International SEO Case Study
Case study: 550% more traffic and 400% more leads in 12 months. Use of International SEO and Google Ads for Lead Generation in US and UK.
International SEO Growth Hacking
The chart shows a 12-month period of International SEO for an international high-tech company. This case study is an example of mixing Google SEO and SEM techniques, that is, optimizing a website for foreign search engines and boosting leads with Google Ads. In this case, the target market is the United States and the United Kingdom.
How to get growth hacking at 550% in 12 months?
This exclusive drySEO project aims to generate leads in the US and UK. The choice of the right strategy depended on the domain’s initial state and historical data.
In this project, the domain has a long history due to the company’s established position in the high-tech market. However, the initial state featured low traffic (around 2.5k per month) and a low number of leads (around 60 per month).
The 550% growth of traffic was achieved by SEO Avalanche Strategy and Semantic Content Hub. The positioning was supported with paid Google Ads in the United States and the United Kingdom (budgets around $500 per month).
What is link building all about?
The basis of Google’s SEO algorithm is domain trust. The determining factor for domain trust is backlinks from well-known, large services, such as Google, Apple, Wikipedia, or government websites. Usually, socially well-known websites provide a link to another site, only when it is trusted. Link building is an effort to get as many inbound links as possible from well-known domains with the highest possible authority.
How do backlinks affect International SEO?
The graph shows a website’s link network at the end of the project, where the color green and the size of the node signify the greater authority of the linking site. Many well-known brands fail to leverage their market position for link-building. In the project, drySEO used backlink building to achieve a growth hacking effect.
What is a Semantic Content Hub?
Semantic Search is based on AI artificial intelligence algorithms that recognize the meaning of search phrases and their intentions. This also means that semantic search must do the same on the content side. Examples of search intentions are purchase (when the user wants to buy something) or educational intentions (when the intention is to gain knowledge). The semantic search algorithm suggests content to the user that the AI thinks will be helpful to the user. In this context, a semantic content hub is a network of holistically linked content. The visualization of the semantic content hub is a network of nodes, where the distances between nodes are the so-called vectors, i.e. the degree of thematic linking.
The node networks generated by artificial intelligence are best illustrated by a video created by Google developers:
The goal of International SEO is to Generate Leads
In order for an International SEO project to be profitable, it must bring tangible benefits to the company. In other words, LEAD GENERATION IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL of SEO. Acquiring contacts for a sales funnel is an issue related to the conversion rate of organic traffic into leads.
International SEO is a long-term investment for a company, which must pay off within 2-3 years. In the drySEO project, the goal was for the generated leads to pay off within 12 months. Creating such an assumption enforces a B2B growth hacking approach, i.e. to achieve results as quickly as possible to generate sales. To be able to evaluate ROI (Return on Investment), the website was integrated with Salesforce CRM. In this way, generated sales leads went directly to salespeople. Integration of the optimized website with the Salesforce allows for ongoing evaluation of the profitability of the project.
International SEO or Google Ads?
Companies implementing a strategy to develop foreign markets often face a choice: SEO or paid ads. Both ads and SEO have their advantages. The best practice for growth hacking is when foreign positioning is supported by paid ads.
Is each language version positioned independently?
Looking at Google Search Console data, it’s clear that each language version is positioned separately. But is it for sure? In drySEO tests for International SEO, a dependency on the positioning of the language version was observed when the language version was unoptimized or significantly limited. For example, being limited to translating only part of the foreign content resulted in a significant reduction in positioning in the original language! The graph shows an increase in International SEO for the original language version when the only change that was made was SEO optimization for the English version.