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Thanks for the update, Heini. I am about to run a 14 sites, 13 languages by-the-book full scale test of the findings in the strategy primer and was re-reading the piece to freshen up my memory.
Although I am not too interested in paying per click or in any other fashion, I will do it if I have to. The question is: Do I have to? Or can I make it with Google and Fast and assorted other free local SE:s and directories? Competition for the targeted keywords doesn't appear to be too tough from what I have seen so far. Nothing that a WebmasterWorld member couldn't handle, anyway.
The language areas I am planning for include 120 page sites in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Estonian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian, so it is quite an ambitious project. Any thoughts?
(edited by: Brett_Tabke at 11:06 pm (utc) on Jan. 17, 2002)
>paying per click or in any other fashion...Do I have to?
My immediate answer would be: no, you won't have to. But it would help.
So let's dissect the matter a bit.
What first comes to mind here is PPC.
In Europe, including the UK (yes, they DO belong to Europe, even if they haven't realized it yet ;) ) PPC is a near synonym with Espotting and Overture.
The important places displaying PPC results are some of the huge local Lycos sites, soon to come some of the local Yahoos, and Altavista. Also in Germany T-online. Yahoo works with Google results, Lycos has Fast on board. So with not too competitive terms you should be able to realize first results just working with those two free engines. AV is another case. It's expensive to get in no matter what. The question wether it's more rewarding to get there via Overture or via AV's pay for play programmes can only be answered specifically.
Next on the agenda: PFI.
Fast. Powering Lycos, with portals all over Europe accumulating a No. 1 status in sheer page impressions.
Also powering Tiscali for international searches.
Big in Scandinavia.
Fast's Partnersite programme might seriously be considered. I would suggest testing the waters by submitting perhaps one or two pages per language. It should at least jumpstart all local sites. Then it should be watched closely how the PFI programme influences Fast's regular update cycles.
Altavista: in some countries still important. Very expensive. Especially since you'd have to pay extra for each country. Would be far down in my list of priorities, decided on a per country basis.
Finally: paid directory inclusion.
This is where I would recommend to set up a budget. Paying to get into Yahoo directory, Lycos directory, important local directories is important, not so much because of the direct traffic it would bring, but because of the effect it has on Fast and most importantly Google rankings.
Finding the right directories to submit to and pay where needed is really a good way of spending some marketing Euros.
For Germany specifically I'd suggest the following:
- Pay Yahoo directory, Lycos directory, Web.de directory, Fireball directory. Think about Sharelook, look out and ask for further directories.
- try Fast PartnerSite, perhaps starting out with one page. As a side effect it's good for finetuning pages for Fast.
- You will want to get to the MSN and AOL users too. Those people don't search much, but they are many. It's expensive, not a top priority, but I would do it.
I would neither recommend Espotting nor Overture. You can make it to the top spots directly beneath PPC listings. That should be as good as a sponsored link.
Okay, Euro members, who's next?
You should pay the expensive but traffic rewarding Jubii. Different packages ranging from 200-1800 EURO.
Jubii is absolutely the market leader in a country where around 70% of the population visits the internet.
Pay Kvasir (SOL) for their yellow links. They're not part of the regular search results, but you can choose up to 65 keywords, which depend in the search performed. It is basically sponsored listings.
If you're really serious you should consider putting some pages in Fast as described by Heini. Fast powers websearch results at Kvasir. A few months ago you could pay Looksmart to get in the Kvasir Directory. However now it seems that the LS results don't show in the serps. Use the yellow link instead.
Pay Inktomi for a few pages to get those 3-4 keyword phrases from MSN. You could pay Looksmart local directory to get a few kompetitive keywords from the Looksmart/MSN deal. However submitting to Looksmart in Denmark is not possible right now afaik.
I wouldn't recommend paying the craizy fees Altavista charge. Av.dk is pretty much non-existent and unless you can get a top spot on a very competitive keyword I wouldn't spend another minute thinking about AV.
