The expression International SEO is often being misunderstood for geotargeting or marketing localization. Truth is, international SEO combines both of these with elements of local SEO. International SEO is the process of setting up your website and promoting it in the international environment (typically several markets at once) in order to gain visibility in different search engines or different country versions of the same search engine.
When entering a new market, there are several things that need to be taken into consideration. Website structure and content strategy, social networks or communication tone – those are all things that you need to think of in order to address your new customers the right way. When you’re trying to create a strong global brand, internationalize.
If you want to effectively approach individual markets, start working on your localization.
Geo-targeting is the process that helps you set up your website. The ultimate goal is for the website to be able to tell the search engines which part of your website targets which countries or customers speaking a specific language. It increases the relevancy of your website for local queries, however, it is not one of the ranking signals.
You have a US company targeting users in the UK, Australia and Canada. These markets are so specific you decide to create separate country versions, all in English. The problem is, there will be some locally-specific data, but the majority of the content will be the same – duplicate. You must then set up your geo-targeting signals so that search engines know which mutation of your site targets which audience – and that there are not just duplicates.
Pictures: Martin Kura