Congratulations; you are now the proud owner of your own business and, with a website to boot, you’re well on your way to building a loyal following and attracting your first customers. However, if you’re hoping to make your business accessible for, and attractive to, consumers in international markets, you may have a little work ahead of you yet. If the words ‘optimisation’, ‘international readerships’, and ‘foreign markets’ leave you a little confused and daunted read on – you might just learn a thing or two.
Explore your website’s potential
Ensuring that your new website is optimised for an international readership is likely to be one of the most challenging aspects of building your blog or site, but it’s absolutely vital if you want to keep up with your competitors and make a name for yourself. After all, how are you going to appeal to, and entice, your desired audience when many of them will feel alienated by the very site that’s supposed to be communicating with them? Luckily there are a variety of ways that you can create a site that will appeal to international readerships, as well as enabling consumers from a little closer to home to feel more engaged to.
For starters you’ll need to ensure that your site is optimised for speed. If your site takes longer than a few seconds to load it’s going to be losing a lot of custom, as well as failing to reach a global market properly. In terms of optimisation you also need to examine online translation tools and make sure they’ll work well, reduce your use of text in images, adapt your layout so that it is conducive to swapping text direction for right to left scripts, such as Arabic, and optimise your site to be found by international search engines; what terminology should you be using? Are there international phrases for specific aspects of your business? When it comes to designing a website that appeals to a global readership you can never do too much research. Now is the time to create a user-friendly shopping cart that can be used by customers no matter where they live, and to research colour; yes, really. Different colours have different associations around the world, and so you’d do well to have a look at what combinations work well and how they translate – particularly if you’re targeting a particular audience.
Making the most of your international readership
Okay, so you’ve optimised your website, thought carefully about its design, and even thought about how your terminology can be construed around the world, but have you thought specifically about translating your site so that it reaches, and engages, the maximum audience possible? Now is the time to really consider the benefits of working with a freelance translation expert to enable your content to truly work for you; only then can you hope to make a success of your business on an international level. Today may also be the day that you look to other successful entrepreneurs for inspiration. Fahad Al-Rajaan is one such businessman and, as the former head of the United Bank of Kuwait’s international operations around the world, and the director general of the PIFSS, he certainly knows a thing or two about conducting business on a global scale. Could you say, with all honesty, that your current website would attract such clientele? Who is it that you’re hoping to target. By using such esteemed businessmen and women as your marker, you can now work towards creating a site that would reach out and gain their loyalty.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re creating a company website, and the chances are that the international readership you’d like to gain isn’t currently one of those considerations; but why not? Such customers will aid your business no end, and you really should be thinking about how they will react to your site. With that in mind sit down, think, and apply some of the strategies above. Good luck, you’re well on your way.