If you know that a good share of your website visitors come from a different country than where you’re located, speak different languages, or both, then it may be time to make some changes to your website to create a better experience for all of your international visitors.
On the surface, international SEO may seem like a totally foreign concept, but in reality, you may be more familiar with it than you know. Think of international SEO as geotargeting, but instead of optimizing your website to attract traffic from your city or state, you’re optimizing it for different countries and languages.
If you’re looking to create a completely internationalized site (i.e., one that specifically targets a different country and a different language), your high-level to-dos for accomplishing this “international geotargeting” are threefold:
- Specify your target country and/or region with an international-friendly URL structure (country targeting).
- Establish which language your pages are targeting with the use of language tags (language targeting).
- Create and maintain content in your target users’ language(s). These are the raw materials with which you’ll actually rank.
Sometimes, you may be only looking to target a specific language or a specific country. In these cases, you may only want to work towards one or two of those three goals. Say, for example, you have an online clothing company that specializes in T-shirts with slogans in Spanish. Since Mexico is just as relevant to your business as Spain, you’d want to target the Spanish language, but not any specific country.