Positioning from Poland to the UK market – how to go about it?

Joanna PierzynkaJoanna Pierzynka
Published: 15.10.2018
8 minute

Most people starting out as SEO specialists deal mainly with the local market. The first knowledge in this area is easiest to obtain by supporting your own business, creating a blog or helping your friends with their ventures.

When we get our first foreign clients, however, we start playing with global SEO. How then to get down to work? I deal with SEO from Poland to the UK market on a daily basis, and I have prepared some tips and data to help you cope with this leap..

1. Linguistic nuances

What appears to be a simple phrase in English may have several business meanings that need to be thoroughly understood. If the client specializes in a very niche industry, basic knowledge of the language is no longer enough for you. Unless you are a native speaker or someone with at least C1 level English skills, you will need the help of someone directly from the industry when selecting key phrases, optimizing content and creating new texts.

If this is the case, it’s worth having a few conversations with the client to rule out language misunderstandings, while also gaining valuable knowledge. From our own clients we are able to get the best knowledge of the specifics of the industry..

2. The right tools

Not all the tools you’ve used so far will work on the UK market. When optimizing Polish sites, my primary visibility monitoring tool is Senuto, only later do I compare the results with other tools. Senuto has the best database of Polish words, so when working on small blogs or large e-commerce sites, it has worked great.

As for the still-developing new version of Senuto, you can see huge potential in the tool, which is being fine-tuned for now. It allows you to monitor key phrases in any language and country in a very transparent way. For now, however, the Foreign Market Visibility Analysis module is not yet available.

When I got niche foreign sites operating more locally under my care, so I had to rely more on foreign tools.

Below is an example of a foreign site and the number of detected keywords in TOP50:

3. External linking

Let’s not hide – links still work and will continue to work for a long time to come. I’m not talking about links bought in bulk on Allegro, which can do a lot more harm than help. I’m talking about outsourcing them directly to link builders and buying them from dedicated SEO stores.

We can also add highly valuable sponsored articles to the list of external link sources. When setting a budget for such activities, unless the SEO does link building on his/her own, you unfortunately have to expect proportionally higher costs according to the given market. In the offers of Polish stores there are packages for the UK market and the prices for 25 links vary from PLN 50 to PLN 225. In the case of individual commissioning of a link builder, the prices per link will be closer to this upper limit.

However, the biggest expense is sponsored articles. To publish our article on a site with sufficiently high parameters, we have to spend up to £200. On top of that, there is the cost of writing the article and translating it, which we often have to outsource to someone else. Therefore, in case our client offers various services to other companies, it is worth asking for the possibility to place a link on the service recipient’s site as a partnership. This creates a natural link profile for our service.

Link profile of nearest competitors

One of the more popular methods is the link profile of the closest competition. Majestic tool calls its product that performs this type of analysis, Clique Hunter. It is based on identifying sites that link to our competitors and not to our site.

By exporting the results, and then sorting accordingly according to the lack of links to our site and the overall quality of the linking domain, we are able to find new, valuable link sources.

An interesting article, which is still sometimes updated, and which is really worth reading is https://niftymarketing.com/list-of-local-link-building-ideas/. Many methods of acquiring valuable links, their cost and the estimated time to maintain such a link are presented there.

4 Phrases and positions

In my work, I have often encountered a situation when, instead of green graphs of organic traffic directly from GA and SEO visibility, the client was more interested in the position of the site for selected phrases typed into the search engine. However, when the site generates most of its traffic from long-tail phrases, typing in the phrase “fruit tea” does not have the desired effect for a small tea manufacturer.

Such an approach of the client is, of course, as understandable as possible, but the SEO specialist, as a person familiar with the operation of search engines, sometimes understands the needs of his clients better than they do. Besides, very often one of the client’s business goals is to obtain high positions for specific phrases, especially local ones.

In order to properly monitor the positions of phrases in the organic results, it is necessary to look around for a tool that gives us the ability to choose the location from which they are checked. I myself currently use two and compare the results. These are Senuto Monitoring and ASPS. Below is a comparison of phrase positions:


5. Cheat the location

When talking to people 1,600 kilometers away, I try to adjust as much as possible to their point of view. In this regard, it is very helpful to have a VPN set to the client’s location. This ensures that the search results match without too much combining with the location directly in the browser.

I myself have recently owned a NordVPN package – in addition to the good price range, I liked the availability on all devices – both desktop and mobile. This way, when connecting to the VPN, I can also check the UK market for mobile performance.

Great stats

From January to August 2018, Google’s search engine share in Europe reached 91.6%. In second place is Bing with a score of 3.7%.

Interestingly, the UK is the European country with the highest percentage of Internet users using the Bing search engine. In July, Bing’s market share reached 12%. This is due to the large number of people in the UK who use the standard search engine on some Windows devices, namely Microsoft Edge.

We are mainly talking about older people. When, for example, serving middle-aged and elderly people, it is therefore also worth paying attention to the recommendations for the Bing search engine. It has an equivalent of Google Search Console – Bing Webmaster Tools.

The trend of increasing popularity of Bing in the islands has already been noticeable since December 2015.

Finally, as a point of interest:

“Who will your organization rely on most for strategic advice in search engine optimization (SEO) in 2020?”

It definitely caught my attention this year that larger companies in Poland are increasingly abandoning agencies and hiring their own specialists or using alternative methods. This is because clients are increasingly aware of what the actual costs of SEO activities are, and how much agencies incur. In addition, often media houses or web development companies offer SEO services as a bonus to other, more costly services.

In the case of a large company or one that has several websites under its care, it is much more beneficial to pay your own specialist. It also makes the whole process of cooperation between the owner-programmer-specialist easier, as it is much easier to take care of the communication and data transferred.

The same trend is seen in the UK market. According to the chart, from 2015 to 2017 we can see an increase in interest in having an in-house specialist and in entrusting SEO activities to a media house. However, interest in online marketing agencies is decreasing.

Positioning from Poland to the UK market – summary

In conclusion, in this day and age, when a marketer is required to know additional languages besides his native one, it is worthwhile to use this skill and look at your capabilities from a broader perspective. These are regularly enhanced through technology.

It’s easy to look at what search results a person on the other side of the globe sees, modern communicators streamline all communication at no additional cost besides Internet access, and solutions like Google Drive allow you to work on documents from any device without worrying about transferring files. Above you can find just a few ways on how to start to make your own way into wider waters.

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Joanna Pierzynka

Specjalistka SEO w Andrew Lucas London oraz Key Studios. Specjalizuje się w optymalizacji technicznej i analizie danych.

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