Posts Tagged ‘SEO’
**Note: This is a guest post written by one of our readers. For more information on how to submit a guest post, please read our guest posting guidelines.
When creating a site designed for an international market, there are multiple hosting issues to question. Multilingual sites must be accessible to global audiences, differentiate between regions, languages and unique country content, yet still be relevant to individual as well as global searches.
But as there are a number of different hosting options (using root domains, subdomains and subfolders) which is the best approach to take when implementing an international SEO campaign? Which you choose is dependent on organisation size and international aspiration, target market locations and languages, and of course budget.
Domains, or root domain ccTLD’s (country code top level domains) such as ‘internationalseo.au’, ‘internationalseo.co.uk’ allow you to create completely separate domains to manage separate language content. Regarded as a best practice option, they provide Google with the strongest signals and authority of your intended target location.
- More straightforward geotargeting (useful if a site is targeted to different regions)
- Infrastructures are simpler to manage and separate into individual languages/regions.
- In-country hosting means ccTLD’s are region friendly, and local search engine relevant. It also means that server locations are not important.
- Domains are more user friendly, removing potential searcher bias: users tend to show preferences for sites showing their specific country root domain as they are likely to be more relevant to them (Australian users would show a preference to ‘.au’ domains over ‘.com’ or ‘.co.uk’ for example).
- Allows for specifically tailored content and currencies to suit specific country preferences. For example a ‘.fr’ site can have totally unique and individual content to the ‘.co.uk’ version.
- Having multiple region domains requires a more extensive supporting infrastructure.
- Hosting in multiple countries means root domains are a more expensive option, often better preferred by larger organisations with bigger budgets. Because root domains are considered ‘best practice’ and because of their ease of unique domain management and user-bias friendliness however, investing in this approach may be wise if organisations intend to work with multiple regions and languages.
- Though differentiating between language, content and region is simple, individual domains will not contribute towards a combined, singular domain authority. (So inbound links from the ‘.fr’ site will not boost the rank of the ‘.de’ site for example. Saying this, it’s worth noting that domains do not need as much ranking power as subdomains or subfolders to be authoritative.
Alternatively, language and region can be categorised through Subdomains; hosting under a gTLD (generic top level domain), for example ‘de.internationalseo.org’.
- Out of all three hosting choices, subdomains are the least complicated to establish and allow for hosting on multiple server locations.
- gTLD’s have Google advantages: Geotargeting becomes simpler with subdomains as individual country targets can be specified in Google webmaster tools. Multiple countries cannot be targeted however.
- The region/language target is not instantly obvious to biased searchers; would ‘fr.internationalseo.org’ indicate language (suitable for French speakers worldwide for example), or is it directly targeted to a specifically French audience?
- International sites hosted on subdomains hold a lesser degree of domain value and authority than that inherited by root domains.
Most commonly used, subfolders (or subdirectories) allow content to be hosted on one site under a gTLD, then categorised between language and region, for instance; ‘internationalseo.com/EN-UK’.
- The authority issues associated with root domains is resolved with subdirectories, as the overall domain ‘internationalseo.com’ accumulates all authority, regardless of subdirectory, before distributing that authority between them.
- Subfolders are a more economical option for those on a budget, and have a much simpler infrastructure to establish and maintain due to only having one hosting location.
- Like subdomains, subfolders also allow for individual country geotargeting specification via Google webmaster tools.
- Subfolders are hosted on a singularly located server, meaning unique country target differentiation in searches is more difficult.
- As with subdirectories, subfolders still present the issue of searcher bias confusion between targeted language or locational region. Only root domain ccTLD’s resolve this problem.
- Regarding SEO, subfolders need a higher level of authority, despite the simplicity of associating rank with each subfolder.
About the Author:
Alastair is a copywriter and digital marketing executive and has supplied this article on behalf of Strategic Internet Consulting, a digital marketing agency based in the UK.
Here are the new and noteworthy blog posts from this week!
- 3 Creative Ways to Spread Content to People On the Go (HubSpot). If you’re using web content as part of your marketing strategy, it’s important to use a delivery mechanism that makes it easy for people to respond to you. Read this quick post for examples.
- Businesses on Facebook Need to Include Their Location (WebProNews). Do you have a Facebook business page? If so, make sure you’ve added your location so as not to lose followers. This article explains how it works.
- 5 Filters Everybody Should Use In Their AdWords Account (Search Engine Watch). If you’re spending money on Google AdWords, read this article to see how you might be able to increase your ROI.
- Google+ Business Accounts: What Can You Expect? (Social Media Today). A good preview of what’s to come for businesses on Google+.
- Building of SEO Strategy for Small Business Sites (Search Engine Journal). Are you planning to hire an SEO firm? Read this article for an explanation of SEO concepts and to get an idea of how it works.
I saw a few excellent blog posts this week that echoed common pet peeves of mine. I have frequently observed businesses engaging in marketing practices that not only lack any strategy whatsoever, but also any mechanism for tracking whether they work or not.
The three specific areas to which I’m referring: Organic SEO, social media, and press releases. I could name plenty more, but these three should give you plenty to chew on.
Gabriella Sannino’s SearchEngineJournal article hits one nail right on the head: setting clear expectations for organic SEO and content writing. Anyone who asks you to shell out money for months on end and refuses to promise anything of substance….you fill in the blank. Like lifestyle design guru Timothy Ferriss says, good advertising works the first time. This applies to organic search as well as anything else. That doesn’t mean you should expect overnight results, but it does mean that you need to put tracking mechanisms in place and define your minimum acceptable goal. If you don’t know whether or not something is working, it probably isn’t.
If your company has been slow to adopt a social media strategy, read Chris Brogan’s post. Perhaps the reason the management team hasn’t made a priority of social media is the simple fact that they don’t understand it. Let’s be honest here: if you don’t understand social media, you probably shouldn’t do anything with it. Doing nothing at all is better than trying to use Facebook as a phone book ad. Instead, look at real-life examples of companies who have successfully integrated social media into their marketing strategy (translation: companies that are actually making money with social media).
Nichola Stott taught me a new word this week: “churnalism.” Ok, the term might be ten years old and I might just be catching up to the times – but press releases have adopted a new place in the toolbox of spammers and follow-the-crowd marketers. Press releases work when you have actual news to talk about. The fact that your company still exists isn’t news. The fact that you just updated your web site is not news. Before submitting a press release, ask yourself: if a stranger submitted a similar news release about their company, would you be interested in reading it?
Thoughts? Leave a comment.
Tuesday, Lee Odden, CEO of Top Rank Online Marketing, spoke with me by phone from SES in New York. Lee spoke about several topics at SES as listed on TopRankBlog.com. I covered several of the topics with him in the full MP3 audio listed near the bottom of this post. Lee also talked with me for a few minutes about Twitter. That’s what you’ll find listed to the right in the image. Simply click the arrow to listen to what Lee had to say about Twitter. Then, enjoy the full MP3 interview later on in this post:
Click the arrow BELOW to hear the full 30 minute interview with Lee Odden. Click RIGHT to hear the Twitter portion (10:53). [display_podcast]