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If your business website deals with international visitors, you must optimize your website to anticipate the needs of the different audiences that you are targeting. For example, a company selling its products in both the United States and Spain will probably have significant differences in the way it presents itself depending on the location of the visitor. An American visitor may view the website in English while someone from Spain may see a version of the same website written in Spanish.

What elements for international visitors must you focus on? Language is just one of the many components that can be adjusted to make international SEO work for you.

If your website caters to different countries or regions around the world and you have decided that international SEO is for you, here are a few general guidelines to look into:

  • Your website must state the countries you want to target (also known as country targeting). This requires URLs that are internationally friendly which entails adding country codes in your URL, e.g., “us” for the United States, “jp” for Japan, “uk” for the United Kingdom, etc.
  • Your website must state the languages you want to target (also known as language targeting).
  • You must remember to generate content using the targeted language as it not only helps you in your ranking, but also helps with user engagement.

Some websites deal with a particular country or a language. If you plan on something similar, your targeting goals are less. E.g., if you have an online book publishing company specifically for the Spanish language, Spain is not the only country for its sales. Hence, your target must be the language and not the region.

After outlining for you the three basic requirements for launching a website that employs international SEO, let us now move on to a more thorough checklist of considerations for you to use.