Today we want to look at the advantages of hiring a global SEO agency and how your business can benefit from knowledge, multi-language-support and experience – to name a few of the capabilities a SEO partner should bring to the table.
Topics in this post:
Why should I hire a Global SEO agency?
Let’s cover the WHY first!
Why should you even care? Why is it important to consider working with an international SEO agency?
There are several reasons and the most important one is:
Why #1: Globalization
Globalization is one of the main reasons to consider international SEO for your business or enterprise. The world is more and more connected, let’s say “smaller”. Especially in these recent uncertain times, when remote work is becoming more and more important it doesn’t really matter where exactly someone is located. So when offering software, solutions or services you are automatically entering a global competition. Ok, this might not be the case if your business is offering a hyper-local service like, let’s say “janitorial services”, but let’s say you are a startup, a SaaS company that just recently launched with an AI software targeting enterprises looking to implement an innovative solution. Truth is, you are instantly competing with hundreds of other companies worldwide offering a similar solution.
To get to the point: Being able to showcase and sell your product or services in several languages might give you the advantage compared to your competitors. The ability to generate traffic/visits to your business website by targeting audiences that do not use English as their primary language is a huge opportunity for many businesses to underestimate.
Sure, your sales team might not be able to deal with incoming requests “in German”, but think about it for a second, they maybe don’t have to. It’s about the top of the funnel and the ability to get eyeballs on your brand at the right moment and that particular German decision-maker started his research in German on Google.de searching with a German search term. Your business might be the perfect fit, the perfect solution for the searcher’s problem, but without a German website and some german keywords in place, your business might have never shown up in the first place. For us, that’s a lost opportunity!
Why #2: It’s cheaper to grow!
Cheaper you might ask? Well yes! Translating your website into a new language is the least expensive way to grow your business for a couple of reasons: You don’t have to start from scratch! You probably already have a website in English, the design is already done, the process is clear – the only thing that’s missing is the Translation. So why do I think that it’s cheaper? Well, that’s an easy calculation. It’s about the number of words you want to translate.
Translation agencies or translators charge per word, so if you have an exact word count of the texts of your website you want to translate you can easily estimate the cost of a translation. And that, for the very beginning to get started with International SEO is a pretty reasonable cost. Just think about it that way: You have a website with 10 pages. Each of them has 1000 words of text. Your business is already operating in a niche market and ranking for some juicy search terms. If you translate the Website (1000×10=10000 words) taking an average cost of 0.12$ per word the price of the translation will cost your business 1200$ give or take. Now count in some development, WordPress editing and some SEO research. YOu can basically get a completely “new” website in a second language for 2000-3000$. Now, this could give you a whole new perspective for a new market. Let’s say you are in that niche and there’s not much competition in that language, if your content is high quality and optimized correctly you can instantly yield some results in that new market.
Of course, we are talking about a very small project here, but you get the point. The calculation is relatively simple and it can be applied to big enterprise websites the same way. Just think about the amount of content that needs translation and localization (meaning optimization to local brand voice and message) and you get a glimpse of what a “kick off” to this new language might cost you.
Why #3: Getting started is easy
Getting started with global expansion from an SEO perspective is relatively easy compared to other activities (like local events). As just mentioned in the “Why” before, it’s quick to estimate costs and it could give you that small advantage comparing to a competitor. Now, the good thing is exactly this is what makes “Getting started” with International SEO so easy! You don’t need to be an expert in Search Engine Optimization, you don’t have to speak the language of the market you want to launch to, and you don’t have to have a local office in that country or market either (all of which carry some cost attached to it). You just need to get started!
I am sure there are more “Why’s” but let’s get to the next, more important part:
How hiring a Global SEO agency can 10x your business
How #1: Knowledge and experience
So we just talked about it, getting started is easy! Translations are getting done! Let’s go! But then what?
To be able to compete in the most competitive industries (especially in the SaaS industry) you need to have an International SEO strategy in place. Top keywords and searches in high positions on Google Search that deliver leads and conversions are highly sought after by many different companies around the globe. As discussed before, your business is competing globally. An international SEO agency can help you to establish an International SEO strategy from the get-go. This could be a basic audit of your current (English) website, finding the markets or languages you want to go for or detecting the keywords you wanted to target with that newly translated website. An International SEO should have (#youneedtocheck) the experience and the knowledge to be able to determine these aspects of and international strategy specifically for your business in a relatively short amount of time. The SEO agency will help you to find the most valuable content assets on your website, point them out and help you to create a project plan with objectives and KPI’s to pursue from a pure SEO perspective. The project plan should contain clear steps, a timeline, and should also help to provide guidance throughout the process. If this initial planning is done correctly, the first big part of the contribution to your 10x Global SEO expansion plan is done!
