search optimisation

8 Common International SEO Issues with Shopify


When embarking on an international SEO project for a Shopify client, it's crucial to understand and address the common issues that may arise. In this article, we will explore 8 common international SEO problems and provide practical solutions to help your business successfully navigate the global market.

1. Identifying Target Countries Without a Strategy

When entering a new market, it's essential to have a well-researched strategy to identify your main target countries. Analyse factors such as:

  • Brand awareness in different countries
  • Traffic and conversion rates per country
  • Market size and search volume for your product category/categories

By considering these factors, you can gain a better understanding of the potential market opportunities and prioritize your efforts accordingly.

2. Lack of Local Content Strategy

A comprehensive international SEO strategy begins with keyword research for each target country. This research can help you:

  • Improve on-page copy
  • Optimize meta data
  • Discover new content opportunities
  • Adapt to seasonality for campaigns

Always be mindful of cultural and language differences when creating content for different markets.

3. Duplicate Content Across International Variations

It is important to try to make the content as unique and relevant to the target market as possible. Duplicate content can harm your site's search engine rankings and there are Shopify clients with limited resources. If this is the case we recommend having a SEO strategy for Shopify Markets that includes:

  • Unique title tags and meta descriptions per country
  • Local currency display
  • Country-specific subdirectory structure
  • Language and cultural differences in website content

4. Incorrect Hreflang Tags

Ensure that hreflang tags are correctly added to avoid issues with international website variations. For example, if a French website has English copy, the hreflang annotation should be 'en-FR' instead of 'fr-FR'.

5. Forced Geo IP Redirects

Forcing users to access a specific country version of your website can lead to a poor user experience and loss of visibility. Instead, give users the option to choose their preferred country version without redirecting or forcing them.

6. Low-Quality Translations

Poor translations can lead to a negative user experience and impact your site's SEO. Use AI and third-party apps as support tools but always have content reviewed by human translators to ensure accuracy and quality.

7. Misunderstanding the European Union (EU) as a Country

The EU is a region, not a country, so you cannot target it as a whole for SEO purposes. There are scenarios where clients with limited resources can't target key European countries so if this is the case even when the SEO benefit is not maximised we would consider creating an English website with the Euro as currency, dedicated content and hreflang annotations for specific European countries

8. Generic Language Tags

Google doesn't rely on meta language tags, other search engines like Bing, Yahoo, or Baidu do. Be specific with your language tags (e.g., en-GB or en-US) to cater to different search engines and improve your global SEO.


In conclusion, overcoming these nine common international SEO issues can help your business thrive in the global market. By developing a solid strategy, creating local content, optimizing your website for search engines, and prioritizing user experience, you can successfully navigate the challenges of international SEO and outperform your competitors.


by guillermo

April 14, 2023

ready to build something great?

Hands together illustration
We support great brands that want to become great companies. We’d love to chat about what you’re planning and how we can help.
contact us
Right Arrow