International marketing

What to Look For in an International SEO Agency

What to Look For in an International SEO Agency
Rayne Aguilar
Written by
Rayne Aguilar
Rayne Aguilar
Written by
Rayne Aguilar
Rayne Aguilar
Reviewed by
Updated on
September 21, 2023

Taking your website to the international level can be pretty overwhelming. The work doesn’t stop at translating it into different languages and using the correct references and terms. You’ll have to make sure that each language version is optimized for search engines. Otherwise, your demographic in your target countries won’t be able to find the spiffy new websites you’ve specially prepared for them.

Doing this all by yourself, especially when you’re unfamiliar with these different countries, can be really daunting. But that’s where international SEO agencies come in. They help you make sense of all the intricacies of search engine optimization for your multilingual website, refine your content marketing to wow your new audience, and start your entry into global markets with a bang. 

What is an International SEO Agency?

An international SEO agency is made up of a team of SEO experts familiar enough with international markets to keep your website’s SEO healthy. How? By spotting high-quality backlink opportunities, sharpening your marketing strategy, ensuring you adhere to search engine algorithms per locale, and driving organic traffic from these areas.

It also reviews your web pages and recommends different ways to follow international SEO best practices, which will provide the best user experience for your international audience. These include correctly implementing hreflang tags (which Weglot does for you), the right geolocation settings, meta language tags, and other aspects. Overall, the goal is to draw traffic to the different versions of your websites.

Why Should You Use an International SEO Agency?

International SEO agencies offer a ton of help and know-how that rounds off a properly translated website in your target country, especially one done by Weglot. 

An international SEO agency can help you with:

Fine-tuning Your Language Targeting

When you’ve translated your website into several languages, you’ll need to make sure that search engines index and recognize these versions as separate and valuable. Otherwise, they’ll treat these language versions as mere duplicates of your main website, which will punish your SEO performance.

That’s where an international SEO agency comes in handy: they’ll make sure that your website doesn’t have dynamic content like cookies or scripts that signal your website has different language versions. Search engines have difficulty crawling that kind of content, so this can go against you. 

They’ll also review relevant attributes, like language meta tags, to make sure they’re in good shape. Pro-tip: Weglot automatically implements this for you, making this one less thing to worry about!

Implementing an International Domain Strategy

Though you know there’s a market for you in a particular area, you probably aren’t sure if you need a website for the region or for each country. Luckily, an international SEO agency can identify what kind of website works best for your objectives.

It can also determine the ideal URL structure for your website, choosing between country code top level domains (ccTLDs), a generic TLD with language parameters, subdomains, or subdirectories. Choosing the right one for your objectives is crucial to making sure you show up on local search engines.

Conducting an SEO Audit

Knowing how well your content is doing is an essential part of improving your SEO on international search engines. Given the rapid changes in search engine algorithms and content updates, it’s impossible to keep track of everything. That’s why having a team of SEO experts review your website is crucial. They can help you spot broken links, noindexed pages, and other aspects that may be harming your website. An audit would definitely help bolster international SEO campaigns you’d want to launch in the future.

Localizing Your Content

It’s one thing to translate your website content. But it’s a completely different process to make sure the language is tailored to your audience. 

There’s a lot of elbow grease that goes into content localization: optimization, deep research, consulting with native speakers in the local market, and numerous checks to make sure your content’s been properly updated. You might even look into transcreation at some point, which is creating content specifically in a target language that is adapted to your audience’s preferences.

Here's a quick video summarizing how to build your content localization strategy:

And when you’re immersed in the running of your business, there’s just no time left for anything else, even for things as important as a solid international SEO strategy.

The good news? An international SEO company conducts international keyword research for you, handing you the information you need to create precise, targeted marketing content. Simply translating your keywords won’t cut it for succeeding in local SEO; they’ll identify the prevalent search intent, the terms they’d use, and help you figure out the best way to reach them.

They’ll also review the various aspects of your website and ensure that everything—like the page layouts, form fields, copy, imagery, and more—is sufficiently localized for your audience. The agency will also verify elements like meta descriptions, title tags, alt tags, headings, navigation, and more. 

