Expat Finland Site Information
- Mission Statement
- Why Expat Finland?
- Google Rankings
- Audience & Traffic
- History, Development
- In the Press
- Stuart Allt Bio
- E-F on Facebook
Expat Finland helps non-Finnish speakers, and helps companies reach that market in Finland
This page details Expat Finland's performance and history. You can jump straight to the sections using the menu.
For enquiries please contact:
Kaivokatu 10 B 31, 20520 Turku
Phone: 050 4099 785
Expat Finland, www.expat-finland.com is owned and operated by
Stuart Allt Web Design, Y‑tunnus: 1771763‑0
- Key audience: People requiring information, products or services in or about Finland
- Contribution: Useful, honest content which genuinely helps visitors, and promoting Finland's economy and culture
- Distinction: Exceptional search engine rankings, high organic traffic, strong user-confidence and reputation built since July 2004
The difference from other media is that Expat Finland visitors have a need:
In most media, views of advertisements are accidental. They rely on someone who is not looking for a product or service noticing an advertisement.
Expat Finland visitors usually need something in Finland. About 85% have conducted a search at Google and arrived directly at the Expat Finland page which fulfils that need.
For searches in English related to Finland, Expat Finland often appears on page 1 of Google results. The main reasons include trustworthiness, site longevity, domain authority and search engine optimisation (hakukoneoptimointi).
*Positions cited below exclude Google promotions and paid Google advertisements which always appear at the top of Google results
Examples from November 2021:
The following search terms all appear on page 1 of results at google.fi and google.com, in positions 1-3
- accountant helsinki
- finnish telephone operators
- international mover finland
- buy property finland
- furnished apartment helsinki
- international school helsinki
- driving in finland
- banks in finland
- finnish employment services
- grocery shopping finland
- pay tv finland
The first paid promotions were for companies who approached Expat Finland requesting endorsement in 2012-2013, and became long-term clients. The best-known include Niemi, Victor Ek, and Forenom. Expat Finland does almost no marketing; the vast majority of clients have contacted Expat Finland directly. Clients' support is greatly appreciated and makes continuation of Expat Finland possible; from 2004 to 2013 the demands of site maintenance and development had grown too high to continue on a completely for-free basis.
I feel privileged to live in Finland and try to 'give something back' by promoting Finnish governmental authorities such as Suomi.fi, Visit Finland, This is Finland, InfoFinland, and Business Finland. I also promote cultural organisations such as Books from Finland, published by the Finnish Literature Society. Government authorities will always be featured free of charge, as will various non-profit organisations.
Expat Finland is not a magazine or entertainment site, it's an information resource used in much the same way as Wikipedia. Most visitors have a specific purpose and don't usually return until they need something else. They usually only visit the one page they found in a Google search, get what they need, then leave. There will never be tens of thousands of visitors per day, but the people who do visit are exceptionally well-targeted prospective clients.
Expat Finland Traffic
Figures for the whole site, updated January 2019
- About 600 000 pageviews per year, 530 000 unique
- About 1450 unique pageviews per day
- 85%-90% 'organic' i.e. visitors arrive directly at the Expat Finland page they want from a search engine. Google accounts for about 96% of organic traffic
- About 10% of visitors come 'direct' i.e. type the Expat Finland address into their browser or have it bookmarked
- Average time spent on page: Over 3½ minutes
- Geographic location: Varies greatly from page to page ex. Work Permits, mostly foreign origin and Supermarkets, mostly local origin
- Mobile traffic: Expat Finland is smartphone and tablet-friendly. The percentage of visitors using mobile devices has increased from 12% in February 2014 to 46% in January 2019.
Launched in 2004, Expat Finland only lists reputable companies and has gained wide trust over the years. Companies featured at Expat Finland gain the benefit of that trust.
A Finnish company, running the Web Of Trust (WOT) website reputation rating service. Reputations are primarily based on user ratings submitted from site visitors worldwide. However, as of 2019 WOT is providing far less information than they used to.
WOT ratings for Expat Finland:
- Trustworthiness: Excellent
- Vendor Reliability: Excellent
- Child Safety: Excellent
- Privacy: Excellent
- Expat Finland's basic WOT page at www.mywot.com
Similar to WOT, from 2010-2020 Webutation was an open website reputation community collecting user feedback and customer experience about websites.Sadly Webutation stopped operating in late 2020.
