German SEO (short for Search Engine Optimisation) looks at all the factors that contribute to your Google search results in Germany. Its primary purpose is to make sure search engines have a good idea of what your company is about, and rank you highly for relevant terms, so the right kind of traffic is directed to you. There are many aspects to SEO, including on-page which optimizes aspects of your website itself; technical SEO (like page speed and mobile friendliness) and link building (external links from other reputable sites).
The first question many people ask when entering the German market is, “Do I need a .de domain name?”
The short answer is no. There are pros and cons of using a sub-domain, sub-folder or .de domain name, but one is not necessarily better than the other.
The two essential items to get right are:
- Do not use a sub-domain or sub-folder if your main domain targets a different country. So, if your main domain is indigoextra.co.uk, using de.indigoextra.co.uk would not work. That’s because the .co.uk domain extension tells Google and potential visitors that you’re targeting the UK. It’s bad for both SEO and user experience.
All our German copywriters and SEO experts are qualified to degree level or above and have prior relevant experience and great references.
We have an extensive team of web developers, SEO experts and English/German translators, so can translate your site from start to end, or work with your own web developers, if you’d prefer.
We translate content between six European languages - English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. If your existing website is in any of these languages, we can provide a professional translation for you. Where required, this will include keyword-researched SEO translations to ensure that your translated content has a healthy keyword balance. We wade through 1,000’s of keywords to identify the best ones for your site.
Read more about our English to German translation service.
We start each SEO project with keyword research to ensure we’re targeting the best keywords for your target audience. We take statistics like search volumes and keyword difficulty from a specific country like Germany, Austria, or Switzerland.
When reviewing your website, we approach it from two perspectives:
1. The Human Perspective
We use our 16 years’ worth of experience in SEO and UX to determine how your website will be perceived by visitors. We then take steps to improve SEO, UX and conversion rates, looking at:
- How we can improve the site structure and menus.
- Ensuring content is sufficiently in-depth and provides all the information your visitors need.
- Writing additional content when beneficial.
- Analysing if the products or services are promoted in a way that will read well to German visitors.
- Determining how we can improve the user experience and conversion rate.
- Proofreading spelling and grammar.
2. The Search Engine Perspective
We also complete a German website analysis from a search engine perspective, reviewing factors like site structure, keyword balance, 404 or other errors, the title, description, hreflang Metatags, etc.
We provide feedback after completing this website SEO audit. We can also implement all of the recommended changes if your site operates on Drupal, WordPress, or certain other CMS systems.
Google value in-depth content. So, along with an SEO audit, it’s often necessary to expand the existing content on your site with well-researched, engaging German content. This might include expanded product descriptions (particularly for e-commerce sites), or a blog that illustrates your expertise by using subtler advertising messages (particularly for companies looking to promote a service).
“Social media is the same everywhere, and we won’t change our social media strategy when entering a new country.”
Many companies have uttered variants of those words, and all were incorrect. In Germany, the social media landscape is vastly different from other European countries. Even amongst other German-speaking nations, there are differences in how social media is used.
Unsurprisingly, most local Germans feel that their data is not safe online, which is why Facebook enjoys significantly less market share (64%) than it does in the UK (73%).
Another example, and an essential tool for many companies, is Twitter. In the UK, Twitter is a popular social media platform with a market share of 45%; in Germany, this number drops to a mere 22%. There are many reasons as to why, but one common explanation is that words can often be too long to express anything useful in 140 characters, which was the original limit of a Tweet.
When doing social media in Germany, we therefore focus more on Facebook and LinkedIn.
We have a broad range of clients, across diverse businesses. However, we will only work for ethical industries. Our ethical policy can be found here.
We consider six factors when recommending which keywords to target:
- Relevance to your business.
- Likely profit per keyword (if you provide us with a spreadsheet showing this, we will merge data with our organic keyword research).
- How frequently each keyword is searched for in the target country.
- How difficult it will be for your site to rank for the keyword.
- The user-intent behind it (whether it's commercial or informative in nature).
- What semantically related words to include on the page too (this helps content read more naturally and avoids keyword stuffing).