Developing your online presence is tough, even before you start thinking about German SEO!
With 61% of all marketers stating that SEO is their biggest priority for improving their inbound marketing campaigns, it’s no wonder companies are investing huge bucks in SEO. This is pretty easily done if you’re trying to increase your sales close to home – all you have to do is hire an SEO expert in-house or get a marketing agency on board, but what about when you’re trying to expand abroad and tackle the likes of German SEO? If you’re about to take those first baby steps away from your home market, this blog post is for you as we’re going to spill all and help you set sail.
Different countries = different mentalities and marketing practices
While we may be stating the obvious, it’s really important you realise just how much Germans love SEO. The thing is, us Germans are a bit more traditional when it comes to marketing. We don’t really trust PPC ads and we’d much rather go for a company that invests their time and effort into growing their organic presence. For us, this proves that a company is trustworthy and in it for the long run. So, when you’re first thinking of ways to expand into Germany, make sure that German SEO is on your list.
How does German SEO even work?
Luckily, in Germany, we use Google as our main search engine, so when you’re planning your SEO campaign, you don’t have to worry about getting your head around a different set of ranking factors. Off-page and technical optimization work exactly the same as they do in your home market, thank Gott! The main difference you’re going to have to work with is on-page optimize = the languagey bits.
Surely translating works well enough for German SEO?
Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Germans search quite differently to English speakers, so first things first, you’re going to have to adapt your keywords. Instead of translating the keywords you’re using in English, we’d thoroughly recommend getting someone (hint hint) to help you compile a list of keywords that work for the German market. If you’re brave enough to step away from your English keywords, we’re also able to help find keywords that will unlock new opportunities you might’ve not even thought of yet.
Then, once you’ve got your keywords in place, it’s all about creating content Germans love. We’re a bit like the French in the respect that we love our language, and we really want proper German content. The thing is, German consumers can smell a translation a mile off. When you’re just translating your English content, it often comes across a bit literal and doesn’t really shine like a piece of content for the German market would – and that’s where transcreation comes in!
I’m confused, what’s the difference between translation and transcreation?
Translation is where you take one language and translate it pretty literally into another. The thing with marketing is that literal doesn’t work – you need to speak to people on a cultural level and make sure that they can relate to what you’re writing. Using call to actions as an example, in the UK they’re very informal, yet in German, we still have that kind of old-fashioned business hierarchy and professionalism we need to keep to.
Then, there are content differences, so let’s take a look at the most German event of the year – Oktoberfest. Tourists love it, and audiences in the UK etc. would love to hear all about the amazing selection of bier we have. Yet, for us Germans, that’s a bit boring, and we’d much prefer to learn about St. Patrick’s Day and how the Irish celebrate as it’s a bit more exotic.
It’s a local in-country partner who’s able to help you adapt your content so that Germans love it. And that process is called transcreation.
With a little bit of TLC and some help from an in-country expert, German SEO really isn’t something to be afraid of. Whether we’re doing keyword research, helping you put together content that converts or doing everything SEO-related for you, we’re here to help. All you have to do is ask.