For instance, Napta wanted to charm the European market, so they created an English-language website to try and access as many speakers all at once. But they soon realized that wooing the German market would mean going the extra mile. And so they decided to go multilingual.

While most companies would go down the route of hiring translators, they quickly realized this would be incredibly time-consuming and costly. And they’d also have to figure out how to display the translated content correctly on their website. 

The solution? Translating their website through Weglot and having SEO experts—not translators—optimize the content for their new markets. 

By going for a website translation solution like Weglot, they didn’t need to worry about translating and displaying all their content. The software even managed the tricky parts of multilingual SEO, such as adding hreflang tags and translating the metadata. And since they had SEO experts adapt the content accordingly, they were able to hit the bullseye on the right keywords from the get-go.

The result? A 4x increase in traffic!

Gathering Backlinks From International Websites

An effective way to get your multilingual website in front of your new audience? Getting relevant backlinks from credible, trustworthy local websites, of course! A robust backlink profile will boost your search visibility and guarantee that your market finds you as you climb SERPs. 

But, the process of building backlinks is notoriously time-consuming. And this is where an international SEO agency will shine: they’ll perform a backlink analysis with tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush to look for link opportunities to leverage. They’ll know the media and influencers you could use to push your brand and help you create content that is high-quality enough to draw links. 

They’ll also do something many businesses forget to do themselves: clean your website of harmful links that harm your credibility.

How to build an effective international SEO strategy webinar

Qualities That the Best International SEO Agencies Have

With so many international SEO agencies that are out there, you’ll need to narrow your search if you want to get to work quickly. The ideal agency would have the following:

Specialized Focus On Your Market

If your new target market is in India, then you’d want an international SEO agency specializing in that country. It wouldn’t make sense to go for an agency that offers international capabilities but has [specialized focus] on Germany, after all. The agency should have a deep understanding of your audience’s mindset, approach, and cultural background. That way, they can provide you with creative solutions that will [help you grow in your target market].

Access to In-Market Specialists

Not understanding your local audience’s preferences is a surefire way to fail. But to make them feel like you understand them, you’ll need on-the-ground intel from native speakers to inform your campaigns. The nuances in their purchasing habits, search terms, and preferences aren’t exactly the information you can easily find online. So it’s important to work with international SEO consultants that intimately understand the landscape, can conduct competitor analysis, and have the insider knowledge to put your marketing ahead.


Any international SEO agency worth its salt will have established itself as an industry expert. What does that look like? Well, their website or social media would be full of useful information that would offer valuable insights about international SEO and marketing. They’re a regular presence at industry events and frequently publish guides and whitepapers that answer the most frequently asked questions in their field. They’d also have many case studies that you can consult to know what it would be like to work with them and the results of their global SEO services.

The ideal international SEO agency also would have been around for a while. They would’ve accumulated the experience needed to offer substantial, well-rounded advice in your particular market and sector. The quality of their input would affect the quality of your marketing campaigns.

Supporting Services

SEO is just one part of digital marketing that you’ll need to cover when trying to charm a new market. That’s why it would be more advantageous to find an agency that offers complementary services that support your SEO efforts. Do they provide content localization services? Can they run paid search and social campaigns in your target area? Can they cover technical SEO? What else can they do to cement your presence in this new locale?

Use of White Hat Techniques

Given the rapidly changing landscape of SEO that demands a lot of patience, many people simply cannot wait that long. While it’s normal to want instant results, they’re often unsustainable. 

That’s why an agency that uses white hat techniques is your best bet. They’ll be using ethical practices to get your website on your audience’s radar, which includes keeping your website clear of keyword-stuffed articles, rejecting backlinks from low-quality websites, and more.

What to Know Before Working With an International SEO Agency

Now you know the characteristics to look for in an international SEO agency. But how exactly can you identify them? You can do so by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. How well do they know your target market?
  2. How experienced are they in international search engine algorithms?
  3. Specific countries have their preferred search engine. For example, Naver is the primary search engine in South Korea instead of Google; Baidu for China; and Yandex for Russia
  4. Do they have demonstrated link-building authority?
  5. Do they have enhanced tracking functionality?
  6. The rules on website tracking, cookie usage, and more are always changing. It’s crucial for the agency to always be up-to-date with the latest search engine algorithm changes to ensure you don’t get penalized for content updates.
  7. Ideally, they must also have experience in using Google Analytics to access the metrics that would inform you of your SEO marketing performance
  8. Can they monitor and check keyword performance in your different target markets?

