In this age of the internet where potential buyers tend to first turn online when they want to buy something, building an online presence for your global business is important. Moreover, utilizing the latest SEO trends is key to ensuring that your target groups can find you in the search engines.
However, international SEO can be quite difficult. Besides appealing to a global audience, you have a task to build trust with your target audiences at the local level in each country that you are focused on. This might mean creating localized content for each specific country, and sometimes, for every dialect used in the country. So, what choices do you have when it comes to structuring your global website with localized content for specific countries?
ccTLDs or country code top level domains are country or region specific. This means that they are highly localized, and they indicate to search engine algorithms that the site in question is relevant for searches done in that specific country or geographical location. This makes them the best URL structure for your site when focusing on specific countries.
Besides this, ccTLDs resonate well with your target audience. For instance, a user in the UK is more likely to trust a .uk domain than a .com domain. We all know that building trust with your users is essential if you are to build a successful global business or eCommerce site. Putting in the effort to create valuable local content for your target audiences in different countries and investing in SEO for your content strategy are good ways to enhance your digital marketing strategy. Moreover, ccTLDs are ideal in not only helping you present country-specific content for each country that you are targeting, but building trust with the audience as well.
gTLDs and subdomains
Generic top level domain or gTLD isn’t country-specific. Examples include .com, .org, .edu and the like. If your site features international content that appeals to a global audience, then using gTLD for the parent brand is a good option. Then you can add subdomains for each country of focus for country-specific content.
Subdomains are part of the main domain, but search engines see them as separate. They are mostly used when creating blog pages such as blog.yourpage.com. The same can be used to geo target your site for each specific country. For example, uk.yourpage.com is a subdomain that can allow you to present localized content for your UK users.
gTLDs with subdirectories
Subdirectories or subfolders, on the other hand, work as folders that separate content. These can be used on the same domain or subdomain such as yourpage.com/uk/. Ideally, each country of focus will have a unique landing page for its localized content. If you deal with both international content and country-specific content, a combination of gTLD and subdirectories work perfectly.
When creating country-specific content, it is important to keep in mind the different languages used in those countries. If you are focusing on a country where there are multiple languages, using a subdomain or subdirectory will only geotarget the specific countries, but not the different language speakers. Hreflang tags help to specify the language or dialect to display in the search engines when locals make a search in their native languages. Using hreflang tags is crucial in enhancing user experience as well as reducing the bounce rate.
Work with experts
As said earlier, international SEO can be daunting. Yet, it is important if you are to compete in the international scene and gain a competitive edge. For this reason, it is important to seek help from the experts in the field in finding the best approach. In addition, local SEO is essential when dealing with country-specific content. Determining which countries to target takes a deep understanding of the market, but searching for popular keywords in each country requires a knowledgeable eye. Seeking local SEO help is your first line of defense when it comes to localizing country-specific content.
Having a global website that also caters to audiences in different countries with country-specific content can be tricky. But, it can be done with the right site structure. You have several options as listed above. However, your choice largely depends on your end goals. Moreover, seeking expert help can go a long way in enhancing your efforts to ensure success.