Are you ready for international internet marketing and harnessing the power of the web to present yourself and your products to new sets of customers all over the world? There're definitely reasons for making your presence known in specific local markets and the internet is an unmatchable tool for delivering information to new groups of customers, wherever they may be.
According to Export America, a customer is twice as likely to stay at a web site, and four times as likely to purchase something, if the site is in his or her native language. Forrester Research states that businesses that present Web sites only in English lose up to $10 million in potential sales per year.But marketing and networking in an area outside of your own can be surprisingly different and possibly difficult. You're dealing with different general and business customs, currencies and languages, among other things.
There are many elements to consider when planning an international internet marketing strategy. First, you need to prepare your content for your new audiences. While you should maintain a consistent brand, the information about your company should be presented in a light which fits the markets you are targeting.
Don't have the information on your English-written site directly translated into the languages of the countries you are aiming at. Your best bet is to hire someone in that area who can turn the English into a well-translated local text. You'll also need to do a great deal of research to determine how the new target culture likes to see information presented to them. Be careful to avoid idioms, humor, and ethnic references that are difficult to translate and/or may not be relevant to other cultures.
How your new users will navigate your site is another important consideration. You can establish the navigation with country specific URLs, a link from the homepage, or a gateway page which allows the user to select their language preferences from the home page one time in order to go to their specific localized page every time they access the site in the future. Make sure that your site can handle the input, storage, retrieval, sorting, and display of different character sets, in addition to the time/date/currency formats. You'll also definitely want to optimize your site for search engine visibility in the localized market(s) that you are targeting. As with whatever current market you are in, the content of your website is key in your new markets as well so you'll need to spend enough time examining your content in order to present the proper image for the market. The impact of culture on your results is huge and the above tips just barely graze the surfact of what is necessary.
I recommend that you gain the expertise of a website designer and a global localization professional to manage the amount of variables that should be taken into consideration. Working together with them, you can pick out and analyze the issues that will impact how successful your international internet marketing site will be.
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