"Search Marketing" is an effective way to boost traffic and online presence from search engines, both through paid and unpaid means. Over the years, search marketing has become a blanket term for both SEO and SEM, the latter referring to largely to paid search activities.
Since the terrain of operation is vast and unknown, this marketing tactic can go wrong in a many ways. Not only are foreign businesses facing tough competition from indigenous competitors but are in turn becoming agents in the process, since language and culture-sets become problematic.
For businesses selling online, hiring the services of such agencies becomes inadvertant. Here'e what we figured leads to the apparent shortfall despite collaborating with domestic players:
1. Language Dilemma
How so ever professional one tries to be, traces of "mother tongue" crop up in the line of operations. Hence many businesses employ translation companies for generating multilingual search terms so that they do not loose out on SEO rankings. As good as it is, but most translations are too literal and do not convey the real essence of things.
To spearhead a successful search marketing campaign businesses should look to employ native translators who are well aware of slangs and alternate terms so as to provide an expanded word database.
2. Bridge Cultural Differences
The advantage of selling online is that you really do not have to practically face a customer or fight the convincing battle. But marketing is something that cannot do away with tradition despite the boom in technology.
If you are planning to take your online business to another culture, make it a point to know what is appropriate to say and project - both visually and literally. You do not want to be caught in any legal hassles for hurting cultural sentiments through your visual and online content campaign. This specially holds true for graphic images used during a campaign. Try not to keep the focus always on your country but pick up positives from local heritage to attract customers.
3. Localize Your Landing Page
Imagine a person is browsing through some webpages and finds the article of his/her choice. But after clicking on the link, the details are in an unknown foreign language. What happens? The customer looses interest.
The prime lesson to learn as businesses looking to expand globally, you must provide language options so that customers can understand your products well. While playing safe with the universal English language is good for many, there are still many countries who do not know the language well but might be potential markets for your business. Therefore concentrate on localizing your landing page for a better conversion rate.
4. Translating URLs
Most businesses do take care of the above points but forget to translate their URL in the midst of organizing a marketing campaign. This happens when businesses use different agencies for their translation, web development and promotional works.
The real mistake happens at the translation level since most of the floated content is in English or in any particular language while the URL content is left untouched. Such URLs face a keyword search crises by SEOs. On the flip side there are no guarantees that SEO friendly URLs are always pitch perfect.
A marketing campaign by nature is a tough job. Add the multilingual factor to it and it seems like an uphill task. We share these useful tips to help our readers overcome what might be some apparent mistakes that happen.
Do share with us your thoughts as to how your business copes with language barriers while expanding into foreign territory.
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