The localized domains might be a new concept for the people who just started understanding SEO. Local searches are dominating the web. Google gives more importance to the content that provides the solution targeting the specific region.
You might have seen the word “nearby” in the Google auto suggestion bar. The word nearby has become popular among the audience who are looking for restaurants, grocery stores, malls, and theaters nearby locations. Google tracks the users’ current location and provides the relevant search result based on the keywords.
The research that appears is based on localized searches. For example, if you search for a nearby restaurant using Google Search, based on your current location whichever restaurant comes in your nearby radius would show you in the top spot. The closest restaurant would rank high in the search result.
The new Google’s local algorithm has given birth to localized domain names. Using the white hat Search Engine Optimization technique, you can rank your website in the top spot. The statistics show more than 46% of the web searches are now coming from the local results. 97% of Google users are using the local search method to find the business or companies in nearby locations to do the business.
Growing smartphone devices have made local searches more useful. You can search for nearby hotels, restaurants, car repair centers, etc. using your smartphone while traveling. It is estimated that more than 30% of web searches are local. The numbers of local searches are consistently growing, people are aware of how Google local search works.
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What Are Localized Domains?
If we want to mention some of the main website localization benefits, we should say that a region-specific domain helps you to gain more exposure in the local searches. It will help you in the local SEO as well. Your website would rank faster in the search compared to the domain name that ends with .com or .net.
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One of the other advantages of owning a localized domain name is that companies that serve international buyers can create separate domains for the targeted audience. These domains are kept on the 301 redirections based on the location. For example, users who are visiting the website from France would be automatically redirected to the .fr website. Similarly, visitors browsing the website will be sent to the .cn website.
Moreover, another advantage of localized domains is that the content served on them would be niche-specific. It means the visitors who access the .fr domain would get the content in the French language. This makes the user more comfortable in consuming the content and it would result in the low bounce rate of the website.
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Benefits of Localized Domains
There are several benefits that you get to enjoy with these kinds of domains. Here we will discuss the core benefits of the localized website and its SEO advantages.
One of the basic benefits of these domains is that search engines appreciate the website that provides relevant content to the users. Localized domain names with region-targeted content help the readers to find the information easily on your website. It makes them comfortable browsing the website which directly impacts the bounce rate. Users will spend more time understand the products or services.
The localized domain allows you to serve a large number of people with relevant content. The top brand uses the localize domain strategy to engage their audience and offer them personalized services based on the region.
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2) High Organic Ranking
Google ranking algorithm supports this kind of domain when it comes to deciding the top searches for a particular region. In other words, one of the benefits of website localization is that the localized country code top-level domain gets added benefits compared to the global domain extensions. As a result, they receive more organic clicks.
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Kindly note, several other factors contribute to organic ranking, having localized domains would not get you on the top spot. However, the chances of ranking your local domain have high potential than the general domain extensions. Your much have relevant content too to make your audience comfortable when they visit your website.
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3) Increased Trust
Localized domains are seen as a trusted source due to the nearby physical presence of the company. Your customer feels more comfortable buying the product from the local store instead of getting the product from the region where they cannot visit or interact physically. This is one of the best benefits that are worth mentioning.People generally avoid buying a product from an international brand. Even if you reach the top sport in a particular region, the users who visit will check the local address before placing the order. If they find the company is from another region or country, they may change their decision of buying the product. Therefore, one of the other advantages of owning a localized domain name is that it becomes a trusted brand over the period in the targeted region.
To create a solid foundation for website branding, website localisation is highly recommended. Because it can leave a stronger impression on your first-time visitors. Creating a local business website that uses the local language develops a local feel. In this case, website localisation will give a boost to your website as it gives your visitors more confidence and makes them feel better. So it’s easier for them to make a purchase.
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4) Local Domains Decrease Advertising Costs
If you localize a website, it helps your site SEO, as well as pay-per-click advertising. Pay-per-click is a model of internet marketing in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked. The amount you pay for each “impact” on your audience is determined by the relevance and value of your ads to the consumer. This criterion is called a quality score. A local domain can improve your quality score and increase your return on investment.
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Why Localized Domains Are Not Always the Safest Bet?
It is true that localizing domains will provide you the opportunity to attract more traffic from different regions of the world. However, there are some drawbacks associated with the domain localizing process as well. Here’s a quick overview of the drawbacks that you will have to deal with.
