So youve got a great business idea and you want to market to an international audience. What to do about all those languages? What to do about all those nationalities? Should you stuff them all on a .com domain? Or should you set up a country-specific domain for each language and/or country and/or currency?
The world is your oyster. Yeah, but people still live, shop, and for the most part work in their own countries speaking their own languages and buying with local currency. Whats a global Internet marketer supposed to do? Should you serve everyone with a single .com domain? Or should you set up a country-specific domain for each language and/or country and/or currency?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer, but you can make a good decision with good information and that is why you are reading this article. First, as yourself the following questions:
- In which languages can you adequately serve your customers?
- To which countries can you ship?
- Which countries do you wish to target (even if you can ship worldwide, the people in certain countries might be better markets than others for what you have to offer.)?
- Which currencies can you accept?
- How well you are set up to manage multiple websites?
This article addresses strictly the aspects related to country domains, such as .de for Germany or .com.mx for Mexico.
Latin America is a great p[lace to start. In most Latin American countries, .com is seen as international. There is a certain trust level that comes from dealing with a big international company that might be above the petty inconsistencies in local commerce, and .com confers that trust. A local company could be a hole-in-the-wall outfit and sometimes people are shy to trust their money to them over the Internet.
On the other hand, a local domain gives a local presence, if that is the image you are trying to project. However, for global marketing, that rarely is the image required.
Europe offers a totally different approach to how international e-commerce is viewed. A .com website is very often seen as American. Europeans tend to view Americans as all-too-eager to make money Cocktail Dresses, even if it means making compromises on accuracy or quality.. As such, .com often makes Europeans feel uneasy about trusting a website prom dresses uk , whereas a local domain feels more trustworthy.
Canadians think of .com much as Americans do as the default domain for a website. Canadians dont really distinguish between .ca and .com most of the time, because so many local websites are .com, and they are just as likely to type in .com even when they hear or read .ca. A .ca domain is advantageous when Canadians are looking specifically for something local, but that is most often not the care with international e-commerce.
There are unquestionably competitive advantages in the search engines from using a country-specific domain. I have often had Canadian client websites rank much higher at Google.ca than at Google.com, just because the domain is Canadian. I have seen this also with .fr and .co.uk websites. This is important, because Google serves up the local version of Google to anyone it identifies as being located there. So at my desk, Google defa