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The Art of SEO, 2nd Edition by Rand Fishkin, Jessie Stricchiola, Stephan Spencer, Eric Enge

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Best Practices for Multilanguage/Country Targeting

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).

Targeting a Specific Country

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.

Problems with Using Your Existing Domain

If you’re expanding into a new country, you may be wondering why you cannot leverage your ...

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