It’s important to build local visibility and awareness in each of your international target markets. You can create this over time with a mix of search engine optimization, selling strategies, and knowledge of local trends and holidays.
Get discovered on international search engines
To help ensure global buyers can find your products, take steps to learn more about international SEO (search engine optimization) for your target markets. Google is the world’s most popular search engine, but there are some notable, locale-specific search engines to consider as well:
- In China and Korea the most widely used search engine is Baidu (www.baidu.com)
- In Japan it’s Yahoo (www.yahoo.jp)
- In Russia it’s Yandex (www.yandex.com)
The language your website uses has a significant impact on your SEO success as well, especially internationally. It’s best to translate your website into the local language for each of your target markets. Doing so will allow you to target the most relevant local words and phrases, improving your search engine visibility. Providing a local website will also help.
Choose a selling option
Fast and easy, to start: Established online marketplaces like eBay can often give you better reach for lower cost. They allow you to test demand for your products before committing a large sum to re-developing your existing site. Some of the advantages eBay offers include:
- Eligible listings are automatically made available to millions of eBay buyers in more than 54 countries.
- Powerful marketing tools to help you generate demand for your products.
Also consider other online marketplaces that may be popular in your target market.
Optimize your current website, step-by-step: A slightly more advanced option is to optimize your current website for international buyers. You can start small by simply highlighting your ability to accept international orders, providing information on which countries you serve, and detailing the shipping costs for each.
Once you have more experience selling into a few markets, you can look into displaying your product prices in local currency, and eventually installing a multi-language toggle for your website.
Expand further with a custom website: The most advanced option is to build a custom website designed for specific overseas markets. This can include investing in a local domain name. The products and strategies that work in the U.S. might not necessarily work in other countries, so a custom website gives you full flexibility to test the best presentation of your items. Setting up a local website in each of your target markets will help you attract new customers who would not otherwise find you through a general search on their local search engines.
Take advantage of local trends and holidays
One way to improve international demand for your products is to identify and take advantage of local customs, trends, holidays, and even business practices in your target markets. Understanding country-specific traditions 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.