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Search Optimisation

Search optimisation, should I host my website in New Zealand?

7 reasons why Richard Hayes Digital thinks you should.

If you are a New Zealand business and worried about your website is and search optimisation, we recommend that your website is hosted in New Zealand. Not only is it easier to implement, but it makes sense to keep things local.

1. Site Speed

An important factor for your website is it’s loading speed – deliver your website to your customer as fast as possible, especially with the variance of internet delivery ranging from 5G the fastest to 3G, where older or remote areas will have only this service.

The location of a web server can definitely impact the download speed of your website. This may be seconds and, in some cases, fractions of a second.

Suppose your customer visits multi-pages and has to wait for these pages to download. These seconds will add up and make the customers viewing experience very frustrating. 

Some consumer research shows some websites that take longer than 3 seconds to load can lead to you losing up to 40% of potential customers.

If you are servicing New Zealand customers, we recommend hosting your website on local web servers for maximum download speed.

2. Customer Experience

Being local is always important, especially when designing your content and services that you offer customers. An audience viewing your website can quickly conclude if you are talking to them from New Zealand or overseas. 

We have seen the incorrect translation of English and grammar from one country to the other. The customer can quickly notice the tone and colloquialisms of their own country.

Don’t confuse your audience by trying to disguise that your website as a multi-country website. Be honest, and don’t try to outsmart your customer.

Allowing your customers to contact you or buy your products must be quick and easy. Some businesses create websites that are easy for their businesses and work systems. They forget about the customers.

3. Search Results

Search results are probably the most important issue when hosting your website or using a multi-country website outside the country of origin. 

How will you manage your search results or the duplication of content within the same website? Managing duplication of content can be tricky, especially if you are showing the same page using individual URLs, as shown below:

www.abc.com.au/product/green-tree

The same page is also shown using the URL: 

www.abc.co.nz/product/green-tree 

Which page will Google rank the higher?

Search engines don’t like to see multiple sites with similar or duplicate content. If you have two websites using the same content, this can cause duplication problems.

The search engine will choose one page over the other as having more relevance or created earlier. There’s no guarantee that they’ll choose the local page that you feel is more important. 

Consequently, you could find that the .com.au page is ranked higher than the .co.nz simply because Google believes the content was originally created on the .com.au website. 

If the Australian content had been created first and indexed by Google, you would find the example above would be the likely outcome.

Google Search Example

Duplicate content on multi-country websites can confuse your customer, highlighted in the sequence below. 

Your NZ customer searches: green trees

Google notices duplicate content OR thinks the .com.au page is more relevant and serves the NZ Customer: www.abc.com.au/product/green-tree.

Your New Zealand customer clicks on the search result and is sent to the .com.au website unknowingly.

The customer wants more information on the products and then navigates to the .com.au contact page. Only if New Zealand is listed, can they contact you?

Issues that can develop from your customers’ actions:

  1. The customer bookmarks the product. They bookmark the .com.au website. Therefore, they never visit the New Zealand website.
  2. The customer has issues finding contact details or unknowingly fills out the .com.au contact form.
  3. The customer feels that the New Zealand website is a subset of the Australian website; therefore, they may look elsewhere if they prefer local.
  4. The customer might think all products are shipped from Australia, and there could be a delay in delivery.
  5. The record of the search query by Google will be allocated to the .com.au website; therefore, according to Google the New Zealand, the website has less relevance.

4. Google Ranking by IP Address

While it has not proven, search engines use server location as a ranking factor

There has been some strong evidence to show that the IP address of a website can affect the site’s rankings.

In today’s cybersecurity environment, having search engines decide your website is malicious should be avoided at all costs.

5. Privacy Regulations

Within New Zealand, personal data held by a business is protected by the Privacy Act 1993. Every business has an obligation to protect the data they hold about their customers.

6. Support Hours

Any website issues are a high priority and should be solved quickly. A New Zealand based web hosting company operates in the same time zone. 

7. Support Local

Finally, when you choose to host in New Zealand, you are helping the local economy. In today’s market, “Shopping Local” has become a big buzzword, especially for marketing.

You cannot expect your customers to shop locally when you do not demonstrate this yourself.

If you would like to discuss your search optimisation or business website. Please contact us

By Richard Hayes

Director, Richard Hayes Digital - As a business, we are becoming concerned with our world's direction environmentally. It's time to use our voice, to speak out, and act for climate change action.