The EU’s third-largest country by area and the eighth-highest per capita income worldwide, Sweden indeed has a huge potential. With its high purchasing power and expanding e-commerce market, this Scandinavian country is a highly favourable investment destination.
Businesses targeting Sweden should utilise search engine marketing (SEO) as it is a very efficient method to reach their target audience and promote their brand. However, a more cautious approach is necessary when practising SEO in Sweden. Read on to find out how to launch a successful SEO campaign in Sweden.
The Swedish market in brief
It is vital to do in-depth market research before developing and implementing an SEO strategy in Sweden. By default, all experienced and professional marketers know that knowing your target market’s culture and consumer profile is a necessary move.
Sweden has a population of 10 million people and has a remarkably 96% internet penetration. Swedes love to shop online and can spend a monthly average of 150 euros. Furthermore, the general population prefers cash-free transactions. But astonishingly, a majority favour picking up their orders at a selected pickup location.
Swedes are known to be intrinsically humble and egalitarian. They are practical and rarely resort to impulsive buying. They value quality, function, and price when making a purchase. Before reaching a decision, they are typical to conduct thorough research of a product, service, or company. They shun false advertising and hail marketing messages that are accurate, informative, and transparent. Hence, businesses should approach these discerning consumers with logical and verifiable objective descriptions of their products, services, or brand.
SEO in Sweden
Given that Swedes have high purchasing power and enjoy one of the fastest internet connections in Europe—it is not surprising that their e-commerce market is currently worth $17.10 billion. Google is the king search engine with approximately 93.1% market share, while Bing comes second at 4.7%. With these promising statistics, the country is undoubtedly ready for SEO.
SEO is essential for all businesses who want to operate in this country. Since Swedes now prefer to shop online or research information about a product or service before buying. Every company should pay attention to organic search and implement effective optimisation techniques.
Running SEO in Sweden should be done with the utmost consideration for their need for transparent and factual information. Also, keep in mind that Swedish is their native language, but they are also eager to communicate English. Thus, strive to use the Swedish language in your search engine marketing as possible and use English as secondary. Competition in English is smaller, so keep your eye on opportunities to rank high with English keywords.
SEO success factors in Sweden
Familiarity with Sweden’s market profile and consumer buying behaviours should help you successfully outline a good SEO strategy. Understanding Swedish’s specific characteristics, including its psychographic, geographic, and demographic variables, is the crux of any good SEO campaign. Also, keep in mind that they are wary of black hat SEO practices or any unethical tactics. A few years back, Sweden considers link building an illegal activity, and it’s one of the apparent warning signs that they do not tolerate deceptive marketing.
Launching a successful SEO campaign in Sweden can be challenging as innovative solutions aren’t always welcome. Pursuing tried and tested SEO methods should be the route when operating in this market. Thus, no matter how promising it is, experimenting with new solutions isn’t recommended or should be considered diligently with caution.
Search campaigns usually concentrate primarily to attract first, second to engage, and then finally convert. However, when running an SEO campaign in Sweden, it is essential to focus simultaneously to attract and engage. Moreover, search campaigns should not be solely about understanding how search engines work. But also what, why, and how Swedes search.
Fundamentally, the three pillars of SEO are authority, relevance, and trust. Always keeping this in mind should help businesses successfully navigate Sweden’s competitive landscape and erudite consumers. It’s important not to rely on superficial tactics but instead to understand the user intent and consumer journey. Developing SEO campaigns in Sweden should understand personas, substantial content strategy, data-driven insights, and technical problem-solving.
Moreover, an SEO professional in Sweden should not only focus on the content but must also help to:
- Integrate with social media, content, creative, user experience, SEM, or analytics
- Solve technical issues that makes content invisible to search engines
- Find ways to speed up the site
- Navigate through multiple versions of the same page
- Establish proper server settings
Even though many factors impact SEO success, including technical, on-page, and off-page factors, a fundamental understanding of Sweden’s market will make your SEO efforts more powerful.
Aligning SEO, user experience, and web accessibility
SEO and web accessibility help search engines and users to get relevant content. A good user experience design provides a positive experience and helps fulfil the user’s needs. Aligning SEO, user experience, and web accessibility practices will support a site search engine ranking and keep loyal users.
Web accessibility standards are similar to SEO best practices. Implementing both procedures, too, will positively affect the overall user experience. But why should businesses care about it?
Web accessibility aims to prevent discrimination by providing equal access to everyone, especially people with disabilities. A key piece of legislation in Sweden is the Discrimination Act 2008, which was also updated in 2015. The law is broad and applies to all organisations, including those that operate online. Moreover, the EU Directive 2016/2102 took effect in 2018. The Directive requires websites and other online tools to adhere to web accessibility standards with the minimum requirement of following WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 Level AA. There are different requirements, so a review is necessary, or businesses should hire professionals who can help them be compliant.
While possibly time-consuming, aligning SEO practices, compliance and usability will help win the favour of search engines and their users. Not only that, but firmly implementing accessibility and usability principles will ultimately make the web a better place for everyone.
To have a successful SEO campaign in Sweden, first, it is essential to understand its market profile and consumer behaviour. Tried and tested SEO methods are preferred instead of experimenting with new solutions. The combination of SEO, accessibility and usability principles should also be considered when operating in Sweden.
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