International eCommerce: Domain Structure, Localization & SEO

SEO Strategy for International eCommerce

Create a Plan for International eCommerce Domain Structure and Content Translations

Branching out into multiple countries with an international eCommerce plan is a viable way to increase a company's visibility and profit margins. However, it is critical to utilize certain key SEO strategies in order to make this type of expansion successful. After all, if a business merely begins offering their products worldwide without providing the proper language support and incorporating proven SEO optimization techniques, the odds are high that they will fail to connect with their target market. Fortunately, there are a few proven tips that anyone can use to dramatically improve their international eCommerce presence.

Utilize the Proper Domain Names

Amazon is perhaps the most well known eCommerce company, but most people outside of the U.S. do not purchase items from their .com address. Instead, Amazon uses country specific top domain extensions to their advantage. This enables them to effectively reach out to a much wider audience. Additionally, this localized approach makes it easier for Google to connect consumers with eCommerce sites that can meet their needs.

Smaller companies may choose not to purchase a unique top domain for each country they are targeting, but it is still possible to signal Google about your localized options. This requires the usage of subdirectories and is simple to set up. For example, to sell something in France, a company could use this format:

Another option that some businesses use is putting subdomains in place. In the previous France example, this would look like Studies have shown that this is the least effective method for building domain authority, which means that the overall SEO impact will be less helpful than turning to multiple unique top domains or subdirectories.


Localize Content for Each Nation

Consumer surveys indicate that 75 percent of consumers want to shop on a website that contains their native language, and 60 percent will rarely or never buy products from an English language site. This is vital data for anyone who is serious about international eCommerce. Even if a business only puts part of the content on each localized subdirectory page or unique domain in the language of their target audience, they will be able to appeal to 50 percent of that nation's online shoppers. Be aware that these translations need to be high quality in order to succeed. Relying on services such as Google translate can cause more harm than good because the content is likely to contain numerous errors.

International eCommerce


Connect with a Translation Company

For some, it is not always financially feasible to work with localized content translation companies in each target market, but acquiring this type of assistance in the largest areas will be extremely beneficial. Ideally, each eCommerce company would have a local content provider read through everything and make tweaks to ensure proper wording and adherence to cultural nuances. This initial added expense will help improve consumer confidence. Google will also reward well-written local content with a search ranking boost.

Making the Right Choices

Now that the basic groundwork has been provided, each business owner needs to carefully assess their options and make the right decisions to boost their company's SEO accordingly. Each eCommerce business has its own specific budget and profit margin goals, and this will play a major role in deciding how to move forward with an international roll out strategy.

International SEO


Which Domain Option is Best?

As previously mentioned, domain authority can be established in a variety of ways. The Amazon scenario showcases how worthwhile it is to establish unique top domains in each country, and this is by far the best choice for a company that can fit this strategy into their budget. An added bonus of going this route is that it becomes possible to have each domain hosted in its own country, which will speed up the user experience. However, taking such a large-scale approach is outside the scope of many growing businesses. Because of this, most companies will start with subdirectories and customized landing pages.


Going Beyond Localized Content

Each site's SEO packages need to include local content, and it is best to take a fully localized approach for each top domain or subdirectory. In other words, every item that is added to each country's site or dubdirectory page should contain localized keywords. This strategy will help sites obtain a better search engine ranking, and it will also improve the shopping experience for local consumers.

Another major step in the right direction is to offer localized customer service. Whether this means having customer service agents based out of each country or simply employing bilingual representatives is up for debate, but there is definitely a need to give people access to this level of support. Always remember that professional SEO services can drive consumers to a website, but the overall shopping experience needs to be highly satisfying in order to generate loyal customers.

Localized International eCommerce


Tying Everything Together

Ultimately, every company needs to focus on a combination of SEO and customer service to become a major player in any market. Localized content is a major key toward boosting search engine rankings, but each domain choice is another prime resource that helps consumers and Google determine how to classify each business. By tying everything together, international eCommerce businesses can position themselves as a leader in their specific industry.


Clarity Can Help

Clarity eCommerce provides support for B2B, enterprise level companies that wish to expand their reach into the global market. Clarity eCommerce was developed by a highly skilled and experienced team, and it can be customized to meet your specific needs. We have a full understanding of the obstacles that every international company deals with, and we can help you get the most out of your eCommerce investment. Contact us today to get a free quote and to learn more about Clarity eCommerce and the many ways it can improve your global presence.