Make SEO Modifications on Existing Content
Whether you decide to optimize your whole site or only select content (which we’ll discuss in a bit), you’ll be focusing mostly on URL structure and language targeting. For URL structure, Moz there are several options: “a country code top-level domain (ccTLD), a subdomain, a subdirectory or subfolder, a gTLD with language parameters, or … a different domain name entirely.” Click here
to read the pros and cons of each from Moz.
In terms of language targeting (and we’ll also discuss translation in a bit), it’s all about the “hreflang tags”
aka language meta tags. These are snippets of code that tell search engines the language(s) your content is offered in. This is beneficial because it helps Google and others serve the most appropriate version of your content (language-wise) based on the searcher’s local language (determined by IP address) or the language they queried in (meaning that even if, for example, the searcher is in the US but they search in Spanish, the Spanish version of your page will be listed in the search results instead of the English one).
While implementing hreflang tags won’t boost your rankings necessarily — it’s one of many factors — it will help the right version of your pages rank in the first place. You can put hreflang tags in on-page markup, your HTTP header, or your sitemap. More on hreflang tags here
If this is all sounding way too advanced, don’t worry: this great guide to international SEO
from Moz breaks it all down in a digestible way. Still, if you don’t have a webmaster, this may be a good project to outsource to an expert.