How targeting effects SEO strategy

Creating a solid SEO strategy is not a one-size-fits all venture.  Much of your plan, starting with keyword analysis and selection, will be based upon the makeup and location of your target audience.  For a small business in Boston, SEO efforts should target their local client base.   On the other hand, for a larger company with an international reach, a global SEO strategy tailored to the specific needs of search engines and clients in targeted countries is in order.

Why the difference in SEO programs?

There are a few reasons why local geotargeting and international SEO programs differ.  Some occur as a result of your audience and some are a result of the search engine you need to reach.

  • Search terms are based upon your market – Search patterns depend upon what someone needs as much as their location.  To find a local bookstore, for example, a potential customer in Boston is more likely use search terms that identify a desired location – Boston bookstores, used books in Boston, etc.  To find domestic manufacturers of robotic machinery, a potential client would likely use more  broadly-targeted terms such as robotic machinery manufacturers, American robotics, etc.   Further, international clients are more likely to search using their native language or regional idioms.  Whereas a US-based client might search for information on vacations, for example, a client based in the UK would use the term holiday instead
  • Targeted audience determines targeted search engines – While the search juggarnauts of the US are Google, Yahoo and MSN, this is not the case globally.   Nations such as China, Germany, Canada, Korea, etc have their own search giants.  In order to be successful, locall or global SEO efforts must take this into consideration.

What’s the difference between global SEO and local SEO?

There is a significant difference between global SEO and a locally-targeted SEO program.  Beyond the core tasks of identifying targeted keywords, optimizing your site for these terms and developing a robust volume of quality inbound links, there are fundamental considerations that must be included in a program of international SEO.  Some considerations to keep in mind for successful global SEO are :

  • Domain names – While .com is considered the norm for the US, localization for a target country can provide a leg up in developing visibility.  When targeting Canada, for instance, domainname.ca is likely to rank more redominantly than domainname.com
  • Hosting choices - To obtain the greatest benefit from an international domain, it is preferable to host within the targeted country.
  • Restrictions on domain ownership - Some countries regulate who may purchase domains they offer.  One must live in Germany, for example, in order to purchase a domain with the .de extension.  In some cases, having a local representitive is enough.  In any case, research on the terms of domain ownership for a targeted country is a wise choice.
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