Almost every growing online business dreams of establishing a global presence that will not only get it international traffic, but also foster better brand promotion on the web. However, creating international versions of your existing website is a challenging task and needs to be executed with skill. From the search engine optimisation point of view, you need to take care of a few important aspects that can impact the ‘searchability’ of your website.
The structuring of your international website’s domain name URL is probably the most important issue from an SEO perspective. There are different ways of renaming your website’s international version. Here, I am providing an analysis of these different naming options.
au.test.com – Subdomain of your website
This kind of website URL not only maintains your main site’s domain popularity, but also makes it easy for users to relate to it. Each of such subdomains can be hosted on a server with a corresponding country IP address.
www.test.com.au – ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domain)
It is probably the most obvious option that will come to a user’s mind. These domain names can get you good, relevant links. It allows each domain to be hosted on a country-specific IP address, therefore bettering its prospects of garnering rankings in country-specific search engines.
www.test.com/au/ – Subfolder in the main domain name
Inbound links to any version of the site will help in boosting the main domain. However, it will not be possible to host these sites on country-specific servers with proper IP addresses. Also, it has been observed that such sites do not usually perform well at search engine rankings.
Also, make sure that you indicate the country you are targeting in your Google webmaster console. (www.google.com/webmasters)
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