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Country coded top level domains (ccTLDs) guide
How are businesses using country coded top-level domains to their advantage? We give you 3 reasons for localising your website with country coded TLDs.
There are 5 possible ways to structure your site with international domains:
- Country-coded top-level domains
- Sub-domains on a single global top-level domain
- Sub-folders on a single global top-level domain
- URL parameters
- Using cookies to control the language
Martin Woods. SEO Director at Indigo Extra, claims his preferred method is country-coded top-level domains. And it’s ours too. Here are 3 reasons why…
1 – Relatability with native residents
Let’s get the most obvious out of the way first. When users are searching for specific websites that provide services in their country, having a country coded top-level domain instils confidence in your business. Users trust websites with domains they are familiar with. Using a .fr; .de; etc. gives your business authority, by showing you cater to specific countries.
2 – Help improve your onsite SEO
Optimising your website for SEO is an ongoing game. There are many ways to boost your SEO ranking and authority. For multilingual businesses, one that is rarely mentioned is the importance of country coded top-level domains. Not only does it help separate your sites for a better user experience, but allows Google to more clearly geolocate your site.
People tend to think different languages are a-part of the same site. This is not the case for search engines. Country coded TLDs help Google geolocate your site, so it can serve it in that country. There are some considerations before implementing this strategy. Of course, you need to own each international domain for each country you want to serve your website to. You will also need a robust localisation strategy to make sure your content is perfectly translated and culturally relevant to the specific country.
Using automation for a user’s preferred language is one way to determine how users are served a specific language. However, Google suggests avoiding this strategy altogether. It can prevent users (and search engines) from viewing all the versions of your site, causing it to negatively impact both your user experience and technical SEO.
3 – Benefiting from local search
With mobile search taking up more than 50% of all searchers, it’s important to take advantage of mobile-friendly strategies. Typically, when you search for a service on mobile, users will add the phrase “near me”. So if a customer in France is looking for a specific service, such as interpretation, they may search: “interprètes à proximité“. Having a country coded top-level domain helps the search engines and users find your location. This encourages mobile users to visit your business over a competitor using a .com
Country coded top-level domain summary
Having many country coded top-level domain names can be expensive for your business. But if you have the budget, implementing it in your digital strategy will:
- Instil confidence and trustworthiness in your business for local residents. Helping users connect your business to their location.
- Help search engines geo-locate your business and prioritise it over competitors.
- Have cascading SEO benefits, separating content for better user experiences.
- Help your business enjoy mobile-orientated search.
What we hope this demonstrates is that there is more to web localisation than having your text translated. There are many more things to consider and it’s one of the reasons businesses choose a localisation partner like Global Lingo.
Our expert linguists and project managers can not only run the project but also give advice and help before the project gets underway. This ensures your business gets its message out to the world in the best possible way.
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