Working in an international digital marketing agency, it’s time for me to share some key tips on technical optimization of your site. A successful international SEO campaign requires the same skills and know-how as a national campaign …

The difference is that additional knowledge is needed to apply specific market information, such as language and cultural differences. While this can be a daunting prospect for many businesses, in practice, entering new markets is easier than you think…

Training & Co'm

Regardless of the language used, the goal of a fully optimized site is the same: to present the content in a practical and friendly way so as to generate the most relevant search results. For example, someone typing in a “ladies watch” search engine should not only have results from websites selling watches, but also those who present their content in a logical, structured and relevant manner, whatever either the language.

In this article, you will find guidelines to improve your technical referencing and help your international campaigns to achieve maximum visibility in search engines adapted to your target markets.

Optimize your SEO from the start!

It is not uncommon for organizations to see their SEO, especially so-called technical SEO (English terms: technical SEO, On-site SEO, On-page SEO), like something that is applied to the site once it is built – like applying a coat of paint after a house is built. However, there are elements within the site infrastructure that are extremely important and need to be optimized from the start! I insist on this point, because without this, your site may need to be completely rebuilt in order to meet the organic ranking criteria.

Locate your URLs

A URL says SEO-Friendly has keywords that are strategically ordered so that you can see the structure and file name that allows visitors to see the path they have taken on the site. These keywords in URLs are also identified by search engine robots and contribute to the overall ranking of pages on a site.

A url SEO Friendly :

A url Non-SEO-friendly :

The SEO localization is a different skill from translation, and the localization of URLs is unfortunately very often forgotten in the translation process. This can lead to two problems. First, the foreign customer will immediately see that it is a direct translation from a different language. This can be detrimental to the overall assessment of the organization by the customer and can lead to a loss of trust between the consumer and the brand.

Second, the search engine robots are tuned to identify and favor keywords in local languages, so that URLs that remain in the original language are penalized.


Although a translation agency has the ability to convert your keywords to another language, that alone cannot guarantee that these are the terms that your foreign target audience will be looking for. All kinds of linguistic and semantic nuances are at stake here, and only a native linguist will be able to advise you properly.

Meta data

Meta Data is important for users as well as search engines. Again, the same rules apply, namely not to rely on direct translations (worse Google translation!) For effective SEO. In addition to the fact that direct translation may not be in common use in your target market, there is a risk that the length of the words translated is not within the character limits defined by search engines. For example, “summer sales” (12 characters) becomes German “Sommerschlussverkauf” (20 characters). This will result in incomplete information regarding the content of your URL for the user and the search engine. Respectively, it will not click and your ranking in the search engines will suffer.


A key method to create and maintain local domains in the most optimized way is to correctly implement hreflang code. This tag is used to signal to search engine robots that duplicate sites belong to the same set. In other words, it is relevant that your site exists in different versions since it serves different markets, languages ​​and audiences. The code also makes it possible to differentiate between the pages of the site where there is the same language.

Example: Portuguese for Portugal and Portuguese for Brazil.

Programming a hreflang looks like this:
.Fr”Hreflang =”en-gb“/>
.it”Hreflang =”en-ca”/>
.com”Hreflang =“En-us” />”Hreflang =“En-gb” />

Please note that improper implementation of a hreflang code would affect the ranking of your site in search engines, but could also affect the original site and all other connected sites.

So, are you ready to go international?