Gearing Up for Online Global Growth

3D graphics image by Quince Creative
  • Written by Susan Roe, a multi lingual international trade specialist who helps UK SMEs to research, plan and successfully sell products and services overseas through their own websites and global eMarketplaces.    

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on global business, the food and drink sector is just one that is looking at the way their products are sold, choosing websites and ecommerce as some of the best options.

This means that your company website now needs to play an even more important role in promoting, selling and raising the value of your brand – but does your website offer an experience that stacks up to the triple A factor of Attract, Adapt, Amaze?  This article is the first part of a series to help your business gear up for online sales, domestic and international.

Whether your website is of brochure style, where the objective is to showcase your company offering and credibility, with the primary call to action being to ‘get in touch’, or, whether it’s an eCommerce website, offering a full turnkey experience from browse to pay all in one visit, now more than ever is the time to look at what others see when searching and visiting your website.

Sometimes called the window to the world, a company website has the power to reach billions of consumers and trade customers across the globe. According to Internet World Stats, as at April 2020, there are 4.7 billion global internet users – that’s almost 60% of the total population! OK, so they’re not all going to visit your particular website or buy your products or services, but even to have just a miniscule portion of that global hanging fruit could make a huge difference to your bottom line.

Principally there are two types of visitor coming to your website:  Search engines, and humans.

Albeit with differing objectives, both these visitor types are looking for the best possible website visitor experience, including relevant and compelling content, site security, trustworthiness and speed of website page loading, to name but a few.

Furthermore, both these types of visitor are paramount to the success of your website and business, but it’s the human visitor type, who browses and clicks with emotion, which feeds your bottom line.

First, you need to attract these visitors to your website. Consider that there are 1.5 billion websites on the internet, and you are expecting yours to be found! A good start would be to look at the three primary ways visitors might land on your website to ensure they are the best they can be:

  • Are the keywords/phrases on your landing pages relevant and current?

  • Is your website address/URL short, snappy and memorable enough for visitors to type straight into the browser?

  • Are any inbound links to your website from relevant and trustworthy sources?

Second, you may need to adapt your website to accommodate different target audiences, mobile viewing and the language and cultural aspects of your overseas target markets. At the very least the content should feature in International English so your overseas website visitors have some chance of understanding it. Use of idioms, acronyms and really long sentences are a challenge if your target website audience is not a native speaker of English.

  • Are your images localised and culturally acceptable?

  • Are your videos sub-titled?

  • Does your website display properly on a mobile device?

  • Is your message tailored to who you want to attract?

Perhaps pre Covid-19 it was more trade customers, and now a shift to consumers.

Finally, ask yourself and your best customers what is the most amazing attribute about your offering. Is it the product, the packaging, the company ethos, the excellent customer service, the after service? Have you won awards? What is your review rating? More importantly, do these attributes come across clearly in your website message?

In contract to the human website visitor, the search engine visitor to your website has three primary objectives; to crawl, index and rank, using algorithms to determine the success and ranking of your website - crediting the good and penalising the bad. The image below, thanks to Search Engine Land, gives you some idea of the search engine elements looked at, prioritised by most significant, but each factor is important.

So you get the gist. Your website is a powerful tool which has the potential to reach the whole world without any physical barriers, but we should not have a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality. Making your website the best it can be is an ongoing activity injected with frequent search engine algorithm updates which need to be adhered to and are outside our control. That said, you’ll have picked up from this article that there are some quick tweaks that can be made to help towards giving your website that Attract, Adapt, Amaze triple A factor.

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