How to Choose the Best Domains Extension for Your International Audience
What domains extension to use for an international presence? What is the best domains extension for an international audience? Read and find out!
Many ecommerce websites with mass appeal have an international audience, even if they are focused on just one country or city. Depending on the product or the content you might want to go one step further and target your global users. This decision, to focus your website on a global audience is a huge step forward and there are lots of technical and logistic complexities to deal with.
There are issues related to language translations, language choices, and etc. There are also some brand and SEO requirements, including what domains extension to use for a global presence.
If you are wondering what domains extension to use for an international presence, worry not, as we are here to help you out!
The ccTLDs are recommended for search engines and users. If you research a bit, you will see that any SEO (Search Engine Optimization) guide clarifies the differences between the options of subdomain, subdirectory, and country-code top-level domain or ccTLD. One of the most popular suggestions is for a website to use a ccTLD, for example, domain.co.uk as a domain extension. If you check the Google’s list of what they use to identify the country targeting, you will discover that ccTLD ranks even higher when compared to Geotargeting settings.
You probably wonder why ccTLD? Well, aside from the search benefit, another reason why ccTLD is the best domain extension for an international audience is because of the user experience. Any user would know that a website that ends with .co.uk is targeting a user interested in UK content. Yes, you will be surprised to discover how much localization matters for web products.
All international users might not have an international credit card or be interested in checking out a brand that doesn’t have a customer support in their area. So, even if your current domain name extension ranks for competitive queries in Google or other search engines, you might still experience a lower click-thru-rate or CTR on the search results page from users looking for a brand in the local area. By switching to ccTLD you would neutralize any click avoidance by these users.
Are there any downsides to ccTLD?
What many of these guides don’t reveal is how expensive it can be to buy and hold global domain name extension. We all know that most generic domain names can be bought for less than $20 per year, while a country specific domain name extension may cost hundreds of dollars before adding the need for a local presence, as well as, the local corporation registration. Did you know that .PR or a Puerto Rican domain name extension could cost more than $1000 per year? That’s very expensive. The cost might be one of the reasons why many companies and brands decide not to use the ccTLD strategy, however, if we take into consideration the benefit from the TLD, this is a small cost to pay.
If this strategy, the TLD strategy, is suitable for your business and brand, you may want to buy the TLD that is going to offer the best visibility with your local users. Usually, most countries have TLD’s for businesses such as .org for organizations, .gov for government, .edu for education, however, many also have more than one generic top-level domain.
If you are wondering which ccTLDs to use, you could take advantage of Alexa’s top domain names by country report or you can visit the websites of the local media, telecoms, and popular brands. If you don’t have much time, you can copy what the most popular global brands have already chosen.