Should I create a country-specific domain or use an existing website?
A country code domain (ccTLD) is a country-specific domain that creates the content for a particular country. For instance, de” is for Germany, and au” site is for Australia. The other option is a generic TLD (gTLD). These sites have content that caters to every country.
So, the question is, should you create a country-specific domain or use your existing website? Let us dig deep to understand what will work best for your brand.
Should you use a country-specific domain for your website?
Deciding whether or not you want to use a country-specific domain or a generic one depends on the following factors:
Your market is entirely regional or local
If your market is entirely in the local region you reside in, and you do not plan to serve internationally, a country-specific domain is a good choice for you. Although, using an already existing website will work equally well too.
Your market is international countries
If you cater to markets outside the country you reside in, a generic website (gTLD) is a better option for you. However, keep in mind that gTLD works fine only on the Google search engine and not on other search engines like Bing, Yandex, or Baidu.
You are trying to scale into new markets
When you are trying to expand into new markets, you have to consider two factors:
- Multiple languages
- Multiple regions
But country-specific domains only take into consideration regions and not languages. Let us understand this example. If your market is French-speaking Canadian, you need a french version of your website. You cannot use the domain extension “fr” because that will mean your website caters to the French population.
Instead, you need to isolate a section of your generic website and dedicate it to the French-speaking Canadian population. So when should you use a country-specific domain then? Let us say, you are already a success in the US market with the domain .com.
If you want to expand to the market in Germany, you will need a country-specific domain, for example, a “de” domain. It can help your ranking immensely. It will also give you a regional IP for that country. It will allow you to host your website in that region.
But slow down! Do not try to target all markets at once. Creating a country-specific domain is one thing, and targeting the market efficiently is another. If you plan to expand internationally, you need to segment your efforts accordingly. All your multiple sites should share authority.
When you are creating a separate website altogether for a country, it is almost like building another brand. For instance, if you are launching a website specific to XYZ country, did you hire a content marketing agency whose primary language is that of the XYZ country? Do you plan to conduct separate marketing events in that country?
If you do not put in all these efforts, a local brand in that country will attract more audience to their website than you are. You need to gain a competitive edge over the local brands if you expand in international markets. So, whether you should use a country-specific domain depends on your personalized requirements. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. That is why allowing an SEO agency to perform this work for you can help decision-making based on expert advice.
Does a country-specific domain help the loading speed of my website?
If anyone clicks on your website, they will not wait for more than a few seconds for it to load. Research confirms that 53% of mobile users will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Using a country-specific domain will automatically increase the loading speed.
The faster your page loads, the higher Google will rank your website. Google will always return the most relevant search results to users in any country. A huge factor that decides this is server location in terms of IP address. However, Google is allowing a more global setting for brands from all countries to access people worldwide.
From observations in case studies, it was found that in 12 out of 13 cases, a country-specific website performs much better in terms of the loading speed of a website. As per average data, the loading speed of country-specific websites is 18% faster. However, your country-specific website must perform as well as your general website.
Should I personalize the content for my country-specific website?
It is probably one of the most important aspects of a country-specific website. Never make the big blunder of using AI-generated translated content for your websites in different countries. The content will look artificial and will not engage the local audience at all.
Every country has its unique expressions. The best idea is to hire a local content marketing agency that will refurbish the entire content on your generic website. It will customize the content for a specific country. And not just the written words, you should personalize the currency also.
Always use relevant citations and links
The algorithm of search engines is still majorly dependent on links and citations. Always include links to your country-specific website that are appropriate to that country. When you use a citation with your company’s address, name, and phone number, it affects the ranking positively.
When you set up a country-specific website, you have to be consistent with all the web search indicators- language declarations, content, tags, and NAP data. If not, Google will get confused about your original location, and your website might not show up at all on the search results.
When you set up a country-specific website, your search engine must get all the indicators and information it needs to confirm that you are located in a certain country. Just make sure all the parameters are in place, and you are all set to launch a website with ccTLD.
Are you still indecisive of whether or not you need a country-specific domain? Hire SEOTonic, your reliable SEO agency to consult you with expert advice.