If you plan to take your online business from a regional or national presence to a global stage, you have some work ahead of you. For starters, you need to tackle the question: How can I get people in other geographical markets to notice what I sell, and then make a purchase?
Because you’re selling online, you already have an inherent advantage: The internet is global. Almost everyone can access your website. So, the bedrock for your global store is already in place. Now you can start on the following six steps that can help boost your web-based store’s international presence, and dramatically improve annual revenue in the process.
1. Make Your Website Translatable
If you’ll market goods or services to people who don’t speak fluent English, be sure the written content on your business website can be translated into a different language with the click of a button. Place language translation icons (e.g. national flags to represent languages) on your site’s landing pages in a place that’s discreet but easy to see, such as at the top right corner of the page.
While many international online shoppers may have some English-language skills, anyone willing to make a purchase will have greater comfort with their native language. In addition, offering translations makes it look like you respect other cultures.
2. Use an International Payment Gateway
An international payment gateway lets you sell globally by accepting debit cards, credit cards and electronic checks on an international level. Unlike national payment gateways that only accept payment cards from U.S. companies, an international payment gateway often accepts hundreds of cards from nearly as many nations.
The more international payment cards your business accepts, the more potential sales you can make. The same thing goes for international payment cards. As long as the cards are issued by a reputable company and backed by a strong bank, the more card payment options, the merrier.
3. Create a Facebook Page
Facebook is still limited in terms of its eCommerce capabilities, however it gives you the opportunity to backlink to your online store while giving new customers an opportunity to learn more about what you have to offer. As with your business website, it’s a good idea to offer different language options for your Facebook page, especially if the page has written content that explains the Unique Value Propositions (UVPs) of your products or services compared to competing ones in the U.S. market or abroad.
In addition, if your Facebook page is aimed at a global audience, take some time to read about cross-cultural differences between your country and the countries you’re targeting, so you don’t inadvertently post something that offends a segment of your audience. Facebook is a place where humor is welcome in large doses, but cultures can have vastly different ideas about what constitutes appropriate humor.
4. Use Audience Aligned Testimonials
According to a recent study from Search Engine Land, “88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations”. In addition, studies have shown that many consumers trust other consumers’ opinions about a company’s products more than the trust the company’s opinions.
If you decide to use video customer testimonials, be sure to provide a translation option, just as you would do for written content on your site. If you’d like to be especially customer-friendly, you could film customer testimonials in different languages instead of using the same video and dubbing it over with different dialects.
As your global customer base grows, you should find it increasingly easier to create native language customer testimonials. Using a customer testimonial video in the first place can increase prospective customers’ trust of a product or service. Linking the nationality of the testifier with the nationality of the targeted audience segment can increase trust even more.
5. Optimize Content for Foreign Search Engines
In the U.S, we mainly focus on optimizing websites based on site indexing rules from Google, Yahoo. However, many countries, specifically non-English speaking nations prefer local search engines. For instance, Naver and Daum are both popular in South Korea, Baidu and Quihoo 360 dominate in China, while Yandex is primarily used in Turkey.
Although, Google occupies the biggest slice of the international search engine pie chart by far (You can easily reach all of Europe with Google, for example), if you’re targeting a another country that primarily uses a foreign search engine, it’s important to consult with an SEO specialist who understands the search engine in question before you post anything.
In addition to helping your content rank high in search results, it will help ensure that you don’t accidentally violate a rule and get banned from the search engine, which can happen with U.S.-based search engines, too. This is obviously something you need to avoid. Being banned from the primary search engine in another country could largely prevent you from marketing your goods or services in that nation until the ban is lifted.
6. Consult a Global Marketing Agency
If this is your first foray into the world of international, online business, it’s a good idea to consult with a marketing agency that can tell you what to pursue and what to avoid. Depending on the agency’s services, you may also use it as a provider of SEO for international websites. But you can certainly use the agency as an advisor for which type of payment gateway to use for your global audience.
Need an International Payment Gateway?
If you’re ready to market your online store to a global audience, the answer is yes. To ensure that you use the best gateway, schedule a free appointment today by calling or contacting us online.
As a multinational merchant service provider, we work around the clock to give your business comprehensive solutions. Reach us by phone 24/7 in the US at +1-888-255-1137 or in the UK at +44 203 318 8334. We look forward to helping you go global.