Global brands need to think local when they’re targeting multiple geographies. Existing resources and approaches are unlikely to directly translate from one country to another, so a well thought-out international SEO strategy is crucial.

In our recent SEO Summit, Remi Stachowski, Senior SEO Consultant at DEPT®, talked about delivering successful international SEO projects in some detail. You can listen to the recording here, but this is what I took from the session – know your market and speak to them directly.

Remi explained the four factors he believes are crucial for international SEO strategies to successfully optimize demand:

  1. Understanding a new target market
  2. Simulate searches in the local market
  3. Utilizing competitor keyword insights
  4. Monetizing keyword insights

1. What potential does a new target market have?

“You start with market research. Competitor analysis is a part of market research, since you use the market research techniques and concepts to understand what your competitors do and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Then you go deeper into benchmarking and checking how good your competitors are and what they are doing.”

Remi Stachowski, Senior SEO Consultant at DEPT®

Remi believes that in order to be successful in a new market with your website, you must first analyze it. Helpfully there are models for doing this, such as the strength-weakness analysis or the 5P method:

Product – Do people in the target market really need what you are promoting?

Price – What can you charge in the target market?

Place – Where can consumers buy your product, your webstore and/or marketplaces?

Promotion – How do consumers gather the product information they need before buying?

Provenance – The country of origin of the goods and how well known the country is for the type of products. The country acts as a brand at the point.

The development of buyer personas and target groups – will help you find answers to the questions above.

Part of the market analysis is also the analysis of established competitors, how they operate, and their strengths and weaknesses. Benchmark analysis will then help you quantify how well or poorly competitors are performing in measurable categories.

Remi advises starting generally with population, market volume, purchasing power, and crucially – Internet penetration data. Besides the economic data, also add other factors like product use, brand awareness, legal issues and cultural differences, and…