How to Optimize for an International User Experience?
Create the optimal user experience for international customers
As an increasing number of businesses sell to customers outside of the United States, organizations need to understand how to create the best international user experience on their website. Customers around the globe want to interact with brands that they feel understand their unique situation and genuinely want to help. The best way to create this impression lies in taking the time and effort to build a strong international user experience.
Know the local search engines
To get started, you want to know where your customers live and the prominent search engines in those locations. Although Google dominates most locations around the world, a few countries in particular do have their own search engines. China, for example, is dominated by Baidu, Russia with Yandex, and South Korea with Naver.
Knowing the search engines that you need to optimize for will help businesses expanding overseas create the best possible content.
Understand how to use hreflang tags
Hreflang tags help you send clear signals to Google about which versions of your content should be displayed for people in different countries and who speak different languages. The tags allow you to designate particular website versions for the different languages and countries, which helps the search engine better understand how different pages relate to each other. This ensures that your international customers receive the website version most applicable to them and their needs.
Work with native speakers
As you create content for your audience in different countries, working with native speakers in that country should rank highly as an important step. While people can certainly learn to speak other languages fluently and translate material, creating content customized for people in that country tends to work best with them.
Native speakers will help you understand how local customers articulate their pain points, as it might differ from a direct translation from English. They can help you understand better how to target these prospective customers and create material that will interest them.
Many search engines also prefer to see content that has been written by a native speaker, as it will sound more fluent than anything that was simply translated.
Create content specifically for that audience
Remember the importance of creating content that is tailored to an audience.
Work with local people to understand the pain point as it relates specifically to this country. Create content that speaks directly to their obstacles, buying process, and needs before deciding to move towards a purchase.
To help you create content targeted towards the audience in this specific country, track the social media conversation and trends within the country. This will help you better understand rising topics of interest for your target customers, empowering you to create content that will matter to them.
Working with an international audience requires organizations to place themselves in the position of their customers and the new culture and language they have to consider. The better they understand the importance of creating a user experience tailored towards this country and the needs of the locals in the region, the easier it will be to build an effective digital presence internationally.