In the second half of 2019, we had a burden in the form of promoting two sites of the Ratatype project. Young sites (born in 2019) for a foreign market whose languages ​​we do not know (France and Spain), and with a very limited budget.

Set a goal

First of all, you need to define a goal, it is also a KPI, always with a number. This is what we did. Without such a measure, there will be no result.

It is important to study the niche and the region that you plan to move to. For example, you produce bags for bikers:

Write a plan

When there is a goal, there are many questions to control: the expenditure of time, money, and other resources. This is where planning comes in.

Once you find competitors, you will definitely understand the market more.

How to search for competitors

We search in Google the words that relate to your product and see who is in the search results. But this is a frontal approach. You can use automated tools. For example Similarweb or Serpstat.

Then put them in a table with the necessary parameters.

How to analyze competitors

We search each competitor in Ahrefs (the trial version is enough for the analysis for 1 week) or Serpstat. Based on these data we will build a strategy for promoting the site in Spain and France.

What to look for?

To new backlinks (these are pages that link to a competitor).

How to watch?

Try to understand the strategy.

For example, we see that there are many links from the forums, which means they have connected crowd marketing (more on that later).

Or that a lot of links come from blogpost or similar sites ( – it means they are actively using web 2.0 or even building a PBN grid (Private Blog Network – a private network of websites/blogs).

Or that a lot of links come from site and catalogs analyzers — most likely, they are trying to use the easiest and free way to promote).

What will it give you?

You will understand what method your competitors are using to promote. And it’s important to put pressure on what they don’t use.

What else?

You can find here sites that give traffic to competitors, and try to use them for your site

Setting up the site from the inside

Here we are talking about keywords, that is, the words for which you want users to find your site.

Ready! Now the texts have become more consistent with the search interests of users.

Setting up multilingualism

If you have a site with different language versions, and maybe even with several domains (like ours), then you need to set up this word from the title. If you do everything the way Google tells you, then you can only earn users and a little trust from Google on this.

Looking for people from your or related industry

For us, these people are teachers. Many of them are on Linkedin. This is a good channel where you can find potential users of your product or those who will promote it. Here I will give you a tool that helped us a lot –

There you can specify:

No paid packages on Linkedin. Enter the data and get a link to the listing on Google. And it’s fantastic! You click on the link in Google, and that’s it — you are on the page of the right person. Next, click “Set up a contact” and “Personalize”.

This gives you the opportunity to write a short message why you are asking to be friends. We have found through experience that a greater response can be obtained in this way.

Get light links

They are also called submits. This is something that does not require money from you, it only takes time.

1. Directories are sites with a list of sites, in short.


2. Job sites — such as You can create a profile and specify a link to your project there.

Search for sites by keys: List of job site, job site, work site. We got about 50 resources.


3. Site analyzers are sites where you can see data about other resources. For example, traffic, some errors on the site, etc. Getting links in this way is very simple, and at first they work.


4. Services for sharing presentations — upload a presentation to the site and make it public, and in the presentation or description for it, indicate links to your resource.


5. Social networks – I think it is not necessary to explain in detail. It’s all about Facebook or Linkedin.


6. Video hosting — sites that allow you to download and view videos in a browser.

  1. Enable search for the requests: video hosting, video sharing. We found over 20.
  2. Add your videos or make them from presentations.
  3. Connect crowd marketing.

This is how we form a public opinion about the product and popularize it massively. We also dilute the link profile of the site. Little by little, your brand is invested in people’s minds.

We don’t do it ourselves, but with the help of Brandcitations — good guys, the price is average on the market, and the approach to customers is very loyal. You can do it yourself, but we decided to delegate this part of the work.

What is outreach and why is it necessary

It’s simple: if you want the Internet to know about you, then you need to be everywhere. You need your brand and links to appear on other sites. Therefore, sites should be asked about it.

How to Write Email Templates

Determine what types of site requests you might have and write templates for them. For example, requests to add a link to an existing article, or a request to post material (articles, pictures, infographics).

This needs to be translated into the correct language. Do not write to Spaniards in English, otherwise the response will suffer.

What should be the letter:

Bonus. What else helps in promotion

Write technical articles or articles about your work on the project. Create your own category on Facebook, Blogger, Medium or everywhere at once. Write in your native language and translate into English, and preferably into the language of the country in which you are promoting.

Outreach bursts. It is important to understand that outreach does not only work as an opportunity to get a link. You can place a link on a resource that will bring traffic to your site, and good traffic.

Users will be interested in your resource, spend enough time there and take some targeted actions.

In France and Spain, an article about us was written by 2 resources with a traffic of about 1 million per month on each. After that, there was an explosion on the sites, which led to a lot of good things.

Accident! It happens that way too. In mid-February, our Spanish site experienced a dramatic increase in traffic.

First thought: someone wrote about us.

We checked and realized that the traffic grew organically. It turned out that interest in one of our main requests (test de mecanografía) has grown.

Interest was 3-day, our positions grew almost 2 times and, as you can see from the chart, after that they changed a lot.

Mistakes or what didn’t work out

1. Wrong goals. We overestimated them and relied on the wrong data when staging. It is worth studying the market, niche, and setting an ambitious but realistic goal. Otherwise, at some point, you give up, and this is definitely not a plus for business.

Our goal was 10,000 weekly users on two sites by the end of the year. We looked at the experience of promoting Ratatype to the English-speaking market 6 years ago. We didn’t look at the frequency of requests on our topic and simply didn’t compare the number of people in the country. For example, America turned out to be 4 times larger than France + Spain.


2. Exchanges. We didn’t get along here. At first, we did not find suitable sites. They were few, expensive and we were not ready. After 4 months we decided to give it a try. The main thing we wanted to get from the site was traffic.

Therefore, when choosing, we were guided by the following criteria: attendance, announcement on the main page, and price. We chose two sites with traffic of 9 million and 400,000 users per month. Priced at $100 and $30 respectively. In the end, we get nothing. Why it happened:

  1. We didn’t pay attention to the distribution of desktop and mobile traffic (and this is important for us since our main traffic is desktop).
  2. We didn’t look at where the users are coming from. For example, for the one with 9 million, they come from Google for some specific requests and not to the main page. Therefore, my advice is this: you can use exchanges, but you need to approach the choice of sites very carefully. Well, you should not use them at the start. Especially if there is no money for it.

Instead of conclusions

When we started to promote the site in Spain and France, we did not believe in success, because there was no knowledge and resources. But we were not afraid to try, we read a lot, and studied. We liked the result:

We are actively continuing to promote these sites in Spain and France. And we decided to share our experience so that everyone who has a website can use this instruction and break into the top 10.

Author: Daria Piven, Ratatype project development manager