we have a news website in Austria (ccTLD is .at) and its URL address is like so www.example.at and now we wish to expand globally and include other language versions like english, french etc.
We would like to choose sub-directories approach, but would that be confusing? Because our English version site would now look like this: www.example.at/en/
All online examples are regarding the ".com" sites (like www.shutterstock.com/fr/ and many others) and those look neat when having another language sub-directory. How about our situation? Is it even feasible? Changing our site to a ".com" domain would be a bad idea since we are in business for almost 10 years and our SEO is very good, but would we stand a chance (what does Google say?) as an ".at" site when it comes to competition which are ".com"?
What would you do in such case? We really want to reach the English speaking audience. Are there any research made about this? Are people in other countries even willing to click on a www.example.at/en/ if the ".at" part looks unusual to them? Hopefully we'll find some answers before going with this as the upgrade will require a lot of translating of our texts and that means (lot's of) money.
Thank you everyone.