Semalt: What Challenges You Should Expect To Face When Using An International SEO Agency

Optimizing for the globe is difficult and complicated. On your own, it's next to impossible, but with an experienced global SEO agency, things are a lot easier. 

As your brand continues to grow, there comes the point where you must spread your reach. There comes a time where you need an international SEO agency to work with, so your brand can continue to grow on a global scale. 

This is a great development and a much-needed one, but international SEO has its challenges. And when choosing your agency, you need to be prepared for these challenges so you can get the greatest return on your investment. 

In this article, we will show you practical tips on how you can make your SEO agency work for you and make global SEO channels work in your favor. 

What Makes International SEO So Challenging?

Like with many things in digital marketing, there are no fixed rules. In international search, there is no industry-wide standard or objective criteria. All you can rely on are widely varying practices that have proven to be very effective. 

There is no strategy that is good enough to work on a global scale. Due to its large and widely different audience, it experiences poorly coordinated and unpredictable workflow and results. 

This makes international SEO difficult. 

Our reality is that international search is very dynamic; it is complicated, and to optimize on a global scale, is quite difficult. What your international SEO agency won't tell you is that they have to depend on smaller SEO agencies that know the area well to optimize your site. 

You can't blame them or do away with them either. But most international SEO agencies have underdeveloped capabilities that are mostly over-sold. 

Today, optimizing internationally has become even more difficult because of the competition for talent in search marketing. 

Here are some areas where you will face challenges when working with an international SEO agency. Learn how to manage them, and you should have wonderful results. 

Challenges that are associated with using an international SEO agency

Technical SEO

Sadly, the first problem you will face as a result of your technical SEO. Almost every country has varying expertise requirements that make it very difficult to optimize.
Although Google maintenance global supremacy, it will surprise you to know that there are areas in the world where Google isn't king. 

In countries like China (Baidu), Russia, Japan, and Korea. The dominant search engines in these countries are hardly ever used anywhere else in the world. However, these countries contribute significantly to your success on a global scale. 

This wide swath of knowledge is almost impossible for any single agency to master alone. How can you optimize a site for all these search engines with their varying requirements? 

Even if we choose not to consider the most dominant search engine in a region, there is still a problem when you want to monitor the indexation or the sitemaps by region. 

In such cases, we must create multiple Google Search Console account and use third-party tools for crawl and deep insight analysis. 

When all of these elements are factored in, you must understand that almost no international SEO agency can be perfect or work as well as most local SEO agencies of a particular region. 

Meeting Up To The Content Requirements 

Having a global audience means you must create content that resonates with all your audiences. This includes creating content in different languages, publishing at different times, creating different topics for your content, and speaking to the intent of multiple audience categories. 

There is also an obvious need for localization and keyword research. Your content should match the habits and behaviors of your audience in those regions. 

More importantly, your SEO agency must accurately construct a content strategy decision. If drafted effectively, it should focus on relevant on-page signals and messaging, which leads your consumers as well as prospects down the funnel, and they should take the desired action at the end of the day. 

Paid Search Has Its Challenges

Suppose you're planning on using paid searches; here are some areas you should pay close attention to. Firstly, the keyword research per content must be accurate and sync completely. Your bid strategies and negative matches also need to keep reigns on how much you spend on ads because a lack of continual management can recklessly increase your CPCs. 

The landing pages for every region must be fast and responsive. It should give quality performance and take into account the country-specific or regional-based behaviors / expectations. 

It's easy to see why this can be exhausting, especially for an in-house team that has to optimize your landing pages and your ads account for multiple countries and regions. Fully established international SEO agencies also struggle with this. 


Traditionally, large SEO companies have the largest footprints and provide the most international search support. Big agencies in this class have their offices in almost every major region across the globe.  

They enjoy partnerships with the best tech providers and have top blue-chip clients in their profiles. And many admire them for this. 

Sadly, it isn't all fancy and admirable, especially when they aren't good at doing global work. A large number of these agencies have made a name globally by their acquisitions over the years. As these companies expand, many buy in-region shops and place a sign saying that they are a big agency, but they still lack any work on integration. A good number of times, all they do is transition everyone's email addresses, schedule meetings on calendars, and several other not so meaningful tasks. 

In most cases, these local shops in those regions aren't centrally managed. While they are somehow independent, they are also affiliated local agencies that lack a federated and centralized global process. 

Being more agile gives independent agencies a unique advantage. Considering that these small-scale SEO agencies are more flexible than holding companies, they have the freedom to focus on a holistic approach, and they are integrated by design. 

Even when some of these companies are unable to purchase office spaces across the globe, they can still handle the demands of international search using a centralized approach. 

For this reason, you may want to consider using smaller independent agencies when you plan on optimizing on a global scale. Even if they do not have the same global influence or footprint as holding companies, they are still very effective. 

Smaller companies tend to take on challenging tasks and execute them. They don't just look for ways to sell it. 

At the end of the day, holding companies also have their benefits, and you have to find what alternative suits you best. 


While the world has become a global village, global SEO is still a work in progress. 

Global SEO is messy, hectic, difficult, and challenging for even the best of us. Yes, we do make it sound polished and straightforward, but the reality is quite complicated. On the field, things get real messy fast. 

Before making up your mind on which international SEO agency to use, talk to existing or former clients. Get their perspectives and opinion of the agency. At the end of the day, make sure that you are comfortable with the agency you've chosen because global SEO will test you, and if you're not sure of where you stand, you will jump ship, which presents its own set of challenges. 

Nevertheless, if you need to learn more about the subject of SEO and website promotion, we invite you to visit our Semalt blog.

send email