Local vs. International SEO: What's The Difference?

One of the most crucial aspects you can understand when constructing an SEO strategy is where you want to target. Depending on your industry and what you’re trying to advertise to your target audience, these strategies will differ significantly. It’s one thing if you want to target the immediate area around your business, but what if you want to expand your reach globally? There are a few key things that you need to understand about how international SEO strategies differ from local ones. We’ll outline the most important things you need to understand about the different audiences you target below!

The Difference In Keyword Research

It should go without saying that the keywords you use for local search vs. international search will vary greatly! The biggest outliers here will come in your location-based keywords. Service-based keywords will largely stay the same, unless you want to promote different services than what you do locally. Because you’ll be targeting more locations internationally, the scope of keywords you need to track and make pages for is significantly higher. Consider which markets you want to target first, then use keyword research tools to gauge what is popular versus what is difficult to rank for. You’ll need to generate a lot more content, but it can lead to long-term success!

Setting Up Specific Domains

URL structure becomes much more important when you’re dealing with international SEO! This is because the URL of a specific page will determine what countries it gets found in. There are three ways that you can set this up, according to Google:

  • Creating Country-Specific URLs: These URLs have a higher likelihood of being shown in the countries you want to target but with the downside of only being able to target one country per domain.
  • Generic Top-Level Domains: These are subdomains that give a clear intention of target countries, but they lose a lot of the linking power that the base domain has because of how specific it is.
  • GTLDs With Parameters: Think of this like adding an additional URL slug to the end of a URL to showcase what language and country the page should be displayed in. This method has the most flaws out of the three and is even dipping in popularity amongst SEO professionals!

Which of the three you decide to implement is up to your business to decide, but know that each has its pros and cons.

Understanding Hreflang

Out of all the elements of international SEO that you need to get right, your Hreflang tags are arguably the most crucial! For starters, you need to make sure that you’re including the correct codes as outlined by the ISO. URL structure needs to include both domain and protocol, and you’ll need to audit your URLs frequently to check for structural issues. This is a constant but necessary process needed to rank well for multiple countries and languages, so make sure you study the rules carefully!

Get The Best SEO With Boston Web Marketing

Coming up with the best SEO strategy takes a team of professionals to understand your goals and ambitions. When you work with Boston Web Marketing, we bring our decades of expertise to the table to ensure that you’re ranking as high as you can on search engines! No matter the industry or location, you can count on us to help you rise to the top. Contact us today to improve your organic traffic and search results!

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