International Search Engine Marketing – How to Do it Right!

The challenges and the opportunities faced with international SEM

Penetrating International Markets

I recently received an email from a search engine marketing (SEM) professional that may be of interest to our readers and professional involved with international search engine marketing. So I am sharing with all:

I enjoyed your article Going Global on a Shoestring and I have a question for you. When running a PPC program in the Evaluation stage how would you suggest a company handle the following two elements.

No one at the company has a person who speaks the native language so how should they handle the contact form?

No one at the company speaks the native language nor do they have a local presence in that market so what should they use as the phone number on the website?

I’d appreciate your thoughts on this.

Incremental International SEM

The main purpose of the Going Global on a Shoestring paper is to allow companies with limited resources looking to establish themselves globally to prove the validity of their products or services in key international markets with a minimal upfront investment. With over 7000 known languages around the world, it is hard to set priorities — check out 50+ Fascinating Language Facts opens in a new window! For that, the paper recommends the use of localized keywords, landing pages and forms.

International Keywords

Once you professionally translate and publish these keywords, landing pages and forms on the web, you can use free machine translation tools, like Google Translate or Bing Translator, to translate international requests arriving via the contact forms. Although these tools produce low quality translations unfit for professional publication, they are great for internal consumption needs. They help you understand how to take the next step with serious inquiries.

When you need professional responses to these inquiries, this means that your efforts are showing promising signs. At this point, don’t hesitate to involve a professional translation service opens in a new window to perform the translation for you. If budgets are very strict still, you can use online professional translation services like CloudLingual. It i opens in a new windows a fast low-cost online self-service human translation service.

How to Handle International Calls

Once your international search engine marketing strategy is working, you will start getting leads and calls from international prospective clients. To address the second question, if you can sell the products or services online, then your customers will use the online shopping cart. You therefore need to globally enable your site’s shopping cart to deal with varying international address requirements, currencies, credit cards, and taxes. Your fulfillment company should also be able to handle international transactions by managing customs and duties of your international shipments.

Regarding how to handle telephone numbers, consider the following:

  1. Start by including your local number (avoid toll free numbers) on your localized landing pages. Just make sure you use international notations which include the correct country code.
  2. If first impressions are important to you, some phone companies offer inexpensive virtual international numbers that can be setup to forward to your local number.
  3. When you start getting calls in languages that you cannot locally handle, embrace them, for you are on your way to become a global company! Consider at this point hiring an international call center to receive your incoming calls; many offer support in key commercial languages.

Measured International Growth

Keep in mind that the thrust of the paper is to minimize costs in the Evaluation stage. Once you start generating interest in your product, you need to make a decision of when to jump into the Validation stage for the most promising geographical markets.

Getting international leads and calls in foreign languages are a good problem to have! They are testament that your products may be ripe for global market consumption. Don’t face these opportunities unprepared. Request any of our free white papers today to help you make the best use of your international search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns:

  1. Going Global on a Shoestring?!
  2. Search Engine Geo-Optimization
  3. Does Your Product “Speak” Your Client’s Language?
  4. How to Plan and Budget for Localization Projects?

Going Global Whitepaper

Whitepaper Going Global on a Shoestring?!

Want to grow your business outside of your current markets? Request our complimentary whitepaper to learn more about how you can achieve international market penetration incrementally and judiciously.
…….Enabling Globalization eBook

Enabling Globalization: A Guide to Using Localization to Penetrate International Markets

Executives come to us with a desire to go global but unsure of what the process entails. In this eBook, you will find the practical advice you need to start on your way and follow through to a successful finish. Sold online everywhere including Amazon and iTunes.