It’s said that Ireland is a small country that offers endless possibilities. But is it true? If you’re considering entering the Irish market, then you’re in the right place! In today’s entry we’ll discuss how to do SEO in Emerald Isle. Keep reading!
Ireland is widely associated with green which also happens to be its national color. When thinking about this country, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, traditional songs and Irish dance probably immediately come to your mind. Nowadays, many people talk about Ireland in the context of Brexit. If you want to find out whether the Irish economy will be affected by the current state of affairs continue reading our entry!
Emerald Isle – the essentials
With a population of nearly 5 million, Ireland is the second-largest island in the British Isles. The country is a member of the United Nations and the European Union, moreover, it can boast a high human development index. Although both English and Irish are official languages spoken there, the latter one had been neglected for many years and only recently the authorities started implementing various programs that aim at heritage development and language preservation. But what does it look like in real life? Well, the knowledge of Irish is mandatory if you apply for certain schools and universities or if you want to work in the police. In 2002 euro replaced the Irish pound and became the official currency of Ireland.
Brexit and its impact on the Irish economy
The Irish economy boasts a high index of Economic Freedom, moreover, Emerald Isle is ranked among the most liberal and innovative European countries as it dedicates approximately 1.2% of its GDP to development and research. It’s worth keeping in mind that the most prominent branches of the Irish economy are the textile, printing, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, electronics, IT and metallurgy. The country’s economy develops in two ways – on the one hand, Ireland puts emphasis on the promotion of private initiatives and on the other hand, key economic sectors remain the property of state authorities.
Currently, the volatility of the Irish economy is in the spotlight. The Irish economic growth has remained at a high level since 2014. All due to the inflow of intangible capital from abroad and the fact that local tax regulations are appealing for international companies. The Irish authorities have decided to modify certain indicators such as GNP because the state account has been affected by the activity of multinational corporations. As it turned out, the sudden increase in GDP stems from a tax inversion, not from economic growth resulting from the activities specified by the state.
Due to political issues, Emerald Isle is divided into two parts, the Republic of Ireland, which is part of the European Union and Northern Ireland, a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The administrative division led to the separation of both economies and state bodies. In 2020, the United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union which may also significantly affect the Irish economy as a large part of its goods were imported from the UK.
Thanks to the European Union membership, the Irish trade was much more efficient and there weren’t so many controls. In order to ensure peace in both the southern and northern parts of the country, it was necessary to develop special programs and collect EU funds in order to mitigate the effects of the unclear Brexit regulations affecting Ireland.
E-commerce in Ireland
At the end of 2019, the value of the e-commerce market in Ireland reached 2 billion euros. Undoubtedly, it resulted from the development of a greater variety of products and services, dedicated smartphone applications, secure payment methods and intuitive, user-friendly websites. It’s estimated that the Irish e-commerce industry will increase by 11.2% over the upcoming five years. So what do Irish internet users buy most frequently? Clothes and shoes are first in the ranking. Electronics is second and it’s followed by food, toys, furniture as well as goods that help people to develop their interests.
Amazon and Ebay are unquestionable sales leaders in Ireland. Both services have collectively reached over 8% of the market share. It’s also worth mentioning stores such as ASOS, M&S or Dunnes Store which offer clothing and shoes. Homeware and electronics stores like Argos and Price Spy also enjoy popularity.
Unsurprisingly, when analyzing devices used by Irish internet users, it’s clearly visible that mobile devices are becoming more and more popular. Partially it results from the development of numerous mobile apps that are particularly helpful when it comes to shopping while commuting to work or waiting for a doctor’s appointment. So what’s the takeaway? Make sure that your website has a responsive design which means that it automatically adjusts to the device it’s displayed on. Thanks to it, the comfort of shopping at your store will significantly increase.
Card payments and e-wallet are ranked as preferred online payment methods of the Irish. This stems from the fact that online transactions inspire more and more trust, mainly thanks to their efficiency and security. Only 5-6% of the Irish population choose to pay on delivery. So, it can be assumed that inhabitants of Emerald Isle prefer to keep the money in their accounts than in their wallets.
SEO in Ireland – what to keep in mind?
Entering the Irish market necessitates adapting to its specifics and finding your target group. In order to promote your products or services, it’s advisable to take care of SEO activities that aim at increasing the visibility of your website and consequently allow you to attract new recipients. Check out our step by step list to see elements you should focus on.
Google as the market leader
Google, with almost 95% of the market share, is an indisputable leader among search engines used in Ireland. Therefore, SEO activities performed on your Irish website should be based on Google algorithms. Moreover, it’s recommended to keep an eye on all algorithm updates which have a significant impact on the SEO process and positions in the search results.
Official languages in Ireland
There are two official languages in Ireland: Irish and English. What does the situation look like in real life? While dealing with various formalities you can freely use both languages. Although Ireland strives to preserve its language heritage, only 4% of the population declares to speak Irish.
It’s worth remembering that knowledge of Irish is required when recruiting to public offices, civil services and some universities. Moreover, it’s an obligatory subject in public schools. Privately, in less formal situations, Irish people speak English which dominates everyday communication. So, when designing your website, it’s better to focus on its English version as the prevailing part of inhabitants use this language on a daily basis.
Domains in Ireland
Co.uk is the national domain of the UK meaning England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Currently, it’s one of the six most popular domains in the world. Due to the administrative division and the fact that Northern Ireland belongs to Great Britain, the current domain used in the Republic of Ireland is .ie. While registering the domain, its potential owner is required either to be a resident of Ireland or to be somehow related to the country. If you think about going international, go to our previous article discussing elements that are worth considering.
Thanks to social media platforms, you can stay in touch with your customers and build relationships. Moreover, many target groups treat social media profiles as a reliable source of information about current discounts or contests. Regular contact with your recipients will allow you not only to tailor the offer to their expectations but also to quickly take action in case of any problems. From the SEO perspective, social media is a great way to obtain external links redirecting to your website, especially if you aim at improving its position in the search results.
Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter are real social media tycoons of Emerald Isle.
Ireland is striving to continuously develop its e-commerce sector. The society prefers ready-made solutions, consequently, online payments have already displaced cash transactions. Irish people put great emphasis on the usability of mobile websites, moreover, they expect online shopping to be safe and convenient. Obviously, running a business on Emerald Isle should involve extra activities. Choosing an appropriate domain, doing SEO for your website, or being active on social media will certainly allow you to outdo your market rivals and reach a wider range of potential customers.