– what do you need to know?
Bulgaria is located in the south-eastern part of Europe. At the beginning of 2022, this charming place was inhabited by 6.87 million people. The internet penetration rate in this republic in the Balkans is 78%. This means that there are 5.36 million users connected to the network in Bulgaria. Their number, comparing 2021 to January 2022 statistics, increased by 4.6%.
Since 2007, Bulgaria has been a member of the European Union, thanks to which many trade barriers have disappeared, and exports are mainly carried out with the countries of the community. As far as employment is concerned, the service sector has the largest number of employees. With the economic growth, the habits and customs of Bulgarian consumers have changed. They are increasingly opting for healthy, organic food, while at the same time choosing smaller suppliers that offer better quality products than the supermarkets. At the same time, some of them are also choosing to shop online.
Bulgarians mostly browse websites on mobile devices, although desktops, which include both laptops and desktops, are still quite popular compared to other European countries (data for February 2022):
In line with the above trend, let’s focus for a moment on the use of smartphones for surfing the Internet, specifically the use of social media. Just as the number of people using the benefits of the telecommunications space is growing, so is the group of social media users (3.5% growth in 2022 compared to 2021). If we want to describe this aspect in Bulgaria, we can confidently say that the undisputed king is Facebook! (data for February 2022):
At the beginning of 2022, a total of 4.45 million users used social media in Bulgaria.
of the population has access to the Internet
of users use Google
In Bulgaria, as in most of the world, by far the most popular search engine is Google (share summary as of February 2022):
As far as web browsers are concerned, here too the product of the California giant, i.e. Google Chrome, is the most popular, with a share of nearly 3 in 4 users (data for February 2022):
Summarising the above statements, resulting from the behaviour of Bulgarian Internet users, one should note the monopoly and dominance of Google, both in relation to search engines and browsers. This means that its algorithms and website ranking systems will be the basic guideline for us in building the strategy and implementation of SEO360® actions.
Bulgaria is the 2nd largest e-commerce market in Southern Europe. The Bulgarian customer is one of the wealthiest in the Balkans, which has its direct impact on the growing interest in online shopping. In 2017, they were worth 525 million US dollars, in 2020 the revenue had already reached 712 million US dollars, in 2021 it is close to a billion, and in 2022 it is expected to be over 2 billion US dollars. Going forward, it is worth noting that by 2025, according to Statista, the average annual growth rate is expected to be 12.74%.
It is significant that there is still a large group of recipients to be managed, due to the fact that the value of revenues from e-commerce in 2020, accounted for only 11% of enterprise revenues (the lowest in the entire European Union). In 2021, 35% of Bulgarians put at least one product in a virtual shopping basket, in 2022 this scale is expected to reach 48.1%, and by 2025 as much as 58.3% of the entire population.
What do Bulgarians buy online? Let’s see:
In Bulgaria, the vast majority (80%) of online shoppers pay for their purchases via mobile payment methods:
As for the list of popular products sought by Bulgarians online, two categories, i.e. clothing and electronics, account for more than 60% of the e-commerce market. Bulgaria is a frequent tourist destination, but Bulgarians do not search for these types of services online.
Regarding the online shops with the highest turnover in Bulgaria, the top five are as follows (data for 2021):
The leader, emag.bg, is the largest e-commerce site in Bulgaria. It has a wide range of products, divided into more than 20 categories, ranging from clothing to electronics and home appliances. The large assortment, as well as attractive prices, have attracted a large group of customers.
Bulgaria, of course, has its own domain, which is “.bg”. However, analysing the use of the local equivalent of the most popular search engine, i.e. Google.bg (which is barely 5.35%), having a national extension in this republic is not a necessity. By implementing the necessary optimisation of the website and conducting SEO activities at a professional level, we should do just as well with a foreign domain in this market.
When expanding our sales network to several countries, it is also worth considering a global “.com” or, for example, the extension used in the European Union “.eu”. Later, when building subsequent language versions, you could easily add other countries, for example: mypage.com/bg, mypage.com/fr, mypage.com/de, etc.
When it comes to the size of the e-commerce market, Bulgaria, according to data from 2021 and with revenues of 988 million US dollars, ranks 67th in the world. In the ranking, it is behind Lithuania and ahead of, for example, Croatia. According to the forecasts described in the previous paragraphs, the Bulgarian e-commerce market is expected to develop further, which means that Bulgaria’s position in this ranking should also go up.
Bulgarian e-commerce in 2021 grew by a full 29%, thus contributing significantly to the global trend, estimated at the same level. Bulgarians value quality and good service. They approach online shopping with a bit of uncertainty, but if, afterwards, the result meets their expectations, we can gain a customer for the long term. It is a similar case of cooperation and acting with the customer as on the Romanian or Hungarian market.
