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How US-Based Links Help With International SEO in 2022

By | January 18, 2022

Developing a client’s international SEO strategy can bring additional challenges. Not only are you doing “traditional” SEO, but now you’re working with different countries and languages.

It’s much easier to know the target audience in your local city or state. But many businesses recognize the potential in expanding their business to the international market.

Most strategies are the same with international SEO, but there are some new things you’ll need to do for your site structure, on-page SEO, and link-building efforts.

This blog will cover some basics about international SEO, and it’ll show how US-based links can help your client regardless of where they’re located.

Keep reading to learn more!

Knowing When It’s Time to Go International

Here at The HOTH, we offer a really handy section on international SEO in our Marketing Learning Hub. The first thing you should consider is if it’s feasible for a business to go international.

One of the easiest ways to tell is to check Google Analytics and see where customers are coming from. If they already possess a worldwide customer base then it may be time to actively work on their international SEO.

A screenshot of checking your audience in Google Analytics.

Some marketing research can also show whether your clients’ products or services would be in demand overseas.

The important thing to remember is that international SEO costs time and money, so you want to be sure it’ll pay off for your client.

You may not realize this but over 70% of internet users worldwide don’t speak English. And Google isn’t the top search engine everywhere. Russia, for example, uses Yandex and China uses Baidu. 

A graphic showing what search engines are used by country or continent.

This means your international SEO will likely be done in a different language and on a new search engine.

International SEO Tips

Like any other SEO work you do for a client, the first step is keyword research. Most international SEO is done in other languages so your keywords won’t necessarily be in English.

You can use a tool like Semrush to research organic traffic, search phrases, competitors, and behaviors. Each of these can also be targeted by a specific country or language.

For the client’s website, you can set up a Country Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD), Sub-Domain, or Sub-Directory. 

A map showing the top online country codes or ccTLD.

Photo from GoDomaining.com.

Focus on producing content that is relevant for English and non-English visitors. 

Odds are you’ll need to translate new pages into the target audience’s language. To do it right you’ll need to hire a fluent writer rather than relying on translation software.

Adding a hreflang tag (rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”) also tells search engines which language or location you are using on a specific page. Your on-page SEO optimization should also focus on geo-targeting. <

The tips provided in this section are just for starters. Next, comes the most important step: link building.

Getting US-Based Links for International SEO

One of the top questions we get from international SEO clients is: where should my links come from?

If you’re optimizing international SEO for German customers, for example, does it make sense to get US-based links?

The answer is yes! And here’s why.

Remember that relevancy is the magic word with search engines.

Our SEO team has done a ton of research for clients interested in international SEO. We found that a majority of sites on the internet link to .com domains, which are predominantly in the United States.

Why would businesses do this if they aren’t located in the United States or have content in English? Because the content they linked was relevant.

If, for example, a Chinese-language forum discussing fragrances links to a French perfume shop, the link would be deemed natural. Language and country of origin don’t really matter here.

Businesses working on their international SEO can absolutely get guest posts from U.S. companies, as long as the posts are well-written, high-quality, and relevant

But a word of caution, working with spammy guest posts is even riskier in international SEO.  That’s why you only want to focus on getting the best.

Need Help With International SEO?

Expanding your business into the world can be lucrative if done right. International SEO will ensure that you reach the right customers ready to make a purchase.

We’re telling our clients they can get links from anywhere in the world—especially from high authority .com sites in the United States—as long as the content is relevant and the guest post is well done.

The HOTH even offers a premium guest blogging and blogger outreach service to ensure a bump in client rankings. Do you have specific questions about optimizing your international SEO or how you can get the right links for your site? It’s time to book a chat with our SEO experts.


Director of Brand Strategy

Rachel is The HOTH’s Director of Brand Strategy. In 2016, she launched The HOTH’s content department, including HOTH Blogger. Rachel speaks at 1-2 industry conferences per month while overseeing The HOTH’s organic content and brand strategy. To book some time to chat about content creation, SEO, and SEM, click here.

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