Get into to Google and Fast for free and you should cover some of the market. Danish searchers use Google in rapid growing numbers.
Finally submit to Yahoo.dk. You should get in pretty quickly, and it's free. They list sites really fast, give ok traffic and give you a good boost in Google.
We have lived with paying (much) for getting qualified traffic from Jubbi for years, but their anual listing fees seem pretty spicy, so if you don't do good keyword analysis before choosing your 5-30 keywords, you could be throwing Euros out the window.
<side note>Rencke, I know you have a tight grip on keywords used in Denmark, so I'll believe you will be just fine :)</sidenote>
No, not really. You can buy Sponsor Link on a CPM basis on Jubii. They're a good back up for those keyword where you just don't perform in the serps.
For the Dutch situation specifically:
I suggest getting a .be domain at least (no local presence required, you may have to be a company), and a .nl domain if you can get one (local company presence required).
Google, Altavista, Inktomi, Fast, Dmoz will get you a long way. Altavista is still important here. Yahoo directory not.
Only other major source of referrers is Ilse.nl, which returns pagina.nl (directory) results first. Try to get a directoy listing from a (sub)category which contains your keywords. (Each category is on one page only, and this page is divided in subcategories)
For the finishing touch you might consider
- kobala.nl (wise-guys.nl technology), they provide results to track.nl and freeler.nl, a major isp.
- the smaller directories, track , zoek, wwwwijzer, 1stekeuze,
No payments really required anywhere, but paying Looksmart to get on top of Msn.nl and Msn.be may be worth it depending on your site and keywords. Everytime I check another portal has dropped Looksmart though, looks like they are quickly losing ground here since they closed their offices in the netherlands.
Espotting, Overture or other ppc methods are not needed, but if you want them (ie. for altavista.com which is still popular) they will be cheap compared to english equivalents.
I've had no problems getting local domains into av and ink for free, but is unpredictable how long it will take if you ever make it in without paying. That's no different then elswhere for these two engines I guess.
bit OT Bait for me! ...
Oh yes heini we have ... except that the word "belong" is a bit strong for us!!
UK / Britain is a European nation, it is true that many here do not recognise this and frequently talk about going to Europe when they cross the channel.
Many Germans however talk about the great time they had when they were in England visiting Glasgow or Cardiff.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Ideally a domain.co.uk
Listing at yahoo.co.uk .. someone tell me is this different from a .com listing?
dmoz works I think without national boundaries.
My impression is that a .co.uk domain will put your pages into the UK only search results from the multinational search engines anyhow as would a .de or .fr
Additionally there will be lots of small UK directories you might want to get an entry into depending on what your website is about.
From the perspective of doing a Europe wide SEO campaign the UK undoubtly is a European nation. In fact it's one of the top three or four markets to target. Internet usage figures and online shopping habits indicate the UK being the most advanced market of the huge European countries.
There is however one important factor that makes targeting the UK somewhat special: the language. British members have stated repeatedly how much harder their work is with the heavy competition from the US.
So, can you make it to the top in the UK without doing PPC/PFI?
That is a very good point and if you have customers who are targetting their web marketing within the UK specifically then you will have that challenge. I suspect that would be mainly B2C.
I have not had relevant experience, my target customers (B2B) are tending to target the "english speaking" area with their english language websites.
I will be interested in answers from people who are doing work on B2C websites which do target the UK. It annoys me that UK do not normally use domain.uk as in teh case of domain.de or domain.fr but as you know Heini we like to be different :-)
Mark_A: You say that domain.co.uk is ideal. I hadn't thought of that and intended to serve the UK with the multi-purpose English site, which is a dot-com. Needless to say, making a copy with prices in pounds, rather than both $ and £ is easy enough. Do you feel it is necessary though? (This is a B2C project btw)
Marlog: On the assumption that .it requires local presence, I bought a dot-com with the prime keyword in Italian to serve Italy. Is that an OK approach you think? Used the same approach for all other language areas where local presence is necessary and secured the prime keyword in domain.at (for the German speaking countries) and domain.be (for the French speaking areas) only. Plus hyphenated keyword1-keyword2.dk for Denmark.
