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Geo-Targeting Your Website with TLD and IP

Since our team started in the jewelry industry, we've seen many jewelry stores attempt to sell online and fail miserably.

The cost involved with setting up and maintaining an eCommerce website is usually far greater than a retail jeweler realizes. The marketing is completely different than what needs to be done for the physical store, and the smallest mistake can mean a huge difference between slow building success followed by sudden overnight failure.

We've always recommended that local jewelers target their business to the internet users that are only local to the store. Trying to compete on a national basis is very difficult and requires a larger online advertising budget as well as a full time staff.

However, if you do decide to set up that eCommerce site, the first thing you need to do is figure out your domain name and hosting.

The Top Level Domain (commonly referred to as TLD) is the .com or .net or .biz part of your domain. There are many TLDs available to registration now; in fact, every country has at least one TLD designated specifically for them.

If you are specifically targeting customers in the USA, then you should register a .com or .us domain name. All the others are subjective and need good SEO in order to target the United States, but by default the .com and .us have visibility to in the USA.

On the other hand, if your audience is Canadian, then you should be using the .ca TLD. If you want to target customers in Great Britain, then you need a .uk TLD domain name.

If you currently have a .com and are targeting outside the United States, you probably have already wondered why you've been having such a difficult time.

Another factor is the location of your hosting company; where their IP addresses are physically assigned on the planet can make a difference. Although the TLD is of primary importance for targeting, the IP address of your hosting server has a minuscule affect on your ranking according to Google.

So before you settle on your hosting company, make sure the server room for your website will actually be within the country that matches the TLD you've chosen.

Considering your TLD and IP address for geo-targeting your customers is a very high level SEO factor. It so high level that most people don't even know about it, yet it also has the ability to prevent your business from making any money online.
AT: 02/15/2011 01:56:29 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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