How to Target Multiple Countries Efficiently with Web Site SEO

When it comes time to think about expanding your market outside your own country you’ll need to be doing a bit of “International SEO” but it can be pretty tricky to target multiple countries at once. Probably the best way to do it would be to have a different website, web address and hosting for each country to be targeted and possibly different language translations too (auto translation wont cut it with Google!) but that’s a huge amount of work. Here’s a few quick tips on how to do it more efficiently.

Your Web Address:

Buying a few international versions of your main domain name is a must if for no other reason than to protect your ‘trademark’ so to speak. Concentrate on the large English speaking markets (if you are an English speaking business of course!) like the UK (.co.uk),  US (.com) and Australia (.au).

Your Hosting:

You should purchase hosting that has an IP address located in the country whose market you want to target foremost or the country in which your business is located. The domain TLD take precedence over the hosting IP location here so for example you can target the UK effectively with a .co.uk address while hosting in the US. Hosting IP location can be checked at Whois.sc.

Google Webmaster Tools:

Sign up for webmaster tools and add each domain name remembering to set the Geographic Target in Configuration – Settings. Google will attempt to do this for you based on the domain TLD/Extension.

301 Redirects:

So as to have only one website to maintain and market, pick a web address/country as the main site/market and redirect all other domains to this via a 301 redirect. You can then market each individual address in the respective country, ie market the .co.uk on UK located websites etc..