The web has removed geographical barriers from international trade. If you can overcome language and cultural barriers, the world truly is your oyster.
The UK export trade is worth millions, and with a well-localised website, you are better positioned to tap into these growing international markets. Positioned between the translation and web industries, Web-Translations offers a unique, low-risk, low-cost approach to international eBusiness.
Here are our Top 6 tips for growing your business internationally:
1) Make friends with Google. Google has a host of online tools to help you analyse market data and understand trends around the world.
The Market Finder tool can recommend the best market for your business, providing insights to help you reach the audience in a particular country.
Google Trends shows what topics are trending in a particular country, as well as providing data on individual search terms. More fantastic graphs and charts help you to decide if a particular market really is ready for your products!
The Consumer Barometer tool can show you how people around the world use the internet. Select a country, and find out a load of useful statistics!
2) Digital First. Start with an e-commerce site, and you can be trading internationally very quickly. It’s a lower risk strategy, with the cost of entry much lower than a traditional bricks and mortar business. If business takes off, then you can look to a multi-channel strategy.
3) Involve – and empower – the right people. A dedicated exports team within your business is essential; a separate team will prioritise the export market, making better decisions more quickly. Involving team members from top management will also help by ensuring that the export market is a factor in pricing, marketing and product development.
4) Research your brand, strapline and product names. Knowing what people in your target country think about these is valuable information. Should you localise your strapline? Should you translate the product names? Does your brand name remind them of anything positive or negative? At Web-Translations, we can help you access this information. Contact us about our International Brand Research service.
5) Be bold. First mover advantage matters to business success, so try a number of different markets, and move quickly.
6) Market it! A great e-commerce site is only the first step; digital marketing is essential for getting visitors. Include social media campaigns in your initial plans, as well as PPC advertising. Google’s Keyword Planner tool has plenty of info on international searches, and if you need more help, Web-Translations can create adverts and lists of keywords for you. We can also localise your tweets and facebook posts.
With the new-format Google ads running alongside standard text ads for nearly a month, we’ve noticed some quirks, understood a bit more, and most importantly – seen the benefits.
Google announced the change back in May, and launched the new Extended Text Ads (ETAs) at the end of July.
Advertisers have until 26 October to create old-style standard text ads (STAs); after this only ETAs can be created. Google hasn’t given an end-date for running STAs, but it’s in your best interests to make new ads. We recommend you start by running both sorts of ads simultaneously; if your ETAs don’t perform as well as your old ads, tweak them until you are comfortable removing the old ads.
The old-style character limit rule of 25/35/35 no longer applies. ETAs have 2 headlines and a description, and the fields will allow 30 characters in each headline + 80 characters in the description. However, the new format is based on the pixel width of a letter instead of the number of characters, so it is highly possible that your ad might be truncated, even if it is approved by Google. Google has recommended the combined number of characters in the headline should be kept to 33 to ensure the headlines are are not truncated, but this seems like a wasted opportunity if you might be able to use 60 characters… The ad preview is not entirely reliable, either. It seems the only way to know your ad displays 100% correctly is to actually see the ad running, which isn’t very helpful.
Overall, you can make longer ads, which give you more of an opportunity to convince someone to click on your ad.
The lack of a set character limit is making translating the ads more tricky; each ad needs to be checked in the editor/preview, and tweaked as necessary.
Longer Display URL
Previously the display URL as a field with 35 characters, but the new version combines the domain from the Final URL field with 2 fields of 15 characters each, separated by / characters, which will allow the display URL to take someone deeper into your site, but possibly not to a specific product, which you may have been able to do before.
Google says the new format is to help advertisers ‘succeed in this mobile-first world’. With an iPhone 6, I noticed that the entire first screen is taken up with sponsored ads, requiring me to scroll down to see the organic search results.
At Web-Translations, we have seen higher CTRs for our primary keywords with the new ETAs. Perhaps our competitors haven’t all started using the ETAs, but whatever the reason, the ads are performing better for us. The data below is based on English-language ads from 2016. ETA data is only from the month of August; we expect these figures will drop in the coming months as more companies move to ETAs.
|keyword||Standard Text Ad
|Extended Text Ad
|translation services uk||2.19%||3.23%|
|professional website translation||3.26%||5.36%|
If you want to read more about keyword research in general, visit our service page on the subject.
Taking keyword research onto an international level is one of the many challenges facing companies looking to grow their overseas profile. If you approach it as a translation exercise, you’ll be dead in the water; multilingual keyword research needs to be approached in its own right, and on its own terms.
Here are a few points to consider when you start thinking about your international keyword strategy: (more…)
The start of a fresh year is the perfect opportunity to gauge past successes and look forward to exciting new ones. Resolutions aren’t just for people – they also give discerning businesses the chance to establish a clean outlook and set the wheels in motion for twelve months of growth and innovation.
With this goal of planning ahead in mind, we’ve put together a shrewd list of realistic eMarketing resolutions (or reSEOlutions, if you prefer!) for 2014 which will boost your website’s performance across the board. If you stick to these 5 rules, you’ll end the year the business equivalent of slim and good-looking.
Here at Web-Translations we’ve always prided ourselves on packaging our language services to make them as easy as possible for clients in all industries to understand and buy. Our International Blast and Strategic Approach to Localisation services have launched hundreds of companies in international markets, but we realised that the basic SEO we included in these packages no longer met the needs of today’s online businesses. A few years ago, the basic SEO tactics we used to promote our clients’ newly localised websites in the countries they were targeting were enough to get them started, and generate search traffic, but the search marketing industry has moved on in leaps and bounds since then, and we decided it was time for an overhaul.
The result is a group of localisation service levels that have been designed to suit different business types at different stages of international trade:
We haven’t forgotten eCommerce clients either – however rather than stipulating a fixed package of services for eTailers, we put together a bespoke package for each client, depending on their aims and objectives.
We talk a lot on this blog about the best way to go about localising your content for foreign markets, what makes a good translation, etc. In this post I’ll cover one of the most fundamental aspects of website localisation: which website structure to use.
There are several different options to consider when you set up your multilingual site, and the type of company or brand you are, your international expansion plans, along with the CMS you use (if any) will all influence what will be the best way forward for you and your business.
Are you targeting particular countries? If yes, then a Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) such as company.es / company.fr will fit well with your international strategy. Here’s a summary of the main benefits of a ccTLD:
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that there may be issues in obtaining a ccTLD (such as residence requirements), and you won’t be making the most of the SEO authority you have established through your existing domain.
In a recent article about the external Google Keyword Tool, I wasn’t overly positive about Google, so I would like to use this article as an attempt to redeem myself in the eyes of the Great Google… Google does aim to provide the most useful, accurate and valuable information in its search results, and they make constant improvements to their algorithms to ensure this is the case.
Recently, SEO experts have been focusing on using anchor text on links to make their sites rank more highly. The idea being that Google will bump a site up in the rankings for a particular keyword if it finds an association between the keyword and the site – and a link on a keyword seemed a surefire way to achieve this.
In turn, Google has changed the rules again in order to provide the best information, and not just what the SEO experts want them to provide. They are looking for statistical correlations that they can use to judge the relevance and importance of a site. The experts are now saying that co-citation is the best way to improve your website’s rankings. This means that if website A mentions sites B and C, and site B has a high page rank, it will help site C. Conversely, if site B is a poorly ranked site or link farm, then it will negatively affect site C.