Multi-territory expansion into Germany, Belgium & Netherlands for the UK's largest bridal retailer

  • +141% Growth in organic visibility
  • 59 Stores aunched & optimised across the UK & Europe
  • 5 Territories supported with translation & localisation
  • Top 3 Positions achieved for: "wedding dresses" UK/IE, "trouwjurken" NL/BE, "brautkleider" DE

Project overview

Following the successful implementation of our SEO and digital strategy which saw WED2B rise to position 1 in organic search for ‘wedding dresses’ in the UK, our partner appointed us to deliver a multi-territory store expansion project.

The bridal fashion brand wanted to achieve greater visibility in organic search across Europe, complimenting their new EU brick-and-mortar store rollout.

Herd's strategy launched a multi-store international expansion project, delivering fully translated and localised expansion sites in Germany, Belgium, Ireland and Netherlands.

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The brief

Having conquered the UK market with over 39 physical stores, this off-the-peg wedding dress retailer wanted to expand their proposition into new territories in the EU, whilst maintaining their dominant organic search foothold for key terms such as "wedding dresses" and "bridal shops".

The challenge would include a complex multi-territory migration of five existing websites into a single top-level domain with supporting folder structure for each territory.

Each territory would need translations, localisations, and optimisation of content to grow organic search visibility in Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium, whilst maintaining visibility for the United Kingdom.

A supporting local search strategy would also be required for the rollout plan of 20 new stores across Europe to ensure that each new store performed well organically at a local level.

How we did it

Our technical SEO experts migrated five existing websites for United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium into one top-level domain, with country-specific folder structures.

Our international strategy utilised for the United Kingdom as the primary territory, with a corresponding folder structure for all other territories as follows: - United Kingdom - Ireland - Germany - Netherlands - Belgium - French, Belgium

This approach ensured that all territories would benefit from the primary territory, by sharing authority whilst enabling internationalisation and localisation of each store's content for each country.

Following a robust migration strategy allowed us to mitigate the risks of migrating not just one site, but five, into a single top-level domain.

Our team of native German, French, and Dutch translators conducted multilingual keyword research by territory, collating a glossary of key terms in order to optimise on-page content in organic search by country, and to ensure consistency in translation across each language.

We then manually translated and localised over 400 pages of store content into German, French, and Dutch, including everything from category pages, store pages, and product pages, to primary content, and blog content.

Native translations and thorough up-front keyword research by territory allowed us to capitalise on search opportunity, build trust signals in new territories, improve the user experience, and ultimately increase conversion rates in local markets.

Full site translation, localisation, and accuracy was vital to our client as market research and our own experience tells us that potential customers are much more likely to convert for high value purchases when the site is translated into their native language.

"Herd played an instrumental part in our international roll-out project into Germany, Belgium, Ireland and Netherlands, setting up our international domain structure, maximising our international SEO potential, and delivering over 400 hours of translation and localisation support."

Carey Winder Website & Search Manager, WED2B

Final-worthy work

The exceptional work of our team for WEB2B over a number of years saw shortlised as finalists at two awards ceremonies.

At the 2017 The Drum DADI Awards, we were among the top candidates for the Best Use of Organic Search.

We were then finalists at the 2021 Northern Digital Awards for Best PPC Campaign.

Project highlights

Step one of our European expansion strategy included a recommendation to migrate to a single top-level domain approach.

This would allow us to consolidate all marketing efforts on a single domain going forwards, sharing authority across territories.

To achieve this, a robust SEO migration plan was required to merge existing sites into one, mitigating the risk of organic visibility decline, in particular for the UK.

We implemented multilingual URLs, hreflang tags, search engine-friendly site structure, geo-tagging, multilingual keyword research, and the use of meta content language tags to maximise organic visibility.

We implemented an international SEO-friendly domain structure on a single top-level domain,, with corresponding folder structure for each additional territory as follows:

  • -UK
  • - IE
  • - DE
  • - NL
  • - BE
  • - FR BE

WED2B operate in five territories and four languages. As such, it was critical to manage content efficiently at scale through methodical audits, optimisations, and process.

This ensured consistency across all territories, and that all content was translated, localised, and optimised for launch.

A core part of WED2B’s expansion plan was entry into Europe with the launch new territory websites.

Our approach to localisation paired our international SEO skills with native translators to manually translate and tailor content, ensuring 100% accuracy for each target language, as well as cultural relevance for each market.

With an additional 20 stores set to launch across Europe, it was important to follow our tried and tested local search strategy already employed for 39 UK stores.

This included Google Business Places setup, optimisation, and building store citations through syndication and local press coverage for each store launch.

This approach helped each store achieve top positions for local intent terms with map pack visibility.

For each WED2B store launch, it was essential to gain coverage and brand exposure as quickly as possible.

Not only did we need newsworthy stories, the stories also needed to be translated also syndicated to relevant journalists for local coverage to support each store launch.