How #2: They speak the languages
The International SEO agency you are looking for speaks the languages of the markets you want to go for! Does this need more explanation? Well, in a best-case scenario they don’t just “speak” the language, they know the market.
Speaking the local language and knowing the local market can give you and your business this small additional advantage over your competitors. The SEO agency can deliver insights you might never even have thought of in the first place. Local Market knowledge can provide you with information about common platforms users in your niche use, they can help you to discover competitors you never heard of and they should definitely come up with the top search terms your marketing team should care about for that particular market.
In a best case scenario the international SEO agency might even have some experience in your particular niche, have experience with projects similar to yours or maybe even some case studies and customer reviews it could present for specific projects delivered in that language and market.
How #3: Speed
Hiring an International SEO agency helps you to accelerate your globalization! You could always hire a couple of multilingual SEO specialists 1 for each language and market you are targeting, but the truth is that it will be complicated to find good experienced SEO’s that speak several languages AND will more or less require a similar investment than simply hiring an external agency.
Sure, it always depends a bit on what your business is looking for and if the Marketing strategy and budget align with the what the International SEO agency can offer, but the simple ability to be able to hire a team of SEO specialists, speaking several languages and with a decent experience gives your business massive increase in speed implementing your SEO growth plan. Most of the time you can start relatively quickly once you have found the right vendor, someone you can trust, an SEO agency that is transparent and competent enough to deliver results constantly.
How #4: The Implementation
The implementation of that international SEO strategy is the key to success. I often hear clients talk about past SEO vendors and what was delivered, and I am not surprised. An Audit, a Google Analytics report or a Keyword Ranking check is not SEO and it surely doesn’t have to do anything with a proper Implementation for International SEO either. Some leading experts, like Aleyda provide huge amounts of information on different ways how to implement an international SEO strategy and I am sure they’d confirm quickly that International SEO is much more than just a couple of audits and a Keyword report.
The implementation is key! What needs to be done, when does it need to be done and how are we going to do it? A great SEO will help you to guide you and your business through that process with whatever tools necessary to make sure that your developers, your marketing team your content experts know exactly what is happening when and why, all the time!
What should business owners look for in terms of service deliverables and results?
What should you as a Marketing VP or Business Owner be looking for in terms of service deliverables and results when hiring an international SEO agency?
The SEO vendor needs your (teams) help – It’s a collaboration!
First things first, there’s one big topic we need to cover here before jumping right to the results. As a business that is hiring an SEO contractor or agency for the next 6-12 months, there’s something you need to keep in mind: The SEO vendor needs your help – it’s a collaboration, a partnership. SEO is never a lean back, they do it all type of service. The reason for that isn’t that we as SEO’s wouldn’t want to (in some cases that would actually be better) but it’s simply not possible.
An SEO specialist, no matter if for local SEO or for big international SEO projects will always have to work closely with your team. He’ll need access to tools, access to information, feedback from different teams and more importantly the willingness of your different departments to get shit done. SEO is not a magic activity where “I write a couple of content pieces and I’ll become rich” – as said before, it’s a long term process that needs time, collaboration and dedication – more so if we are trying to do it in several languages.
Let’s talk about the results!
Working with an international SEO agency is an investment and investors want results. It is highly recommended to establish some general KPIs right at the beginning of the project. They don’t always have to be “numbers” because sometimes it’s actually pretty difficult for an SEO to predict the course of a project 6-12 months in advance. And this prediction issue has several reasons: We SEO’s don’t know exactly if the recommendations we make will actually be implemented by the IT guys in a timely manner. If the content team is happy to implement the recommended changes to the content from day one. If the keywords we would like to see in the headlines of the solution pages get approved by the brand manager. So, basically the results can be anything you and the SEO vendor defines, I know this sounds broad, so here are some basic guidelines you can follow:
- Additional Organic Traffic per Market / Language generated
- Additional Organic Leads per Market / Language generated
- SEO Implementations done
- Local language pages optimized
- Amount of optimized Blog content pieces
- Amount of newly created content pieces
- Amount of implemented Technical SEO fixes implemented
- Amount of Errors reduces
- Decrease in seconds “load speed”
There are so many more, depending on your project size and experience with SEO you’ll be able to discover the right metrics for your business together with the International SEO agency you finally select.
In case you are currently looking for an International SEO agency with experience and a proven track record of successful projects feel free to check out our SEO page and reach out to us!