This Ask an search engine optimisation query comes from Dan from Melbourne, who wrote in:

“What’s the finest web site construction for a content material/news-based web site that desires to be worldwide but additionally country-specific?

E.g., You need some content material to be shared to the U.S., U.Okay., Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, however then some separate content material that’s primarily for U.Okay. or Australia.

Is it finest to have essential area degree web site (.com) for world content material after which additionally use sub-directories (.com/au/ or .com/gb/) for country-specific?

Do you additionally then have a separate house web page for every nation?”

Hey Dan, the advantage of this query is there’s really no fallacious reply.

Whereas international-based web sites may be complicated and costly to implement, you usually have the liberty to go about it nevertheless you are feeling finest.

Occam’s Razor applies greater than we prefer to assume relating to search engine optimisation.

So sure, to reply your query, I believe that’s the only method, although it is determined by the kind of content material you produce.

For instance, suppose you’re importing worldwide information tales in English that can be learn throughout the globe.

In that case, having a generic top-level area (gTLD) would be the finest route with subdirectories for every separate nation you want to goal.

Nonetheless, if you wish to create localized content material and enchantment to particular audiences in numerous nations, then there are perks to utilizing ccTLDs and subdomains, which I believe warrant dialogue.

Which URL Construction Is Proper For Me?

Finally, I believe two choices will finest fit your web site, so the selection is as much as you of which you assume is finest to your information group.

gTLDs With Nation-Particular Subdirectories

In case you use a mix of worldwide and localized content material, investing in a top-level area with subdirectories for various nations could be the simplest choice.

Every country-specific touchdown web page might have its personal distinctive touchdown web page with restricted navigation that offers with particular content material to that nation, resembling .com/au or .com/uk.

The advantages of this method are that it’s extremely simple to arrange, and all area authority can be shared throughout your whole web site. Moreover, you might have the identical group managing your native and broad-focused content material.

Sadly, there are two drawbacks to this method.

First, your subdirectories gained’t have as a lot native really feel, which might barely affect UX.

Nonetheless, the larger concern is that your web site structure might turn into messy, particularly if every subdirectory has its personal navigation classes.

For instance, many information organizations usually characteristic top-level navigation bars that take care of particular points associated to that nation.

Take this primary web site construction from CNN for instance:

be careful that all content falls under the URL structurePicture from CNN, Could 2022

Watch out that each one content material falls underneath the URL construction: https://instance.com/us/newsstory and never separate subdirectories inside your country-specific subdirectory, like https://instance.com/us/covid19/newsstory.

It will enable you to keep away from navigation points and make your web site extra manageable.


  • Best to implement.
  • CMSs supply simple multilingual administration.
  • Minimal upfront prices.
  • Simple navigation.
  • Hyperlink fairness is shared throughout area.

Localizing Content material With Subdomains

Alternatively, in case your major focus is on localized content material, and that’s the place you wish to dive in, then internet hosting regional webpages on subdomains could also be a superb choice.

Ideally, you’d have a broad gTLD with international-based content material to your mum or dad model.

Then, you might create subdomains for particular nations that enchantment to that demographic viewers.

So your gTLD may be an English-speaking information web site that folks from the EU, AUS, and US might take pleasure in (if that’s your major viewers), when you would possibly host a separate area for every of those nations in case you have been coping with particular subjects associated to that nation.

Sadly, there are lots of drawbacks to this method.

  • Internet hosting content material on separate domains could possibly be difficult to arrange.
  • Subdomains value extra to implement than subfolders.
  • Branding could possibly be troublesome to keep up if a number of groups work in your web site.
  • Hyperlink fairness is not going to unfold evenly throughout your area.

Nonetheless, when you’ve got separate groups that work on content material for particular areas worldwide, there’s a robust case for internet hosting location-specific content material on a subdomain.


  • Localized UX.
  • Extra environment friendly geotargeting.
  • Content material is extra organized by area.

Additional Concerns

Language vs. Geotargeting

Now, quite a lot of what we’ve mentioned to this point primarily focuses on geotargeting for particular nations/areas.

Nonetheless, what occurs if these nations have a big inhabitants of multi-lingual audio system? How will we optimize for that?

For instance, what in case you’re writing worldwide information tales in English however wish to create the identical article in Spanish and have it in your homepage?

Whether or not utilizing a subdomain or gTLD, you may implement hreflang tags that will help you create multilingual content material for each broad and native subjects.

A primary hreflang tag is an HTML tag, resembling <html lang=”en”> and signifies that the online web page is written in a particular language to search engines like google.

So in case you needed to create content material in English for individuals in France, you’d add a tag like this within the head of your HTML:

<hyperlink rel=”alternate” href=”https://fr.instance.com” hreflang=”fr-fr” />

There are a number of methods to implement hreflang tags for multilingual audio system in numerous nations, however the simplest way is to create a folder with your entire hreflang tags and submit them in an XML sitemap.

Key phrase Analysis

Clearly, your web site is not going to embody each nation and language.

So, earlier than you spend dozens of hours organising a brand new subdomain, implementing hreflang tags, and hiring multilingual content material creators, you must analysis and decide which nations are value concentrating on.

Worldwide key phrase analysis is a superb technique to find which markets can have essentially the most engagement along with your web site. For instance, Semrush offers instruments that enable me to filter key phrase developments and outcomes by nation in English:

research and determine which countries are worth targetingScreenshot from Semrush, Could 2022

Moreover, instruments like this present me with a baseline of the worldwide quantity for every key phrase.

Equally, you might conduct the identical key phrase analysis in numerous languages to establish which nations have essentially the most engagement in Spanish or German.

Since your web site is concentrated on information and present occasions, your analysis will differ a bit bit.

Nonetheless, conducting key phrase and aggressive analysis utilizing instruments like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Google Adverts can present a good suggestion of which nations/languages would be the most worthwhile funding.

Content material And Translation

Lastly, in case your web site focuses on regional content material, you’ll must put money into native content material creators to supply guests with an genuine information expertise.

Rent translators and keep away from utilizing translator instruments as a lot as potential. Moreover, attempt to make your subdomain or subdirectory as distinctive to that nation as potential.

Finally, this would possibly contain handing off administration of sure components of your area to separate people and groups to handle region-specific content material.

Last Notes

Deciding between a subdomain or subdirectory comes all the way down to your major enterprise aims.

Whereas concerns like hyperlink fairness and backlinks are necessary, the choice ought to rely on which method will yield the most effective site visitors circulate and engagement, particularly since you’re a news-based/running a blog web site.

Moreover, it doesn’t matter what technique you’re taking, you’ll want to include different components, resembling hreflang tags and hiring native content material creators to make your content material enchantment to as broad of an viewers as potential.

Extra sources:

Featured Picture: suphakit73/Shutterstock

Editor’s observe: Ask an search engine optimisation is a weekly search engine optimisation recommendation column written by among the trade’s prime search engine optimisation specialists, who’ve been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Acquired a query about search engine optimisation? Fill out our kind. You would possibly see your reply within the subsequent #AskanSEO put up!


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