You might think your company is ready to expand her horizons by venturing into distant shores, but are you sure you’re ready to deal with the locals? If you’re not sure about that then you’d best read on! Buyers react better to their native language, so we’ve put together some tips to make sure you won’t be pouring oil on troubled waters halfway through your journey.
How to choose a new market
There’s more to picking a new market than just choosing your favourite holiday destination. You’re going to have to make sure you’ve got potential clients waiting for you, and it’s somewhere that’s not flooded with companies just like yours. By using Google Analytics, you can check geographic data and search trend reports to see where people are visiting your site from. You can also use Keyword Planner to look into what people search for and give your competition a bit of a stalk (which we all enjoy doing, don’t we).
What do I need to do to translate/localize my website properly?
Now you’ve decided on which market you’re going to go for, it’s time to tackle translating/localizing your website. We’re proof that marketing professionals and translators can be friends, so once you’ve added some translators to your marketing team here are some things to keep in mind:
- Use a professional translator – they’ll be your key to success. Search engines don’t value content from automated translation tools, and let’s be honest the quality won’t represent your business to the full.
- Each language must have their own unique webpage – make sure that pages in different languages have their own separate URLs.
- Never have more than one language per webpage – search engines won’t be able to work out which language the page is in.
- Make the most of language anotations on webpages – these will help search engines serve the right content to the right person based on their languages.
- Localization – As much as we like to think we’re all the same, cultural differences do still exist (believe it or not it didn’t go unnoticed while writing this article. Czech vs Irish = formal vs informal…anyway we’ll let you decide who won). Localization will take these differences into account while translating your website, making sure that things like currency, time zones, and culture are all taken into account.
- Country targeting – another thing to think about is getting a CCTLD domain name (e.g. .de, .co.uk, .cz etc.) This will give search engines a strong idea of where to target. You can also use country targeting in google Search Console.
Does advertising abroad work the same as at home?
Once you’ve got your website ready, it’s time to start advertising and making money. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Display ads – these are a great way of advertising on websites your audience is already visiting. Using the Google Display planner can help show you where people are spending time online and where you should be advertising.
- Social media – make sure that you do a bit of research and see which networks are popular in that country and start getting yourselves noticed.
- Email marketing – go for newsletters, email campaigns, but make sure you’re translating your content and making sure it’s relevant to your new audience.
- Retargeting – targeting ads at people who have already visited your website will help people remember your brand.
Is there anything else I should keep in mind when expanding?
Here’s a few final points you should have a think about too:
- Payments – make sure you use an international e-commerce platform and take the currency into account. People might also not have access to credit or even debit cards in your new market.
- Shipping – on top of shipping options, make sure you think about returns
- Differences in taxes and regulations
- Customer service – make sure that customers can get in touch with you, and make sure you know their culture…don’t assume everyone speaks English 🙂
As you can see, translation and marketing make a pretty awesome pair. So, if we’ve inspired you to take the plunge and fancy giving the Czech Republic or Slovakia a go, get in touch…we’re here to help 🙂
Written by Sarah Pokorná from Czech translations and Alan Presch, freelance digital strategist.
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