Many people seem to be totally clueless on what is involved when taking their site into other countries. After spending some time doing my own searches for related information I can see why, it seems to be a very controversial subject that no one has a firm understanding of.
In an attempt to over come this I have listed below some considerations for building additional sites to target specific geographical regions.
The main issues that we come across in making separate sites to target different locations is making the sites appear that they are uniquely built with the specific country/region in mind.
Though it is possibly and in many cases advised to keep the same website design for continuity and branding purposes, many other changes need to be made to effectively target other regions, following are a few of the more important factors:
– Having the URL for the region you would like to target. The URL if at all possible needs to be the same as the current URL that you have but with the country specific URL extension, for example if I currently owned www.ewebmarketing.com.au and were looking to get into the UK market, I would be looking to get www.ewebmarketing.co.uk and not www.coolmarketing.co.uk
This assists in avoiding any duplicate content issues as search engines can see the URL correlation.
– Separate hosting for each of the domains in the correlating countries. UK hosting for the .co.uk, Australian hosting for .com.au and so on.
– Having unique content for the site, relevant to the country you are trying to target. Though the best case scenario would be to have completely unique content site wide, we understand that in many cases this is simply not possible due to the amount of time and resources involved with building all new pages and content. The main pages that would need to contain unique content would be:
- Home page (changing the content on the home page is critical as it is the most important page).
- Contact page and contact details
- Any other pages that contain Geo specific content.
- Any product pricing would need to be converted into the local currency.
- Industry news and information
- Postage information
Pages that matter less are:
- Product pages and their descriptions
- Frequently asked questions.
– Different countries also use different languages and slang. All the pages on the site would need to be updated to include this change.
– Also each site would require a separate SEO approach. This would allow you to make changes to each site’s titles, meta data (including geographical data), and implement many other SEO changes, to make them look even more independent of each other. Getting links from directories and associated sites located in the correlating regions would alsobe advantageous.
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