International SEO Guide For E-commerce.

Published Nov. 18, 2020, 10:45 p.m. by Sihaam Imam

This article will guide you on the things that you should keep in mind when you decide to expand your online store (website) to an international market. For the transition to happen, you will need to level up your SEO to an international SEO. Basically, International SEO is just a way of you telling a search engine that you are targeting specific countries or that you are using different languages to run your business. To introduce your online store into the international market you will basically need to follow these steps:

  •  Select an SEO strategy that will work for you.

  •  Keyword research

  •  Competitor research

  •  URL structure

SEO Strategy

As the business owner, you should know who is your target audience, their behavior, and how you can attract them. You need to decide whether you are choosing a language or country-based international SEO strategy.

If a customer from a foreign country visits your website and purchases a product successfully without any technical issue then the only change you will require is to translate the website to the local language.

In another case where the product or service that you are providing differ from one country to another then you should follow a country-based strategy.

Keyword research

Just like a physical store an online store also requires traffic and traffic can be increased by having the right list of keywords. While stepping into an international market you will need to do localized keyword research. You can decide to do new keyword research in the intended language or you can just use your original keywords. The common mistake done is that people direct translate using machine translation which might end up bringing out a different meaning. It is advisable to use online translation devices instead.

Competitor research

Competitor analysis has always been one of the most important aspects of a business before it sets itself. With the correct analysis, you can have an advantage over your competitors. After doing the localized keyword research you can use the localized keywords to identify your competitors through the top-ranking sites. This research will help you identify the keywords that the competitors use to appear on the top list.

Competitor research will guide you to the international market by pointing out what the competitors that you don’t. There are main aspects that you should dwell into such as; site structure, content, images, offers, on-page optimization, and keywords.

Being new in the foreign market you can have the advantage of unused keywords that you can start with to attract customers. Before using such keywords always do your research to find out the reason why the competitors have left out the keywords.

URL Structure for an international SEO.

While going for an international market you must also keep in mind the URL structure and here are some of the options:

A.      Country coded Top-level Domains (ccTLDs)

 Using the ccTLDs URL structure means that you would create a separate, country-specific website. This strategy will make your targeting easier because the content will differ as per the country also giving Google a clear message that each site is for a country-specific audience. As good as it sounds, this option costs a lot when you decide to expand in many countries, that would mean you have to manage and keep track of many sites.

B.      Subdirectories

This type of URL structure is just like having subfolders the other countries' website will be under the main website; for example, will have an Indian website by the URL The website will have its content translated and the website will maintain its domain authority, although the customers might have difficulties in identifying the country-specific offers.

C.      Subdomains

Going for this structure also means creating a new site, for example; This structure divides the content by country just as ccTLDs and the downsides will be maintaining different sites and also building up the sites domain from start. 


Creating an international SEO is a complete process that needs analysis and research. Keyword localization and URL structure being the main components. If your keyword localization is great and you can choose the best URL structure for your site then you are good to go to the international market.