If you’re expanding your market overseas there are plenty of things that need to be included in the plan. As a translation company you know we’re going to suggest that your marketing material is in the languages of the countries you’re targeting – and, of course, your website can be localised – but that’s not what this is about!
Let’s talk about domain names.
If you want to reach a global market you really need a dot com website. A .co.uk domain name works great in the UK, but it doesn’t carry the international cachet, that a .com does.
If you are thinking of purchasing the domain name for your company that is local for each country so .de for Germany, .fr for France and so on. These are known as top level domains (TLD), an important choice especially if you want to rate high in searches. Each country has different rules so although countries like Germany and Italy don’t require proof of trading in their country to issue a TLD. be aware that you will almost certainly have to prove that you have a business in other countries, like France and Turkey. That means a bank account at the least and a trading address.
If you do go down this route, it doesn’t mean you need to have separate websites for each country, you can simply point the local URL at the appropriate language version of your main site. Your web hosting company should be able to help you set this up.
Why is this important?
It makes your company appear as a global organisation and gives you credibility, in that you aren’t expecting people to speak your language and shows you’ve considered your potential customers preferences.
If you are able to get a web address specific to a particular country by establishing a presence there it has additional benefits. You’re more likely to come up in searches carried out in that country (although that doesn’t mean you won’t need to do some SEO work to get towards the top end of the rankings, but it will give you a better start).
Once the final machinations of Brexit have extracted the UK from the EU you may no longer be able to use the .eu domain name. That is only available for countries who are EU members – unless you have an office based in an EU country.
That means that, if you currently use a .eu domain, you will have to disable it once the UK is no longer in the European market unless you establish a presence in a European country. If this is your only domain name, now is the time to get a .com and ensure that your clients and suppliers are aware of the change.