International Link Building is a Strategy used by companies that works with International SEO to rank higher on different countries; understand how it works and how you can start
Over the last few months, here at Conversion, the Largest SEO Agency in Brazil, we’ve analyzed major international link building strategies of global companies that have internationalized and come to the Brazilian market. To give you an idea of their market share, half of the Top 10 ecommerce players in Brazil aren’t Brazilian!
In the SEO world, we see more and more international companies going global with organic search as their main marketing channel. It’s an enormous opportunity, especially when they’ve dominated a local and perhaps small market. If the company isn’t in an English speaking country, the first choice is to internationalize by transforming everything to English, and that ‘s okay. But what ‘s next?
In emerging economies like Brazil, Latin America, some countries from Asia, etc. , a lot of retailers from Asia, like Shopee and Alibaba, are hitting hard with aggressive price and product portfolio strategies. On the other hand, we see that a lot of digital platforms, SaaS (Software as a Service) and even education companies are very interested in these markets.
Wouldn’t you like to know what we’ve found about these International Link Building Strategies and how you can leverage that information to dominate a new market and crush the competition? And wouldn’t you like to know why Brazil is your most promising prospect for the near future? Stick around and find out.
3 best International Link Building strategies to earn the best links
While most global companies roling an International SEO Strategy can achieve excellence regarding On-Page and Technical SEO, even for SEO Testing and UX SEO, Off-Page SEO is a bigger challenge. These companies usually have a team led by a SEO Manager, a person who has technical background and actually is in the role of business, connecting tactical and strategic to attain results. The team is also composed of SEO analysts, and sometimes copywriters, and in fewer cases, outreach people for link building strategies.
Of all the strategies we analyzed, I’ll share three that are some of the most effective: international domain cross-linking, creation of data and financial information sharing, and Digital PR (public relation/outreach) to earn links from news sites.
1. International domain cross-linking
A common question asked when a company wants to build a local website is: only one global domain or local TLD (top-level domains) for each country? There’s no absolute rule and in both cases there are success cases. The largest international eCommerce companies work with local TLDs: Mercado Livre ( Argentina), Shopee (Singapore) and Amazon (USA) using .com.br in Brazil. On the other hand, Shein has a local subdomain .br.)
The big advantage of local TLDs strategy is that the companies create cross-linking between all global domains, usually in their footer. So, when a new market is just opened, the new site is already linked by authoritative domains from different countries, and it counts for higher ranking on Google results.
I’ve talked to SEOs who, no doubt, prefer local TLDs but getting them can be challenging, and a global brand can work with just one domain for every country. Usually I consider a unique domain better from the company perspective, but you’ll lose the domain cross-linking. It’s necessary to have a balance between SEO and other company assets like brand and technology to make the best decision.
2. Financial and Exclusive Data
Every company should talk about their financial numbers if they want to be mentioned on the biggest news outlets and magazines, and get the best backlinks. Some of the biggest sites with an International Link Building Strategy receive links from sites like Techcrunch, NY Times, Harvard, among others.
Financial data about companies is very strategic for the business, of course. If a company doesn’t have open capital, they won’t always be sharing revenue and profit numbers; but some companies share information about investment when they’re a startup.
As financial data is scarce, if a company wants to be news and get links all the time, a different approach is required. I’m talking about the Link Building Strategy I named “Data-Driven PR”, which is a combination of Digital PR with Business Intelligence teams, to generate data journalists will love and work to increase referring domain links.
3. News sites & Digital PR
Some of the most visited and authoritative sites in the world where you can get backlinks are news outlets. For example, NY Times is the 92nd most authoritative domain in the world, with a Domain Rating (DR) of 94. Forbes is 103rd with the same DR. The importance of getting mentioned by big news sites is that your brand gains real authority, and that’s what Google is really looking for sites to rank high.
Of course, getting mentioned by these domains and other popular news outlets isn’t an easy task, but who ever said Link Building was easy?
If sites like NY Times, Forbes and others are the cherry on top, there are thousands of other news sites whose backlinks are amazing. Indeed, I prefer to start looking for small and medium news backlinks, so my brand gets mentioned and, then, comes the cherry: links from 80 Domain Rating and above!
Using this strategy, I know it isn’t easy for a normal company to be news. But I’ve a philosophy which is that every company could be an authority in its field by creating reliable, trustworthy data journalists need for their stories. So, they will mention you (ethically, they must mention the author of a study) and, then, it is easier to get backlinks, especially if you have a good hook on your site, i.e., a linkable asset (a page with complete data or infographics, for example).
Here at Conversion, we created the Brazil E-commerce Report, a monthly report for digital commerce in Brazil. The data we publish gives the Conversion site in Brazil good domain authority, for people and search engines. When we merge Data and Digital PR competence, we get amazing Data-Driven PR, which is the future of link building.
Other common International Link Building Strategies
Of course, the strategies I mentioned aren’t the only ones. Just to mention a few other very common strategies, controversial affiliate link building, and content blogging for magnet links, which is basic but always good.
Some sites like Amazon work with affiliate links, which raises their domain rating, maybe someone could say “artificially”. Even though it’s not my favorite strategy, I have to mention it, since this it’s one of the ways a major player in global e-commerce gets a lot of backlinks.
Link building for same Language but different Countries
In our experience, a backlink from Brazilian news sites, for example, can make other pages from Portugal rank higher on Google Portugal. On the other hand, usually sites from Portugal don’t rank high in Google Brazil results.
Link Building and SEO in Brazil: an amazing opportunity
Looking at the big picture, the country has an unstable economic environment and a population of 212 million big consumers (the 7th in the world), a legacy from the 70’s and 80’s hyperinflation period. It’s the 10th largest economy in the world and, in 2022, is on a short list of countries with predicted GDP growth this year. Along with other Latin American countries, Brazil is a prime region for investors and global companies looking for new markets.
In the 2022 world crisis scenario, a lot of countries are predicting a decrease in GDP, like the United States which forecast is -0.9% for 2022. On the other hand, the Brazilian forecast for this year is an amazing growth of 2.5% in GDP. Employment rates are increasing month over month. In economics, the stock market resumed a growth path and in August 2022 the biggest players’ stock value increased almost 20%.
Brazil’s digital economy is a big Blue Ocean for international players looking to come ashore on the world’s 10th biggest economy. In contrast to the English and/or Spanish speaking search universes, ours remains a little challenging, taking into consideration that queries with a monthly search volume of 60,000+ are absolutely normal.
In link building terms, there’s relatively low competition as SEO practices in Brazil exchange backlinks or guest posts, an old fashioned technique. The news sites in Brazil are losing viewership and are thirsty for great content, data and stories, and although some journalists don’t give backlinks, most news sites do and they’re an important source.
You can also download our free e-book about SEO in Brazil and learn more about the Brazilian e-commerce market.
As most global companies have strong internal SEO teams, they look more frequently to content creation, researching local consumer search habits and — most importantly — link building services. This is a challenge, because even in the most mature markets such as the US, Canada and Eastern Europe, companies are migrating from paid, exchanged or guest-post oriented backlink strategies to the Digital PR approach. In emerging economies, finding confident partners who can get real results is a challenge. We at Conversion are up to that challenge. Talk to us.