we become more connected as a global society, businesses need to have a strong online presence in multiple countries to maximize their reach to their target consumers.

By 2022, it is expected that there will be over 5.5 billion internet users, and according to a study by BrightEdge, 43% of traffic to global websites comes from non-English speaking countries.

This means that international SEO has become more important than ever before. Advancements in internet speeds and logistics technology have made it easier for businesses to reach new audiences, but to be successful, they need to understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with international SEO.

How can businesses reach new audiences with international SEO?

Reaching new audiences with international SEO can be done in a few ways. One way is by translating your website into different languages. This can be done manually or through machine translation. However, it’s important to note that machine translations are not always accurate and can often produce inaccurate translations.

A better way to reach new international audiences is by localizing your website. This involves tailoring your website URL and content (including the language) to fit the cultural context of the country you’re targeting.

The foundation of how to do international SEO is generally the same no matter what country you are targeting. But just like everything else, 80% of your results will come from the 20% that you change to target a specific country or region.

international SEO, JOHN TIMMERMAN

What are the challenges and opportunities of international SEO?

When it comes to international SEO, there are a few challenges and opportunities that businesses need to be aware of.

One of the main challenges is making sure your website is translated and optimized for different countries. You also need to make sure that your website is accessible in different languages, and that you are using the correct country codes in your URLs.

For example, if you’re a business targeting the French market, you should consider creating a website with a .fr domain extension.

In addition, France is one of the most food-inspired cultures on the planet, so if you content talks about altering a delicious meal by putting ketchup (or the new ketchup, sriracha) on it, you might put off some french visitors.

By focusing your website and content around the country you want to generate revenue from, you are building the foundation for a great international SEO strategy.

Another challenge is potentially dealing with different search engines.

Although Google dominates searches in most countries, if you are targeting China or Russia, you will have to optimize your site for Baidu and Yandex.

international SEO, JOHN TIMMERMAN

And one more big challenge is handling the extra work that goes into building additional websites, content, and context for each target country.

However, international SEO can also offer a lot of opportunities for businesses.

By optimizing your website for different countries, you can reach a larger audience and increase your revenue. You can also connect with new customers and partners, and expand your business into new markets.

This may open up opportunities for new products, joint ventures, and in some cases, entirely new lines of business!

So let’s talk about how to overcome the challenges with International SEO.

How can businesses ensure their website is optimized for international search engines?

The good news is that 99.9% of you out there are probably not expanding into China or Russia (especially not in 2022). So you only need to worry about ranking in Google for the various countries.

Businesses need to ensure that their website is optimized for what Google wants to show their users for each international search that they perform.

For example:

  • A French baking website should target the keywords “boulangerie” and “pâtisserie” when optimizing for international SEO.
  • A Spanish website should target the keywords “panadería” and “pastelería” when optimizing for international SEO.

But remember, international SEO is not just translating your website into other languages. You need to target the local keywords that people in those countries are using when searching for what you offer.

It’s all about context, so hiring someone who knows the culture is very important so your brand isn’t being offensive or ignorant to certain traditions, local policies or other nuances that as a foreigner you may miss.

Other than that, you just need to line up a team to build your international website or your country-specific website. Additionally, you need to have someone who is managing the necessary SEO work to maintain the website and get relevant backlinks from other national websites.

It’s a lot of work. But when you begin to see $50k, $100k, $500k, or $1MM in additional monthly revenue coming from Brazil, Mexico, or the UK, you will understand why I’m talking to you right now.

Case studies of successful international SEO campaigns.

It’s no secret that international SEO has become increasingly important in the age of globalization.

With more and more people accessing the internet from all corners of the world, businesses need to have a strong online presence in multiple countries in order to reach their target consumers. And thanks to advancements in internet speeds and logistics technology, it’s never been easier or faster to execute international SEO campaigns.

Here are a few case studies of successful international SEO campaigns:

1. The Coca-Cola Company


Coca-Cola is a perfect example of a company that has successfully implemented international SEO. For over 125 years, Coke has been selling its products in over 200 countries around the world. And as you might expect, a company of that size and scope has a very robust international SEO strategy.

One of the key components of Coke’s international SEO strategy is localizing its website content. They have an entire team dedicated to creating and optimizing content for each of the markets they serve. This includes translating content into local languages and dialects, as well as tailoring messages to specific cultural norms and customs.

This approach has been incredibly successful for Coca-Cola. In fact, they were recently ranked as the number one most valuable brand in the world.


IKEA is another great example of a company that has successfully utilized international SEO to reach new markets. IKEA is a Swedish home furnishings company that sells its products in over 50 countries.

