Romania is a European country that develops very rapidly. But is the Internet popular there and do Romanians buy online? Which search engine do they prefer? See what to pay attention to when doing SEO in Romania.
Romania is located on the Black Sea in southeastern Europe. Bucharest is the capital and Romanian is the official language. The country can boast about 19.5 million inhabitants, however, its population has decreased by about 4 million since 1990.
[caption id="attachment_42574" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Source: https://www.populationof.net/en/romania/[/caption]
Romania joined the EU on January 1, 2007, which enabled its dynamic development. In 2018, Romania received €4.865 billion from the EU which amounts to 2.45 percent of its economy.
When it comes to the most crucial sectors of the Romanian economy, we need to mention:
industry - 26.1%,
wholesale and retail, transportation, accommodation, and food services - 20.2%,
public administration, defense, education, health care, and social services - 14.5%.
Even up to 77% of Romanian exports go to EU countries, including 23% sent to Germany, 11% to Italy, and 7% to France. When it comes to importing, it also involves mainly EU countries: Germany - 20%, Italy - 9% and Hungary - 7%.
Romania's GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the EU and amounts to 66% of the Community average.
[caption id="attachment_42576" align="aligncenter" width="750"] Source: https://europa.eu/european-union/about-eu/figures/living_en#quality_of_life[/caption]
In 2019, Romania's GDP grew by 4.1% compared to 2018, while the pandemic of 2020 caused its decrease to -4.8%. In 2021, it's expected to reach 4.6%. The unemployment rate increased to 7.9% in 2020, however, it's supposed to drop to 5.5% by 2022.
The Romanian E-commerce Market
According to ARMO (Association of Romanian Online Stores), at the end of 2020, the e-commerce sector exceeded €5.6 billion which is 30% more when compared to 2019. The increase was much higher than expected which resulted from numerous factors, including the pandemic. Romania is ranked among the countries with the highest annual e-commerce growth rate. In this respect, this place is not as developed as other countries.
Eurostat data from January 2020 shows that 85 percent of Romanians have browsed the Internet in the last 12 months, while 45% have shopped online. The country still has a lot of room for improvement when it comes to its online activity - only Bulgaria has a lower indicator of online shoppers (42%).
In 2020, an average Romanian spent about €61 on online purchases made on desktop computers and about €43 when shopping on mobile devices.
What product categories were chosen by Romanians shopping online?
Auto and moto - €160.1 (computers) and €136.1 (mobile devices).
Electronics - €157.4 (computers) and €113.5 (mobile devices).
Home and garden - €130.5 (computers) and €105.7 (mobile devices).
Below you can see average values in various categories:
[caption id="attachment_40423" align="aligncenter" width="605"] Source: https://www.gpec.ro/blog/en/gpec-romanian-e-commerce-2020-report-5-6-billion-euro-worth-of-online-shopping-a-30-yoy-growth[/caption]
72% of e-commerce traffic in Romania is generated by mobile devices. These devices dominate also when it comes to overall sales value (57.4%).
The average conversion rate amounts to 2%. Romanians tend to buy on Fridays and they don't like to shop on Saturdays. In 2020, the sports industry boasted the biggest growth in sales - in April and May its results improved by 1,500% compared to the same period the previous year. However, this was mainly because of the restrictions.
SEO in Romania
As you can see, the Romanian market is continuously developing. Considering the development phase the country is currently in, its online sales are likely to improve in the upcoming years.
If you want to reach local recipients, think about doingSEO in google.ro. But, is this search engine the most popular one? Well, as stated by gs.statcounter.com, it’s chosen by almost 98% of local Internet users. Therefore, don’t hesitate. Google is your recipe for attracting Romanian customers.
What to keep in mind when runningEO campaigns in Romania? General principles are similar to rules you need to follow in other countries, however, there are a few issues that you should pay special attention to.
If you conduct activities on google.ro, it’s advisable to choose a domain with a local extension. Of course, you can try to do SEO for your own website - Google Search Console enables indicating the country your page is targeted at - however, it’s undoubtedly better to choose a Romanian domain as it’ll also improve your conversion rate.
Besides, take a look at the search results in your country. Do you see any foreign extensions in top positions? Probably not. You don’t need to meet any special requirements to set up a .ro domain and it’s not particularly expensive.
Hosting in Romania
Website loading time, which depends mainly on the server, is one of the ranking factors. Your server doesn’t have to be in Romania, it can be in one of the neighboring countries. However, if you find a quality server in Romania, choose it.
Keep in mind that it’s impossible to determine in advance whether a website hosted in your country will load slower than a page on a server in Romania. Everything depends on the efficiency of applied solutions. Prices in Romania are pretty attractive. Some exemplary services you can try out include: https://www.mxhost.ro/, https://bmfhost.ro/, https://www.thc.ro/.
Benefit from Keyword Planner and choose the country and language of keywords you’re looking for. Ubersuggest or keywordtool.io are other tools helpful in finding the best keywords for Romanian SEO (check out: Keywords - 10 useful tools supporting keyword research).
As a fun fact, we can tell you that grammar and 77% of Romanian vocabulary are similar to Italian, therefore, if you can speak this language, conquering the Romanian market should be a piece of cake for you. Of course, the creation of quality content requires someone fluent in Romanian.
Your website won’t be ranked high in Google without quality backlinks. You can acquire them from forums or page directories, however, the most valuable links come from sponsored articles. It’s not necessary to contact individual page owners on your own. Below you can see a list of platforms accepting sponsored articles:
At the end of July 2021, it included 141 sites with the .ro extension.
It’s noticeably more numerous, with 1666 websites.
Select from over 1000 pages.
As you can see, finding a platform where you can place sponsored articles with links shouldn’t be problematic.
In Romania, it’s also possible to notice the increasing popularity of blogs. You can access them both on free platforms and on domains registered by their owners. Blogs give you an opportunity for guest blogging and obtaining links from comments, provided that you reach an agreement with the website owner.
Although social media activity doesn’t have a direct impact on your visibility in Google, it’s still worth focusing on it. Content published on your Facebook profile can be shared by users, some of them may even link it on their blog.
According to gemiusAudience, up to 80% of Romanians use social media platforms and Facebook is the most popular one. Thus, it’s worth focusing on this site when conducting activities. It should be suitable for the vast majority of enterprises.
The Romanian market is continuously developing, however, it’s still not particularly popular among foreign companies. If your range includes products or services you can offer to residents of this country, consider expanding your business in Romania.
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