A few stats
It’s clear that people love the internet, both as a fantastic source of knowledge, an entertainment hub and a way of staying in contact with each other. As of December 2011, there were 52,731,209 internet users in the UK, representing 84.1% of the population, and the same can be seen across the globe. Russia has 70million users, Brazil 82million and China over 500million, to list just a few.
Anywhere and everywhere
If you’re planning on entering a particular international market, you need to be aware of the way different people use the internet.
The number of people online is only going to grow, with the internet becoming more accessible all the time. The vast range of devices – PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones – that people are using is making it easier for people to get online, without the need for a traditional computer.
But while more people are becoming interconnected, user habits are still different across the globe. While Google is used for 9 out of 10 searches in the UK, and is dominant across Europe, Russia’s internet users prefer local site Yandex (60% of all searches), and Baidu dominates the Chinese market with 78%.
Which search engines, browsers, social networks and blogging platforms people are using all need to be part of your research before marketing to another country.
While Google may be recognised as the global giant, other search engines may require slightly different techniques to try and improve the ranking of your site. By being aware of the preferred search engines in a market, you’ll be able to tailor your search engine optimisation to work best with that service.
Localisation, language and search phrases
With any website, you want it to be found quickly and easily by people searching for your products or services. Simply translating your current site into a language for another market will not guarantee its place in the county’s local search engines.
Of course, website translation is incredible important, but as part of that it’s essential to take local phrases and colloquialisms into consideration as well. With words in some languages often having multiple meanings, or more than one word with the same meaning, consider conducting keyword checks to find what terms people are using.
It is also worth conducting a brand check on your products. Don’t make the same mistake as Clairol, who launched a product called ‘Mist Stick’ in Germany – not realising that in German the word ‘mist’ is slang for manure!
Researching and implementing localised terminology and keywords will make your site more likely to be found.