E-commerce SEO abroad. How to do it properly?

E-commerce positioning abroad and selling online overseas have become an indispensable element of the development strategy of modern enterprises. Supported by the globalization of markets and increased competition, expansion into international territories opens up almost unlimited opportunities for companies to develop and acquire new customers. However, achieving success in SEO requires much more than just adapting the website to different languages or currencies. So what should you pay attention to to appear on the foreign market? And why is E-commerce so popular? Read and find out!
E-commerce SEO abroad. How to do it properly?

What will you read about?

Website launch
Building a link profile
Content creation
Technical optimization
Regular performance analysis

A few words about E-commerce SEO abroad


SEO E-commerce abroad involves building the visibility of a website and, at the same time, increasing the popularity of the brand that manages it in another country. This process is quite demanding and time-consuming. It’s because in addition to standard SEO activities, it requires getting acquainted with different market conditions.  It’s also necessary to create content in a different language and serving recipients who usually have slightly different needs. So, is it worth taking up this challenge and try selling abroad?

Do you want to expand your audience, increase profits and develop your online business? If so, then positioning your online store abroad is a great choice. But where to start with SEO? Here are some key effects why it is worth starting expansion into international markets:

  • increasing the range,
  • risk diversification,
  • building competitive advantage,
  • increased brand awareness,
  • increasing prestige,
  • possibility of using differences in sales seasonality.
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How to position your store effectively abroad?


Have you decided to position your store abroad? If so, then you probably want to find out what techniques to implement to get spectacular results. Let’s get down to specifics.

Website launch

Once you have selected your target country, conducted market research and identified the needs of your potential customers, you can start creating your website. You have three options to choose from.

New domain

The first one is to launch the store in a new domain. An increased trust from recipients is a strong advantage of this option. Unfortunately, due to the specific nature of the domain, the cost of its implementation will be much higher. Also, positioning may be quite a problem. You will have to start from scratch to build your brand’s online visibility.


Another option is a subdomain, i.e. a separate part of the domain that, depending on the location, presents dedicated content to the user. Through it, you can implement different language versions for your store. Remember, however, that the key to success in this case is to have a domain with high authority. It’s because it will transfer some of the value to subdomains. As a result, it will have a significant impact on positioning. From the perspective of small businesses, this is one of the best options. Creating a subdomain does not involve any additional costs.


The last option is a subdirectory, which is the simplest method of introducing different language versions to the store. Unfortunately, when deciding on this solution, you must be prepared for some difficulties. Subdirectories cannot be assigned to a specific country in Google Search Console. Nevertheless, their use has several advantages. This is primarily about slightly easier positioning, especially if they belong to a valuable domain. Moreover, the link building process is simpler, and the even distribution of SEO activities throughout the website allows you to achieve a high position in Google with relatively small investment.

The question arises: which option to choose? It is difficult to give a clear answer. The decision should result from your needs, time resources and financial possibilities. Eventually, positioning a separate domain can bring spectacular results. On the other hand, if you are just starting your adventure with a foreign expansion, a subdomain or directory will be enough. SEO effects depend mainly on your commitment to optimization, so regardless of the choice you make, you can achieve success.

Building a link profile

Regardless of the country you want to position yourself in, one of the essential elements of your SEO strategy are links. They are of key importance, primarily when building the visibility of separate domains that have no history or link profile.

Remember that links should be natural and linguistically consistent. Moreover, they must come from the target country. It’s because only then will the website have a chance to rank high in foreign search results.

The best method of obtaining backlinks is to create original, substantive content that will directly encourage other creators to link. However, building a strong linking profile using this practice is not easy. Therefore, it is worth strengthening natural link building with the use of several other techniques. You can use guest blogging, affiliate relationships, sponsoring events or participating in online forums. However, you need to know one thing – linking is not cheap. Therefore, you should remember to adapt your activities, especially those carried out abroad, to your budget.

Content creation

The content in your store is what creates the entire SEO mechanism. It is on its basis that the search engine assesses the quality of your website, and that the users attribute certain values to your brand and make purchasing decisions.

When implementing a content strategy, start with keyword research. Remember to conduct a separate analysis for each country in which you intend to position your e-commerce. Then consider the terms that foreign users actually use when searching. Also, pay attention to the activities of competing companies. By examining their actions, you will determine which phrases bring the expected results, and eliminate slogans that do not generate the desired traffic.

Once you have identified your keywords, you can start creating content. One of the best solutions is to cooperate with a specialist who is fluent in a given language. Any errors in the articles may negatively affect the image of your brand and reduce the trust of your target audience. They are of paramount importance in the case of foreign operations.

Apart from implementing foreign keywords and translating the text into the selected language, the principles of content creation are quite universal. Content should be engaging, readable, original, tailored to users’ needs, concise and visually attractive.

Technical optimization

At the stage of technical optimization of your online store, you must adapt the website not only to the needs of users, but also to the search engine guidelines. Therefore, the key aspect is the implementation of the hreflang tag. Using it, you can provide Google robots with information about the geographic location and language you intend to target your content to. You must place the hreflang tag in the HTML code of your website. An example code that informs the search engine about targeting Germany and German speakers is as follows:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”” hreflang=”de” />

What if none of the hreflang tags implemented on the website match the language of the recipient who wants to view the page? To avoid confusion, implementing the default xdefault tag, thanks to which the search engine will present the basic version of the website to the user. Here is an example of such a tag:

<link rel=”alternate” href=”” hreflang=”x-default” />

To make it easier for robots to understand your website, you should also optimize’s structured data. This includes links to individual subpages of the website, descriptions of product features, information about prices and opinions. The search engine will then be able to display them in the search results. This will attract the attention of a potential customer and have a positive impact on trust in your brand.

Remember that technical optimization should also consider user needs. Based on previously conducted research, determine which solutions are most popular among customers in a given country. Then, introduce them to your store. Then pay attention to aspects such as:

  • possibility to choose many payment and delivery options,
  • security,
  • intuitive navigation,
  • readability of CTA buttons,
  • accessibility for mobile devices,
  • page loading speed.

Regular performance analysis

Analytics are crucial in international positioning. By conducting regular audits and tests, you will quickly identify any errors and determine which solutions require optimization.

Remember to add all foreign subpages to Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Using these tools, you will examine website traffic, learn the demographics of your audience, track conversions, check what phrases your website is positioning for, and verify the effectiveness of SEO activities. You will also be able to determine whether the hreflang tags are correct and the page is displayed to the appropriate audience.

In short, analysing the effectiveness of your activities is the basis of effective SEO. Especially if you take on the challenge of e-commerce SEO abroad.



When it comes to positioning and E-commerce SEO abroad, there is one simple rule: this process is not a one-off. You must constantly take care of your store, optimize content, examine the effectiveness of your strategy and implement solutions adapted to constantly changing search engine algorithms. That is why we recommend the help of a professional SEO agency. Thanks to such a support, the effects of positioning abroad will be better, more durable and more beneficial for your business.

E-commerce is currently one of the most frequently chosen directions of business development. Online commerce opens many previously closed doors for sellers, allowing them to reach consumers from all over the world. So what is the cross-border e-commerce model that has become more and more popular recently? Check it out!
The article was created in cooperation with iCEA Group.