Your domain name is extremely important for your search engine rankings, especially if it comes to local search results.
Depending on your Product and Target Clientele you have to decide what is the right Top Level Domain for your Website.
So do you need a Country Specific Domain or not?
Naturally if your visitors see that they are on a .co.za Website so they assume it is a South African company. If you want to be seen as a South African Company then you should surely use a .co.za Domain. Should you target overseas visitors .com is the better choice.
Google and other Search Engines will rather display a .co.za domain then a .com domain to someone who searches from inside South Africa. If you have a closer look, even Google is using country specific Domains like Google.co.za.
Localization is the Keyword. One should not underestimate the number of people looking for domain names with their country codes.
Country specific hosting
Where should you host your website?
If your target customers are in South Africa most likely you should host in SA. For a better search engine ranking it is vital that your site n loads fast. But be careful ! Rather spend some time on research and find a reliable Hosting Provider who has got a good link into the net and doesn’t overload their lines and their servers.
Should you plan to advertise on Google Adwords make your campaign Country specific, Province specific or even Town specific. All depending on who you want to reach.
Country specific languages
Google in South Africa is available in the following languages English, Afrikaans, Sesotho, isiZulu, IsiXhosa, Setswana and Northern Sotho. Should you want to reach the people of a specific langauge group it is of course fundamental to develop your Website in this language. You can create a Multi-Language site by creating subdomains for each langauge.
So the conclusion is – Local SEO matters !