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International SEO: how to optimize your web pages for international markets

Does your website serves multiple
languages and countries? It can be difficult to ensure that Google
and other search engines index your web pages correctly. Read this article to learn how to get your web pages into the right local versions of Google.

international SEO

Version 1: use local domains for each language

Country specific domains are the best way to server international content. For example, use
for the USA,
for Germany,
for France, etc.

If you have a .de domain, it will be
much easier to get high rankings on German search engines. In addition,
a German website with German content is very easy to understand for
website visitors and search engines.

It is much less confusing than a
website that contains English, German, Spanish and other content.

Version 2: let your visitors choose which language they want to see

Another way to present international
content is to let your website
visitors choose the appropriate version. Your homepage contains a
country and language selector to let users choose their favorite

After the selection, the user should
be redirected to a web page that has a unique URL, i.e. each language
version should use unique URLs.

If you use this method, it is
important that your web pages use the
x-default rel-alternate-hreflang annotation for the country selector
page, which was specifically created for these kinds of pages.

In general, this method is more
confusing than the first method. It’s easier to make mistakes that can
lead to problems with search engines.

Version 3: redirect visitors automatically

Instead of letting your website
visitors choose, you can also redirect them based on their location and
their language settings. You can do this with 302 redirects or by
dynamically serving the right HTML content.

This method also requires the
x-default rel-alternate-hreflang
annotation and you must also make sure that the language pages have
individual URLs.

Automatic redirects can be annoying.
For example, if a person from the US is on vacation in Europe, it is
not good if the US version cannot be accessed. It’s also easy to make
mistakes that can lead to indexing problems if you use this method.

Regardless of the method that you use
present your international content, all of your pages should have rel-alternate-hreflang annotations.

Check your local rankings and check the accessibility of your web pages

The Ranking Monitor in SEOprofiler enables you to check the rankings of your web pages in 162 countries. You can check your rankings from all 92,000+ locations that are supported by Google. If you want to know how your website is ranked in a particular region, the Ranking Monitor is the right tool for you.

In addition, Googlebot must be able to access your pages (you can test this with the
website audit tool in
SEOprofiler). Visitors should also be able to visit different
versions of your website.

Optimize your pages now

Getting high rankings for international websites is even more difficult
than getting high rankings for regular websites. If you haven’t done
it yet, try SEOprofiler now to find out how to improve the Google
rankings of your web pages:

Try SEOprofiler now

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