How to approach internationalisation

How to approach internationalisation

9 URL structures

It’s difficult to determine geotargeting on a page by page basis, so it makes sense to consider using a URL structure that makes it easy to segment parts of the website for geotargeting. Here are the pros and cons of all your options:

URL structure Example Pros Cons
Country-specific example.ie Clear geotargeting

Server location irrelevant

Easy separation of sites
Expensive (can have limited availability)

Requires more infrastructure

Strict ccTLD requirements (sometimes)
Subdomains with gTLDS de.example.com Easy to set up

Can use Search Console geotargeting

Allows different server locations

Easy separation of sites
Users might not recognise geotargeting from the URL alone (is "de" the language or country?)
Subdirectories with gTLDs example.com/de/ Easy to set up

Can use Search Console geotargeting

Low maintenance (same host)
Users might not recognise geotargeting from the URL alone

Single server location

Separation of sites harder
URL parameters site.com?loc=de Not recommended. URL-based segmentation difficult

Users might not recognise geotargeting from the URL alone

Geotargeting in Search Console is not possible

Whichever structure you choose, organise your hierarchy in the same way for each language folder of your website so it's intuitive and crawlable.