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International SEO Hiring Guide

Improve your SERP rankings around the world and grow your website's global visibility by hiring international SEO services. 

Find International SEO Hiring Services

International SEO Hiring Guide

Updated March 27, 2024

International search engine optimization (SEO) is a subset of SEO that aims to improve the visibility of websites around the world, focusing on the specific countries your business wants to reach. It focuses on providing a great experience to a business’ international customers by targeting specific markets, languages, and users.

Effective international SEO can help a business connect with its foreign customers and boost organic traffic. By focusing more on international SEO, you can break into new markets, appeal to a broader audience, and gain a strategic advantage over the competition.

Clutch’s detailed guide will give you a better understanding of everything you need to know about international SEO and how to find the ideal partner for your endeavors.

What is International SEO?

International SEO: Optimizing your website to target specific geographic locations, countries, and languages is known as international SEO. Through various strategies like creating localized website content, country-specific landing pages, geotargeting, and international-friendly URL structures, you can appeal to audiences around the globe. 

While SEO focuses on positioning a brand as a formidable force in the domestic market, international SEO prioritizes its global standing.

Search engines such as Google and Bing are specifically created to customize the results based on the users’ geographic location and language. For growing businesses targeting different markets around the world, both domestic and international SEO are a must.

International SEO can increase its website's organic traffic by optimizing content for different geographical locations and linguistic groups. By investing in it, customers can quickly locate your brand and see its credibility.

While scale is the biggest distinction, international and local SEO have four main differences:

  • Market competition: Unlike local SEO, you will have stiffer competition when it comes to keywords and ranking. Depending on what market your business is in, your rivals can have bigger budgets or advantages.
  • Target audience: Because you’re reaching a different market, international SEO seeks to understand the audience in each locale. Experienced professionals know how to conduct research to ensure that your strategies and management match their expectations.
  • Content: Different audiences, enjoy different types of content — and international SEO requires you to develop and produce tailored content for your intended audience.
  • Costs: Since international SEO is more vast than local SEO, you should expect higher costs, especially for more cutthroat industries.

An experienced international SEO professional knows how to combine processes, strategies, and policies that deliver optimal results. They can plan and execute different tactics needed — from content, planning, and development to optimizing web pages for international consumers.

For example, a fast-growing retail business in the United States is looking to expand its reach to the United Kingdom and Canada. Skilled international SEO professionals will take into careful consideration the differences in terms of dialect, consumer behavior, and locations when determining the best approach. They will also put an emphasis on currencies when tailoring web pages showcasing their products and services.

Matching with the right international SEO provider makes the biggest difference. It’s important to work with a partner that’s knowledgeable about both your industry and the country that you’re targeting.

International SEO Services by Country

International SEO Services by City

5 Benefits of International SEO Services

The hesitation of many business owners in investing in quality international SEO services can be attributed to their lack of knowledge of its benefits.

International SEO Benefits

Let’s take a deep dive into the significant benefits of international SEO services to your business’ short-term and long-term position:

  1. Expansion into new markets: International SEO provides the boost needed to reach out to potential customers in new markets. By carefully understanding your international target audience, you can create an effective campaign that breeds connection.
  2. Improve credibility: Consumers are extremely crucial when it comes to the brands they trust, and international SEO completes a huge role in the success of your site. The better your site ranks on search engines such as Google, Bing, Baidu, DuckDuckGo, and Yahoo, the more browsers can convert into quality leads.
  3. Increased visibility: One, if not the biggest advantage of international SEO is increasing the visibility and exposure of your website to potential customers from your target locations. Better visibility can lead to more sales, better brand recognition, and stronger customer loyalty — all of which contribute to the long-term success of your brand.
  4. Boost in organic traffic: Significantly boosting organic traffic is arguably the best result any marketer can aim for. Not only is it cheaper compared to international PPC campaigns, but international SEO has the potential to bring in regular and more engaged website visitors.
  5. Supplements lead generation and sales: In relation to the fourth benefit, organic traffic is more likely composed of more engaged and interested website visitors. The improved brand visibility greatly supports sales and lead generation effects without breaking the bank on paid practices.

