If you sell products online, it is only a matter of time before you think of expanding your horizon. International markets can be lucrative if you can find the right mix of business practices and marketing channels. Once established, marketing internationally can bring new customers and sales easily.
Using International SEO, you can improve your footprint in a distant market and serve customers in different countries. If you are fully digital business, it makes sense to expand to other countries once your local targets are met. Here is how to start your international expansion using SEO.
Which market to enter?
Look at your analytics to figure out which country is already sending you customers organically. Are they converting into sales? If you have consistent visitors from more than one country, choose the one with the highest visitor/sales ratio. Pay special attention to the seasonality of the traffic. If there is a trend, try to find out how often it repeats. Use Google Analytics to figure out one or two international markets you can serve. It is better to focus on a targeted SEO campaign than look at 10 countries at a time.
What is the potential?
Now that you know your target countries, assess the potential of the market. Using tools like the Google keyword Planner, look for the main keywords and the demand numbers to identify the best keywords to target. If your web pages are already ranking for those keywords, look at their current position because they could be the gateway for your expansion. Apart from Keyword planner, you can also look at Similarweb and SEMRush. One word of caution: Do not take any decision based on the Google Market finder as it is not an accurate tool.
Always base your judgement on the results you see from multiple sources rather than relying on only one.
Assess the competition
The existence of competition is proof that there is money to be made in that market. Identify at least 4-5 potential competitors and assess their keywords, and current rankings using tools like Position.ly, Authority Labs etc. Look at their backlinks to identify a strategy that works for the local market. Is the local TLD (country specific domain) a factor? what about language?
If language is a factor, you can create a subdomain specific for that language and start with the best keyword bets. You can either create a new content or have your existing pages translated to local language and develop a linking plan from the local TLDs.
If language is not a factor, expand your linking strategy to include the local TDLs to boost your rankings in the country-specific results. If required, register a business with a local address and use that address in your link development plan. You can use location and language detection to send your visitors to the right page to improve the user experience. But avoid using pop-ups for this operation.
With these simple steps, you can expand your web presence to different countries and bring more visitors and sales.