Create a separate domain for each country
Think carefully about whether you only want to make a name for your company in Italy or whether you are also going to expand internationally. Whatever choice you make, it is important to create a separate domain for each country. Country-specific domain names signal to Google that you are active in that country. Link building with a Dutch domain in Italy will have little effect. Google will not see the site as relevant to Italy and will only let you sink further in the search results.
If you only want to expand your business in Italy, then it will be a good choice to purchase a separate domain name. However, keep in mind that this can be a costly method on an international level. Especially if you are active in many different countries and therefore have to purchase a separate domain name for each country. Also, visibility will have to be built up for each website. You can't just focus on making one website visible, because the value is not shared between all the different domains. So you will have to set up a separate link building and overall marketing strategy for each website. This takes time, money and can be very complex. Therefore, ask yourself whether you really need to be active in all countries or whether it is a better and more economical choice to only be active in the countries where there is the greatest demand for your products.
Research important Italian keywords
In the Netherlands, you probably know a little about which keywords are important for your website. You know what people search for and which terms have the highest search volume. This makes it a lot easier to optimise your website and to use the right anchor texts for your link building campaign. In a foreign country, this is a lot more difficult. Maybe you don't speak the language or you simply have no idea which terms they use most often to find similar products.
Fortunately, Google itself has some useful tools to determine keywords. There is the Google keyword planner. Here, you can easily fill in keywords yourself and discover which words score best in Google. You can also choose to have a marketing agency carry out research. They often have a little extra skill and tools to easily pick out the best keywords and set up a good campaign together with you.
When you know which Italian keywords you want to score on, setting up a link building campaign will become a lot easier. However, keep in mind that this does not guarantee success. Just using the right anchor texts is not enough. Many more factors need to be taken into account.
It may seem silly to mention this, but you'd be surprised how many people try to be more visible abroad when they don't speak the language themselves. Often, they use English - after all, this is a language that almost everyone understands - and that is simply not enough. One of the most important factors for ranking high abroad is to speak the right language. Therefore, don't take the easy way out by writing everything in English. Do you want to score in Italy? Then make sure your entire website is in Italian. There are plenty of international copywriters who can help you with this. Don't forget to use various SEO techniques, so that the web texts in Italy are also better picked up by Google. In short, hire the right people to help you with this. A strong team is worth its weight in gold when you want to grow further abroad. Especially when you don't have a 100% command of the language yourself.
Link building through Italian websites
It is essential to obtain a lot of qualitative links when linkbuilding in Italy - and in general internationally. This is not about links in the Netherlands, but links from an Italian website with an Italian domain. You may find it more difficult to find a qualitative source in Italy. That's why it's a good idea to do your own research into your competitors and discover which websites and blogs are relevant to your business. It certainly doesn't hurt to write to them and discuss the possibilities. Maybe you can even supply an Italian guest blog in consultation with an international copywriter and ask if it can be posted with a reference to your website. It's the little things that are often very effective.
There are also a number of useful tools - such as Buzzstream and Majestic SEO - that can make your search for business directories and blogs easier. This way you can easily find the right places to offer your links. Don't just look for quality websites, blogs, etc., but make sure you use the right anchor texts. This does not only mean that they are written in good Italian, but also that they have a high search volume.
Bear in mind that your company has not yet built up any image in Italy. Where your brand name often rings a bell in the Netherlands, this is not the case in Italy. Therefore, you have to start from scratch and using a brand name in the anchor text is not a wise choice in this case. Rather, choose popular anchor texts that are relevant to the products you sell in order to generate interest.
Find out if your business can make a name for itself in Italy
It is one thing to want to expand your business into Italy, but is it the best choice? Expanding a business outside the Dutch borders is not for everyone. This is mainly to do with the logistical hassle, but also with the products you sell. It can also take a lot of time, something you might not have if you are only present with a few people.
First of all, think carefully about the logistical challenge when you bring products to Italy. How will you ship them? How long will it take for them to get there? Do you have a guarantee on the products if they do not arrive correctly? How much will it cost? Is it profitable to ship your products or does it cost more than it yields? All questions that need to be answered before you think about expanding your business internationally. It remains important that your business actually achieves more profit and growth. If you end up spending more than you bring in, it might be time to reconsider your decision.
It is also important to look at the Italian culture. Is there any enthusiasm for the products you sell? Are there people who are actually looking for them, or are you missing an entire target group, which means that the company - no matter how hard you work on link building and other SEO techniques - will never be as popular in Italy? In short, does it make sense to expand your business and is there an audience for the products you sell? If not, link building Italy will just be a huge expense and very complex. Something you should try to avoid at all costs.