1. Domain choice
Before you start linkbuilding in Switzerland, it is important that you choose the right domain. Please realise that you can't use a .nl domain name in Switzerland. Google will simply not notice that you are operating in Switzerland. As a result, the various SEO techniques - even if they are optimised for the guidelines in Switzerland - will have little or no effect. It depends entirely on your visibility worldwide which domain you need. If you are active in many countries, it is often sufficient to have one generic .com domain. A big advantage is that you only need to focus on one site.
If you only want to expand your business to Switzerland and you are also active in the Netherlands, it is usually wiser to have a separate country domain for Switzerland. Do realise that this also means that your internet strategy has to be applied to both domains. So you will have to invest separately in online marketing strategies for both your Dutch domain and the domain you use in Switzerland. The quality score that you build up in Google is not divided between these two domains. The websites are seen separately from each other.
A country domain is also often a lot nicer for consumers. A Swiss person often has more confidence in a website with a Swiss domain. This leads to higher consumer confidence and thus more conversion. Nevertheless, both possibilities are defensible and when you approach this in the right way, your choice can still be successful. Think about large companies such as Bol.com. They have a .com domain and are still visible in several countries and a real authority.
When making a good choice, it is wise to invite an SEO specialist. Based on your website, the company and the way they work on an international basis, they can indicate which domain is the best choice and what gives the greatest chance of success.
2. Involve a native speaker
It is an illusion to think that your language is so well developed that you can simply write everything in the Swiss language. You might be able to do it to a certain extent, but it will never reach the level of a native speaker. It is also worth remembering that you should also use the colloquial language of Switzerland when using keywords. Some entrepreneurs think simply to translate the popular search words in our country. However, this usually has little effect.
This can even be seen with link building in Belgium. Although the Flemish and Dutch languages are very similar and we can understand each other well, it is also evident that they use some words that we do not know and vice versa. As a result, the search queries of potential customers will also be different.
Therefore, it is best to involve a native speaker in your link building process in Switzerland. Firstly, to optimise the website. The use of the English language is usually not enough to score high abroad. After all, not every Swiss person will be fluent in English. Moreover, your ranking in Swiss search engines will also be lower. And of course, you also need to optimise your keywords.
Curious about which keywords and corresponding anchor texts are the most effective? Then have a few translations done by a native speaker and transfer this information to an online marketer who specialises in link building on an international scale. They can then do a keyword scan to determine which keyword has the most volume, so that you can use it to become more visible in the Swiss search engines.
3. Look critically at the competition
The market in Switzerland will be very different from what you are used to here in the Netherlands. That also means that you will have a whole new set of competitors. It's good to stop and think about this. What does the competition in Switzerland look like? What do they do? Who are they? What does their website look like?
So use some keywords in Swiss Google and find out who is at the top. What makes these sites so special? What content do they provide? Can you discover specific SEO structures? Are there things that are different than in the Netherlands? For example, do they place more value on customer service or do they have other tools on their website to make it easier for consumers? Is there also a clear use of internal or external links?
In short, what do you notice? Be critical of your own website. To what extent do your websites differ from each other? On the basis of appearance and technology? Write down the things that immediately catch your eye and that you would like to use on your website in a slightly different form, of course. You can then present this to an SEO specialist or a web designer.
4. Determine the target group
Keep in mind that your target group in Switzerland may look slightly different than in the Netherlands. Sometimes there are even huge differences based on age and interests. It is therefore a good idea to do extensive research into this. Which people are interested in your services? What does their life look like? Based on that information, it will be a lot easier to make a name for yourself on the right websites and to address them in the right way.
Even before you start internationalising your website, it is, of course, also important to research the interests of Swiss consumers. The fact that you are running a very popular business in the Netherlands does not mean that this will also be the case here. Sometimes, there is simply not enough interest in a particular country. Then you can pull the SEO within your company, but it will never really have the desired effect.
5. Be realistic in your expectations
As an entrepreneur, it is always very difficult to take a step backwards. However, it can seem that way when you start in Switzerland and the first few months the number of visitors and total sales are incredibly disappointing. But be realistic in your expectations. In the Netherlands, you did not become successful overnight. It also took time. When you have been in the business for years and have a good position in the Dutch search engine, this might be something you quickly forget. But you also started from scratch in our country and worked your way up to where you are now. This did not happen in a few weeks or even months. Every month you saw some improvement in your results and finally you had reached where you wanted to be. It will be the same with the internationalisation of your web shop.
Do not expect miracles from linkbuilding Switzerland when you have just started. It takes a while for Google's algorithm to pick up on this and you will actually see the effect of your campaign. For your own peace of mind, it is good to know that almost every SEO strategy can be measured. That way, you know exactly which techniques have had an effect and which have not. And you only spend your marketing budget on things that actually produce results.