Foreign search engines
The search engine world is getting more 'localised' as time goes on and as such you really need to ask whether you should be spending too much time attempting to break into a foreign market where your local competitors may be able to demonstrate considerable superiority over you.
- local office
- fluency in the local language
- knowledge of local customs
- knowledge of local needs
Spending your limited time and limited marketing budget might just produce better results by concentrating your efforts on your local home market!
Additionally, the major search engines like Google can carry out a basic translation of your website if it is found by a searcher using the search engine in another language. While the translation is not perfect, it is never-the-less adequate to help the searcher establish whether your website is relevant or not.
Alternative approach to foreign search engines
However, the relatively inexpensive compromise could be to translate into the local language(s) key pages of your website such as the homepage and key products/services pages.
In that way, these language-specific pages could be submitted to appropriate search engines (and hopefully indexed) and any future visitor will clearly see this is not the primary language of the whole site. That way, you will not receive emails or telephone calls in a language you are not familiar with, and your prospective client will not feel disillusioned if they reply a reply in english!
You should also be aware though that many engines have restrictions on such submissions. For example, in France certain local engines will only allow the submissions of .fr domains. And .fr domains can only be registered if the following conditions are met!
Registration is restricted to 4 types of entities:
The domain name must be identical to the company name as on the Kbis, or to a registered European trademark with jurisdiction in France.