A client recently asked me the best way to go about adding Russian content to their website in order to target potential Russian customers. There are three different approaches, all with varying amounts of difficulty and effort required.
We’ll call the first approach the Gold version. It’s arguably the most difficult, but, if you’re up for it, it is the best way to show Google that a specific domain is intended for a specific geographic location.
1. The Top-Level Domain Approach a.k.a. Go for the Gold!
This approach involves purchasing the country specific domain (in this case, .ru). It’s often not quite that easy, though, as many countries have regulations in place that require a company to have a physical location in a specific country. It’s also ideal to host this website on a server located in the geographic location you are targeting. I suggest using this method only when your company has a big presence in a specific country and native speakers on-board to collaborate with, as well as a realistic expectation of the time and effort involved for search engine optimization efforts.
2. Subfolders, a.k.a. the Silver Medalist Approach
This approach involves integrating a subdomain into your existing domain. For example, if Ecreativeworks tried this, it would look like this: ecreativeworks.com/ru/. This method often makes the most sense as the link profile is shared, ensuring that authority is shared. If you’re able to host a subdomain on a server specific to that country, I would recommend this, as Google will quickly catch on to the fact that your subdomain is hosted there.
3. Separate Subdomains, a.k.a. Bronze
The separate subdomain approach involves using the same Top-Level Domain, but setting up multiple subdomains. For example, ru.ecreativeworks.com. This option doesn’t allow any significant authority to flow between subdomains and is the least ideal option, as it will be most difficult to rank.
There are a multitude of considerations to take into account when launching international sites, and many SEO considerations you have to take into account, too. If you’d like to learn more about International SEO, or
have questions about the best international domain strategy for your business, contact Ecreativeworks to learn more!