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International SEO is a complex challenge for digital marketers due to the intricacies of local languages and customs.

Unfortunately it's not enough to assume that UK companies can expand into Latin America simply by translating their content into Spanish and Portuguese.

Luckily there are some free online tools available to make the task slightly simpler and automate some parts of the process.

At Distilled's Searchlove conference earlier this week WooRank's Aleyda Solis gave an excellent overview of some of the main challenges involved in implementing an effective commerce strategy.

The full run through is available on Slideshare, but here is a compilation of the tools that Solis recommended...

Keyword research tools

Another tip, don’t rely on Google Global Market Finder to identify opportunities as it’s not always accurate.

International SEO ROI calculator

Once you have analysed what’s required from a business, technical, content and language support perspective, this tool can help validate the feasibility and break-even point for each market.

Hreflang Tag Generator

When properly implemented hreflang tags help sites to avoid misalignments by specifying the page’s language and country targeting.

This tool will help to create hreflang tags for different languages and countries with the correct syntax and value formats.

Hreflang sitemap tool

This tool from The Media Flow allows users to create an XML sitemap including the hreflang annotations.

Hreflang validation

Dejan SEO has created a free tool that enables site owners to validate the implemented hreflang annotations.

Understanding local markets

The Google Consumer Barometer and TNS Digital Life have information that helps businesses to better understand their international audience.


SimilarWeb enables site owners to seek out the competition by identifying the top websites in the relevant industry and country.

Popular content

These tools are useful for identifying the most linked and shared content in each international market and industry.


These tools identify local industry influencers, which allows site owners to come up with a targeted content and outreach strategy.

And finally...

Here's Aleyda's international SEO checklist.

David Moth

Published 31 October, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1687 more posts from this author

Comments (10)

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Laura Phillips

Laura Phillips, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

Great post Aleyda, thanks! The checklist will be especially useful.

almost 3 years ago


Jibran Qazi

Excellent Infographic David. I always tell my people to target the countries that are actually generating sales for them. Some of our own past projects were generating sales through UK and we made the appropriate changes (Currency and all). Nice to see you guys shed some light on this issue as well. It's all about targeted marketing folks :)

almost 3 years ago

Lenka Istvanova

Lenka Istvanova, Marketing Project Manager at Freestak

Spot on!
Another useful info from Aleyda; thanks, Dave for sharing it. I'm definitely trying some of the keyword tools.

almost 3 years ago



Nice post !
Did not understand why sub domain is the worst way for international site targeting though ?

almost 3 years ago



thank u for this post. keyword research tools are very helpful.

almost 3 years ago


Vedran Koren

great article. great Infographic. Nice job!

almost 3 years ago


Daniel Page

Hey David! We loved your article and featured it in our Resource Round up this month. Cheers!


almost 3 years ago

ethan mark

ethan mark, Founder at Socialtroopz.com

Thanks for list of Keyword research tools. Nicely explained

almost 3 years ago


Carrie Cruztwt, SEO Optimizer at Zansar

Thanks for sharing this blog and SEO tools, your blog is really good and informative. Will this tools help in Local SEO. I am working on local seo and searching for a best strategy for it.

almost 3 years ago


Clive Benton, Organizer at AKAP SEO

Despite the age of this article some of the multilingual aspects still hold relevancy. Anyone looking into this I'd highly recommend looking into Google developer tools and making sure you set appropriate tags for the language and content for search engines to efficiently understand what's on your page. Used some of the info here to create a more up-to-date post. It'll be featured here http://akap.com.au in under 7 days. Cheers thank you and goodnight. :D :D

8 months ago

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