International SEO Strategy From Semalt For Non-Dominant Language Audiences

For your international SEO to be a success, you need the right strategy. At Semalt, we give you the best tools to succeed. This includes exclusive access to SEO-leading strategies. We will not only give you these success strategies; we will also execute these strategies. In this article, we will be giving you some items in a checklist to help you stay on track. 

Many websites felt the impact of last year's pandemic. People from around the world sought online experiences more than others. That created new potential for businesses that are trying to grow worldwide markets. 

However, to succeed in international SEO, website managers must understand the issues of page experience, URL structure, keywords, SERP from a different perspective. You would no longer be looking at it as a national or business. You will have to factor in the global response to items and features on your website. 

To make it on a global scale, you will have to build and expand your company's digital presence. For that to happen, you must be able to get in front of different audiences in multiple regions. You will have to address this audience separately and make your content unique to each of them, particularly in search. 

Essentials For International SEO Success In 2021

SEO has grown and become more important than ever before. Also, about 68% of all online experience starts as a search engine. This makes SERP a very important traffic source for every website.

Optimizing content to function optimally in several countries is no easy task. It usually requires a solid strategy and perfect execution to have a meaningful result. 

To ensure that our clients experience the very best turnover with their international SEO optimization efforts, here is a quick list of considerations we use to ensure we are on point.

The International Hreflang Setup

Hreflang is the HTML attribute that shows the language in which web content is displayed as well as the geolocation of its reader. An example would be:

 <link rel="alternate" href= hreflang="en-ame">

In the example above, you will notice the "en-ame" at the end of the code. It tells the search engine (Google, Wiki, Yahoo, etc.) the language and location you're targeting. When approaching a certain market and language, this feature becomes critical.

Having The Right URL Structure

For content to get to its target audience, its URL must be created based on the ccTLD (country code top-level domains), subdirectories, and subdomains. With the resources at Semalt, we can choose many methods of determining your URL structure. That is important as your URL structure is determined by the resources at your disposal. 

The most suitable approach is to use the TLDs approach. This method is ideal if you have the resources to manage multiple domains at the same time. If not, having subdomains is the next best thing. You can also choose to use subdirectories if neither of the methods listed above is available. 

Improved Page Experience   

Most recent developments in Google's algorithm suggest that they are beginning to give more attention to on-page experience. This means that it is critical to have a top-notch on-page experience if you intend on making it internationally. One area we pay a good deal of attention to is the mobile-first index. Adequately preparing for this has enabled us to stay in the graces of Google. Mobile-first is a global issue, which makes it one of the issues we have to tackle. It is also something we will have to prepare for in any country. 

Avoid Machine Translation

Have you thought or tried using machine translation? It sure looks quicker and easier; however, it isn't so great. As marketers who want to target more international markets, we know better than translating an entire page or site with a translation plugin. 

It is common to find several translation errors after using a machine for translations. Now, these errors may appear correct as each word is given its direct translations. However, when content writers or your audience read through your website, they can find several semantic errors. When translating one language to another, they are several language nuances machines wouldn't find or understand. 

Having bad translation on your site will negatively influence your user experience, which affects your ranking. That is why at Semalt, we hire professional local translators. This ensures that the context and message of your website are carried from one language to another.

This helps your customers relate to the website easier, creates a great impression, and sets the pace for an excellent relationship between your brand and the local search engine. 

Finding Keywords For The Region

Although Google's algorithm may be universal, SERP, on the other hand, varies widely on a local level. Searching for products in Canada may give results that vary widely from what you'll while in New Jersey. 

For that reason, we have to analyze the SERP for each given country to come up with its unique keywords. We also need to stay constantly updated on the changes in the search volume and the meaning of each of these keywords to our target audience.

For example, SEO has the same meaning all over the globe. However, "learning to play football" in the US has a completely different meaning from "learning to play football" in the UK. 

For this reason, we need to consider the country-level SEO strategy when building effective international SEO. 

How Is Your E-A-T?

If you haven't read our articles on EAT, now will be a good time to do so. E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These are the three pillars of SEO. One way or the other, your keywords, linking, content, and all other elements that improve your SEO contributes to your E-A-T.

These are qualities that you use all through your content to help build the overall image of your website and brand. When building the E-A-T of any website, here are some elements we focus on:

Building Meaningful Relationships 

Yes, building links is important, but how are these links formed? At Semalt, we recognize links as a form of recommendation, and the best recommendations come from people with a relationship. Google's position on this subject is that you shouldn't build links. So we have a tactical approach in our gain of authority. 

We focus on getting quality links over many links. Five links from a highly relevant website go farther than many links from poor websites. This is one of the reasons why clients come to us starstruck that they have so many inbound links but no traffic. 

We then educate them on how gaining unsolicited LinkedIn connections that ask you to buy their links is simply a waste of money. A more effective way to get quality links will be by building relationships with marketers and other people from your industry. 

One more thing to note is that international SEO links carry varying degrees of authority depending on the origin of the backlink. The country that provides the most authoritative backlinks shows Google which country finds your content the most relevant. This will impact your local SEO and SERP ranking.

Observe International And Local SEO Trends

There was a dramatic shift in search behavior and volume in 2020 as a result of coronavirus. In general, the preferences of buyers or search engine users are constantly changing, which affects the search trends. These changes affect both international SEO and local SEO. 

In the last year alone, the search keyword "working remotely" grew exponentially from 22,200 to over 40,500 monthly in the United States. That's an 82% increase from the previous year. In the United Kingdom, there was a 175% increase in the search volume for the keyword. To put this in perspective, the number of searches for "working remotly" grew from 4,400 to over 12,100. So if you were a company that provides the facilities that enable remote working, you should be targeting the US as it has greater potential. 

We use SEOmonitor and Google Trends tools to stay in check with these developing trends and search volume. They also help us determine upcoming trends in every market. 


We believe in a well-drafted plan. However, we also ensure we execute the said plan to perfection. Now you may have the knowledge required, but you still need professionals with resources across these countries to plan effectively. Our team of professionals is also on and to execute plans to perfection. 

In the world of SEO, it all about execution. With all we have listed in this article, we are certain you have some sort of plan. However, Semalt is here to help you and ensure you get it right from the foundation. Get in touch with us today, and together we can look over your plan to make sure it's good and then execute it to your specification.