Search engine optimisation or SEO is a vital component of any digital marketing strategy. After all, it can create the online exposure that a brand or company needs to attract a higher volume of organic web traffic, leading to more conversions and sales. However, what happens if you use SEO and expand beyond the local markets? With Google seeing billions of searches every day, there are opportunities for organisations to draw in prospects.

The caveat, in this case, is the standard practices might not translate as well as some might think. In some instances, it may even hurt your efforts outside the country. Therefore, you must implement strong international SEO techniques to steer clear of this pitfall. In this guide, we’ll discuss what it is and how advantageous it can be for you.

International SEO—what is it?

As its name suggests, international SEO refers to the combination of practices, processes, and policies that organisations use to optimise their search content outside their respective countries. Its goal is to ensure that search engines can identify and determine where businesses operate from and the languages they support. Effective campaigns leverage language and geographic data for developing plans that can generate strong returns.

Implementing robust strategies and hiring agencies specialising in international SEO like Ocere can help you capture new markets. As a result, you can significantly multiply your revenue stream.

How international SEO transforms websites

Strategies for international SEO mainly focus on creating content applicable to the local markets and developing website structures to help search engines serve and find the correct websites. For instance, a company selling window shades within the U.S. that is looking to branch out to South American countries like Brazil or Colombia will need to ensure that the target customers are guided to the web pages containing information regarding their locations, shipping times, and costs and fees in the country’s currency.

So, the hypothetical organisation will need to structure its website to include Brazil or Colombia and United States pages. They must also leverage the metadata needed so search requests will direct users to where they need to be on the site based on their location.

Do you need it?

Whether or not you need international SEO strategies in place will depend on the plans you have for your business. If you’re not looking to go beyond your local market, state or city, it probably won’t be worth the resources and time required. In reality, it’ll only backfire on your brand if it’s only local. However, if you plan to expand the company beyond the country’s borders, international SEO will get you places. Given the many businesses competing for their respective markets globally, these strategies are necessary to stand out.

Even countries in close proximity can benefit from international SEO. For example, a company in the United States looking to attract a Mexican market can use this strategy to its advantage.

International versus local SEO

The main difference between international and local SEO is scale. The latter primarily focuses on target audiences and keywords in a narrow geographic location, while the former targets a more diverse market across various regions. Their main differentiators are the following:

Cost. International SEO generally comes with higher costs due to scope and scale.

Content. To broaden reach globally, more content will need to be produced instead of local SEO strategies.

Capture. With a global market, comprehensive research is necessary to accommodate consumers and meet expectations.


There aren’t many digital marketing techniques that are as essential as international SEO when creating a global presence. However, the process is as complicated as it is tedious. Therefore, it’s a rule of thumb to invest in the services of professionals instead of tackling it yourself. Doing so will save you time and a lot of trouble.

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