we want to target global traffic but prioritise traffic from the USA. At the moment 'International Targeting' in Search Console is not set. The site is hosted on a server in Europe. We use Cloudflare CDN. Do we change 'International Targeting' to 'United States'? Would this improve ranking in the USA and would it affect existing ranking in other countries? Are there any other methods people would suggest or is it best to just leave International Targeting it blank? thanks for your help
If you set "International Targeting" to "United States", it could boost your visibility within the United States, but it will completely remove your site from search results everywhere else in the world.
You usually only want to use that option if you are ONLY targeting a specific country. For example if you can only ship your products within that country.
You could also use that option if you have separate websites for every country. It is very common to create copies of your website targeted to each country. Those copies would be pretty much the same, but might be tailored to each country. Doing so can get you the greater search engine visibility in each country while customizing your website for each country:
- Translated into the language of the country
- Uses the currency of the country for pricing
- Has appropriate eCommerce shipping options for the country
- Calculates taxes appropriately for the country
- Uses regional spelling, dialect, and phrasing differences
For more information on how to set that up, see How should I structure my URLs for both SEO and localization?