Are you in charge of the French market at an international company? Country Manager France, Head of France, Marketing Manager France…whatever your exact title, you have lots of projects on the go, a small or inexistent team and very little time to spend on SEO.
Yet, for an ecommerce website, organic traffic represents more than 50% of its turnover. SEO is the most profitable marketing lever in the long term.
SEO is often mistakenly limited to the technical side and people therefore think that it can be easily centralized. In reality, for your SEO to be effective, you also need to focus on the keywords, content and link building on the “market” side:
- Keywords should be chosen in relation to local behaviors and competitors
- Content needs to target local populations
- Backlinks need to come from French sites
How can you tell if your current SEO in France is effective?
Here are 3 simple tips to help you analyze your SEO:
- Compare the organic traffic, conversion rate and turnover on your French site versus the other European sites on Google Analytics or using an internal tool – if you don’t have access to the data for the other European countries, you can get traffic estimates from sites like SEMRush
- Analyze your “brand” keywords carefully separately – the traffic from these words depends on your brand notoriety
- Compare the ranking of your site for your generic French keywords versus the ranking for these keywords in other languages
So, how is your site faring in the French market? Contact me and I’ll provide a free pre-audit!
How can you optimize your SEO management?
If your SEO is managed in the country of your company headquarters, there is a risk this market will be privileged and that the recommendations will simply be translated without analyzing local SEO or monitoring the performance of the French market.
Inversely, if the SEO is managed by an agency in France, the Country Manager faces another difficulty: understanding and communicating the agency’s SEO recommendations with the headquarters and working with the different internal departments to ensure they are implemented correctly.
Whatever your situation, here are 4 ways you can manage your SEO better:
1/If your SEO is managed in the country of your company HQ
- Ask to be put in touch with the French-speaking SEO expert in charge of semantic analysis and send his or her a list of your competitors as well as local keywords to add to the audit
- Organize regular meetings with your French-speaking SEO expert and teams at headquarters to ensure any recommendations are fully implemented
- Obtain a report including organic traffic, rankings for the most important generic keywords in your local market, backlinks and technical analysis
- Compare the SEO performance of the French site to that of the other EU sites
2/ If you recruit a local agency:
To avoid a “bottleneck” effect, try to delegate as much as possible:
- Select an agency whose account managers speak English or the language spoken at the company headquarters
- Ask for a full audit including competitors for the 4 key areas (semantics, technical, content, link building) with SEO recommendations written in English or the language spoken at the headquarters
- Set aside a budget for technical support in direct collaboration with your headquarters (implementing changes, follow-up and checking)
- Set aside a budget for local link-building initiatives and content creation
But, there is a simpler alternative. Why not call on the services of an SEO consultant (like me) to carry out an audit, make recommendations and implement changes? This way you can delegate all your SEO activities and focus on your priorities.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch!