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    • Total posts: 2

    We are starting an online business. I’m just wondering if someone can advise on how should we get our website setup if we will have presence in Au , NZ and SGP? Do we need to host our website on each countries? I understand that I need to buy domains with .com.au , .nz and .sg. Can we setup the website in Australia alone to cater for all 3 countries? how does it look like from web hosting perspective? I want my customer coming from say, AU to get the our website with com.au domain, our NZ customer with com.nz and SG customer with com.sg.
    thanks and regards,

    • Total posts: 16

    Use a .com domain name.

    Make the home page ( / ) a location selector, then drill down off the domain to locale-based, ie /au /nz and /sg.

    So Contact Us for Singapore would be example.com/sg/contact-us. Home page for Singapore would be example.com/sg/, etc.

    Viewed in a better manner by Google and they won’t penalise you as they will if you utilise subdomains or worse still, separate domains.

    And as .com is generic, it will rank fairly positively in your three target markets and more as you expand (if you expand).

    • Total posts: 2

    Thanks Luke for the suggestion. but if I am to use .com.au for my au customers and .com.nz for my customers in NZ, how will I do this?

    • Total posts: 16

    Hi Chris,

    You’ll want to use a .com and drill down from that.

    Australia’s home page would be example.com/au/

    New Zealand’s home page would be example.com/nz/

    As soon as you produce the same website across several domains, you risk shooting yourself in the foot in regards to SEO.

    Some examples:
    Apple: http://www.apple.com/au/
    Hewlett Packard: http://www.hp.com/au/
    Samsung: http://www.samsung.com/au/

    Just to name a few.

    It will work out better for you in the long run to utilise a .com domain and drill down from it through country codes in the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 format.

    It seems counter-intuitive however it is the better option. We’ve had clients wanting to service varied markets (namely USA and Australia, as well as China and Australia) and we found the best option was to use the above.

    Some reading on this is available here. Also ensure you’re utilising the resources available to you, ie, Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, etc.


    • Total posts: 140

    I fully agree with Luke on the site plan – having duplicate sites using different different country URL’s is not a good idea at all.
    In addition to this you will be well served with a solid SEO program, which is based on quality content. Your concern about geographical location is contrary to what the internet actually is, an inter-network. This means that it is the way you organize your content, not your domains, that is going to influence whether people will find your site for the business area, or niche.
    Setting up your site with optimized content is going to really matter, in addition to digital advertising.

    • Total posts: 3

    Just a thought. Would it not be more feasible to write regional rules via htacess or other relevant files for zones for instance. Regional zoning maybe a possibility, depending on how the site is structured etc.

    • Total posts: 13

    You can create websites with different Top Level Domains (“TLD”, .com.au, .co.nz, .sg) without being penalised for duplicate content really easily by using the hreflang metatag. Then you can use en-AU, en-NZ and en-SG as language identifiers for the different websites without risking a duplicate content penalty.

    You can host all of the websites in Australia or locally in the countries you’re targeting. The latter usually speeds up the website in the different countries which is good for search engine rankings as well.

    • Total posts: 8

    For duplicate pages there are other options such as rel=”canonical”. Google does understand that there are valid reasons for duplicate pages at times, and lists ways to deal with them here.

    I personally believe that people respond better to a local domain name rather than a generic .com and I would suggest that you might consider .au. .sg, etc. and redirect them to .com/au, .com/sg etc. In some SE Asian countries the rules for getting a local domain name are prohibitive, in which case you would fall back to the .com/?? entirely.

    Another thing for you to consider if you are going international is a Content Delivery Network (CDN). These are ISP’s that have servers in multiple physical locations that mirror each other, so that identical content is served from a local server, no matter where in the region/world the user is. This can improve the speed of the web page significantly in a lot of situations.

    • Total posts: 4

    This is one of those things that ‘depends’ IMO. On the nature of your business and how you source your customers.

    Your business: Hyper local businesses or hyper sensitive products will drive more importance placed by customers on a local presence and thus a local domain ie .com.au can have a positive effect. Less risky products ,people can have a less critical view on and thus the locality of the company or person so a .com/something plan can work

    How you source your customers: This is really about are you going to need Google SEO to send you some traffic. If yes then the prevailing wisdom currently is to use .com/something . So essentially keep everything under the one domain and then geo-target people to the right domain. Already mentioned above.

    When you think localization of a website, you also need to think about local currency (can get tricky) and local language and conversion optimisation. I’m not talking just about straight up translation, I’m talking about marketing language which can often be lost in translation.

    Good luck with your set up.

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