Five quick and cost-effective ways to build links in new international markets

Nicola Winters

Head of International


When expanding your brand into new markets, it is important to build authority to the localised website in order to compete against local competitors. Link acquisition should be a core part of any SEO strategy aimed at achieving higher authority.

We often find that, while translating and localising content for country code top level domains (ccTLDs) is seen as a priority for international websites, building links at a local level is often overlooked.

While executing larger link building campaigns can take time, there are plenty of quick win tactics that brands can use to build local market links without investing in digital PR.

Reclaiming links from a parent site

We often find that local blogs and media publications will link to a brand’s parent site if there is no localised version for their market, and we can contact these sites asking them to redirect any links to the relevant ccTLD once it has been set up.

While this link strategy does involve removing quality links from the parent site profile, redirecting links to the relevant site allows a better experience for both search engines and users.

Losing five authoritative links, particularly those that are driving little to no relevant traffic, is unlikely to have a large impact on a parent site. Gaining five relevant and authoritative links for a new site, however, will massively benefit your localised site.

  • Step 1: Map out links to the .com site that come from country specific domains
  • Step 2: Audit links for quality
  • Step 3: Contact site administrators and ask to re-point links from .com to the relevant new site.

Localising historical campaigns for global sites

Online publications and media sites often have multiple localised, separate websites that cover news in different markets. Content and PR campaigns that are covered on the parent publishing site tend to be translated and covered on each of the child sites, with links pointing back to the parent site which executed the campaign.

It is worth checking influential sites where the parent site has gained links and coverage, to see if any of the links come from localised coverage of the campaign. If this is the case, you can refine the story by localising the data, quotes and case studies for the relevant market, and contacting the site offering them a fully localised and relevant story.

  • Step 1: Identify all successful campaign coverage from the main site
  • Step 2: Check whether these sites have localised versions for your new market
  • Step 3: Contact the editors and offer them a translated and fully localised version of the story for that market.

Conducting a competitor link analysis

Assessing the backlink profile of local competitors is an ideal place to start when building up your own backlink profile, as it can help identify why competitors are earning links, and whether or not we can replicate these strategies.

It’s likely that some competitor links will have been earned through digital PR campaigns or ongoing partnerships that require time and budget. However, we can also identify quick win opportunities for link building in the industry; for example, government sites may link to businesses which offer recycling or eco-friendly schemes. By looking at competitor backlinks, we can see where these opportunities lie, and outreach to them.

  • Step 1: Download all backlinks for your competitors
  • Step 2: Arrange authoritative and high DA sites into niches and categories
  • Step 3: Identify opportunities and quick wins.

Promote the website launch

Promoting the launch of your website by creating and outreaching a press release to local press and industry publications is a reliable tactic for gaining links and coverage from day one.

Your press release will need to provide insight into the company, its core values, and what it hopes to achieve, as well as a quote from a key figure in the business – ideally at a local level, to increase chance of gaining local coverage.

  • Step 1: Using local, mother tongue specialists, draft a press release for distribution
  • Step 2: Create a media list which includes national, regional sites as well as local trade and general tech sites
  • Step 3: Tier the contacts and create bespoke localised outreach emails for the tiers before distributing.

Capitalise on staff expertise

Q&As with industry experts can be placed in a variety of publications, including high authority university sites.

Interviewing staff members to uncover their educational background, career highlights, and tips for others hoping to follow a similar path can provide useful information that can be used for future outreach such as media opps, interview placements on recruitment and career sites, alumni profiles and quotes.

  • Step 1: Utilise the staff, resources and third-party support needed for the local market
  • Step 2: Create interview style questions for all existing staff and new hires
  • Step 3: Contact educational sources (such as universities, colleges, schools etc.) to see if they want to feature a story on one of their ex-pupils
  • Step 4: Create a document with all staff details so you can select relevant staff for media opportunities and press release quotes.

Building high quality, relevant links for a new ccTLD can seem like a daunting task. While implementing digital content and PR campaigns are an effective way of earning links on a large scale, these quick win tactics are a simple and easy way to begin building links and website authority.

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