There is an increasingly large distinction between search engine optimisation in a country such as Australia (notice the s in spelling) and SE Optimization (notice the z) in the United States. The difference is more dramatic amongst locales that speak different languages . The most common question I hear is whether it is worth obtaining a top level domain for the country one wishes to target. The short answer to this question is ‘yes’. However this only holds true if done properly. Otherwise, especially for company’s based in the United States, it is smarter and easier to focus solely on the .com extension.
Now what constitutes using a country’s domain extension properly? First, if similar content is hosted on another country’s TLD then using another extension is a best practice. Additionally, it makes certain that the site is truly targeted to the appropriate region.
A benefit of using the appropriate TLD is that websites with the same country extension tend to include links that point other website within the same county more frequently. This is provides a nice boost for search engine optimisation purposes. As an example, if a web property is designed for Australians then it makes sense that numerous other domains with a .com.au extension generally prefer pointing to another .com.au. For example a blog post about SEO on a U.S. website such as this one is more likely to reference another U.S. website. However, a blog post on an Australian search engine optimisation site is more likely to point to the landing page of a company that provides SEO in Australia (e.g. http://www.thewebshowroom.com.au/seo/). These are all reasons that an international domain name makes sense for numerous companies.
An interesting way to test and see what search results look like in another country is to visit google.com.au or .country extension here. Sometimes this will resolve to a different country extension based on the computer’s location. To avoid this simply type google.com/ncr into the browser’s URL bar, press enter, and then go to the appropriate Google site for that particular country.
One thing that is quickly noticeable using the technique above is that when visiting google.com.au there are many more search results with the .au extension then the .com extension. Thus it is fairly easy to realise that in some way shape or form the fact that these domains use .au helps them to obtain higher search results in Google Australia. Certainly Agilis Marketing does not want to turn away any business, but there are certainly times when it makes sense to deal with a local SEO company. This is especially true if the website is local only in nature. Thus a flower shop in Sydney has little reason to hire a Virginia Beach online marketing firm – unless the shop has global expansion plans. Likewise, the converse also holds true. During such instances finding a trusted partner company is key; The Web Showroom in Surry Hills, Australia is one such company for those in need of local search engine optimisation only. Otherwise, Agilis Marketing has no reason to refer you elsewhere ! Similarly, this Australian SEO company would also possess little reason to refer a company someplace else in the reverse situation.
Hopefully, this post provides a little extra insight on factors to consider when deciding on the proper way to setup an international SEO campaign. Additionally, using google.com/ncr is a little known, but valuable way to gain insight onto how search results look in various countries without the need to physically travel to that locale.