International SEO Guidelines for Ecommerce Sites

As your online business grows and expands, you might start to think about selling in other countries and appealing to a wider range of customers. To do this, you have to ensure that your online store is effectively configured and localized to those countries and their respective languages. Whether you are new to international SEO or you have been trying to improve your campaign for quite some time, it’s important to understand the guidelines ecommerce sites must follow to succeed.

Know where you stand

International SEO lets you sell overseas to diversify your ecommerce business and boost your revenue. Tools like SEMrush, SimilarWeb, and Google Market Finder can suggest opportunities overseas according to your own unique industry or characteristic.

Things to consider before you go global

Using the data you acquired from these tools, you can widen your research along with an analysis and validation. Determine the potential traffic volume coming from those countries and make sure you are capable of possessing the internal capacity to support those audiences actively. Moreover, you need to think about the operational capability required to handle other currencies and ship your products abroad.

Did you get a positive result from your assessment? That’s a sign that your ecommerce site has potential to diversify and grow abroad.

If going global isn’t feasible right now, you can take steps to prepare by getting and securing ccTLDs and creating custom alerts that will notify you when you attain that point when you can clearly pinpoint a worthy opportunity to target any new market. You can also test-sell in existing marketplaces to determine the audience’s reaction to your ecommerce site.

Know the challenges in international SEO

As you get started with your international ecommerce project, it pays to look into the most common challenges associated with global SEO implementation:

Determining the appropriate international web structure for targeting new markets

When you simply want to test the waters with an existing online store, consider enabling international shipping and multi-currency, but retaining the URL structure. Do note that this won’t necessarily help your site grow internationally, though. It might also make it harder to take advantage of country-specific search behaviors and preferences. Why? Because people in other countries will tend to look up terms using their own language. And even if they use your language, they may use different search words, have a different seasonality, etc.

So for maximum results, consider a differentiated web structure using ccTLDs for geolocating by default to those new countries, or use subdomains or subdirectories within GTLDs, which can be registered via Google Search Console so you can geolocate to each new market.

Knowing how to scale the localization of products and categories with limited resources

ocalizing content will enable your online business to connect with international audience behavior and preferences. The objective is to localize the user-facing aspects of the ecommerce site, such as URLs, metadata, navigation, slogans, notifications, and descriptions. Just make sure to have an incremental or iterative approach as you progress from translation and localization to transcreation, making sure that everything is aligned with your ecommerce international SEO process based on resources available to you.

Implementing hreflang without triggering errors, so the site can rank effectively with many different of URLs

Hreflang annotations are used to determine which relevant version of a page must be shown in the search results in every language or country market to prevent misalignment. Remember to tag indexable URLs in different country and language versions with relevant values.

Designing and implementing an international SEO strategy is no doubt a highly technical task that is best left in the hands of experts. If you need help internationalizing your website and catering to a bigger market, contact us here at SEOValley.