Is domain or translated titles and language more important for SEO overseas?

Question

Hello, thank you for the webinar.

We have asked the web design company that maintans and hosts our website for a quote to create a translated version of our site. A carbon copy of our English site but with French translations.

We have bought the French domain names for the company. I thought this would be the best way of appearing in French search engines,

When I asked however, they said we only required a forward slash at the end of the current url – Such as Nike.com/fr/. Instead of nike.fr. Is it the case that appearing on french search engines is more down to the translated title, words etc, than the domain name. Thank you!.

Answer

Hi Daniel

I have just come across your question about dedicated Domains or supported Sub-Domains when dealing with international promotion.

This depends on your growth strategy and how you would like to scale your websites out-reach as well as other factors. Having a dedicated native Domain will be the best option for optimisation (including correctly translated pages and not Google translate or other software generated solutions) but when your are targeting multiple countries and languages this can become interesting and where Sub-Domains can come in to play.

I have included a link to an article which Elena who is one of our Marketing Managers wrote in support to the Magento platform. http://newsgento.com/4-multilingual-ecommerce-seo-pitfalls-to-be-aware-of/

Please feel free to view any of our other e-Commerce guides at https://www.promodo.com/education/

I hope you find this useful and please contact us if you have any questions about International Digital Marketing.

Regards

Miles Scudamore

Answer

Hi Daniel
Thank you for joining our webinar last week, really hope you enjoyed the content!
I’ve put this question to one of our consultants who really knows his stuff on this area, I hope this will be helpful:

When crawling your website, search engines such as Google look at over 200 different factors to evaluate your content: domain name, page content, keywords, links to and from your site, server location, number of redirects, bounce rate, repeated traffic, bookmarks, etc. SEO is about much much more than just content. That being said, it is important to have compelling content on your site to get more traffic and back-linking – therefore your translated copy (title, body content, links) is very important.

The question you raise about whether to use country-coded top-level domains (ccTLD – “sdl.fr”) v.s. top-level-domain with sub-folders is a strategic decision you need to make on how you will manage your content. It does have an impact on how your site is being tagged by search engines – i.e. a ccTLD is an additional signal to the search engine that your content is marketed to a specific market. That being said, there are Pros and Cons for either option. In reality, you have even other options, but the two you are considering are likely the most common and effective strategies.

I’ve pulled out a link from a respected SEO site which talks about the differences in strategy: https://www.semrush.com/blog/how-to-choose-the-right-international-seo-site-structure/

To quote the above article though: “ccTLDs are great for brands with a big budget, but for smaller companies, sub-folders are a viable option, and can be used effectively in tandem with hreflang and localization.” It is important to understand the implications though for each though and it is GREAT that you are thinking about this at this stage.

Any questions, please do drop me an email: kbradshaw@sdl.com
Thank you!

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