Redirects and Domains for Going International
Congratulations, your company’s expanding. You’ve achieved that long-desired goal, and now can afford to open up a few locations around the world. You have the finances set up. You have an idea of viable locations. You’ve lined up the advertising and marketing teams. Everything seems to be in order, except for the fact that your company website doesn’t support multiple domains. What should you do?
Generic Top-Level Domains
There are several options available that’ll allow you to branch out and become an international business. The first of which allows you to create a subdirectory that’ll target certain speakers and users of the language or country you’re looking to relocate in. Subdirectories follow the generic top-level domain (gTLD), which are the “.com,” “.org,” “.edu,” endings. For example, your URL address would look like the following: “urladdress.com/spanish/” if you were targeting Spanish speakers.
A key point to keep in mind, though, when creating these subdirectories is that they should match what each individual country uses in order for search engines to understand them.
Subdirectories are relatively inexpensive and simple to implement.
With this option, you place a subdomain before the gTLD. Doing this makes it easier for users to locate the website you want them to go to, especially if they may not search for or understand the subdirectory you type in. It also minimizes ambiguity in regards to what information will be available or present for your visitors to use. Something like “es.urladdress.com” can be easier to digest as it focuses on a language, but could still leave visitors confused.
Although, subdomains are pretty similar to subdirectories–they do pretty much the same thing–they’re more expensive. They’re harder to implement when compared to subdirectories, too.
Country Code Top-Level Domains
Finally, with country code top-level domains (ccTLD), you get rid of the gTLD entirely. You remove the need for it, as the traditional ending (“.com,”) gets replaced with a country’s abbreviation. A URL address for Chile, for instance, would look like “urladdress.cl.” The traditional gTLD is gone, which allows for your visitors to substitute their country’s abbreviation and find the website designed for them. Sometimes characters different from the Latin characters are used.
Again, this is just one approach that can make things easier for the lives of your customers and clients. The only issue with this format is that you’d need to own several domain names in order to target all of your potential customers. You’d need one for each and every country you’d be directing your attention towards, which is a costly and timely process. CcTLDs are also more expensive than the other options. Common commercial domains tend to go for $10, whereas other TLDs may cost $1,000 and include requirements on your activity, presence, or role in a particular country.
All of these options can make deciding what to do an incredible process to go through, which can leave you wondering whether going international is worth it. The answer is yes, yes it is. While all of this information seems complicated, it all becomes worth it when you finally reach the level of success you’ve been hoping to achieve.
In fact, there’s a simpler way to navigate this whole process. One that’ll reduce the time and lessen the costs of international domains. That method is called URL redirection.
Redirect Your Customers
With redirects, you can take multiple international domains and redirect them to your main store. To clarify, your web page will be available under several different URL addresses, meaning that when someone clicks on an address, that person will be sent to the redirected website. In regards to international domains, "urladdress.cl" and other similar sites would redirect to "urladdress.com/cl/es." This makes sure visitors end up at the store you want them to end up on.
Of course, this is a bit costly, but you’d actually be saving money. Redirects allow you to group everything together, so you wouldn’t have to worry about managing all of those different websites and stores. You’d be controlling all of them with a single URL address, which not only makes your life easier, but that of your customers too.
So, with all of the options mentioned above, and the added benefit of being able to group and redirect your websites, why not give yourself the chance to save some money and achieve your goal of being an international business? You’d be doing yourself a favor and ensuring your future success.