In a previous post, we mentioned that one of the best International SEO Strategies is to choose local ccTLDs for each country that you’d like to target.
So, one option (the one we recommend) is for you to create new domains such as site.it, site.fr, site.co.jp, etc to be able to achieve better rankings in their respective languages/countries.
When breaking down “geo-location” signals that Google might use to determine the target country of a respective website, the ccTLD outweighs, and by a considerable margin, the hosting of the website.
Moving to Local Hosting
One question that we get asked, is if the hosting of the website might influence the ranking of a site in a specific country. I would say that it doesn’t have a huge effect, and as I sais before, it is by far more important to have the correct TLD.
On the other hand, it usually results in higher costs to move all of your target domains, to local hosting companies. Not only that, but you would also need to manage more individual accounts, which in the long term could be challenging and time consuming.
The situation where I would recommend moving to a local hosting is if the site is really struggling to rank properly in a local market (and you’ve already gained local links, have a well structured content, etc) or if the keyword you’re targeting is extremely difficult to target.
So while local hosting might help to have a higher impact with International SEO, you would need to also consider the costs implications of making such a move.