Expand Your Business in France
Indigoextra have been offering French SEO since 2006 and over the years we have refined our link building strategy to be sure that all links comply with the latest Google guidelines. Our strategy focuses on building relatively few links from relevant, high authority sites and all content is written by native French speakers educated to degree level or higher, with previous experience in SEO, translation or copywriting. Our service gives you the following benefits:
- Have links generated to your site from relevant high quality, high authority websites.
- Appear higher in the search results for relevant keyword searches with Google.fr and other French search engines.
- Receive more visitors to your site as a result of this, which in turn will increase sales.
High Authority French Links
Google takes a lot of different factors into account when deciding how much value to place on a given link and it's important that links come from a range of different sources.
The general guideline is to ask yourself:
"If search engines didn't exist, would this link still make sense?"
If you can answer 'yes' to this question, then odds are the link will also help with your SEO, i.e. your position in Google's search results. Link farms and automated link schemes simply don't work any more.
When creating links, we therefore focus on quality - creating unique, original content in the form of guest posts, company details for directories, infographics and shareable images. We also use Moz's Domain Authority as an up-to-date measure of the overall quality of a website and ensure all links are on Domain Authority 25 or higher sites and have a good amount of traffic.
Link Building Process
We start by completing a detailed keyword analysis to identify the best keywords to target. Each month we then:
- Write unique articles and other content taking these keywords into account and design image shares and infographics and send these to you for approval.
- After any edits, arrange for the content to be published.
- Send you a monthly report of the URL of all published links, the Domain Authority of each site and your position for target keywords.
Niche Articles - Guest Blogging
One effective SEO strategy is guest blogging - writing interesting articles with unique content and placing them on relevant French websites and blogs. As part of every French link building campaign, one of our fluent French speakers will therefore write educational articles related to the product or service that you offer. We then organise each article to be added to a relevant French website, where possible including images that we will create or source for you. Each article will also include a link either within the article itself or in the 'About the Author' section, taking people to your site. Google index these links and will give your site a boost in the rankings because of them and you will receive direct traffic from the article itself.
Since Google Penguin it's important to be selective when doing directory submissions, as Google penalise sites with a lot of poor quality links going to them and this includes spammy directories. Submitting to hundreds of directories therefore means at best that the poor ones will neutralise the benefit of the good ones.
We therefore only submit to the top French directories (based on traffic, Alexa rank and whether the directory is niche to your industry), writing lengthy, unique descriptions of the unique selling points of your company with each submission. Where allowed, we will also include links to your Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter profiles from the directory, or deep links to internal pages on your site.
Proven SEO Success
We have placed over 100 websites on the 1st page with Google and complete French link building campaigns for a range of small, medium and large businesses every month. Examples of some of the keywords we have helped our clients reach a 1st page position for include:
Gants en Cuir
Gestion des identités
We carefully keep track of Google's algorithm updates to ensure that links include a healthy range of keywords and good anchor texts, however we also understand that link building is not just about counting keywords and checking a site's domain authority. We therefore ensure that all French content is written by fluent French speakers and is both engaging and well researched. We have an ever expanding database of websites and webmasters who we contact to place articles and other links on their sites.
As well as writing content, we've found that creating beautiful infographics, quotagraphics and other image shares and distributing them on social media sites, infographic sharing sites et al is an effective link building strategy. One example of a quotagraphic is shown below, you can also view examples of our:
How to do link building
Since our establishment in 2006, we have gained a significant amount of experience in building high quality links in France and throughout Europe and our service is tailored to offer an excellent return on investment.
If you are looking for information on how to do link building yourself, then we recommend the following approach:
1. Create something worth linking to
You are the expert in your own business and will understand your industry better than an SEO consultant who is getting to know your company for the first time.
If you have an innovative product or service, then describe what’s unique about it, focusing on the benefits, rather than the features. Write a company blog that is well researched and offers something unique and truly valuable to your website visitors. An in-depth how to guide, insights that will benefit your customer and not just sell your products, or other relevant topics that help demonstrate your expertise, educate the customer and differentiate you from your competitors.
2. Do keyword research for France
Keyword research will provide a range of statistics for each word or phrase, but for French SEO, the 2 most important measurements are:
- The number of monthly searches from France
- The organic competitiveness of each keyword
We measure the organic competitiveness or “SEO Challenge” by taking the average strength of the top 20 domains for any given keyword. This is different from the PPC competitiveness, which measures how many companies are bidding on a particular keyword in Google AdWords.
For well-established sites that are looking to grow further, targeting keywords with very high traffic (monthly searches), and only paying a little attention to competition is a valid strategy. For new sites (which would include an established English language site that has only recently been translated into French), excluding keywords that are too competitive, at least at first, will give you the best return on investment.
Google will typically only show one page of your site for any given keyword, so decide which page or two to prioritize per keyword, then ensure that the on-page SEO is strong for this keyword – see details of how to do an on-page SEO audit. After optimizing a page for a given keyword, focus your incoming links on that same keyword, so that your link building complements your on-page SEO.
3. Build only French backlinks
This may seem like it’s obvious, but it’s important that all, or the vast majority of French link building you do is from French websites. If you have a lot of links from English websites (or any other language) going to your French site, this will look very odd to Google and won’t help your SEO.
4. Prioritize quality over quantity
It’s important that the backlinks to your site are relevant and from websites with a high domain authority, a healthy amount of traffic and a good reputation with Google. We use tools to measure each of these, however when you’re looking for potential sites to approach for backlinks, a simple way to find quality sites is to search for the kinds of keywords you want to appear for, or the broad topics that your website is about.
For example, if your keyword is, “Montre connectée femme” (“Women’s smartwatch” in English), look for blogs or directories for women, fashion, sport, etc.
Similarly if a directory has a maximum word count of 250 words, write 230-250 words to describe your company, so that you’re taking advantage of the opportunity available.
5. Focus on guest blogging
Guest blogging is a fantastic way to get backlinks to your site.
Write at least 500 words (ideally more) of engaging, informative content and include a link from it to your site. Create or buy an image to go with it, then contact relevant webmasters or blog owners and ask them if they’ll add it to their site.
This is a way of building highly relevant links with just one or two other links on the page from in-depth content, on high authority sites and Google values this kind of link above less relevant links.
6. Build a wide variety of links
That said, Google is also looking for a natural link building pattern and our experience is that if you focus 100% on guest blogging, then you don’t get the same benefit as if you also build some links from social media, directories, infographic sites, etc.
Do a search on Google.fr for your most important keywords, and see what sites appear; if you can add your link to any of those pages, do, regardless of whether it’s a Facebook page, a directory, a blog, an advert, or whatever!
It’s also important to vary the anchor texts, and not use keywords exclusively.
7. Be patient
Most keywords with a high monthly search volume will also have a high competition and it takes time to move up the rankings and appear on the first page with Google. As you start to rank for some of the easier keywords, you can then move on to more competitive keywords with higher search volumes.
Link building is an ongoing process and with patience and by following the steps above, you should see a steadily increasing traffic to your site both from Google and from visitors clicking the links. Bon chance!