How We Built High-Impact, Localized SEO Strategies in French and German for Conga
Conga is a contract and revenue lifecycle management software based in the US with the goal of expanding into Germany and France.
Conga originally contacted us for help with German translations to support that goal. We started by translating 24 content pieces from English to German in Q4 2022.
During this process, we identified a new opportunity that Conga could capitalize on if they included “SEO localization” in their translation process, a method used to identify search intent match keywords with search volume in local markets. As opposed to pure translation, SEO localization ensures content efforts match local search behavior and consequently, have a stronger chance of impacting revenue in local markets.
To help Conga take advantage of this opportunity, we shifted our focus to localizing the SEO strategy in German and then did the same for French.
How We Built High-Impact, Localized SEO Strategies in French and German for Conga
A complete roadmap for Conga’s in-house marketing team to localize efficient and high-impact content in German and French.
Search intent match keywords with search volume for a total of 100 content pieces in the French and German markets.
A deep understanding of the local market search behavior and competitors to determine KPI benchmarks for the industry and total market potential.
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Relying solely on pure translations to drive SEO performance is quite risky because there is no assurance that the target audiences in the local markets use the same phrases and search for them in the same manner as in the original language. A much more effective approach is to use “SEO localization” to ensure keywords match search intent and have search volume in the local language and market.
How We Helped Conga Localize Their SEO Strategy into French and German
Step 1: Evaluate Conga’s SEO Performance Globally Versus Locally
Each international market is different, so it’s important to check performance locally, not just globally, if you want to be sure to get an accurate picture of the data. In order to do so, use the subfolder version (or subdomain) of the URL and filter for that market, not the root domain (the root domain only shows global performance).
In the case of Conga, we reviewed the performance across:
- conga.com/fr for the French market
- conga.com/de for the German market
Here are the insights we found for Conga’s SEO performance in France:
- Conga’s domain has a medium authority score of 41/100. The website is viewed as a trusted resource within the space, but efforts are needed to grow the score.
- There are only 2 keywords ranking in spots 1 – 3, these are branded Conga keywords. This is a signal that the Conga brand is a fairly established organization within this space in France. There is opportunity to increase both branded and non-branded traffic further.
- The majority of keywords ranking in positions 21 – 100. This signals that content hasn’t been optimised as well as it could be for the keywords Google is picking it up for in France.
- Organic traffic has been relatively volatile over the last year with little to no growth, suggesting that content isn’t optimized for the French market and doesn’t match search intent, causing a fluctuation in SERP spots.
- Total Impressions have seen some growth recently, but without seeing more clicks, which again means there’s opportunity in matching search intent, as well as optimizing Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.
Here are the insights we found for Conga’s SEO performance in Germany:
- Conga’s German domain has a rather strong authority score of 56/100. This is a clear signal that the website is viewed as a trusted resource within the space.
- However, there are few keywords ranking 1 – 3 and 4 – 10. The majority of the keywords are ranking in positions 51 – 100. This signals that content hasn’t been optimized as well as it could be for the keywords Google is picking it up for in Germany.
- Organic traffic has been relatively volatile over the last year with little to no growth, suggesting that content isn’t optimized for the German market and doesn’t match search intent, causing a fluctuation in SERP spots.
- 18% of organic traffic is currently arriving on the Conga domain via branded search terms. This is a signal that the Conga brand is a fairly established organization within this space in Germany. However, there is an opportunity to increase both branded and non-branded traffic further.
- Over half of keywords (64%) fall under the “informational” intent category, showing that Conga has relied heavily on ToFu (top of funnel) content. Moving forward, there will be an opportunity to increase the number of ranking keywords in the commercial and transactional intent categories.
Step 2: Research Local Competitors and Search Behavior
In the same way as local market performance differs, so do local competitors. We analyzed four direct competitors of Conga in both markets. The top competitors were identified in that they rank for Conga’s main product keywords.
The French competitors were identified based on the keywords:
- gestion du cycle de vie des contrats
- signature electronic
- génération de documents
- cycle de vie du revenu
Here are the insights we found from the French competitors that we applied to Conga’s SEO localization strategy:
- Conga’s domain authority is just about stronger than several of its SERP competitors.
- DocuSign are the only SERP competitor who are increasing efforts in SEO for the French market as ranking keywords and traffic is increasing for all.
- Conga has less ranking keywords than many competitors, which means there’s a lot of opportunity to grow traffic through untapped keywords.
- Conga currently sees around 2.5K traffic from France. Through the competitor analysis, we were able to identify the potential to 10x that amount, because French competitors are receiving 20K+.
- Conga.com/fr has considerably less backlinks than SERP competitors. With the right strategy, there was a chance here to grow Domain Authority.
The German competitors were identified based on the keywords:
- revenue lifecycle management
- vertragsmanagement prozess
- software für digitale unterschrift
Here are the insights we found from the German competitors that we applied to Conga’s SEO localization strategy:
- Conga’s domain authority is one of the strongest amongst its competitors (because they used a subpage unlike Docusign).
- Competitors are increasing efforts in SEO for the German market as ranking keywords and traffic is increasing for all.
- Conga has far less ranking keywords than competitors, meaning there’s a lot of opportunity to grow traffic through untapped keywords.
- Conga currently sees around 1.2K traffic from Germany Through the competitor analysis, we were able to identify the potential to 50x that amount, because German competitors are receiving 58K or 74K.
- It’s crucial to get started now, as all competitors have started to invest in their SEO efforts and have seen ranking keywords and traffic grow in the last 6 months.
Step 3: Localize Keywords Based On Content Pillars
Localizing keywords within content pillars paves a direct path to building topical authority, a core ranking factor for today’s SEO success. Ideally, content pillars are based on phrases that describe what the business sells, as well as topics the brand wants to become authoritative in and inform customers about.
We identified the following primary content pillars for Conga:
- Document Management
- Contract Management
- Business Processes
- Sales Process / RevOps
We then proceeded with keyword localization to identify keywords that matched search intent and had search volume in the local language that fit into these content pillars.
Here’s a sample of what that keyword localization looked like in French:
Here’s a sample of what that keyword localization looked like in Germany:
Step 4: Keyword Mapping
Once we have a holistic understanding of the local keywords that fit into the content pillars, we identify the most relevant keywords and turn them into a keyword map. This keyword map groups related keywords and organizes them into individual content pieces.
This is precisely the information that each content piece should be built around, so it’s simple to look at this as the content strategy and directly go into content production from here. The keyword maps for both languages also contain notes, such as content pieces from English (live on the .com site) that can easily be localized and any necessary redirects to avoid content cannibalization.
Here’s a sample of the keyword map in French:
Here’s a sample of the keyword map in German:
Step 5: Set Clear Content Production Priorities
As we mapped out 100 total content pieces, it’s important to identify priorities to break things up into achievable amounts that have the highest impact. We did this for Conga by creating the priority levels high, medium, and low priority.
Here are the high priorities we identified for Conga to implement the French SEO strategy:
Here are the high priorities we identified for Conga to implement the German SEO strategy:
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