IKEA’s international SEO strategy is a bit different from Coca-Cola’s. Rather than localizing their website content, IKEA focuses on creating localized marketing campaigns. For example, they will create TV commercials and print ads that are tailored to the specific cultural norms of the countries they’re targeting.

Then they target international keywords and use hreflang annotations to indicate to Google which country the content is targeting.

This strategy has been very successful for IKEA. In addition to reaching new markets, they’ve also been able to increase their market share in many of the countries they operate in.

In fact, they are now the world’s largest furniture retailer.

3. The New York Times


The New York Times is another company that has seen great success with international SEO. The New York Times is an American newspaper that has a global audience of over 1 million readers.

The New York Times’ international SEO strategy is very simple: they make sure their website is available in multiple languages. Currently, the New York Times website is available in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and French.

This approach has been very successful for the New York Times. In fact, they are now one of the most widely read news sources in the entire world.

4. Zara

international SEO, JOHN TIMMERMAN

Zara is a Spanish clothing retailer that sells its products in over 90 countries. Zara’s international SEO strategy is similar to IKEA’s in that they focus on creating localized marketing campaigns. However, unlike IKEA, they also make sure to localize their website content, more like Coca-Cola.

This approach has been very successful for Zara.

They are now the largest clothing retailer in the world.

5. Amazon

Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer and they sell its products in over 180 countries. Amazon’s international SEO strategy is similar to Coca-Cola’s in that they focus on localizing their website content. However, they also make sure to target specific keywords for each market they serve.

This approach has been very successful for Amazon.

They are now the most valuable brand in the world.

As you can see, there are a variety of different international SEO strategies that can be used to reach new markets. And as we become more connected as a global society, international SEO is only going to become more important. So if you want your business to succeed on a global scale, make sure to implement a strong international SEO strategy.

Tips for optimizing a website for international search engines.

  • 1. When translating your website, be sure to use a professional translator who is familiar with the nuances of international SEO. A sloppy translation can result in decreased traffic from international search engines.
  • 2. Make sure that all of your international websites are accurately geo-targeted. Failure to target a website geographically can lead to decreased rankings in international search engines.
  • 3. Use culturally relevant keywords and phrases when creating content for international websites. Trying to use keywords that don’t resonate with international users can hurt your ranking in foreign search engines.
  • 4. Monitor your website’s international search engine rankings regularly and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly. Rankings can vary greatly from country to country, so it’s important to tailor your strategy to the specific region you’re targeting.
  • 5. Always keep an eye on your international competitors. By understanding what they’re doing right, you can stay one step ahead in the international SEO game.
  • 6. Get a dedicated team. You will need it, and can’t afford not to. Implementing these international SEO tips can be a lot of work, but it’s worth it to ensure that your website is visible to the millions of international users who are searching for businesses like yours.

With a little effort, you can make sure that your business is ready to take advantage of the growing global economy.

Quick FAQs about international SEO.

What is international SEO?

International SEO is the process of optimizing a website for global search engines. This involves optimizing a website’s content, structure, and technical elements to rank higher in international search engines like Google and Baidu.

Why is international SEO important?

With over 5.5 billion internet users by 2022, international SEO is becoming increasingly important for businesses looking to reach their target consumers online. With 43% of global website traffic coming from non-English speaking countries, it’s more important than ever for businesses to have a strong online presence in multiple countries.

How can I optimize my website for international SEO?

There are several ways you can optimize your website for international SEO. You can optimize your website’s content, structure, and technical elements for international search engines. You can also use international keyword research to target keywords in multiple languages.

What are some common international SEO mistakes?

There are several common international SEO mistakes that businesses make. One common mistake is not optimizing their website for multiple languages, instead just using a website automatic translator. Another common mistake is failing to use international keyword research to target keywords in multiple languages.

What types of businesses need International SEO for growth?

Businesses that operate in more than one country need international SEO. If you have a website and customers in multiple countries, your site needs to be optimized for each country’s search engines. Think about it – if you’re targeting Spanish-speaking consumers in the United States, Mexico, and Argentina, your website needs to be in Spanish and optimized for each country’s search engines.

International SEO can help you reach more of your target consumers, regardless of where they live. And with the rapid growth of the internet, international SEO is becoming more important than ever before.

Even businesses that currently are not selling across borders could effectively double their revenue just by setting up international shipping and focusing on international SEO to drive sales to their website.

So, are you there yet? If not, let me know where you’re at and I’ll give you some advice.

Written by
John Timmerman
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