Technical SEO Considerations Based on Global and Regional Search Engine Targeting
So, you have researched which regions and search engine you should target as a priority and also identified what SEO tactics are required to achieve your organic traffic goals so how should you approach your strategy from a technical perspective?
What company domain structures should you implement for best practice performance?
There are two main domain target strategies to consider when implementing a global SEO strategy. The strategy you choose very much depends on which search engines you want to target to enables you to get the desired return on investment out of the search engines that exist in specific regions.
Strategy Option 1
Use one universal .com domain with separate subfolders for each region targeted.
- Managing one domain from a technical perspective is often low maintenance compared to managing multiple domains
- Overall SEO resource required is lower for one domain compared to multiple domains
- Overall SEO domain authority is likely to be stronger than separate country TLDs which may allow you to achieve better rankings.
- Can limit success if you need to target search engines such as Naver and Baidu. Whilst specific TLD are not necessary a single domain may provide hosting constraints which are key to performance in the two search engines highlighted.
- Conversion rate may be lower in some countries where local TLDs are proven to be preferred.
- Items that have a negative effect on SEO authority can have an impact across a whole domain impacting multiple regions
- Important technical processes may be managed centrally and therefore it may take time to implement optimisation deliverables
Strategy Option 2
Use Individual country specific domains
- Enables you to be more targeted for specific search engines from a local perspective
- Allows you to manage local based hosting more efficiently
- Can help boost conversion rate in some countries ad local TLD can create a greater perception of trust
- Can aid off-site optimisation elements such as the ability to gain natural links from local related websites which can be a crucial factor to rank in a specific country search engine
- More management is required from a hosting perspective
- More SEO resource will be required on more domains from a technical and content perspective
- Overall SEO domain authority maybe lower than one large global domain
Our Domain strategy recommendations
As a global company based in the UAE we would recommend the following SEO strategy if you require a full global reach based on your products and available revenue streams:
Consider country specific domains for search engines that favour localisation.
If you are currently using a .com domain with country specific sub folders then you may wish to consider separate TLD sites if you aim to drive increased revenue via China, Korea, Russia and Japan for the following reasons:
- As these regions are not Google centric they have attitudes that are much more localised and therefore a local TLD may favour a better conversion rate. This may also be worth considering in other regions where ecommerce is in it’s infancy such as the UAE and greater trust could be developed by using a .ae domain
- Some of the major search engines with the 4 countries stated above favour local hosting which will be much easier to gain with a country specific TLD
- Certain SEO tactics that work for one search engine algorithm may have a detrimental effect I another search engine algorithm. For example if you are gaining a large amount of links to the .com/cn section of your global domain to target Baidu, this could impact the performance of the domain in other regions targeting Google as the predominant search engine
- Gaining geo targeted links is a very important part of any regional SEO strategy and can help improve performance significantly so having a greater ability to gain more natural links to country specific domains (especially if you are a large brand).
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