International Digital PR Link-building is overseen in international SEO strategies but is a key differentiator to a brand’s global digital marketing strategy. The demand for SEO and link building is becoming popular with brands as they look to expand their digital reach. What has been proven to do well in the UK is now expected in other countries brands operate in.
In the last 3 years, I have seen a lot of my global clients expect the same. ‘If we can do this in the UK, why can’t we do this in France, Germany or the US?’
And it’s a question that is answered simply by a yes, but it needs thought and preparation to kick things off. First, we assess the demand:
- If your client has a local domain URL structure, then there is an opportunity to start ranking in their local SERPS.
- The brand is already working on an onsite- SEO strategy, it makes perfect sense to incorporate links
- Your client’s local competitors have a strong backlink profile- you are already behind!
Once you have assessed the need for international links, it’s now to start thinking about the ‘how’s’. Considering each limitation that you may come across and how you will overcome them will be your wireframe for your strategy.
Language can be a tricky obstacle, but it is by far not the hardest one to overcome. There are two options that can work for you and your client. This will depend on budget, resource and time. The first option is to work with a translator. This can either be with an agency or a trusted freelancer who knows the industry. The other option is to work with a local freelance link builder for that region. The likeliness of local speaking websites featuring an English story is unlikely, so it’s worth thinking about the two options. This is a simple example of a piece of content that was translated and then seeded to the French press:
Digital PR Contacts
Working with an international directory is the quickest method for hitting the ground running with your outreach. Directories such as Cision, Gorkana, Agility, and Meltwater all have their pros and cons. Depending on your budget and their lists for particular countries, you will be able to make an educated decision. Don’t disregard looking for contacts the traditional way and look for popular sites and hitting up their contact page.
Timing is a simple, yet highly effective aspect to international PR link building. To make sure you have as high as possible open rate, you need to consider time zones. David White shared a great infographic and an example of how time zones came into play with his campaign. Time and Date have a great tool that calculates time zones and office hours.
Understanding the cultural backdrop you are planning to launch your international link building strategy is key in a shift of a brand’s SEO. What may get the headlines in one country, might fall flat in another. Therefore, research is paramount. Immerse yourself in the region’s news sites and find out what are their popular topics. Look at how progressive the country is and how they view specific issues such as age and gender. How the UK reports on a topic could be very different from another country, even when they are deemed similar culturally.
Digital PR Content
Now, this brings me on to content. Unless you have a product, you will be need content to spark that conversation. By doing your research, you should have a pretty good idea of what will work. If you have great digital PR links and a library of evergreen content in English, repurpose it! Content that touches on topics that are being spoken about on a global level will give your outreach a better chance to gain link in multiple countries. But it still important to double-check what the tone is the region your strategizing your international link building in.
From my personal experience, topics such as: work-life balance, gender/class equality, climate change and pay work great in most countries. But remember to consider the cultural barriers that will dictate how you create this content. For example, western countries will favour work-life balance whilst the A-Pac regions will favour productivity. See this example from Instant Offices:
Before executing your international link building strategy, look at what position your brand or clients are starting from. Look at a competitor backlink analysis to see where they are naturally performing against their local competitors. Look at how they are ranking for their most important search terms and key services. This will give you enough scope to see how much time you need to invest in this exercise and give yourself a better idea of the landscape you are planning to work in.
The key takeaway here is that international link building is doable and is effective if the above has been implemented into planning. Whether your client is looking to present themselves in a new market or want to compete in different country SERPs, it can be done. There are key considerations and planning that have been covered in this article on creating a solid strategy to gain links in other countries, continents, languages, and timezones. If this is something you haven’t done before, I highly suggest testing this out in your next campaign launch to see how straight forward it really can be!