Designing a Site to Appeal To an International Readership
If you have reached the point in your business career where you feel you have reached a reasonable level of achievement in your home country and want to branch out to further potential custom, it is of core importance that your business can be understood around the world. In order to make this a reality, your business website must reflect this in a way that is accessible to as many people as possible. So, with all this in mind, what is the best way to go about it?
As anyone in the world with an internet connection can access your website, it is important to recognise this and tailor your website to encourage this as effectively as possible; but where should you start? Bear in mind that not everyone will be connecting with the same download speed that you have, so an essential is making a site easy to load, without too many pictures and videos on the home page. If it takes half an hour to even load the main page, it wouldn’t be a total surprise if you were to lose visitors that become bored with the waiting time and move on to something else.
You should also consider where your servers are based. If somebody in Barcelona wants to access your site but the servers are in the US, it will take longer than it would if you were to use a good server in Europe. Just that one step can increase user interaction straightaway if it makes it a lot easier to access your content.
Next up is of course to offer your website content in as many languages as you think is going to be profitable. Look at your target markets and consider the languages you can offer that will increase your client base the most, and start from there. There are a number of freelance translators based online and you can use their service to get as accurate as possible a representation of what you are trying to convey.
You can of course just utilise online translation tools that are prevalent across most browsers, but these carry the risk of being notoriously less accurate. If this is the sort of thing that bothers you, in terms of how serious and considered you would like your content to be in other languages, this is a choice you have.
It is also worth noting that how you format your website and the layout of it can be key to how easily you are able to provide translations. If the text boxes are set in a certain way then it may not be possible to deliver script translations for those languages that read right to left, rather than the other way around, such as Arabic. If you choose to go with online translation tools you must also consider that they cannot translate text that is superimposed on images, as the source code is just a hosted image rather than translatable text.
If you manage to overcome these challenges, it can prove a great return on those efforts to broaden your business to international markets, as those successful in the business can attest to. One such individual is Fahad Al-Rajaan, who has managed to channel these energies to allow his banking business based in Bahrain to proliferate markets in other countries, including the UK, as well as neighbouring countries in the Gulf region through his command at the Al-Ahli United Bank.
An obvious suggestion but one that often slips by unnoticed is the ability for consumers to pay for your services across a multitude of currencies. By offering this in their own money it means that you will cover the currency exchange which is an easy way to show how important clients from all over the world are to your business, and how much you value them.
Since most people will no doubt come across your website via popular search engines it is important to tailor your SEO approach, depending on the country or region you are targeting. This can be done by employing the right keywords to make sure your site appears at the top of search results and not way down where you won’t be noticed.
If you can manage to get some of these basics right whilst maintaining the core content basis that is making you successful in your home country, you can really broaden your appeal to the international market.