Understanding the international SEO lexicon at a glance

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Glossary of SEO international

In the world of digital marketing, it is essential to master the technical terms related to the referencing and promoting your natural website.

An international SEO glossary is therefore a valuable tool for understanding these different concepts and putting in place an effective strategy.

In this article, we present the key terms in international SEO to help you navigate this field with confidence.

International SEO glossary

The basics of SEO: keywords and indexing


Keywords have always been the backbone of SEO. These are the terms that Internet users enter into a search engine, such as Google when they are looking for information, products or services. To succeed in international SEO, you need to choose your keywords carefully, taking into account the linguistic and cultural habits of your target audience.
Also, analyse the keywords used by your competitors can be very useful in identifying opportunities in your market.


Indexing is the process by which search engines, such as Google, analyse and rank the pages of a website in their search results. To improve their positioning in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), so sites need to closely follow the indexing criteria of the main search engines and adapt them to the countries they are targeting.

International SEO approaches

Multilingual SEO

Multilingual SEO focuses on optimising a website for several languages and different audiences. In particular, this involves the use of HREFLANGwhich tell search engines which language version to display based on the user's profile.
In addition, it is important to properly structure and organise the multilingual content of your siteto make it easier for users to navigate the site and to provide them with relevant and understandable information in their own language.

Location-based SEO

Geolocalised SEO aims to optimise a website according to the specific geographical and cultural characteristics of the target markets. To succeed in geolocation SEO, you need to :

    • Adapt content to the preferences and expectations of local users;
    • Setting up URL territorialised (with the correct country or region code);
    • Conducting a competitive intelligence to align with local SEO best practice.

Technical criteria for international SEO

HREFLANG beacons

HREFLANG tags are a key element in international SEO. They are used to inform search engines of the language and geographical area of a web page, so that they can display the correct language version according to the user's preferences. These are found in the header HTML and must be used with care to avoid implementation errors.

Domains, sub-domains and directories

To structure an international website, it is important to choose the right architecture between :

    1. Different domains (.com, .fr, .de...) for each country or market;
    2. Sub-domains (fr.example.com, de.example.com...);
    3. Or separate directories (example.com/en/, example.com/de/...).

This choice can have a significant impact on the site's referencing and effectiveness on a local and international scale.

Mobile optimisation

With the explosion in the number of mobile users, it's vital to have a website that's optimised for smartphones and tablets. In international SEO, this means :

    • A responsive and adaptive design;
    • A loading speed fast;
    • Localised content specific to mobile devices.

The cultural and linguistic aspects of international SEO

Localisation and translation

Localisation goes beyond simply translating texts: it involves adapting the content, images and other elements of the website so that they are appropriate and relevant to Internet users in a specific country or region.
This needs to be done carefully to respect local culture, laws and regulations, and to appeal to local users with a targeted, personalised approach.

Local search engines

While it is true that Google dominates a large part of the global search engine market, other local players may prove indispensable in certain regions or countries. So you need to bear in mind the referencing criteria of these alternative engines and adapt your search engine to them. SEO strategy accordingly.

Performance indicators (KPIs) for international SEO

To measure the effectiveness of your referencing strategy international SEO, you need to monitor a number of indicators that will enable you to fine-tune your actions and rationalise your efforts. The key KPIs for international SEO include :

  • Organic traffic by country or language;
  • The conversion rate for international visitors;
  • The average position of the site's pages in search results for targeted keywords, both locally and globally;
  • The number of inbound links from local or regional sites.

By taking into account these different facets of international SEO and continually adapting your SEO strategy to the specific characteristics of each market, you will be able to increase your visibility and attract a greater number of visitors. qualified traffic on your website.

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