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The SEO challenges of expanding into a foreign market

In this case study, we look into the journey of a well-established American recruitment agency specialising in niche IT sectors like Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Embedded Systems, and the Internet of Things.

The company had already had success in the highly profitable US tech market, where the demand for IT workers had been soaring for the past few years.

In fact, our client’s website had a strong “domain rating,” granting them a significant advantage in the keyword market.

In SEO terms, domain rating (also known as domain authority or domain strength) is a metric used to assess the overall strength and credibility of a website’s domain.

Websites with a high domain rating are perceived by search engines as more trustworthy, making it easier for their web pages to rank for competitive keywords that attract high volumes of organic traffic.

Such websites have a better chance of securing higher positions in search engine result pages (SERPs), ultimately leading to increased visibility and potential growth.

With such a robust domain rating for their website, our collaboration with this client had been fruitful in the past.

Over the course of several months, we had been able to focus our content strategy on medium-difficulty keywords with high search volumes, which would have posed severe challenges for weaker websites.

However, this time, the American recruitment agency had approached us with an entirely different challenge – expanding their business into the competitive landscape of the European tech market.

Venturing into the European market brought forth a multitude of obstacles for our client – and, consequently, for our own agency.

First of all, our client was stepping into the unknown, facing complexities due to national differences in tech markets and diverse legislative landscapes, even within the European Union.

Moreover, the presence of numerous well-established recruitment agencies in Europe further intensified the competition.

And unlike their previous campaigns, this venture required a fresh start.

The company had to create an entirely new website, leaving behind the comfort of established efforts and brand recognition.

This meant we were building the SEO foundation from the ground up, encountering unique difficulties in a keyword space dominated by online recruitment giants like GlassDoor, Indeed and LinkedIn.

Navigating fragmented keyword markets

One significant aspect often overlooked by some SEO agencies is the impact of regional differences in the digital landscape.

Understanding regional nuances is paramount, particularly when the business’ focus is regional, as in this case.

The European tech recruitment market is fragmented by country and city, resulting in highly diverse keyword searches.

In other words, very few Google users search for “IT manager vacancies in Europe”.

Instead, they narrow down their searches by nation or city – for example, “IT manager vacancies in Germany” or “IT manager vacancies in Berlin”.

These keywords do feature high search volumes, but they are incredibly difficult to rank for, as websites like Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn dominate the top spots of search engine result pages.

If that weren’t enough, the domain rating of our client’s newly-launched website was way too weak for any content strategy to even dream of targeting these keywords.

Consequently, producing relevant content demanded a highly challenging approach.

Our SEO content writing team faced the challenge of crafting content that would resonate with diverse European audiences, ensuring our content plan catered to each country’s unique preferences and demands, whilst taking into account the technical limits posed by the website’s low domain rating.

Mission impossible? Not quite.

In-depth research saves the day: The Indian connection

At the heart of every successful content strategy lies thorough research.

This was also an integral part of our journey to help the American recruitment agency expand its business in the competitive European tech recruitment market.

The process began with a comprehensive analysis of the competitive landscape, where we dove into the content produced by top EU-based tech recruitment agencies.

In SEO terms, this meant closely examining the blog posts and articles generated by industry giants like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed.

These companies boast vast teams of copywriters, fortified by strong domain ratings that allow them to dominate highly profitable keywords with substantial search volumes and traffic potential.

It might have seemed like an uphill battle, with the first search results for top keywords like “IT vacancies” in most European countries dominated by well-established tech recruitment giants.

As our client had a low domain rating, the obvious choice for keyword targeting seemed limited to easier, low-volume keywords within the EU tech market.

However, this presented a dilemma – while we could plan a content strategy around these keywords, they offered little traffic potential, raising concerns about the return on investment for our client.

Faced with this challenge, our team embraced lateral thinking, exploring alternative avenues for success.

We meticulously analysed hundreds of IT-related keywords that LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor and other industry giants ranked for.

It was during this process of deep exploration that a fascinating pattern emerged – many of these keywords had a significant percentage of regional searches from India.

In other words, a substantial number of Google searches for European-based IT vacancies came from professionals based in India.

Recognizing this intriguing connection, we decided to delve further into the Indian keyword market.

This presented an exciting opportunity to tap into a whole new target audience, while helping our American client expand their services in Europe.

Our SEO solution: The 2022 Guide on How to Get an IT Job in Europe for Indians

The discovery of substantial regional searches from India opened a new door of opportunity for our client in the European tech recruitment market.

Essentially, it hinted at a demand among Indian nationals seeking IT job opportunities in Europe.

To validate our hypothesis, we conducted a series of keyword search tests, exploring phrases such as “European IT jobs for Indians,” “IT job vacancies in Europe for Indians,” and “how to get an IT job in Europe from India.”

To our pleasant surprise, these keyword combinations revealed an untapped market with easy keywords and high traffic potential.

On top of that, the existing online content addressing this niche topic was scarce, outdated, and poorly written, leaving a void waiting to be filled.

For instance, the top-ranking article for the keyword “how to get an IT job in Europe from India” was over three years old and barely reached 1,000 words, far below the optimal length of 3,000+ words for a comprehensive guide.

Seizing the opportunity, we embarked on producing a series of tailored articles specifically targeting Indian nationals looking for IT vacancies in Europe.

Our first comprehensive guide titled “The 2022 Guide on How to Get an IT Job in Europe for Indians” aimed to provide detailed and up-to-date information on the most searched European tech markets among Indian nationals, including Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden, France, and the UK.

Each segment of the guide delved deep into crucial aspects such as Indian immigration patterns, work visa application processes, and the most in-demand IT job titles and skills, along with average salaries and the best tech cities in each European country.

Within a month of publication, the article started ranking prominently for the targeted keywords in our content plan.

Phrases like “European IT jobs for Indian,” “IT job vacancies in Europe for Indian,” and “How to Get an IT Job in Europe from India” drove substantial traffic to our client’s website.

The Google search algorithm had recognized and rewarded our diligent efforts, a trend that continues to this day.

Over a year later, the article stands as our client’s top-performing webpage, ranking for over 260 keywords and attracting an impressive 357 monthly visits.

Moreover, our client reported a notable increase in leads from Indian IT workers seeking job opportunities in Europe.

Many of these potential candidates first discovered our client through the guide we had meticulously crafted.

In summary, our SEO content analysis and strategic approach not only improved our client’s online visibility but also translated into tangible sales leads.

By recognizing and capitalising on the unique demand among Indian nationals, we helped our client establish a strong foothold in the European tech recruitment market, forging a path to success in a whole new regional market.