Foreign online shops in Bulgaria have a chance to gain customers. Firstly, because of the underdeveloped local e-sales, secondly, because of the competitiveness and the quality offered. Very importantly, the costs of SEO in Bulgaria, compared to other countries of the community, as well as possible profits, are relatively low. If we strengthen our position in the search engine and convince the client, Bulgaria will start to be associated not only with pleasant holidays, but also with a place to run your business.
If you want to establish your presence in Bulgaria, you should be well prepared. It is good to do a proper audit of the website and, above all, to optimise it for the new market of your goods. For effective SEO of your website in the Balkans, this process should be accompanied by quality link building.
Although in Bulgaria there is not much competition on the local market, links should still be placed on recognisable and good ranking websites. Of course, this is also important from the perspective of the market leader, Google, which “holds all the cards” at the top of the search results.
Solid content marketing should be supported by equally valuable buzz marketing on thematic forums. One should also not forget about social media, or more specifically Facebook (almost 98% share), where it is also worth placing relevant mentions, presenting the offer and maintaining constant communication with customers.
The most comprehensive service
SEO360® ensures the most comprehensive service among other similar on the market, such as SEO or SXO, which has been confirmed by research.
Guaranteed sales increase
The service provides a guarantee of the final effect, an increase traffic and revenue / leads.
Hybrid settlements based on success fee
Once 100% of the original target is achieved, any results above are based on a success fee.
Guaranteed link maintenance
We do not remove acquired links even after the end of cooperation.
We work all over Europe
Under one contract, we can carry out our work for all European countries with the support of a network of quality partners.
We prepare a comprehensive, extensive strategy in which we examine the real needs of consumers (customer insights) before starting any actions.
It is the starting point for SEO360® actions, individually priced and created on the basis of the customer’s needs and expectations included earlier in the brief filled in by the customer. As part of our conceptual work, we establish the KPIs necessary for successful implementation of further stages of the project, in particular analysis, content marketing plan and estimations, which are the components of the strategy.
In this step, we carry out all the activities verifying the current state of the selected website in terms of SEO and its potential in a given country when compared to the competition. At the same time, we analyse the full user path based on the customer journey. The result of the analysis is a large amount of data that can be used to implement further SEO360® steps.
Content Marketing Plan
Individually prepared for the industry represented by the Client and for the given markets where SEO360® activities will be conducted. It includes a scenario concerning the type of created content and the way of its distribution in order to reach the consumers with it precisely and to be one step ahead of the competition. Content Creators guarantee the successful implementation of this plan.
An extremely valuable and final component of the strategy, where we estimate individual values related to the visibility of the website in the most popular search engine of a given country, taking into account the increase in traffic and, more importantly, the increase in conversions over a specified period of time.
When starting proper SEO activities, one of the necessary steps to achieve final success is technical SEO, also called technical analysis or technical optimisation for SEO, i.e. the part of optimisation that does not concern content. It consists of all activities that affect the architecture and code of a website in such a way as to make it as friendly as possible to the most stringent search engine requirements and, at the same time, to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Part of optimising a website for SEO, in addition to technical SEO, is content optimisation. Valuable content for the user is one of the key elements that will help to achieve high search engine visibility as well as increase conversions and thus revenue.
UX + CRO
As part of the SEO360® service, we provide analysis and optimisation of User Experience metrics with a particular focus on heuristic experiments and A/B testing as well as Conversion Rate Optimisation. In this way, we analyse consumer activity at each stage of their purchase process, increasing sales effectiveness.
We conduct link building using the highest quality permanent links acquired from external sources or services, from reliable publishers with a guarantee of their maintenance even after the end of cooperation. As part of this process, we take care of the correct link profile, which brings end benefits.
Ongoing Data Analysis
In SEO360®, through advanced tools supervised by the Client Success Manager, we constantly measure the progress related to the evaluation of conducted activities, and on their basis, our customers have access to extensive reports 24/7.
Increase in traffic and revenue
The ultimate value of SEO360® is the increase in brand awareness, traffic, conversions and revenue generated from the service, which is significantly higher than in the case of ‘regular SEO’ and above all, it is long-lasting.
It must be Bulgarian. According to the native law and the relevant law (CPA), all information provided to consumers in Bulgaria, including documents related to transactions, should be prepared in Bulgarian. Interestingly, when it comes to B2B sales, there is no such obligation. In this case, both the website and the contact with the company itself can be in a foreign language.