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BrightonSEO 2016: International Domain Strategy

Oban were invited to come back to BrightonSEO earlier this month to run both the international SEO training course and also to speak on International Domain Strategy.

For our talk we looked at what domain strategy should be used for international sites. This is something we’ve blogged about before and is also something we get asked questions about a lot.

There are some pretty standard sets of pros and cons for each domain strategy, so we thought we’d look at which of these works best in the mobile phone industry for China, Russia, South Korea, Germany and the UK.

Following my talk I was asked a number of questions about domain strategies, so to compliment the slide deck we thought we’d share some of these with you here.

Once you’ve got your website set up how do you go about getting it indexed in Baidu?

This isn’t specifically about Baidu domains per say but important non the less as Baidu can be slower than the other engines and often people see slower visibility increases in this market.

The first thing to do with this is get yourself sorted out with Baidu Webmaster Tools which can be found here: http://zhanzhang.baidu.com/. Sadly this is only in Chinese but this does give a rare outing for Google Translate!

Once on here you can submit your site and get the ball rolling.

Secondly it’s recommended to get registered with Phoenix Nest, the tool for paid media in Baidu.  The reason for this is that the tracking pixel for Baidu doesn’t sit on the conversion page like in Google AdWords, but instead is placed on all pages of the site. Once in place this will act as a beacon for Baidu that all of your pages are in place and that they should index them.

What should you do if you have lots of ccTLDs and are thinking of consolidating them?

This is an interesting scenario and one we got asked about on the training day too. If you currently have a .co.uk domain but are moving all of your websites into a .com domain with some sub folders in it, then you need to consider the impact of this.  As with any big change like this we recommend doing a full migration project including page by page redirects, and letting the search engines know you’ve moved.  We helped one of our clients go through this exact change over earlier this year and apart from the normal small dip normally seen during migration the implication of changing out from a .co.uk domain to a .com domain with a sub folder for EN-GB was minimal and they were soon performing better in the search engines than before the migration took place.

Is it ok to have different domain strategies for each site?

Although it doesn’t look great to your marketing team who don’t like having lots of different domains, and I’m sure it makes everyone sleep better having everything on one domain. However, from a truly international perspective you are unlikely to be promoting both your Spanish and Russian websites to people in Russia so actually your message won’t be confused as they will only see the .ru domain.


And finally, slightly off topic, what do we use to do keyword research in Baidu as it’s really slow?

We do use the Baidu tool which has got a bit less slow in recent years, sadly this is the most reliable tool for getting keyword search volumes in Baidu – slow but worth the wait.

If you would like to find out more about our findings and the whole presentation, the slides can be found here.