My client has a UK based website and is doing very well for most of his keywords, and he just emailed me to ask how can he get more hits from China where he potentially has a big market.
So basically what would be the normal way to make his website show up more for his keywords in China search engines.
Just to get the ball rolling, would it be the case of for example putting 'Chinese search engines' 'chinese directories' etc into google and do it that way.
The obvious question is whether the site has content that is likely to appeal to a Chinese audience. If it hasn't, then the first thing to do is to develop such content. If you don't do that, there is very little chance of achieving the client's goal.
Given that he has a potentially large market in China, he should seriously consider creating a separate site to cater for that market. Such as site should ideally be in Chinese, with a .cn domain name, and should show products with Chinese sizing, pricing, delivery costs, etc. That would at least put him on a level-playing field with his Chinese competitors.
You could also use Google Webmaster Tools to tell Google to geo-target the site at China. The problem with that approach is that it is all or nothing. He would gain visitors from China, but at the expense of the rest of the world. However, that wouldn't be a problem if he had a separate site for China.
I see yes, plenty to look into there then.
He sells UK antique clocks, and in honesty the market in china for antique clocks is that they look abroad and so as long as he could be visible in china, he could do well.
With the .cn domain name, would it be possible if he was to purchase that domain name and then geo-target that in google webmaster tools, and when link building, and then look into developing the new chinese site later on.
Would a cn.com domain name work as well, or should you go for a .cn domain name
With the .cn domain name, would it be possible if he was to purchase that domain name and then geo-target that in google webmaster tools, and when link building, and then look into developing the new chinese site later on
I can't see how that would help all that much. If he has no Chinese-oriented content, there's no point in link building or geo-targeting. My advice would be to register the .cn name now, then develop the content, and then promote the site though link-building, etc.
Is the client able to develop content in Chinese? I would have thought that was an essential pre-requisite for this exercise (but keep in mind I know nothing about the market for antique clocks in China or elsewhere). And it's not just a question of language; it's also explaining the characteristics of the clocks, and the method of purchasing them, in terms that are meaningful to a Chinese customer.
In fact, the more I think about this, the more I see that the real question isn't how to SEO the website: it's how to sell the clocks in China. Has he considered, for example, looking for a Chinese distributor or wholesaler to work with? (That might be a stupid question; obviously, you don't sell antiques wholesale [do you?]; what I'm trying to say is that there's more to doing business in a given country than targeting your website at it.)
As for whether the domain should be .cn or cn.com, I'm not sure what the difference is. Is .cn.com a real TLD, or are you suggesting he should register a .com which happens to have .cn as the last three characters of the actual domain? If so, I would advise against that. For SEO purposes, a .cn would be far better. It's possible he would need to register it through an agent who is physically in China, but that shouldn't be too hard to arrange.
I hope this is of some help. It's an interesting question, and I hope your client does will with his idea.
Let me add here that you shouldn't ignore the fact that Google isn't number one in China. Like these statistics and facts about search engines in China show, Baidu is the leading search engine - second place Google with only a 15.8 percent share of the Chinese market in terms of revenue.
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