04th December 2017

For some businesses, the idea of ‘going global’ is a non-runner – a plumber in Perth isn’t looking to find clients in Europe. However, there are lots of e-commerce sites out there that are trying to reach out to the global market and a country’s borders are by no means a border to their potential client base.

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If you are thinking of ‘going global’ here are a few tips that may help you to get ahead.

CCTLD Strategy

An approach that many of the larger companies adopt is to use a domain structure that is ccTLD (country-code top-level domain). This involves separating your domains by country, for instance, using .co.uk for the UK and .fr for France.

This is a strategy that will suit some businesses more than others so using a .com domain rather than a .com.au may be an option if you are not ready to take over the world just yet!

Subdomain Strategy

This strategy is not a successful as using ccTLD but generally, it is cheaper. The downside is that it doesn’t offer the strong location signals that a ccTLD does or the consolidation of link equity. That said, it does have the advantage when it comes to click-through rate.

Region-Specific Websites

An alternative to both of these strategies and something that is perhaps more practical to SMEs is to target a continent rather than a specific country. For instance, you could use .eu for Europe or .com/apac for the Asia-Pacific region. This will allow companies to target marketing material such as Pay per Click (PPC) campaigns to these areas with greater effect, however, when it comes to organic SEO it can create a few problems.

Firstly, any duplicate or translated content, of which you would expect there to be a lot, should be marked with a hreflang code as this indicates to Google the language of the content. However, content for the UK, Australia and the US cannot be marked with a hreflang code as the language remains the same – English.

Google Search Console Geotargeting

This is a particularly useful tool when it comes to targeting your content to a particular country. Ok, it won’t have a huge benefit but it will certainly provide a ranking boost and you need all the help that you can get when you are starting to ‘go global’.

To get the most out of this feature you will need to separate the Google Search Console properties with geotargeting rules for each site. This can be done with subdomains and subfolders as well as by specific sites.

It should be noted, if you are planning on your single site being viewed globally you should not geotarget your content to one country. If you do everything correctly, this will again give you an advantage and lead to higher rankings.