You’ll also have to do some preparation on your end:

  • Outline your goals, objectives, and your budget, so that you immediately focus on agencies that are within your budget
  • Review the processes involved, the project scope, and the timeframe you can realistically expect differences in your SEO results
  • Debrief your team so they understand how working with an international SEO agency would look like and the tasks expected of them

Top International SEO Agencies to Work With

Not sure where to start looking for international SEO agencies? Here are our top picks:

Salt Agency

This international SEO agency has offices in the UK and the US, making them the perfect SEO experts to consult for these markets. They’ll be happy to create a bespoke SEO strategy for you and take care of all the technical SEO aspects that are often too complicated to manage. They’ve worked with all kinds of businesses, ranging from start-ups to international brands, so they know just how to maximize your online visibility. Their services include technical SEO, content analysis & strategy, international SEO, mobile SEO, Google penalty removal, and many more. 

SEO Doktorn

This Swedish web agency specializes in improving results and conversion through content-driven SEO and web development. That means they can help you create a beautiful, stylish website that instantly attracts your target audience through their mastery of web design and UX. With their search engine marketing services, they’re also great for boosting your e-commerce. 


REQ is one of the fastest-growing digital agencies in the US that will transform your business through its many international SEO services: brand strategy, reputation management, advertising and media, and many more. It’s got many world-famous partners, like Intel, PayPal, and eBay, so you know you’re in good hands. 


kingseo. is the SEO agency to work with if you want to charm the Spanish market. Used by industry leaders Google, Figma, Webflow, and more, its digital marketing strategies will help you position your brand exactly where you want it. Their international SEO services include conversion rate optimization, analytics, no-code development, web design, and more.

Hoping to woo the French market? is your best bet. A Parisian SEO agency offering a full suite of services, including a free SEO audit, they’ll get your optimization and localization up and running in no time. They’ll tighten your UX, mobile optimization, develop your content further, and help you climb up the rankings with white hat techniques. 

AS Marketing Agency

If going truly international is your top objective, AS Marketing Agency will be your holy grail. Their team of experts speaks over 30 languages natively, so localizing your content and whipping your SEO into shape is—for once!—painless when you work with them. Whether it’s multilingual SEO, PPC, or marketing, they’ve got you covered.

Using Weglot with International SEO Agencies

Using Weglot with your international SEO agency is so easy that they’ll be all set up before you know it.

With Weglot’s intuitive dashboard, you can instantly add team members, translators, or someone from the agency to your website translation project. That way, you’ll eliminate the back-and-forth that often comes with coordinating translations, as translators typically don’t have access to editing the source text. 

Additionally, Weglot automatically implements hreflang tags, translates your metadata, and allows you to localize media assets like PDFs, videos, and images for all the translated versions of your website. That means the agency can focus more on improving your multilingual SEO, like by pursuing high-quality backlink opportunities.

What’s more, international SEO agencies can catch when the first layer of machine translation uses the incorrect terms because of their familiarity with global search terms. If you’re trying to localize a European Spanish website and its Latin American (LATAM) version, you’ll need to get some words right. 

For example, they use different words when talking about mobile phones: “teléfono móvil” in Spain and “celular” for LATAM; “ordenador” vs “computadora” when talking about computers, respectively. It’s difficult to know these differences by yourself, which makes having an international SEO agency all the more important for connecting with your global audience! 

For that reason, they can easily use Weglot to catch these errors and put the correct terms in the glossary. They won’t need to pore over your website and look for these repetitions over and over; Weglot does it all for you (and them!)

Overall, working with an international SEO agency can completely transform your online presence. It polishes your website, puts the appropriate language version in front of your target audience, and provides useful insights that will help you resonate even more with your market. When used together with Weglot, you’ve got yourself a website that’s ready to attract visitors to your virtual doorstep—no matter what language they speak.

Curious to see how it works? Try Weglot on your own website by signing up for a free 10-day trial.

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