I Live Outside the USA, But My Website is Targeted at the US Market. How Do I Get Found by US-Centric Search Engines?
Google has clearly stated that they prioritise national domain names in their related countries i.e. they prioritise .co.uk domains in the UK; .fr domains in France, etc.
This seems like a reasonable and sensible thing to do.
But what happens if you are not based in America, but you have a website that is targeted at the US market? How do you get your website found by the US search engines?
Here are 10 top tips that should overcome this problem:
Have a .com domain name as your main domain (recent evidence has shown that some search engines, including AOL, are limiting the number of .net domains they show for any search)
If you also want to target people from other countries buy the national domain names as well (e.g. .co.uk, .nl, .fr, etc) and forward them to your .com site
Buy the .com domain name from a US based registrar (e.g. Enom.com or Godaddy.com). If you already bought your .com domain name through a non-US registrar, transfer it to a US one
Get your website hosted in the US. For example, Subhub (www.subhub.com) hosts their .com websites in Texas
When link building, try to get inbound links from high PageRank sites in the US
When choosing keywords, use American English (color, not colour)
Get the site listed in US-centric directories e.g. Yahoo.com, Business.com, BOTW.com, DMOZ.org, etc
If possible have a US mailing address and phone number listed on the site. The search engines won’t necessarily take notice of this information, but other website owners will see your site as a US site and categorise it accordingly. These categorisations can influence the search engines
Submit your website to the US search engines. Not as important as it used to be, but still worth doing
Sign up for a free account with Google Webmaster (www.google.com/webmaster). Verify your website and then click on "Tools" and "Set Geographic Target". You can then choose the United States. However, be awre that this could negatively impact the amount of traffic you get from non-US countries, so think carefully about taking this step
If you are based outside the US, but you have a website that is targeted at a US audience, you need to take pro-active steps to improve your search engine rankings. I hope these tips have helped!