Webutation rated Expat Finland 100/100:
- Trustworthiness: 100
- Child Safety: 100
- Social Reputation: 100
- Late 2001: For a non-Finnish speaking Australian, getting simple things done in Finland was not easy. Most Finnish websites were only available in Finnish and Swedish, and Finnish people were less confident with English than now. Tasks like setting up bank and telephone accounts, finding and setting up an apartment, and registering a company were time-consuming and difficult.
- 2002-2003: As a Web designer I had the resources to share the 'Finnish know-how' I had gained. The idea for Expat Finland was born; an English-language resource to help people in a similar situation to myself, built and offered free of charge.
- 2004: Expat Finland was launched. The original site comprised about 30 pages; traffic expectations were modest.
- 2004-2006: Traffic rapidly increased and content was added. The Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs thanked me for my efforts!
- 2006-2008: Most Finnish government departments released English versions of their websites. I expected parts of Expat Finland to become redundant, however traffic continued to rise.
- 2008-2010: As content increased, maintenance and development demands became substantial. Expat Finland remained free but had taken over 7000 hours plus expenditure on hosting etc. To offset this, Google Ads were implemented throughout the site which drew about €1000 revenue per year.
- 2011: Site maintenance fell behind as time was not available to keep the site in 'good condition'. The Google Ads were usually irrelevant to the pages they appeared on, reducing the quality of the site.
- 2012-2013: Traffic and demand remained high. The decision was made to commit to Expat Finland and build an enduring, quality product which could justify itself financially by offering paid promotions to suitable businesses. Government authorities and most non-profit organisations would remain free. The site was rebuilt from scratch, incorporating Responsive Web Design for functionality on smartphones. Google Ads were removed.
- July 2013: The new site was launched. Expat Finland now had over 100 pages and was a quality product with its integrity intact.
- July 2013: A companion Facebook page was launched for updates and 'Tips for Finland.'
- August 2013: Following Expat Finland's exclusive publication of Fingerpori in English the site 'went viral', receiving about 30,000 visits per day for about 6 weeks.
- February 2014: A Google+ page for updates and tips, very similar to the Facebook page, was launched for visitors who prefer that medium. Google has closed all Google+ accounts as of April 2019
- February 2014: A new mobile version of the site was released, improving the user experience on smartphones. Mobile traffic has risen from 12% in February 2014 to 44% in February 2018.
- January 2015: A mobile usability upgrade was implemented.
- February 2015: Comprehensive changes to the menu and page layout significantly improved usability. An expanded footer was added, containing important links to Finnish information and government sites.
- May 2015: Page titles and descriptions throughout the site were revised to ensure compliance with the latest Google standards.
- March 2016: In-page navigation was upgraded to improve the user experience.
- August 2016: Site-wide revision to ensure continued high performance in accordance with the latest Google algorithm.
- January 2017: Followers of Expat Finland's Facebook page reached 15,000.
- June 2017: Followers of Expat Finland's Facebook page reached 20,000.
- September 2017: CSS and layout update for mobile usability.
- February 2018: User interface update for usability on tablet devices and appearance on all devices.
- May 2018: Updates to ensure compliance with GDPR - the EU General Data Protection Regulation.
- June 2018: Followers of Expat Finland's Facebook page reached 25,000.
- February 2019: User interface update to encourage reader retention and increase the number of pages per visit.
- June 2019: A mobile interface upgrade was implemented for enhanced usabilty.
- December 2020: Full user interface and navigation upgrade, mobile and desktop versions.
- November 2021: Full SEO / hakukoneoptimointi service site-wide.
- May 2023: Indexes re-styled for desktop version.
Content continues to be added and traffic remains high.
- August 2013: Following publication of Fingerpori in English, Expat Finland was featured in Helsingin Sanomat's Culture section. See article (Finnish)
- April 2014: Expat Finland was the subject of a full-length article in Finnish language training magazine Puhutaan Suomea. See article: Finnish English - text only
After finishing university in 1991 I left Australia for 'a year or two' and never made it back. After a year in Japan and another in London, in 1994 I met a Finn who invited me to Finland for Juhannus. That 3-day trip lasted 3 years and we were married. Her work took us to New York in 1997, where I studied web development and started Stuart Allt Web Design. From there we moved to Tanzania, where we separated and I returned to Finland in 2001.
During my travels I have primarily been an English teacher and web developer. I have a henkilötunnus in 6 countries and a good appreciation of cross-cultural differences.
Finland is the country I'm proud to call home; the weather isn't perfect for an Aussie but the people and culture are, in my experience, the best! I appreciate Finnish directness, honesty, modesty, and the quest for knowledge.
I have a degree in psychology and industrial relations from the University of Sydney, where I also studied philosophy.
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