How to Determine Whether Your Business Has International SEO Market Potential

By Bruce Clay

Stable, successful businesses can grow in many directions, including internationally. A solid SEO strategy is essential if you plan this kind of growth. A country or region in Asia, Latin America or Europe might be a good fit for your brand and offerings because of customer needs, culture, language compatibility, and countless other reasons.

You have some due diligence to perform as you’re exploring your options for growing your business internationally. Focusing on just one piece of the puzzle, you want to look into the viability of international SEO — expanding your website to international markets. Start by researching your website performance, your potential target audience, and those potential competitors’ websites. Use the following international SEO viability checklist to get started.

  • Check your website analytics data to determine whether your site has traffic and search visibility from your target international market.

  • Do keyword research in your target market to gauge keyword search volume.

  • Become intimately familiar with the potential target audience, from language and demographics to seasonality and cultural make-up.

  • Analyze the businesses and websites that would be your competitors in the target market.

  • Research the cost of writers and professional translation services in your target language.

  • Look into business networks you could join that would provide fertile opportunity for link building.

  • Explore the need for a different type of information architecture or design for a website targeting a different country or region.

  • Look into the possibility that products may need to be categorized differently in a different region.

With the information you’ve collected in your research, you can analyze your website’s readiness for an international expansion by asking these questions:

  1. Is there strong search demand for your product/service in the target international market?

  2. Do you have the resources to develop multiple sites and to host on multiple servers?

  3. Do you have resources to develop local, regionalized content at a professional level?

  4. Would multiple websites be required or might a subdirectory approach be more appropriate?

As you answer these questions for your business, you may find that it’s not time to expand and that you want to focus instead on growing your search visibility and market presence in your current markets. If you answer affirmative to most of the questions, your business may just be primed for international SEO growth!