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A Netherlands-based audio transcription startup, Amberscript's objective was to become the market leader in DACH, BENELUX, and Italy as the first step of its global growth.
At the beginning of 2022, the company was struggling to gain visibility in these markets despite having a strong product offering. Their search engine rankings for relevant keywords were low, leading to low organic search traffic and resulting in lost opportunities for growth.
To fix this, Onur Kaya, the company's Organic Growth Manager, decided on a region-specific strategy rather than keeping a general approach. Together with Efe Bilir, the company's SEO Specialist, they set a target of 120% YoY organic traffic and lead growth in 1 year. Just 6 months later, those goals were surpassed (October 22’ to March 23’).
Using the Semrush Backlink Analytics tool, the team at Amberscript took a close look at their backlink profile and realized that the majority of their referrals were coming from countries outside of their focus regions, such as Singapore, Africa, and the US. This gave Google’s algorithm the wrong target region signals.
To shift the focus to their targeted European countries, they analyzed their competitors in these regions using the Semrush Domain Overview tool. The team found that competitors had at least 65% of their referrals from their focus countries:
While Amberscript had only 17% of their backlink profile from the desired regions.
To fix this, the team disavowed over 1,000 referring domains from Singapore and eliminated some backlinks from the US and other countries that didn't focus on their services. They got all the backlink insights in the Semrush Backlink Audit tool, which showed the list of links with essential metrics such as:
While doing keyword research in the target languages, the team realized that different professions had varying needs depending on their location. For example, in Germany, academics and students looking to do qualitative research and focus groups were the largest audiences that needed transcription services. Meanwhile, in Italy, lawyers seeking legal documentation and transcription services were a priority.
To address this, they created new informational content and localized the existing articles to tailor them to the needs of each audience, with additional or expanded sections in the translations. This approach resulted in a more than 300% increase in guideline-sourced signups on the website in just 6 months.
The organic growth team realized that providing comprehensive guidelines on third-party tools such as iMovie, Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve was a great way to help customer audiences with their pain points, because every person who needs a subtitle has the initial video they need to edit.
However, they also noticed that the highlights and pain points varied between different countries. For example, DACH TV channels would often stream movies with dubbing, while BENELUX countries preferred subtitles. The team localized their content to cater to the different needs of each country.
Furthermore, instead of investing in link-building campaigns, the marketing team created comprehensive e-books and checklists that helped people in their research process or subtitling journey. They then promoted this content with zip code-focused PPC campaigns. This approach provided the related audience, engagement with the user, and the viral effect that the company needed, without simply paying for backlinks.
The Amberscript organic growth team matched their marketing goals with their worldwide referral distribution, understanding different audience needs across different regions, creating guidelines for third-party tools, and promoting new focused content through various marketing channels. In just 6 months, the team achieved:
Here’s what they recommend for successful region-focused SEO campaigns: