Translation of website: new top level domain vs subfolder of current

by binoculars   Last Updated April 15, 2019 16:04 PM

About 3 months ago, we translated our website to Spanish. Because our brand name has a meaning on its own, we decided to translate the brand name as well. The hope was that it would benefit our SEO.

For example (fictional):

  • --> would be the current site

  • --> the same website in Spanish

We marked in both sitemaps the different language versions, and we put links on both websites pointing to each other (in the footer with a language pop up as you see it on a lot of website).

We notice that, even after 3 months, we have nearly zero traffic on the Spanish website. Our average .com ranking on Google is 6.6, while on .es it's 70. Search engine clicks are non-existing on .es, while on .com +1 million for the last 3 months.

Apart from the language, the website is the exact same. Meta tags have been translated too. There's absolutely no reason why English speakers have more interest in our website content.

So... we're starting to think that going for a new top level domain wasn't so smart after all.

My question: would you advice us to go for or instead? Will we benefit from our good .com ranking there? The main thing we would like to achieve is that people who search for "tacticas de futbol" find our website, so it's not about Spanish people who search for "football tactics" and that are presented a Spanish version (which is nice too of course but the other will drive more traffic).

What are your thoughts?

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