How to Know If You're Ready for International SEO

Photo by  Jeshoots

Photo by Jeshoots


Are you wondering if your business is ready for internationally targeted SEO? Maybe you have had success with selling your product to a few people in Italy. Or maybe a few of your Facebook posts have gone viral in Brazil. Maybe you live in Mexico, speak good English, and want to leverage that skill to tap into that large U.S. market.

Or… well, I’m going to stop the speculation here, because there are a few objective measures you should look at before deciding whether or not to take your marketing to another country. This post will look at those indicators.

International Organic Growth

The first indicator that there is a market for your product in another country is if you experience site visitors from another country without making an effort to reach that market.

A few years ago I spent $5 on a Facebook ad to market my photography business and in one week, I got 800 followers for my Facebook page and I more than quadrupled the monthly visitors to my site. And 100% of this new traffic was from Brazil.

This was super exciting, and I’ve definitely shared this in a number of conversations, but there were a few considerations that I needed to make before marketing to Brazil.

Your Team’s Language Capacity

Do you have people on your time that speak the language of this possible international market? This is so important because SEO is semantic-based and driven by the psychology of real people.

This means that you entice people to click around on your site and eventually purchase your product if you speak their language. You will sorely disappoint anyone if you create a landing page in their language, then once they click around on your site, they find all the other content in another language.

So, even if you and others on your team are proficient in another language, do you have to time to publish all content in two (or more) languages?

Competitive Analysis

Do you offer a product in another country that no other local business does? If you don’t, can you position your brand to offer a unique product? To learn more about the product landscape of any other country, you can Google your specific product or service and put the country name after it.

You should also Google that same term in that country’s language. For example, if I wanted to see if I could take my service to Spain, I would Google English-speaking digital marketing consultant Spain and Consultante anglohablante de marketing digital en España.

If I didn’t find any similar product with this search, then that would be a green light to move on to the next step.

International Link Building

Link building is central to any SEO effort, and there are a myriad of ways to do this. Once you perform the above step and know what the top ranking sites are, perform the analysis that I address in the first three steps of this post on off-page SEO.

This will give you good insight into your potential for building SEO successfully internationally, and where you can start your international link building.

Technical Capabilities

It will likely take a lot of time and effort to get your website and link building set up for another language and country. If you can do this, then you are ready for priming your technical SEO internationally.

This means that you’ll have to work with changing a few things with your domain directories, adding canonical tags, and geo tagging. Stay tuned, because I will detail this very process in my next post.

Are you ready to make the leap?

Remember that in order to know if you are ready for international SEO, you should first look at your analytics to see what organic international growth you’ve been getting.

You should then do a competitive analysis, assess your team’s language abilities, and look for link building opportunities. If all of those indicators are promising, then you are ready for international SEO.

If you want to know more information about this topic, I’d be happy to chat with you. There are also a couple of resources that I found invaluable when researching this topic. You can check them out here:

SEOBryn Bonino4