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I have a national website and an international website. The international website covers the rest of the world so not country specific. This website is based on a subdomain of my national site

When I type the brand in my national Google the international site homepage ranks higher than the national homepage. The international site homepage has a higher Page Authority in Moz so my thoughts to make the national site rank higher goes towards regional relevance link building and geo targeting in the Search Console.

Link building is a long game however and I was wondering if there is something more technical I could do to increase these chances?

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There's exactly a few ways this can be done but I recommend that you use method 1 and 2.

  1. Increase Organic Rankings:

    The main reason the international site is ranking better is due to the authority it has vs the other domain. Generally to outrank a brand you need to out rank the other site by improving the organic rankings. You can however increase your local rankings and it will contribute some what to the organics by adding authority and possible leads to more organic SEO leads.

  2. Hreflang:

    Using hreflang you can try to force Google's hand by informing them to return a different page if the user is in X location.

    Generally this is normally performed on sub domains or sub folders but I am unable to find any evidence to remotely suggest that it CAN NOT be used on an external site. Using the following code on your international site will inform it to return UK version for people in the UK:

    • <link rel="alternate" href="http://example-uk.com/" hreflang="en-gb" />
    • <link rel="alternate" href="http://example-us.com/" hreflang="x-default" />

You should also have a think if you want both brands divided on separate domains... nowadays in terms of SEO its far better to use one domain... only massive sites use multiple domains for administrating purposes. If you would rather keep them jailed from one another then you can setup a reverse proxy which will allow you to host two different hosting accounts under one domain and alias.

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