Many businesses target multiple countries with their websites, and for such businesses, various questions arise. Do you put the information for your products or services all on the same domain? Do you obtain multiple domains? Where do you host the site(s)? It turns out that there are SEO factors, as well as basic marketing questions, that affect the answers. Of course, there are also non-SEO factors, such as the tax implications of what you do; further, for some TLDs you can only register a domain if you have a local physical presence (e.g., France requires this to get a .fr domain).
Starting with the basics of international targeting, it is important to let the search engines know where your business is based in as many ways as possible. These might include:
Using a country-specific TLD (ccTLD) for your domain (e.g., .co.uk)
Hosting your site locally, not abroad
Including the physical local address in plain text on every page of your site
Setting Google Webmaster Central geotargeting to your country of interest
Verifying your address with Google Maps
Getting links from in-country websites
Using the local language on the website
If you are starting from scratch, getting all these factors lined up will give you the best possible chance of ranking in the local country you are targeting.
If you’re expanding into a new country, you may be wondering why you cannot leverage your ...