Optimizing Your Online Presence For Global Expansion

Widening your net to land a much more international audience is a great way to grow your company and get your product, service or even just your brand into entirely new territories. However, it isn’t as simple as many would naively believe, especially when you consider you have to cater for all the nuances that come with an international audience: cultures, laws and online behaviors.

That is why we have come up with a few things you should consider when it comes to launching your global marketing strategy; the reason being these will help you successful cater to the new audiences you hope to reach.

Going Cross-Culture

If you want to be a success across multiple cultures then you need to understand the cultural barriers that you and your business will need to overcome. Of course, a great place to start is having a website that has been translated into multiple languages because this will give you a huge advantage. However, the deeper you are able to delve when it comes to understanding other cultures the more you will able to tweak your strategy to meet the different nuances. As such, we recommend you learn from people in the target audience you are hoping to reach.

Different Laws

Every country – and often every region – has different regulations when it comes to products, marketing, and sales. As such, it is worth making sure you know the local regulations on all three of these fronts before you commit to launching your online campaign. To give you some more context, doing business in Russia will mean different product laws to doing business in America with regards to chemicals used, safety standards, packaging designs, language used and quality assurances. The same goes for advertising laws. While America is very relaxed on competitive messaging, places like Germany and Belgium have much stricter regulations.

Search Engine Needs

Choosing the right search engine, localizing content and understanding how keywords are interpreted; these are areas you need to give careful consideration to. Every region uses different search engines, so you need to know which is used by your target audience in every location you are launching in. Yes, Google has the top spot in English-speaking countries, but local markets tend to be best served by local search engines. Another thing to bear in mind is translations. It isn’t enough to just directly translate your content; you need to localize the messaging and the product to each market you are looking at serving. And let’s not forget the importance of knowing what the native keywords to use are.

Website Design

You may think you have got the perfect website in terms of design and user functionality and, yes, that may well be the case for your American market. But it doesn’t mean it will be for the Russian market. Simple things like the colors you use can have a completely different meaning because they are so deeply ingrained in cultures. White in the western world means marriage and purity, but in the Eastern world and Africa, it symbolizes mourning. That’s just the start as well. You’re social media accounts will need to be setup to adapt to the different languages too, while most of the customer services do’s and don’t will need to be addressed as well. You’ll also need to make sure that your users see the cost of something in their local currency and you’ll want to save yourself the headache of having text that can’t be translated in your graphics.

Let Your Website Do The Talking

When you’re operating a business, whether from an office or your own home, you need to have an online presence. It is through this that you will be able to gain custom. This isn’t necessarily just through your own website; there are so many more platforms to be used in conjunction with this, especially social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. It’s through the combination of all of these that you have got the recipe for online success – it’s just about finding out the dashes and sprinkles of your own branding and personality to add to it and following it down to a tee rather than deviating off down other paths.

Make It Stand Out

There are a myriad of different ways to get your website to stand out, but the most obvious (and the one that needs the most attention) is the design of it all. If you are not too au fait with getting websites built yourself, it’s time to outsource to somebody who does. There are plenty of freelancers available online for you to get in touch with. Look for somebody who has been highly recommended by people who have used them before; there are usually websites with reviews on them that have come from trusted sources. These people are living off the recommendations that they to get their next job, and so they want to impress you. Make sure that you communicate your ideas clear and effectively to get the best job done for you. Include what you want from your website, who your target demographic is and other bits and bobs that you want added in – maybe a few online games, for example, if your site is more child-orientated. Remember: the longer that you keep the customer on your website, the more invested in your business they will be.

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Keep Them Coming Back

After the design of your website, you need to ensure that you are keeping those who have originally visited coming back. This can be for a number of reasons; those who are bloggers and are living off the revenue of their website may be wanting people back on their site so that they can generate more money via sponsored links and posts. For those who aren’t generating any money, it’s still important to keep a good presence. Whether it’s through small updates to your website, blog posts informing your customers of what’s going on with your business (even just a quick update can be enough to satisfy their interest!) or links to your social media accounts, these are all things which will keep your site active and current. The last thing that somebody wants is to head over to a point of information and find out that it hasn’t been updated in months (or in some cases years – shocking, isn’t it?). You have to keep up to demand when you’re in business and recognise that the majority of this demand is now coming from the digital side rather than in person.

The Beefcamp Bootcamp For Wimpy Websites

A website is either great or it’s not good enough for your business. There is no middle ground. There are the elements of a successful website that the brand, the customers, and the business needs. Then there are sites that lack those elements. So, what are the elements that your website is missing? That’s what we’re going to be looking at in the boot camp.

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Usability is number one

You would think that this is a no-brainer, but businesses consistency launch sites that are, in one way or another, broken. They have too many pages that could be condensed into one, or they’re missing the simple tricks of navigation like drop-down menus that allow them to unify several different pages under one category. Or they’re making one of the biggest mistakes in modern business and failing to make a responsive website that reads as well on mobile devices as it does on the PC. Make sure you have strangers testing your site on different devices and offer them objectives, like using certain services on the site. If they mention any barriers to those objectives, think about how you remove those barriers.

