International Business and Technology Blog

Be found in Canada, localize your website

Posted by Emma Pautler on Tue, May 11, 2021

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You have a well-designed, SEO-optimized US website, but you struggle to reach your Canadian prospects – sound familiar?

Although many Canadians speak English, your current USA-based English-language website is practically invisible to them -- that's how the internet works. The average Google search session lasts just under a minute, and with over 40,000 Google search queries happening every second, you have to stand out.

So how do you stand out? Having a localized website with a localized URL and relevant content for the Canadian market is the most cost and time-effective way to have an immediate online presence and be found in Canada! This will allow your target customers to find you and interact easily with your brand. Your Canadian website will appear amongst the top Google searches in Canada, building trust with Canadian prospects.

In this article, we dive deeper into the 3 essential tools you need to grow your online presence, engagement, and conversions in Canada:
  1. Be found
  2. Be understood
  3. Be easy to do business with

 Be Found: Top-level Domains

Have you ever traveled to a different country and tried to access your online banking website on your smartphone? You may have noticed the URL didn't end in ".com" like it does back home in the US. Other countries worldwide have different URL endings that are unique to their country, such as ".fr" in France or "" in the UK. These are top-level domains, which are country-specific and automatically geo-targeted in Google Search Console.

If you want to focus your website on a specific country, such as Canada, you need to use the correct top-level domain. In Canada, the standard is to use ".ca.", as this will be perceived as trustworthy and indicates that this website is dedicated to the Canadian audience.

Although getting a “.ca” domain name can be challenging if you do not have a business presence within Canada, not all hope is lost!

At IBT Online, our team of technical experts can support you in sourcing the best option for you, based on your current domain, business presence, and, of course, availability.

Can we help you? Contact us here!

Be Understood: Connecting with Keywords

Canada online

Having the right domain is a great start, but you also need to pay strong attention to your content. Why, you ask? The keywords your Canadian customers type into Google are likely different from the words your USA customers use.

You need to make sure your content mirrors their language, so you can be found in Google searches, and understood and trusted by your target market. If you want your potential customers to see your website in a search engine, you need a dedicated Canadian website that's optimized with the right keywords to show up first in search engines.

IBT Online's expert team can help you identify and integrate the appropriate keywords for your products in Canada. For years, our team has studied how search engines work in the nation, and more importantly, how customers operate online. Keywords are an essential part of localizing your Canadian website and ensuring your new website is found in Canada by your target customers.

Be easy to do business with: Dial-in on the Dialect

Dialect, linguistics, and proper grammar are crucial to building trust with your audience and establishing your company as a reputable organization. When used properly, you blend in with the local audience. When you have a typo or use colloquial slang, it's clear -- you're an outsider.

We have many colloquialisms in the US. For example, in New Jersey, we stay "you guys." In the South, we say "y'all." Imagine walking into a sales meeting with prospective clients in a swanky New York office. You greet everyone with a big "Howdy y'all!" Immediately, everyone in the room knows you're from the South! While this may not offend your prospects in New York, there are scenarios worldwide where improper slang and dialect may cost you the sale. When it comes to your website and online presence, you need to get this right.

You can't assume that just because your website is in English, the 1.5 billion English-speakers in the world can find and understand you. Essential keywords and phrases differ from one country to another. There are many versions of English in the spoken word and written form. When it comes to pronunciation, Canadian English sounds similar to US English. However, in the written form, Canadian English combines British and US English.

For this reason, your website content needs to be localized for your Canadian audience. It's essential to know your target customer and write your website in their version of English. When your website content is written in the local dialect, the reader is more likely to trust this site as a reliable source and therefore more likely to be converted into a buyer.

So, if you want to be found and understood by potential customers in Canada, it's time to launch your localized website there. This is the key that will make it easier for them to do business with you and buy your products. The IBT Online team is ready to bring their years of experience to your new Canadian customer-focused website so you can connect with the audience, sell products and grow your business significantly in the Canadian market.

Your Online Global success story, starts here


Tags: All posts, Website Localization, International Online Marketing