Almost a year ago today I started a foreign seo project. The niche was weight loss and the language was Spanish. 1 year in and these are the results and my thoughts.
To cut a long story short, it did not go as well as I thought it would, but not for the reason I thought it would….If that makes sense….. My biggest concerns were simply ranking for the keywords, and everything else associated with the language barrier. For example creating content in Spanish…. But luckily I found a good Spanish content writer early and got some nice articles on the site and the language barrier wasn’t really an issue thanks to Google translate and semrush.
My biggest mistake by far was not researching the market effectively. SEO, whether that be client seo or affiliate seo is like having your own mini business. 99% of the time you only sell through your website, but you still need to know what the back-end looks like. I had an old client who wasn’t happy about the number of leads they were getting through, despite explaining conversions and simple stuff like phone number placement ect, they just couldn’t get their head around why people were on the site and didn’t call (turns out they did call, just weren’t converted to clients or customers.) The same thing happens in affiliate SEO (in any language!) Ensure you know what you will be selling before getting started. I’ll be the first to admit that I am bad at monetisation!! The serpshaker review I did last week pretty much sums that up too. Learn from my mistakes and ensure there is some sort of a market before going into a niche.
The results were poor, but only from an earnings point of view. I was very happy with the traffic, which is strange as usually both are related to each other. My keyword research was great and we even ranked 1st for the Spanish version of ‘weight loss products’ but the market was simply too Cold. The organic traffic stats are below for the year.
Initially I monetised the audience to a specific product. The sales page was in Spanish and the results were horrid! Zero sales from close to 590 clicks. That’s not random clicks either. Those are targeted clicks! After this I had a bit of a break from the site and just decided to put adsense on the site and let it do what it would.
The site only generates currently about 15 quid a month which for a highly ranking weight loss site is pretty terrible. I haven’t touched the site in almost 6 months and it still continues to rank and make that money. I’m a big fan of scale, so if that £15 a month was quick and inexpensive to earn then I’d say this project was a success as I could simply scale the method, build 100 sites a month and get to a six figure business inside a year…..
Unfortunately with link costs, hosting, domain, social signals and a bunch of other things my costs came close to £700!! So needless to say I won’t be doing this again. Moving forward on the site I will probably just leave it be, let it generate it’s pennies and then eventually just flip it for a couple of hundred quid and try to break even from it.
The moral of the story is simple, test the market before going into it! I would have been better targeting a long tail English keyword and monetising that traffic than ranking 1st for a number of large Spanish keywords!
Foreign seo in general is a lot easier to rank, and if I can reach #1 for weight loss products with 600 quid and about 20 hours of work, you can rank for some huge stuff! Just be careful of the market and make sure it converts and is worth the initial funds and time.