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Here’s what you need to know about designing websites for the global market

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We all want our business to grow, and by grow we mean a steady increase in our client and customer base. One of the quickest ways to consistently grow and increase your customer base is to have a website. A website serves as an interface between you and your customer or client. It serves as a means of interaction between your customer and your product. The only way to consistently sustain growth in your business is to make it global.

Unlike a city or even country that has about 40 million connected people, the global Internet market has more than 3 billion connected people. This means there are a potential 3 billion people who can patronize your product, just waiting to see your product. If this is true and a website is an interface between your customer and your product, then you need a globally acceptable website.

When you are dealing with clients on an international basis, the rules change. You will need to build a website that will be accepted globally irrespective of cultural, racial and religious differences.

Here are the best means of developing a globally accepted website:

Develop content for multiple languages

Not all your customers speak English, French, or Mandarin Chinese, so you have to make sure the content on your site is optimized to allow for multiple language translations. Using a basic translator like Google Translate may seem like the easiest thing to do, but it is also important to note that it doesn’t give full translations and could end up distorting the meaning of a sentence when it is translated to another language.

If your websites says something good in English and then when translated to Chinese, it has a negative meaning, that isn’t good at all. When talking with the CEO of Day Translations, Sean Hopwood advised to get a proper translator so that machine translations don’t affect the readability and content flow of your website.

Have more flexible localized options

There are websites that redirect users to another website when they input the original URL. These websites they are directed to are usually the same websites however they are suited for the users’ region. For example; you log in to a website that ends with a .com but since you are based in the United Kingdom, you are automatically redirected to the same website ending with a co.uk. It is better to use more flexible localized options that allow users from anywhere in the world access your website with the same url so that no one is limited by their current locations.

Use lesser text in images

Google cannot translate text on images. This means that any text on any image will display itself to the user in the exact same language it was created in. This is usually not convenient for users viewing from a country that doesn’t speak that language. Users may feel disenfranchised and go away. It is advisable to reduce the text in images to the minimum.

Properly outline your colors

When dealing with customers on the international market it is important to note that you cannot be casual about colors. Colors mean many things to many people. If your website carries a color that is deemed culturally offensive in another country, a customer from that country may be reluctant when it comes to patronizing your product. It is important you properly understand your target market and find out what colors they may find offensive.

Localize your checkout process

If you want more users to patronize your product, it is advisable you make your checkout process a lot easier and convenient for them. If you have provision for international shipping, it is important you specify the places you can ship to. It is also important to give your buyers the option of converting and making payment in their local currency to make your website more user-friendly. Allow for multiple payment options and properly specify delivery charges and taxes prior to any purchase.

Improve your website loading speeds

One of the most important parameters when building an international business is website loading speeds. A slow website is never a good thing and since your website is being accessed from different parts of the world, it is only normal for loading speeds to differ based on server locations. To improve your website speed, it is important to use a CDN (Content Delivery Network). A CDN will allow your content to be accessed properly in China (or any other country) instead of serving it directly from your web host in the U.S.

Allow for local searches

If you want to offer the same product to all locations at the same price, you don’t necessarily need to have multiple websites serving different locations, all you need to do is to have subfolders specifically designed for certain locations (for example, www.mycompany.com/china). In this case, you will need to activate geo-location targeting on your Google Webmaster account. However in cases where you want to offer location-specific products, it is advisable to use location-specific domains like .uk,.co.za etc

All in all, or your business to grow steadily, you will need a good website and for it to make the maximum impact, it will need to be designed to accommodate international and global best practices.

Rilind Elezaj is an experienced a Digital Marketing Specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Rilind possesses a strong entrepreneurial mindset and has devoted his career to enhancing the sphere of digital marketing. In his methodological approach, Rilind integrates web development and other digital marketing solutions to create hybrid strategies that bring the best results.

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