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Posted 05 December 2007 - 02:46 PM
Being an online shopper myself when I am looking to buys something I tend to favor initally searching for any Candian companies that sell what I am looking for e.g) If I was looking to buy a speical Phillips BrandX Yellow Screwdriver, I would search for "Phillips BrandX Scewdriver Canada". With my logic being that I should be able to save some money on shipping by shopping within my own geographical location and in general do some research on this item to see if there is another model withn this lproduct line that I might want instead.
Keeping with this example, if I was selling this Phillips Brandx Yellow Screwdriver personally, and wanted to get into either SEO or PPC. Questions I have:
1.) Should I make sure that I throw either Canada or Canadian, e.g) "Phillips BrandX Screwdriver Canada" etc. into my keyword phrase for marketing. As the customers I belive I will convert the most will be fellow canadians. Though at the same time don't want to loose any international (US) sales.
2.) If I was to use a Canada or Candian keyword with my keyword phrase, do I need to treat Google.com and Google.ca seperatly. Or are they one in the same when it comes to searching??? Is Google adwords treated globally no matter which google country site the customer may be using using???
3.) If I was going to do a specific PPC campaign with a very specific term that might not bring me as much traffic as say "Scewdriver" would but should convert better even with lower traffic. Would I chose "Phillips BrandX Screwdriver" (for US customers) on google.com. And "Phillips Brandx Screwdriver Canada" for Candian customers on both google.ca and google.com.
Look forward to peoples insight, and belive my #3 question is a duplicate of 1 and 2, lol...thanks for the help!!!
Posted 06 December 2007 - 02:39 PM
If you're also targeting the largest single market in the world (that being the US), why would you consider just optimizing for Canada? Doesn't make sense. Also, it could just be me, but I don't search for a product based on the country. I don't know anyone else that does either. Nor have I seen in my terra-bytes of log files anyone finding us based on "America or American or United States." There might be a few over the years and I missed 'em, but not enough for me to optimize any of my sites for our country. And yes we get thousands of hits from around the world from the different SEs every day, but I haven't seen where someone queried based on our country to find one of our products.
Lastly, since I'm in the US and don't really worry too much about the difficulties in other countries and haven't spent time researching those issues I'm not the one to answer your questions authoritatively and with confidence. Sorry. However, if I was interested, then I'd run a whole bunch of queries in both the G.com and G.ca to see how things are returned and whether or not Canadian sites had any special preference in the G.ca. I have hobby web site and it's domain name ranks #1 in G.com but I also get a lot of hits from India and on G.co.in the domain name ranks #2 behind an India web site with my domain name in it's domain name. That's only one instance of an in country domain out ranking a US domain, and that's hardly evidence that that's what truly goes on. From what I can tell search results are pretty darn close between G.com and G.ca. in regards to who ranks where for the same query.
Posted 06 December 2007 - 04:35 PM
1. Since the US is a large market and many Americans don't really think about the outside world, it's very common for them to not search based on country - just city or state. Everywhere else, people do search for things like country, as well, unless it's very clear otherwise (like assuming that Japanese search terms are related to Japanese sites). The US is rapidly losing market share to the rest of the world, the market is saturated, and the rate of new internet users in the US has almost flattened, so more and more companies are looking outside the US to increase their business.
2. If you are a small company, you can do well just marketing to the US (even though the competition is much higher). If you are a small company, you could just market to a single town or city and be happy. However, most small companies want to big companies one day.
3. Would you target the US and deliberately not care about LA and New York as target markets? Maybe you would - I don't know your business model. But most people consider those two cites to be a significant market just by themselves. That's almost exactly the population of Canada. Ignore LA and New York at your risk. Same with Canada. That's a lot of dollars to walk away from.
Canadian's tend to use "canada" in searches when they are concerned about border/tax issues, and also when they want localized help. A US accountant is useless in Canada. Heck, a New York accountant is useless in LA.
Many demographics of Americans don't know much about other countries (I know people who have never left, even for vacation, the city they were born in), so putting "Canada" and "Canadian" all over the site is not likely to help you much with that market. You may find that they become concerned. I don't have a problem as an international SEO consultant, but things like screwdrivers typically attract a different demographic of visitor.
