7 Tips for Building Links in International Markets

Cristina Donaire

International Digital Campaign Manager


Establishing a website in a new market can take time, so it’s essential to make link-building and acquisition a central part of your SEO and digital PR strategy.

Unfortunately, our international team often finds that clients skip the step of building links locally when prepping a website for a specific market.

A thorough link acquisition strategy allows you to compete more effectively against established local competitors. With backlinks, you can increase traffic and visibility, gaining higher authority for your website.

In this article, some of our international marketing experts share seven tips to help with international link-building efforts, which will grow brand awareness and increase traffic to your website in new territories.

Tip #1: Find the proper internet forums for your backlinks


Identifying and using news publications, social media platforms, and websites your target audience is engaging with is one of the most effective ways to ensure they interact with your campaigns. 

While trusted and influential sites in the West include newspaper websites, magazines, and established bloggers, popular sites in other parts of the world can be vastly different. 

For example, in China, forum sites are the dominant and authoritative platforms where users can find information. However, from a Western SEO perspective, these platforms are often considered less trustworthy. 

This assumption is due to Western equivalents having content of little value or interest. In Eastern countries, these platforms include valuable and credible information, but without this regional knowledge, your team may miss a critical opportunity to build links. 

By localizing your approach toward your new audience’s expectations and communication preferences, you’ll find the most success in your content marketing link-building strategy.

Tip #2: Localize universal content


To create successful international link-building campaigns with relevant content in any market, you need to start by identifying the leading hook for your regional audience.

Understanding how your brand speaks directly to that regional hook is how you distinguish your brand from local competitors. Determining which angle is persuasive and how to combine it with your brand message is the most effective way to build links.


Other considerations when localizing universal content include:


– Identify how your universal content is relevant to current local news, trends, and topics of interest.
– Regularly screen local news publications and influencers for opportunities to “hijack” traffic.
– Build and maintain relationships with journalists and media correspondents. They have the inside scoop on what is happening at their publication – hopefully, they will share it with you.



Tip #3: Reclaim regional links leading to parent site


We often find that local blogs and media publications link to a brand’s parent site if there is no localized version for their market. When this happens, your team should contact these publications and ask them to redirect any links to the relevant local website once it’s live.

While this international link-building strategy involves removing quality links from the parent site profile, redirecting links to the relevant regional site allows a better user experience and is viewed more favorably by search engines.

Losing a few authoritative links, particularly those driving little to no traffic, will not likely impact a parent site. However, gaining relevant and authoritative links for a new site through auditing international links for their overall quality will massively benefit your newly localized landing page.

Tip #4: Localize past campaigns leading to your global site


Online publications and media sites often have localized websites covering news in different markets. Content and digital PR campaigns are usually translated and added to the publication’s regional website, with the links pointing back to the company’s parent website instead of the relevant regional site.

It’s worth checking influential sites where the parent site has gained links and coverage to see if any need to be correctly linked. If they are, you can refine the story by localizing the data, quotes, and case studies for the individual market. Your team can then contact the editors or site administrators and offer a fully localized story for that market.


Tip #5. Conduct an analysis of competitor backlinks


Assessing and downloading the backlink profile of local competitors is an ideal place to start when building up your backlink profile. The audit will reveal which publications cite your competitors, what type of content earns links, and whether you can replicate their international link-building strategies.

Specific competitors will likely have earned links through digital PR campaigns or ongoing partnerships that require time and budget. However, you can identify quick-win opportunities for link-building by arranging authoritative websites into categories based on specific industries. These sites may link to businesses that offer similar products to your organization’s.



Tip #6: Capitalize on your company’s thought leaders


Creating a roster of your company’s subject matter experts can help your team select the right person to participate in local media opportunities. Q&As with your company’s industry experts can appear in local publications, including high-authority websites.


Tip #7: Promote your website launch with a press release


Promoting the launch of your website to local press and industry publications through a press release is a reliable international link-building tactic.

Your press release needs to provide insight into the company, its core values, and what your business hopes to achieve. A quote from an important figure – specifically speaking to local initiatives – will also increase your chances of gaining local coverage.

Creating a tiered media list that includes national and regional publications, as well as specific news sites speaking to local industries, helps target your outreach more effectively. Make sure your team creates bespoke and localized communications for each outreach tier. Personalization and localization will make your press release more relevant to the publication’s target audience and readership.

Building high-quality, relevant links can seem a daunting task. But these top tips for building backlinks in new international markets are effective ways to earn coverage, increase brand awareness, and improve the overall authority of your newly localized website.

Are you curious about the next steps in taking over a new international market? Download our recent white paper, “Identifying Growth Opportunities in New International Markets,” and then contact our global marketing experts to take the next step.


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