One of the most important advantages of having an online presence is the ability to reach international customers because your website is accessible everywhere. As a result, you can reach an international audience without having to incur additional costs. On the other hand, building a “physical” international presence can be quite costly.
Still, many local language websites do not know how to leverage this opportunity to reach international markets despite having a decent online presence. You may be one among them.
Do you check the number of people who visit your website from other countries? You may be running a small business. It is still possible that a certain percent of your conversions come from other countries.
Many businesses still have several misconceptions about going global:
There are opportunities everywhere
Some businesses believe that they have no reason to go global because they are already operating in the best market. Well, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have to explore opportunities elsewhere. You should at least make an assessment of the opportunities in overseas markets. The best thing is that you don’t have to lose your current market to capture overseas markets.
According to a survey conducted by eMarketer, Business to Customer e-commerce sales will grow exponentially to 1.298 trillion USD worldwide. In addition, the Asia-Pacific region will surpass the US to become the No. 1 market in the world. Western Europe and Asia Pacific already have more online buyers than North America. This is a clear indication that opportunities are everywhere.
Advantages of having local language versions
You may be running a local business, but your website should still have international versions. You don’t have to be a big e-commerce site to benefit from a global online presence. Small businesses, too, benefit from country site versions targeting visitors from other countries. In fact, many kinds of local businesses have the potential to get visitors from foreign countries. For example, you may be running a Chinese language school in Beijing. In this case, you don’t have to target only those foreigners who are living in China. In fact, international students interested in learning Chinese are all potential customers for you.
Building an international presence is not expensive. If your website is in a local language, you will have to spend some money for making it available in other languages. You may also need to register separate domains for separate countries. However, the benefits outweigh the costs.
That said, launching websites with country site versions or multiple languages are unlikely to produce the desired results if they are not implemented thoughtfully. Before launching a version for a specific country, you should make a proper assessment of that market. Sometimes websites may have different versions for different countries, but they will still have the same content. This strategy will not help. If you launch a country site version, it should be tailor-made for that specific audience. You can also consider running pilot projects to check the potential of a market.
International SEO Potential
To determine your site’s overseas potential, you only need very simple analysis. For example, Google Analytics allows you to check the number of visitors your site receives from other countries. Verify the traffic trends. Do you see an increase in the number of international visitors?
You should also check how overseas visitors arrive on your
site. Are they being referred by search engines or social media sites? How many visitors arrive directly? Which keywords and web pages attract international traffic? This data will help you identify overseas markets that hold the most potential for your business.
Once you have identified overseas markets with the highest potential, launching a version of your website optimized for that country is all that you need to do.