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Sites are more than just a text on background

A good brand needs a good brand image. This doesn’t just mean the colour and design of the formatting trims on the website. Instead, think about how you use images to communicate if they can deliver your message quicker than text. Go even further and use video marketing content on your pages to remove the effort from the user’s experience entirely. The best videos to use on sites are shorter ones. If it takes longer than thirty seconds, a significant portion of website users will simply ignore a video.

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Nothing works without visibility

If your website’s issue is the fact that no-one is browsing it, then you need to ask yourself why. For instance, if it doesn’t have high placement on search engines with the help of a search engine optimisation agency, then people simply might not be able to find it even when they’re looking for it. If you’re not using social media to highlight the different deals and pieces on content on the site, then people won’t think to check them out. Even the greatest designed sites won’t have much impact if they have no visibility.

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If you have something to say, say it

Content can be one of the greatest weapons a site can offer your business or your brand. It is your opportunity to offer expertise in advice articles that solve problems for even average web users who weren’t looking for your business. It gives you the chance to show that the site is alive and the business is ever-working by keeping the site up-to-date. It can even be used as a place to show positive proof of the business’s success, highlighting awards, industry updates and testimonials. If you have something to say, say it on the site with well-written content.

If you see anything mentioned in the points above that your site just doesn’t have, then it’s time to consider why and if it’s worth adding it. The website is the online face of your business. You wouldn’t meet a client in a customer without dressing professionally. Why would you let your website go out in just as bad a condition?

 

The Benefits of a Beautiful Website

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Going onto a website is like knocking at someone’s front door, except without the real-life curb appeal – it’s just digital instead. When you arrive at someone’s house, you take in the surroundings, think about how you got there and generally expect it to be something pleasing to the eye. If not, you’re out of there or making excuses to leave as soon as you can. This is just the way that potential customers or viewers to your blog or website can see it, except they don’t need to make pleasantries … they’ll just click off and won’t return.

Accessible

People want a clean, clear and accessible website. The average time for somebody to be landed on your page and make a decision about whether they want to stay on it or not is just 15 seconds – and it’s that quarter of a minute that you need to utilise to your advantage. If you haven’t got anything instantly appealing, engaging or informative on there, your customers will be off quicker than you can say “double-click”.

Design

 How your website looks makes a massive difference to whether people want to stay for a while or click off. You need to be hitting your target demographic when you’re thinking about website design, so for example if it’s for children then bright colours will need to be used and you won’t go wrong to throw in some games on the site too. A good website design agency will be able to steer you towards what you want and will most likely be able to expand the ideas that you are able to give them for the creation of your website and add to it to generate something that will return the most traffic. Designers aren’t mind-readers; give them a concise overview of what you want and remember to include important things like colour palette, fonts, pictures and anything else that you definitely want included. An informative brief leads to an excellent website, and it shows when people have put a lot of thought into their online presence.

Relevant

Keep everything on your website relevant to what it’s actually about. This includes the tab header, the content and even the links that you’ve got to other pages. If, for example, you’re on a page about televisions, you don’t want a to see something that will link you to a gardening page. Unless it’s related to what you are advertising or writing about, keep it away. Those who are visiting your website are doing it in good faith; they expect to land on a page that will give them exactly what they want, if not a little bit more. There is an element of surprise that people are looking for, but it’s one that lies in deals, promotions and offers for them – not spammy links to affiliated companies for your own personal profit. The more that your visitors realise that you are making money from them visiting, the less likely they are to return to you.

Keeping Your Website Simple Is the Best Decision You Could Ever Make

Web design isn’t a complicated matter despite what many designers and freelancers would lead you to believe. People talk all the time about how to make your website more impressive or draw in a bigger audience, but the reality of it is simple: it doesn’t matter. This article is going to the best piece of advice you’ve ever read regarding business websites and hiring overpriced services.

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Cut the nonsense

Let’s put it this way; does adding loads of images and flashy things to your website increase the overall customer experience? You’re probably thinking up reasons or situations where some flashy menus or buttons could increase the user’s experience, but let’s face it, it’s pointless and a waste of time. Not only are those extra effects costly because it takes time to create, it’s also going to break many browsers that simply don’t support those extra features. Even if you’re designing a website to show off your freelance art portfolio, adding smooth menu transitions and using some kind of flash-based gallery viewer does not enhance the user’s experience—it just invites the possibility of errors.

Simple hosting plans lead to simple websites

The simpler your web host, the faster you’re going to get your business or website up and running. Hosts such as wizzhosting.co.uk make this their top priority; to get you started as soon as possible and with the lowest costs they can offer. A web host that offers far too many features isn’t going to be relevant to your interests. You shouldn’t be caring about all the plugins and modules they offer to make your website look flashy and trendy, you should be caring about costs, ease of use and how quickly you can get it running.

