If your business has been soaring, you may already have decided to cast your net on a global scale. You may have defined your business strategy and have an idea of which countries you would like to target and who your competitors are in the new markets.

The next step is to create a killer international SEO strategy.

Internet use has increased at great speed, mainly amongst non-English speakers. Interestingly, less than 27 percent of web users actually speak English – that’s according to the Internet World Stats.

So, how are the successful sites getting their international SEO strategy right?

  1. SEO Strategy and Figuring out your potential in the target countries

The first step is to estimate the potential of international SEO by finding out how your website is already ranked in the target countries. You can use Google Analytics for this.

You can then see which keywords your website’s ranking for in those countries. Check if the keywords are relevant for your industry and then evaluate their search volume. You can then figure out if you already have traffic coming from the target countries and the relevance of the traffic for your goals.

  1. Analysing the Competition

Who are you going up against in the global market? You already know who your main competitors are, but this doesn’t mean that they’re successful in terms of their SEO and digital presence in your target countries.

  1. International Keyword Search

Once you’ve determined who the competition is in terms of digital presence, you can then figure out which are the best keywords to borrow from them by conducting an international keyword search for your SEO strategy. You can then compare yourself to your competition’s domain in terms of both unique and common keywords. Before you pinch all the keywords, though, figure out which ones get the highest search volume with low difficulty level – those are the ones most likely to bring in the traffic.

  1. SEO Strategy to Localize the Brand

The next step is to create content in the local language. But, don’t just translate the original text and then fill it with keywords. What works for one country is different for another. Get everything sorted out in terms of localization and translation and don’t forget special local aspects to include in your SEO strategy. For instance, “you” takes on an array of different forms in different languages.

  1. SEO Strategy – Decide on the Technical Aspects

Finally, handle the technical side of your international SEO strategy. The main aspects to consider include:

  • Website structure – define your goals and if you decide to target countries that share a language, then use the approach of language targeting. If you’d prefer to target a particular audience, then use country targeting. You can then choose your international site structure based on the targeting.
  • Local hosting – where is the server going to be located? The more distant it is, the slower your site speed may be, and that makes for poor user experience.
  • Hreflang – getting international SEO strategy right means that the users in the target country arrive at the right language or country version of your website. Hreflan implementation plays an important role as it is supposed to cross-reference pages that are somewhat similar in content but aimed at different audiences.

Once you have gone through these 5 steps, you are ready to tackle your international SEO strategy. Once the site is active, remember to assess its performance and keep tweaking it where needed.