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How to conquer the world with international SEO: tips and tricks

To get your website off to an international start and increase your success in different countries, it is advisable to look into Multilanguage SEO.

Many people may be familiar with the following scenario: The super-optimized German site has been translated for all relevant markets, only the rankings aren't turning out the way you imagined. Why is that? There can be various reasons for this. In the following, we will try to address the most important points. Spoiler Alert: Hreflang is not everything.

What is so special about International SEO?

Cultural, linguistic and legal aspects

As soon as you enter new and therefore foreign markets, you quickly realize that things are different here than you are used to in your home market. This starts with the most obvious thing - the different language - through to social, cultural and legal peculiarities, which sometimes have a significant impact on the search behavior of users.

What does this mean in concrete terms? Imagine you are a manufacturer of home cinema projectors and want to conquer the German market. Your translation service provider has correctly translated "projector" as "Projektor" in all texts. Great!

Does this correspond to the search behavior in Germany? Hardly.


According to keyword research, a correctly translated keyword only generates a fraction of the possible search volume. A mere translation is therefore not sufficient at this point. Rather, keyword research is required in advance, which can then be provided to a translation service provider so that optimized translations can already be achieved based on the SEO briefing.

Technical adjustments for international targeting

The basics of international search engine optimization include adapting your content to different languages and countries. By using hreflang tags on your website, you signal to Google which version of a page is relevant for which country. Don't forget the mobile-friendly design of your website, as users largely search via mobile devices.

Tips and tricks for keyword research for multilingual SEO

If you want to optimize your website internationally, the right keyword research is a crucial step. With international SEO, you not only need to find the right keywords for each country and language, but also analyze their search volume and competition. Use tools such as the Google Keyword Planner or Semrush to identify relevant keywords for different countries.

Important aspects of off-page optimization for international SEO

One aspect that you should not neglect in your international SEO strategy is off-page optimization. This involves making your website known on external sites and obtaining valuable backlinks from high-ranking websites. It is important that the linked pages are thematically relevant to your own website and offer quality content. You should also make sure that the links are written in the correct language and refer to the corresponding international versions of your site. An effective method is the targeted placement of guest posts in different countries to address your target group and increase the visibility of your website. Social media activities also play an important role. By sharing your content on different platforms, you can achieve a wider reach and address potential customers from different countries. Another important aspect is local linking. By including relevant links to local businesses or industry associations, you can increase your credibility while benefiting from better positioning in search results. Also remember to offer your website in different languages, using hreflang tags to tell Google that they are different versions of the same page.

Conquer the global market with the right domain structure

Local search engine optimization is crucial to conquering the global market. In addition, you should also ensure that your content is localized and addresses the cultural specifics of the country in question. Choosing the right domain structure can also have a big impact. A country-specific top-level domain (TLD) can increase user trust and help you position yourself as a relevant authority in a particular country. It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution in search engine optimization, it is more about finding the right one tailored to your business that fits your needs and target audience.

  • A country code top-level domain (ccTLD) would be a good choice if you have a strong presence in a specific country and targeted local SEO is crucial for you.
  • Subfolders, on the other hand, are more suitable for companies that have a global audience and don't need a strong local presence in a specific country like ccTLDs, as well as companies whose brand consistency is a top priority.

Conclusion: Achieve global reach with international SEO

The targeted optimization of your content for international users helps you to open up new markets and present your company globally. In the course of this, an experienced SEO consultancy can help you achieve your international goals. They know the right strategies to position your website as high as possible in Google's search results. Keyword research, on-page and off-page optimization, the use of hreflang tags and adapting your site to different languages and countries are the most important aspects of international search engine optimization. You should also make sure that your mobile design is user-friendly and works well on all devices. It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but rather a solution that is right for you, depending on your company, target group, budget, resources and a few other factors.