I’m a manufacturer of a wide range of industrial fasteners and wish to target specific European countries with my products (notably Germany and Holland). How far do I need to go in terms of translating my site from English and ensuring people in these countries carrying out searches in their own language can find me? – Tony Greasby, ASL Fasteners, Stockport.

Ideally you need to do the following if you are really serious about business from these countries. Before hitting you with this optimal list you should be aware that is seldom necessary for companies to go to these extremes as we’ll discuss later, but here it is:-

– Have you site translated into the target language and use the appropriate domain eg

– Ensure the search engine optimisation is carried out in that language – ie all the things we talk about in the lessons on this blog need to be done – identifying keyphrases ( in German, Dutch etc), incorporating them into the metatags, writing appropriate content etc.

– Identifying which search engines and directories are important in those countries (surprisingly Google with its 54,000 servers delivering results in less than 0.2 seconds is not dominant in every country – its not even in the top 15 in Korea. Incidentally much more detailed information on search engine regional variations this can be gained at

– Submit to local search engines and directories – ie .jp, .it, .de etc versions

– Have your site hosted in the target country ( search engine ranking algorithms will give preference to locally hosted sites)

Phew! Sounds like hard work.

It is, so maybe you will need to compromise ( remember the above is the optimum). Many companies are happy with just foreign language pages (optimised) but part of the main UK site. It maybe this is all you need to do; its worth a try before going down the optimum path.

Another great way of targeting specific countries is by using the ‘Pay per Click’ services of Google and/or Overture. With these guys you relate your campaign to specific countries (eg at you click on the relevant national flag and go through the bidding process). You still have to put your ads together in the foreign language and you will need foreign language landing pages, but its still a lot easier than the above.

On a closing point its worth remembering that we are fortunate in that the English language is still the dominant language of the web ( although rumour has it that those Chinese guys out there are catching up fast.)

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need more info or wish to link with some local resources to help you with the above – ; 01928 788100.