Pan-European Search Panel: Massimo Burgio, Bas Van Den Beld, Kristjan Har Muaksson, Guillermo Villaroag.
This session after lunch had some great European speakers, bringing their own experiences. The session was chaired by Massimo Burgio and had presentations from Bas Van Beld, founder of Search Cowboys and Andy Atkins-Kruger, who runs WebCertain and Kristjan Mar Hauksson from Iceland. There was a lot of information here, so I’ve just picked out the main points here.
The European marketÂ is second biggest in the world – bigger than the US – but is also very splintered market. There are 50 countries in Europe Union and 23 languages – but over 200 languages across Europe. And there are more than 1000 languages and dialects, so very hard to address.
You need to address different countries in different ways because there are so many different cultures and groups within the continent.
You cannot target every European company the same way, and you can’t target same-language speakers (eg Austria and Germany) with same website or campaign, nor different groups within same country (eg. Belgium) because there are too many differences.
Essentially you need to address each company in it’s own way. Don’t just translate content – get native speakers to find out differences in culture and language.
Globally, colours matter because they can have different political and cultural meanings. For example in the Ukraine orange means revolution while in Holland orange means party!
Get a real grip of each country’s behavioursÂ – not just online though, offline behaviour will tell you a lot.
You can think about domains and sub-domains for a long time but really it’s all about content.
Translating key words do not work! They are short cut thoughts and abbreviations and they don’t match up from one country and culture to another.
Because Google is English language based there are a number of languages differences that Google doesn’t work well with, so be aware of that.
Google rankings are different for each country version.
Geographic signals to help your SEO
- local domain
- local links
How to succeed globally
- Centralise at least part of the activity
- Benchmark against history
- Native speakers SEOs – need to advice on language
- Co-operate with local teams
- Senior management being on board
- Implement what the agency says (!).