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

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.

Influencers

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.