Global Vs. Local Websites

When it comes to international SEO, you need to first work on geotargeting, which is something that you have to implement quickly and correctly. Whether it be hosting domains and locations, or even localization and the hreflang and the IP detection, geotargeting is definitely a big part of technical SEO, especially in relation to the other search engines that determine the location of the website. But we don’t need to create websites with search engines to find, you’re trying to reach a specific audience.

Global websites are done to help with interacting with the audiences from different countries at hand.

In order to accomplish that, you have certain regulations that website orders need to keep in mind, and comply with as well. Combine the regulations with the interests and behavior patterns that are different for each market, it’ll take a lot for these global websites to stay competitive with the local ones from this point forward.

The Data and Privacy Regulations

There is a list of different regulations and laws that you have to have, and there are a large number of them, but two of the most important ones include privacy and data protection, along with website accessibility.

You have to remember each place has their own broad policy and laws and regulations about accessing websites.

Some of these are mentioned in all cases, and some are only applied to websites in different public and government sectors.

There is the European Union General Data Protection Regulation that’s the most talked about one for data protection and privacy. It works to regulate the processing done by individuals or a company or organization of personal data that regulates to the individuals within the EU.

In California as well, there is the California consumer privacy act, and many companies are expected to follow and recreate similar laws to suit this, and it’s basically the cookie consent message to everyone regardless of their location of access.

Within Japan, there is the Act on the Protection of personal information, which was set up in 2005, changed in 2016, and from there has been a full force since 2017. This does mandate that Japanese website needs to post a privacy policy, and other requirements too.

Ecommerce websites as well are also expected to post the information for the commercial transactions law. Even if the website is managed within the Us, you need to meet these regulations especially if you have a presence that’s physical within Japan.

You see this in the privacy policy.  For example in the UK, you also have the cookies page that’s there. On the Chinese site, they will put the website registration number that’s there, since that’s a part of china’s regulations.

The Accessibility Related Laws and Regulations

The Accessibility Regulations are in place since the Americans with disabilities Act recently made headlines, when there was a lawsuit filed against taco bell.  While it was against the restaurant, a lot of the attention was because of the website. Currently, there are some IT accessibility laws and policies in place for federal agencies, and several guidelines and standards that are considered in general, such as the including of the information and communication technology standards and guidelines. The ADA does apply to both private and public sectors, including their websites, and there are many points that have been made to improve the experiences of users, not just for those with disabilities, but for those who use websites period.  For many regions ad countries, the accessibility to web content is a mandatory type of policy.

The W3C has an overview of the country-specific information on the web laws and policies. Just like with the data and privacy laws and regulations, there are different requirements for this accessibility. It’s a task for these owners to keep up with the changing requirements, especially for a global site, since failure to adhere to them will be costly both financially, and negatively impact the image of the brand.

Local Competitors and Trends

When you work with different company sites, you can tell whether one is local or global from the design and content alone. The difference isn’t design skill, but how much they understand both their target audience and the local market.

The easiest way to compare the two is of course the website design. The color scheme, layout, and images will all be telltale signs of the origin of its creation.

For those ecommerce sites, how people will pay does differ between each country, and the exchange and return police are also different amongst countries.  While these differences don’t’ impact the site as a whole, it can impact customers that have shopping carts that are abandoned. The difference in local is also reflected on the website content too. The global site content is determined by the HQ country of origin, whereas the local competitor websites will have specific interests of the audiences accommodated to.

The inability to satisfy the local intent of the searcher, however, creates a hug loss to the website globally.  Since google recently kicked BERT, the locales content that isn’t written for local audiences is then not send in your competitive search results either.

One Global bs. Multiple Local Sites

If you have global sites under one specific domain using the same templates for all the countries, you can create a list of the must-meet regulation points for all the countries, and implement them regardless of your country to target.  This might seem like a giant task, and if you have a team that’s smaller, or don’t have one in each country, it is best to make sure that you have this all covered.

You should make sure that you always have a chance to review and keep the laws and regulations up, and this will be helpful if you can delegate the task to the other person, since these get updated a lot. you might want to consider making a separate website for each country if you have a lot of people in each country to manage this, and enough budget to support this.

Even if you have to separate the sites by similar laws and regulations, or cultural trends, it’ll give you more flexibility, be more compliant, and properly design for the people who are looking at it.

You should try to manage all of your website content for one specific audience in each country within the EU for example, instead of setting up a bunch of language sites within the EU site as well. For example too, the countries within central and south America might be another target market that has multiple country sites.  Of course, considering the characteristic of the Chinese market, website registration policy, and of course the cybersecurity wall, you should make sure that, if you’re working with Chinese customers you create a Chinese website that works for each of those markets.

If you have a separate website, you can host it within the country you’re making it for to improve the speed that’s there.  This is good to have, since it’s easier to obtain that.  you need to be flexible with each of the websites that are there and also keep in mind both the local, and the international laws and audiences that you’re working towards. That way, you’re creating the right website design and structure that will help you, and ultimately make things easier.