What Services do International SEO Professionals Provide?

International SEO spans disciplines from website design to content development. When hiring an experienced professional for your business, make sure you’ve set your goals clearly to best match with the right provider. 

International SEO services

Here are some of the most common services offered by international SEO firms:

Link Building

Link building is the process of helping a website rank higher on search engines by getting other websites the link to your website.

It’s one of the most important parts of SEO strategies to boost organic traffic and improve online credibility. Additionally, good backlinking initiatives can help improve a website’s “authority”, the strength or importance given to a website or page relative to their given volume of search queries.

There are various link-building approaches, and the right tactic will depend on what your business needs. The most common link-building techniques include email outreach, content marketing, unlinked brand mentions, and public relations.

A professional international SEO firm is responsible for creating and executing an effective link-building strategy to earn high-quality backlinks. 

Technical SEO

As its name suggests, technical SEO is about improving a website’s technical specifications to boost its search engine ranking. Experienced international SEO professionals can make a website run faster, easier to browse, and easier to digest.

Users have a higher standard for websites they visit, especially considering how many alternative brands there are competing for their attention. As such, search engine crawlers will prioritize websites that are easier to navigate, load faster, and provide a better user experience.

Impactful technical SEO experts work hard to ensure that your website follows industry best practices and is optimized for both crawlers and users. 

SEO Mobile Optimization

Regardless of country, most consumers nowadays, prefer searching for products or services they want using their mobile phone. Businesses that fail to recognize the importance of optimizing their websites for mobile consumption are missing out on different opportunities.

SEO mobile optimization is crucial for ensuring better ranking in search engine results pages (SERPs).

In 2017, Google announced its mobile-first index that gauges a website’s mobile content to determine its search engine ranking. That means, investing in quality SEO mobile optimization is essential for both your website’s short-term and long-term positioning.

Multilingual SEO

Multilingual SEO is perhaps the most crucial tactic in international SEO as it focuses on converting your website’s content into different languages and even dialects. Translating your American English content into Spanish or Portuguese allows browsers worldwide to enjoy your content without struggling against language barriers.

Additionally, multilingual SEO also takes into account the currencies shown on your website. For instance, if you own an apparel brand in the United Kingdom and you’re expanding to other countries, you may want to convert from pounds to USD, euros, or yen depending on your target audience. In addition to translating product descriptions, multilingual SEO converts the prices into the local currency. 

Content Creation

Content is one of the biggest foundations essential in any marketing and search engine optimization campaign.

Experienced international SEO professionals know how to develop content that connects with foreign audiences. They have extensive expertise and knowledge in producing compelling content for certain markets with different consumer behaviors, trends, and cultures.

It’s not just about translating content into a different language. In each country, various factors influence what customers prefer. In some cases, international SEO providers also create content to cater to the different target countries of their clients. They’ll conduct thorough research to see what content clicks in those certain countries and plan a content strategy accordingly.

How to Assess The Performance of International SEO Services

All business owners want to see meaningful and measurable results for their investments. Knowing what key performance indicators to look out for and how to assess an international SEO campaign’s effectiveness can give a better peace of mind.

Before spending big bucks on an international SEO service provider, you must first understand these four essential metrics to see what return on investment (ROI) you can get:

  • Organic Search Traffic: The goal of any SEO campaign is to boost the organic traffic coming to your website. An uptrend in organic search traffic levels is a positive sign that your international SEO efforts are working. If you’re primarily focusing on your Google search rankings, the best way to measure organic traffic comprehensively is through tools like Google Analytics.
  • Conversion Rate: Conversion rate is the percentage of the total volume of users that visited your website and converted into a paying customer. This can indicate that you’re targeting the right audiences and your campaigns are effective. Again, tools like Google Analytics can also provide an in-depth report to track your conversion rate.
  • Keywords: SEO is all about ranking highly on relevant keywords that consumers look for. While the competition can be a bit tougher for international SEO, a great strategy will allow you to rank highly for quality and competitive keywords. Don’t forget that this metric doesn’t show immediately as it requires patience to see your campaign yield significant results, especially in congested markets.
  • Backlinks: Earning quality backlinks directly affects the credibility and ranking of your website. The number and quality of backlinks you’ve earned for your website are essential to improving the overall performance of your international SEO campaign. Just like with keyword rankings, don’t expect to earn top-tier backlinks instantly as it requires patience and diligence when acquiring them.

