The goal of any business is to increase the amount of relevant traffic to their website. Expanding your business to different countries is one way to achieve this, but it must be done carefully.
How can your new customers find you if you are not high enough in search engine results? Well, unfortunately, they will have a hard time. But with the help of a multilingual link building campaign, you can see your rankings skyrocket along with your site traffic. The question is where to start to create links across Europe? We’ll take a look…
Identify your target region
First, make sure you know exactly where you are targeting. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can’t approach all of Europe at once. Look at your business and decide which country makes sense to start. Suppose a colleague speaks French or you have always lived near Nice. In this case, it makes sense to start with France.
Consider the population of the country. Targeting a country with a higher population is likely to generate more sales. The chart below shows the 15 most populous countries in Europe.
Pool your resources and start researching this market, rather than going all out and taking on too much.
Research your keywords
Now that you have defined a target country or region, it is important to do thorough keyword research. You almost certainly have a very clear idea of your priority keywords in English, so you just need to translate them into the language of the country of your choice, right? Bad. This is a common mistake among companies going international. The search terms used, for example, in Spain, can be very different from those used in the UK or the US and have different connotations or even meanings.
Some languages give priority to the English version of a search term, especially common in scientific or technical fields, or in topics related to modern phenomena. Performing a direct translation from English can be counterproductive, which is why it is important to call on a specialized company with expertise in the market of the country you are targeting.
Likewise, don’t rely on your high school French. Languages change and evolve, and so does their spelling, so make sure you’re up to date or you’ll stand out like a sore thumb from the native speakers of your desired country.
It’s important to target the right keywords in a link building campaign because those keywords should be included in the content linking back to your site, whether it’s in the title of an article, in the text of anchor or in the body of the content itself. Note that it’s important to use a mix of anchor texts (sometimes just using the bare URL, and other times using a generic term like “click here”), making sure you have the right keywords as anchor texts for links to your website will improve your Google rankings in your target country.
Use guest posts
The importance of guest posts cannot be understated when it comes to building European connections. Guest posts can serve many purposes, including improving your SEO and visibility in the SERPs, but can also be used to drive sales if the post is read by a large number of your target customers. Make sure you know what goal you’re pursuing with every guest post you write or commission.
Don’t be tempted to skimp on the quality of your content, either. An engaging article with a unique angle can last for years into the future. It will be read, absorbed, enjoyed and shared much more than low quality spam text that was only written to incorporate a backlink.
Where you choose to place them is crucial to the success of your use of guest posts. Although there are often blogs that accept a guest post, remember that not all sites are created equal. This aspect of expanding into a non-native country can be a challenge; understanding whether one blogging site is more appropriate than another requires nuance and in-depth knowledge of that country’s market. That’s why it can be beneficial to hire a multilingual company with expertise in European SEO to ensure you don’t waste your time creating guest posts for low-value sites.
Localize your content
When you diversify into other countries and markets, it can be tempting to adopt the exact same strategy you used in your home country. However, it should always be kept in mind that each country has its own expectations and ways of doing things. Just as keywords can vary wildly, cultural norms and expectations can also vary. Often we write content that has a supposed understanding of that nation’s context.
In the UK, for example, most of us would get the reference if we mentioned Private Eye or Blue Peter. However, chances are that only a handful of Germans had a clue what you were talking about. If you mentioned Titanic magazine, on the other hand, the reference to satire would be understood.
Keep your company blog up to date
While most companies have a blog section on their website, many don’t update regularly. Taking the time to post topical and engaging content on your own website’s blog is a successful way to actively promote your own site, engage with your existing and future customers, and drive shares that lead directly to your site. Keep your blog posts as relevant as possible without making them spammy. That way, if it’s engaging enough, there’s no time limit. Quality content can continue to drive traffic to your site for a long time.
Writing in-depth blogs that include statistics or guides on how to generate links from other articles themselves, which means that some of your link building will be done for you.
Consider submitting to directories
Finding a quality international directory can also be an important part of establishing links in Europe. Since Google’s recent updates, it’s important to make sure you select a directory with a high domain authority. Choosing one that specializes in listings in your particular field also has benefits and can also drive sales by building awareness for your brand. Directory submissions generate natural links to your site, but be sure to submit unique content to each.
Not sure which directory to turn to? Just start with those that appear in the first pages of search results on Google for an important keyword.
Creating European links can seem daunting at first. Getting started in a new country and a new market requires careful research to avoid pitfalls. Follow our simple tips and advice and you’ll see your brand soar in no time! Good luck!