Marketing in Germany & German SEO
If you’re looking to do business in Germany, getting your business found should really be one of your top priorities. Gone are the days of getting a simple website translation – we’re living in a digital era where consumers go straight to the mighty Google if they’re looking for a new service or product. So, if you want to see your business grow in Germany, you’re going to have to be found, and that’s where marketing and German SEO comes in!
Germany’s business sphere
We bet you won’t be surprised to hear that Germany is the top consumer market in the EU, and has the 4th largest economy in the world. Home to some of the continents largest trade-show events, it’s no wonder that companies are flocking to Germany to do business on a global level. SMEs make up 99.5% of the number of enterprises in the country, who employ 63% of all employed Germans.
Marketing in Germany
If you’re looking to do business abroad, Germany is a great choice not only because of the reasons we’ve already covered, but also because imports amount to over 1,000 billion euros a year. So, if you’re new to doing business in Germany, how do you get a piece of the pie? Well, we’re about to spill all!
First things first…German SEO
When you first think about doing business in a country, chances are you’re not going to have the manpower on the ground to do all of the leg work for you (unless you’re a large company of course!). While it may seem impossible to manage everything from the comfort of your own office, there are a number of options out there!
Starting from the very beginning, you’ll need to invest in quality localization services. While on the whole, Germans have a very good grasp of the English language, if you’re looking to sell – you need to speak German.
So, to start things off, make sure you have a German website. Germans aren’t the most trusting bunch so if you don’t have a website they can read up about you on, you’re not going to gain their trust and it’ll impact them doing business with you.
When you’re getting your website done, rather than just translating (because that’s super old fashioned), invest in German SEO at the same time. The reason this works better is because German consumers/clients will actually be able to find you, and you’ll get leads coming to you rather than wasting money on a static website that’s just sitting there and looking pretty.
How does German SEO work?
Luckily in Germany, Google is the main search engine used by Germans, so German SEO follows the same rules as you have at home. You’ll have to perform keyword research, however bear in mind that the keywords may vary slightly as Germans search differently to English speakers. Then, it’s going to be a case of on-page, off-page, and technical optimization.
Remember – this may sound like a lot of extra money but by partnering with a reputable company (like ourselves…hint hint), the costs for German SEO and localization will actually be almost the same as if you were just getting your website translated
Google Ads vs German SEO? SEO wins hands down!
If you’ve got the budget to put behind an impressive Google Ads campaign, Germany is probably one of the few markets where we’d have to advise you against it. The problem is that Germans don’t trust paid ads, and they’d much rather buy from a company who invests in German SEO. The reason behind this thinking is because they see companies who spend the time working on their SEO as more reputable and trustworthy, instead of just throwing money behind the quick option.
Moving slightly on from German SEO, Germans love content marketing. So, make sure you put together a content strategy (in German of course) based around the needs and wishes of your German target audience, including print. It’ll not only help your SEO efforts, it’ll draw people to your brand rather than you having to chase them.
Social Media Marketing
Another great way of gaining trust with your German target audience is through social media marketing – and this is something you can do from home! Make sure you have German content ready to go, and if you’re really serious, how about having a German page dedicated to just Germany? Localized pages perform 6x better than having a global presence.
Also, remember that Germans don’t use the same channels as us Irish. If you’re targeting B2B, you’ll have to use Xing as Germans don’t use LinkedIn. Apart from that, you’re good to use Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram.
If you’re looking to increase your brand’s presence in Germany, how about visiting trade shows? Germans love meeting people face to face at professional events, plus as these events are normally visited by companies from all over the world so they’re a great place to kick-start your global presence.
Doing business with Germans
One of the final pieces of info we’re going to leave you with is that if you want to do business with Germans, you have to understand their mentality. Germans are extremely formal, and love rules – so whatever you do don’t push boundaries. Don’t worry about it too much though, as Germans are very friendly and welcoming once you gain their trust.