What is an International SEO Team?

With all the responsibilities and discipline mentioned above, it’s no wonder that international SEO can’t be done by a one-man team.

Great international SEO teams are composed of different professionals who come together to plan and execute specialized strategies. Their collective skills and expertise bring value to various aspects of international SEO.

Typically, teams are composed of the following:

  • SEO Manager or Team Lead: The head of the entire international SEO team will decide all the crucial strategies, oversee other team members, and also coordinate with the marketing head and business owner.
  • SEO Specialist or Analyst: The team member who will be in charge of the technical SEO tasks such as monitoring search engine algorithms, trends, and strategy development.
  • Link Building Specialists: The expert whose main responsibility is to secure high-quality backlinks from already credible and relevant websites.
  • Account Manager: Aside from the team lead, the account manager will be responsible for regularly updating and communicating with the client.
  • Copywriter or Content Writer: These professionals focus on creating written content for the website while adhering to technical SEO guidelines for best results.

What To Look For When Hiring An International SEO Services Provider?

There is a lot to consider when looking for the ideal international SEO partner. The best way to know what to look for in a service provider is to first understand your goals and needs.

Most businesses want to keep up with the ever-evolving world of international SEO, so it’s crucial to look for a partner that’s not only talented but also well-versed in the latest practices.

Another major factor that can influence which agency they choose is budget. Companies running on limited resources can opt to spend less on their international SEO efforts while bigger brands can have more leeway to hire a more renowned service provider.

Criteria For Hiring an International SEO Firm

  • Budget
  • Location
  • Industry experience
  • Expertise in certain regions or countries
  • Experience creating content in a certain language
  • Good history with previous clients
  • Credible portfolio

Remember, the key is to have a better understanding of your business needs in order to make an informed business decision on which service provider you should choose. Don’t rush the decision. Take a moment to gather information, such as client reviews, and read through portfolios. You can browse through Clutch’s data-driven rankings for the leading international SEO providers, and see more of their work.

10 Questions to Ask When Hiring PR Services

  1. What is your SEO approach?
  2. What countries or languages do you specialize in?
  3. Are your team members SEO-certified?
  4. How do you conduct your SEO audit?
  5. Can you walk us through your process when crafting a strategy?
  6. What is your link-building strategy?
  7. How often do you provide comprehensive reports and what metrics do you focus on?
  8. How do you keep up with algorithm changes and trends?
  9. How do you ensure our website is optimized for mobile browsers?
  10. Can you provide examples of your SEO campaigns in our industry or the countries we’re trying to reach?

When you sit down to interview a potential service provider, make sure you ask all the questions you need to make a wise business decision. Ask for further clarification or explanations, if there are any points that weren’t clear on your end. Give them a fair chance to discuss their services more so you have substantial information to base your decision on.

Additionally, make sure you let them know about your objectives, ideal timeline, and expectations when you discuss with them. Being transparent from the get-go will help establish a great working relationship as early as the interview phase.

How Can International SEO Services Help Your Growth

Relying on artificial intelligence and commercially available tools to do the job of helping your website rank highly in different countries isn’t enough. If you aspire to grow your audience and brand reach, tremendous effort is required.

International SEO may seem like a luxury at first but its long-term benefits are invaluable. Investing now can help you gain an early advantage, and help you position your brand for success.

At the end of the day, it’s all about finding and connecting with the right service provider that can deliver what you need. Clutch can help you cut through the clutter and make your search less complicated. 

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