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I have a USA-registered/hosted site that brings in nice orders from the UK and Europe in general, in a decent trickle that has definitely piqued my desire to intentionally attract more European traffic. I already registered mydomain.co.uk and mydomain.ch (.ch for Switzerland: apparently requires no company presence in country, good for general EU).
Must I clone my site entirely and host every page of it as a duplicate on an EU-based server? Or, will just having an EU domain name registered in an EU country, and pointing to my .com do the trick to get me included in EU search engines? Further, is there some way to create this scenario for every page on my site, ie:
mydomain.ch/blue_widgets points to mydomain.com/blue widgets, and so on?
I have concerns about sync-ing up dynamic content, for one thing...Ideally I'd like to just keep my site in English, with no big content changes other than maybe offering a worldwide currency converter, disclaimered as being for rough estimation purposes only.
Only in eastern and central european markets we still have large native SEs - the west has long been globalized.
My understanding is:
most countries require a genuine legal presence there in order to register a local TLD, except for a tiny few exception countries, one of which is Switzerland (.ch). A Swiss domain can apparently get you into Germany's Google + locals by the side door.
I haven't really explored the German SE's too much (I had 2 years of Deutsch at university but kinda forgot it by now!)--
but when I tried submitting to some UK-centric directories a lot of them will only list companies based in the UK. All I know is, buyers in the UK love my products, and I want to bring it to them. If that means hosting a clone over there so I can make a quasi-twilight-zone-ish claim to be "a UK company", so be it.
But anyway- do you think it would be a bad idea to build a German-language info portal site full of German versions of my main KWs as spiderfood, as a doorway to my site here, so they would have to use/know English in order to buy-- is that too weird?
Basically the best option is to register a local domain and translate your site. Even though in many european countries the understanding of english is very high a ecom site in local language will always sell much better, at least if the same or similar products can be had from a local competitor.
The site currently uses purely a .com
We have the site hosted on a US server.
We are going to register many country-specific TLDs (mainly EU)
We will set up mirrors around the world for these TLDs that mirror our US server
Not so important to you maybe but: The site on the US server will then be developed to deliver country specific content based on what mirror is being used
Also, the visitor will be taken to their local mirror site always
We are confident that this will give visibility in local searches. We have mainly based the decision on the PHP site (and its various mirrors)
With all the spanish speaking areas of the world how can they have geographical restrictions? So is it just the presence of castellano needed for that? Does that then mean the sites in valenciano, catalan... are restricted from that section then?
Google will not translate German search terms into English - so the answer is no
If you include the German phrases in your otherwise english text, it will show up.
But you may get penalized by Google and more important you will disappoint viewers who do can not read English.
If you really want German (Austrian / Swiss) business you should setup pages in German (please use a translator, not bablefish etc) and be prepared to handel questions in German.