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Information overload

When someone browses a website they want to get what they came for. Even if you’re a blog that covers just about everything, your users don’t want to fiddle about with navigating menus to reach the content they want. The fewer clicks it takes for your viewers to reach the information they need, the more likely they will come back and the less likely they will leave in frustration. If it takes more than three clicks from the front page of your website to access your contact details, then you’re doing something wrong. Stop overloading people with information and focus on the customer experience.

Compatibility

A good majority of web users access the internet on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. The simpler your website, the easier it is going to be to scale down your web pages to fit cleanly onto these smaller screens. Many web hosts offer basic scaling options, but at the end of the day, you’re probably going to have to redesign your entire website if you want to create a website that works well on both mobile devices and your desktop. This article at sitepoint.com explains a couple of simple ways you can make your website more mobile friendly. It’s solid, no-nonsense advice that everyone should be following.

Great Habits Breed Great Web Design!

As I’m sure you know, if you want any hope of getting your brand seen these days, you’ll need a well-designed and functional website. However, like many entrepreneurs, you may feel like your web design is missing something. Good design is all about pushing your available technology as far as it will go, and finding creative ways around various challenges. If you’re looking to improve your website in the long term, here are some great habits to get into…

Kindle Emotional Connections 

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If everyone behaved logically, and consumers flocked to the sites with the best functionality, it would make good web design so much easier. Unfortunately though, this isn’t the world we live in! It’s been proven time and time again that emotional connections in web design can be exceedingly powerful for giving any user the best possible experience. The aesthetic appeal of any website has a huge impact on how trustworthy and credible your site will appear, and the way the site makes your users feel will make your products or services appear more or less usable. Whether it’s through interactive features, simple aesthetics, or well-written content, go out of your way to make sure your web design fosters some kind of emotional connection.

Keep on Learning 

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Web design, just like any skill, is constantly evolving. If you’re not all that experienced, it will probably take some doing to get your web design skills up to the same level of the pros. Even if you have a length of web design experience under your belt, constantly looking to better yourself is an excellent habit to get into. There are all kinds of ways to develop your web design skills as an entrepreneur, such as working at a qualification through a distance-learning company, regularly reading blogs from companies like iPage, watching video tutorials and trying out new techniques on a separate testing site. Different learning styles will suit different people, and you may have to experiment with different methods to find a mix that’s right for you. However you want to do it, make sure you’re constantly learning and developing your skills. This will make you a more effective designer in the long run, and will help you keep on top of the rapidly changing standards.

Choose the Right Idea, Not the Best One 

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Although it may be a creative practice, web design isn’t an art form. There’s a lot of ways you can approach a design task, but as long as the purpose it serves is something to do with business, it can never truly be art. Let’s say that a light bulb suddenly flickers on, and you come up with a ground-breaking vision for an ecommerce store design that will revolutionise the way people think about websites. If your research shows that a lot of users prefer the comfort of a classic navigation layout, then don’t chase them away by reinventing the wheel. You don’t need to smother all your creative ideas, just make sure that you’re designing for the end user, and not for the artist in you!

Casting the Net Wider: Reach More People Today

If your business has a core group of customers but struggles to reach people further afield, you have a clear problem. It’s impossible to grow and expand a business when it’s stuck in a very tight niche. You need to find ways of casting the net wider and reaching more people if you want to make your business bigger and better. When you do this, you mustn’t forget your core customers who provide the business with its base.

Broaden the Scope of Your Brand

The very first thing to do is broaden the overall scope of your brand. If people see your business as only being for a certain kind of consumer, they will be unlikely to even listen to what you have to say. That’s why you need to actively demonstrate how the business is changing and why this matters to your customers. Set up a marketing campaign that is directly aimed at people who have never used your business before. Confound their expectations and brand your business differently. On top of that, you will have to start selling things that have a broader appeal.

Be More Open and Communicative

Being open and communicative about your business is really important at times when you are trying to branch out and reach new people. If your business is closed off and not open to new people, it’s unlikely to do very well at all. So, to ensure your business doesn’t fall behind and lost traction, you should make sure your business has a presence in social media. And when you interact with people on these platforms, make sure you’re open and willing to be humorous. When you do that, more people will see the human side of your business.

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Improve Your Website and Make Sure Content is Optimized

You’ll need to build a new website for your company if you want to make sure that it has the online presence required of modern businesses. If you run a construction company, this is just as true as if you run a tech startup. People often forget that all kinds of businesses need this strong online presence. There are companies that offer general contractor website design services if you do run that kind of business. But no matter what type of business you run, make sure the website is modern, easy to find and easy to use. You should also post content on there that is fully optimized to improve your SEO ranking.

Build Trust Over Time

Trust is important when it comes to the relationships between customers and businesses. If people don’t trust your brand, they won’t trust what it says or what it offers. So, it’s really important that you aim to build trust over time and don’t take customers for granted. It will be a slow process, so don’t expect to see instant results overnight. It simply won’t happen like that. Be prepared to prove your business is changing and appealing to more people. Eventually, the change will happen and people will begin to recognize it as well.

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