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Taking your business into the global market is exciting and scary all at once. While you may have done your due diligence in talking with international investors, studying your global target audience, and shifting your business plan, have you thought about your website?
Your website is a driving factor in your business’ success. Before going global, it’s important that your site is set up to appeal to audiences around the globe.
If you’re going global, here are 5 things you’ll want to do in order to take your site international.
1. Translate the Website
Believe it or not, English isn’t as popular as you think. In fact, 70% of the world doesn’t speak English. This means that if you’re taking your business global, your website needs to follow suit. The best way to do this is to translate your website.
While you could hire a professional translator to get the job done, it’s much quicker (and cheaper!) to put technology to use. If you use WordPress to host your website, there are all sorts of plugins you can use to translate your website, effectively turning it into a localized site that’s viewable by consumers around the globe.
Unsure of which plugin to use? Check out this list of WordPress translation plugins compared to find the best option for your needs.
When taking your website international, there’s all sorts of confusion that can come from currency differences. Confusion can happen on product pages as well as on the checkout page when customers are finalizing a transaction. When currency is inconsistent, visitors are more likely to abandon their cart, especially if they face unexpected fees.
With your e-commerce website, in order to properly handle international currency, it’s important to:
- Display currency and prices depending on site locality
- Offer an easy way for users to change the currency
- Follow international rules
It’s also important to know the ins and outs of currency formats that are used throughout the world. The less confusion when it comes to numbers, the better!
In addition to payment methods like Samsung Pay, as well as Visa and Mastercard, it may benefit your company to accept Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency as a means of payment as well. With an estimated 80,000 businesses already accepting Bitcoin today, it’s no stretch to speculate that as time progresses, more and more transactions will be made online using cryptocurrencies.
3. Time Zones Matter
One of the biggest hurdles to going global are time zones. Even if your company provides around the clock customer support, time zones can still be confusing for customers who are outside of your operating time zone.
To help minimize time zone issues, ensure you always post the current time in your office. Provide a clear address as to where your company is located so that it’s clear to everyone who visits your website.
To improve 24/7 customer support, optimize your phone calls. There are various softwares options that allow you to log where calls are coming from and the times they’re made. This can help you to better schedule support service to eliminate customer frustration.
4. Pay Close Attention to Graphics
Graphics such as image-based ads and infographics are quite popular in today’s world. They’re a nice break from the traditional text-based content that most web visitors are used to. But, when taking your site international, you’ll need to pay close attention to using graphics.
Since translation plugins only translate text content, you may have graphics displaying in English on an Italian-translated site. Be aware of which graphics you’re using, especially those with text, and find ways to make them text-based as opposed to flat images.
As a tip, try creating graphics using client-side scripting, like CSS and HTML, so that you can provide flashy graphics for all website visitors.
5. Use Automated Geolocation
There are many different ways to use geolocation in order to send a user to the best version of your company website. Some companies use a protocol that registers the user’s country and then directs them to that region’s website using the proper language.
While this method works, it takes all control away from the user. Just because someone is browsing from the U.K. doesn’t mean that they want to purchase from that area.
Another option is to let users choose what version of your site they want to see. While this gives users all of the power, it adds an extra click and can be frustrating, especially since web visitors these days expect fast page loads.
The best solution is to analyze the user’s region, suggest a localized website, and then allow them to make the ultimate solution.
When going global, don’t forget about your online presence! Start with your website and ensure that all web content is viewable by a global audience. By providing a great experience to new global visitors, you increase your chance of making conversions.
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