1- Change in Site Architecture
When you want to localize your domain, you should check and see whether your website is supporting it. Or else, you will need to duplicate your website and have multiple versions of it for different audiences. This will create a major impact on the overall architecture of the website. On top of that, you will have to go through the struggle of managing multiple versions of your website in the future.
Getting multiple versions of the website and managing them can be expensive. You will not just have to buy new domains. You will also have to bear the cost of maintaining multiple languages and changing the website architecture. On the other hand, this would increase the maintenance expenses that you have to deal with.
3- Link Authority Is Not Passed Across ccTLDs
The search engines tend to treat ccTLDs as separate URLs. In other words, you will not be able to pass link equity to the ccTLDs, even if you are the owner of them. This will lead you to the struggle of developing link authority for each and every ccTLD separately.
4- Some ccTLDs Have Restrictions
You will have to deal with certain restrictions as you register some of the ccTLDs. For example, if you want to register the ccTLD for Australia, you should have an Australian registered company. This will increase the time, hassle, and expenses that you have to deal with.
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When To Use Localized Domains?
Going with this strategy would seem lucrative, but it is not always the best strategy to apply. Managing these domains is not an easy task.
Regardless of the drawbacks associated with these kinds of domains, there are situations where you can use them and take advantage. Here are few such situations.
1- when you have a significant number of visitors from a particular country or region
If you noticed that your website is attracting a considerable volume of visitors from a specific region or country, you should think about getting a localized domain. Then you will be able to convert the traffic that you are generating from that region in a better way.
2- when a significant number of your search terms are related to specific locations
You should also check and see whether your search terms are associated with a specific location. For example, assume that you offer web design services. Google Analytics shows that you receive more traffic from the keyword “Web Design in New Zealand”. Then it is worthy to localize your domain name to New Zealand and get the maximum out of the opportunity.
Consider the below points before you decide to go with the localized domain strategy.
Check your analytic tool to know where your visitors are coming from. If you find a big chunk of traffic coming from a particular region, then redirecting them to a specific website for a personalized experience would help you to serve them better.
If your website is ranking for the local keywords, it is better to have a localized website for particular local keywords.
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Does Domain Localization Help My SEO?
Yes, the rise of local SEO has been seen over the last few years. We can conclude from the following statics that using localized website boost your SEO:
- 97% of users search online in order to find a local business
- 46% of searches on Google are local
- 23% of these users search at least once weekly
- 86% of users rely on the internet to find a local business
- 30% of searches on mobile are location-related
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These stats are a great outset in considering whether your website or business could benefit from focusing more on local SEO, and whether to consider the use of localized domains in your SEO strategy.
Ranking in local SEO can actually help you achieve a high Domain Authority. It also helps you develop an idea of how well your website would do in comparison to other websites. Localization of your SEO will also help you to spread your reach. It helps you to tap into potential markets and helps you to reach out to people across the world who speak the same language. This in turn can help you flourish globally.
Website localization can specifically target customers and while your website content would still have to describe the products and services you sell, your domain name gives you a running start by letting customers and search engines know your background.
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What To Do To Avoid Duplicate Content?
Duplicate content is a major issue that you have to face when working with localized domain names. If you want to overcome this issue, you should create two different webmaster tools profiles. Then you should assign the two countries to those profiles. For example, you can have .com for the worldwide profile and .co.NZ for the New Zealand profile. Then you can proceed with adding href markup to the header of each site respectively. Once you do that, you can overcome the issues caused by duplicate content.
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In this article, you found that what is a localized domain and got familiar with its benefits. Localize searches are the future of the search engine ranking and you will see more localized results in the coming years as a result. With the introduction of voice search technology and voice control, home improvement devices such as Amazon, Alexa, and Google Home are also contributing to local searches. People are using these devices to search nearby companies and service providers to fulfill their needs.
Companies who have the operation in the different region or countries must use the local domain name strategy to provide a better experience to their customers. However, remember that if you localize a website, it can be an expensive affair to manage. You may require dedicated resources to manage the separate website. You must have a clear vision before you decide to implement a local domain name strategy. Finally, as we mentioned earlier, the advantages of localized domains will help you a lot in improving the local SEO !