How to Improve Your International Online Presence The great British high street has been a major victim of the financial downturn. While some are surviving despite the lack of footfall, others have shut shop almost entirely. With the tumbleweed blowing on down those once busy streets, retailers have had to reconsider their approach and turn their attention to the online consumer - a burgeoning bunch. This method has seen success for many businesses, but what’s the next step? You’ve regained your lost shoppers, but what about gaining new ones? Perhaps even a market you’ve never reached out to before? The answer, it seems, is in globalisation; expanding your scope to international shores through steps such as targeted website localisation. The concept of the high street is transforming before us. No longer a place on a map with too many people, the high street can now be accessed from your living room, in your pyjamas, after 6pm. And, because retailers are pushing to reach global customers, the competition widens, causing firms to lose valuable patrons to businesses which are broadening their net. The only way to avoid falling by the wayside, is to follow suit. Assuming you have a website (who doesn’t these days?), there are a few essential steps you should take to get your global strategy off the ground and help improve your international online presence: ● Multilingual SEO. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a tried and tested method for companies no matter what their service, location or target market. To ensure you grab the attention of people who speak different languages and come from different cultures, you’ll need to take your SEO efforts to the next level. As the backbone to your international search campaign, it pays to invest in high quality multilingual SEO services, particularly as it can be a complex process. Speak to an agency specialised examining the culture, language and linguistic nuances of your target country for effective website localisation. ● Go social. Social media has transformed the way people and brands communicate, effectively crossing bridges and cultural barriers. In a relatively short space of time, social media has become an extremely powerful marketing tool, able to make or break a brand in 140 characters. For a simple way to reach your market cheaply and directly, spend some time developing and implementing a social strategy to support your traditional marketing channels. Your strategy should include details of your brand persona, how you plan to ‘humanise’ your presence, and what you plan to say to engage your diverse audience. ● Be helpful. Whatever your service or product, it pays to help people. Even if they don’t instantly convert, they’re likely to remember your name in the future; after all, who do you think they’ll come back to if you’ve solved their problems before? Join forums, answer questions, and participate in discussion groups, making sure you have international representatives or the assistance of a translations and localisation company like Capita Translation & Interpreting to respond in the local language. And don’t forget to include a link to your website, blog or a social feed to provide a little more information for readers and help drive valuable traffic. As more and more businesses realise that traditional consumerism has evolved beyond recognition, isn’t it time you boosted your international presence and gave your global competition a run for their money?