Once you’ve achieved some international sales success, your next step is to boost demand.
Social media marketing, search engine optimisation and mobile-ready websites can all help.
Search engine rankings can make all the difference to international awareness. So explore search engine optimisation (SEO) for your target markets, so buyers there can find what you’re selling.
Google is the world’s top search engine – with some notable exceptions. In China, it’s Baidu. In South Korea, it’s Naver. In Japan, Yahoo! is popular. In Russia, it’s Yandex. Each search engine has its own set of ranking factors and best practices.
"Over 72% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when the information is in their own language," says Mark Ellis of Webinterpret (our partner in PayPal Global Sellers). Language also affects how your site performs in search engine rankings. Ideally, rewrite your website text for each country using local phrasing. It’s also best practice to translate your site into a native language using its strongest words and phrases.
PayPal Global Sellers translates website content and localises pricing automatically, helping search engines better index your page.
Your international customers are on social media, so talk to them in their favourite places. Many will help you to target customers in other countries.
Each channel attracts a different mix of age, gender, interests and nationalities. Research them all to see which best match your products.
Watch the traffic by doing some ‘social listening’ to understand the audience. For example, you could set up Google Alerts for key terms or competitors.
Our guide on How to Sell Internationally includes a whole chapter on getting started on social media.
One way to improve international demand for your products is to identify local customs, trends, holidays and even business practices in your target markets. Understanding these country specifics can be critical to selling the right products to the right customers at the right times, and to positioning those products in the right way. To read more download our adventures in marketing eBook.
Established online marketplaces like eBay can often give you better reach for lower cost. You can test demand before committing a large sum to redeveloping your existing site. Consider other popular online marketplaces in your target market, too. And connect with other small businesses selling in international markets, so you can learn from their experiences here.
Ensuring your website is mobile ready can help enhance cross-border sales. Mobile adoption means new groups of consumers are able to shop and buy online, even in emerging economies without the infrastructure for widespread Internet connectivity. For tips and tricks on keeping up with mobile habits, read our whitepaper.
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"I adopted a strategy of picking a country and allocating just £1 per day for search engine optimisation. When I got my money back, I would increase the investment and pick another country."
Wayne Bower, Managing Director, Jedi Robe
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