Rencke I do not prentend to be expert in these things not being a pro SEO etc but I think it more than likely that the larger search engines and directories may take account of a .co.uk and assign it to their UK results whereas a .com is unclear, it could be US it could be commercial or in fact it could be anyhere.
"Needless to say, making a copy with prices in pounds, rather than both $ and £ is easy enough. Do you feel it is necessary though? (This is a B2C project btw)"
Quite possibly, approvals etc are quite different between US and UK depending again on what you are selling.
Consumer concerns in the USA and UK may also differ. VAT (sales tax) is flat rate 17.5% across UK .. US differs state to state .. How would you handle delivery if appropriate US - UK will be quite a bit different?
It would I imagine depend a great deal on what the site is selling (electrical products for example 110VAC US 240VAC UK).
If you are going to have interaction / discussion etc Brits might like (for once) to be seperate from Americans with whom we only share part of our language :-)
Just some thoughts, I am not a B2C expert by any maner of speaking. Hope it helps though.
For France, paying isn't really necessary... yet! For now, paying will get you into several directories/SE *faster* but you can still get in just about everywhere free, and do just as well.
As for PPC, overture produces very few results for French keywords. Anyone know of any up-and-coming services? Is espotting producing any *real* results in .fr SE's yet?
Many UK users prefer to purchase in £ - (Ian - still pissed off about not being in Euro)
Mark didn't really mention Ask.co.uk which is a good traffic generator but is insanely difficult - submit via email to firstname.lastname@example.org but paid listings will probably generate better results.
Lycos.co.uk is the only place you really need the .co.uk domain to get good performance.
Looksmart.co.uk is probably worth the fee - I have just paid for inclusions so will no more soon.
DMOZ listing under UK regional category is really good for promoting a .com to UK audience.
Your 62% traffic factor for Google is hugely interesting though. Even if it is only for one single site, it certainly shows massive Google presence in the Finnish market. As to a Finland overview, you will find it here: [webmasterworld.com...]
Louponne: PFI means Pay for Inclusion, i.e. the case where you have to pay to be spidered, like Inktomi. Glad to hear I won't have to pay in France, as I have great hopes for my French site in topkeyword.be
Mark_A: Thanks for the input, the site is selling discounted hotel accomodations in Stockholm, so there is no VAT problem. I will seriously consider a .co.uk after what you and Ian have pointed out.
IanTurner: DMOZ regional listings is one very big reason why the 13 language versions are stuck into different domains.
The coclusion. Brett's comment somewhere about a post Google web is very, very scary!
Checking Espotting.fr anyhow I saw that only primary keywords are bidded on, most combos are still free.
So a good Fast ranking should do for Lycos. It might be an option though to try and get into Lycos directory. Not sure if that is still free and if so, for how long?
> in France, but Lycos should bring some traffic.
Right - Lycos has done some pretty heavy advertizing in FR - television, radio, newspapers/magazines, etc.
> Checking Espotting.fr anyhow I saw that only primary keywords are bidded on, most combos are still free.
wow, free! I'm heading straight over! ;-)
> So a good Fast ranking should do for Lycos. It might be an option though to try and get into Lycos directory. Not sure if that is still free and if so, for how long?
Yes, still free - for how long? Who knows. Lycos directory listing definitely worth it. As are listings in voila.fr and nomade.fr directories in addition to the obvious yahoo.fr
(edited by: louponne at 5:28 pm (utc) on Jan. 21, 2002)
>Marlog: On the assumption that .it requires >local presence, I bought a dot-com with the >prime keyword in Italian to serve Italy. Is that >an OK approach you think?
Yes, the approach is the right one. The only search engine that penalizes italian web sites without .it domains is MSN Italy (search.msn.it, using Inktomi). The others accept italian websites with .com domains without problems.
With all Lycos top portals going paid [webmasterworld.com], it sure is just a matter of time when all important directory listing in France must be purchased.