One way to handle all of this is to put the phone number and address of the site (including the word "Canada") in the footer of every page, which gets the keyword in, but in a non-obtrusive but useful fashion.
Another method is to separate the site into both US and Canadian areas, then optimize for the target market for both. You can then either auto-detect the country IP and direct the user to the correct site, or offer them a splash screen to choose from. The search engine would be shown the splash with 2 links - one to the US and one to Canada ( actually, I'd use 4 links - the other two being to the site maps for each of those areas).
Posted 06 December 2007 - 07:05 PM
After posting that "I don't search that way and neither does ...." I realized the truth of what you stated about other countries. Sometimes I'm a bit slow on the up take, but thanks for confirming what I was thinking. Also, as a former military person, I've traveled the world pretty extensively and you're right about knowing people that have NEVER ventured too far outside of the town where they were born. I know hundreds that fit that description.
Have a Merry Christmas!
Posted 06 December 2007 - 08:55 PM
I completely agree that it would be silly to ignore the US market if you are a Canadian - it's just too close - both in terms of distance and culture. It's common (especially for Canadians) to think of distinguishing characteristics between the two countries, but in my experience there is more of a cultural change between the north and south USA than there is between Canada and the northern states. My argument for Americans not avoiding Canada goes approximately 10 times for Canadians not avoiding the USA as a market.
wguttrid, another option would be hosting in Canada (or at least using a Canadian IP address). This will get you a boost in rankings for Canadian searchers but would not effectively change your reach for the US market. I don't think I've ever seen a US-based searcher (other than researchers and SEO's) restrict their search to US sites only. It's an option, but generally Americans don't even think about it - they get good results already, so there is no real need to do country restrictions.
Posted 07 December 2007 - 09:47 AM
Some background information, have done some research for the products I want to sell as well as some benchmarking on the competition. Within Canada there is only one competitor in Ontario Province (where I reside and the biggest market in Canada) and two on the West Coast of Canada. True Brick and Mortar stores are a different game and competition seems to be way higher within this type of business. Feel that my store within Canada has not been saturated for whatever reason. When I look at the US there is about 10x the completion, but believe this is still just a ratio of population versus # of stores.
As Mcanerin mentions above and that I can confirm personally, is I tend to favor a local Canadian company and tend to always search with Canada/Canadian terms. I then compare to what is available in the states. As the US market is so big compared to ours the price of goods for the same product seem to be priced lower. I then look at shipping cost/custom duties/delivery time etc. Whatever is cheaper and more convenient I choose. Sometimes though what happens is no one is even selling the product I want within Canada, and if they are they are buried so deeply in the rankings that I don't have patience to put the time into finding.
I want to target both Countries as effectively as possible, that is the goal.
Per Mcanerian advice I will place in the footer of each page my address location (Canada). And see how this works.
I really like the idea of separating the sites into a Canadian and US site and directing accordingly. As I would be able to have Canadian Currency for one and US Currency for the other, best of both worlds. Question: If I break the site into two sites, I am guessing this woudl allow me to keyword target differently and broadend my tactics!?
Head is spinning thanks for the ideas, sure more questions will pop up as I digest this.
And Merry Christmas to the both!!
Posted 07 December 2007 - 08:43 PM
2. Once I own Canada I've found the rest of the workd is a lot easier to crack because the cache of IBLs which a Canadian following will provide.
* link campaign is a dirty word around here, we don't beg for links we prefer to build sites that people link to for reasons other than we paid $'s or begged other owners of even lamer sites to link to us and we'll link to them!
Bottom line is every SEO campaign should start by targeting the "low hanging fruit" because that snowballs into nice visibility from people that like your content and pay you the highest compliment, they link to your content. Of course if you have a hyper sales oriented site then... this doesn't seem to work as well.
Posted 08 December 2007 - 10:33 AM
wguttrid this would allow optimizing for the differences. Never been to Canada so I don't have a grasp on the language differences that exist like in the UK, but if y'all call potato chips "crisps" like in the UK as an example, then yes the two versions will index and rank differently. However, if you can't create fairly unique copy in both versions, then there's not much advantage for SEO (it'll be viewed as duplicate content), but your customers might feel more comfortable viewing pricing in their respective currencies which might help make the sale.
Posted 10 December 2007 - 02:38 AM
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