There has never been a more critical time to enter the international online marketplace. The domestic market is slowing down, new and emerging markets are growing at speed and the days of the internet being the exclusive domain of UK companies are gone long ago.
Despite the UK’s e-commerce industry growing to a double-digit percentage during 2014 and 2014, growth is predicted to drop to a single-digital percentage in 2015. Meanwhile, a new wave of global e-commerce growth has seen emerging markets in Latin America and Asia-Pacific soar to 20% and 30%, while growth in China and India continues to outpace all the others. For the first time ever, consumers in Asia-Pacific spent more on e-commerce products than North America in 2014 and early 2015.
So, it is clear that the digital landscape is changing and fast. Amazon reported 44.5% of its total sales came from the company’s foreign websites. And ASOS, the UK’s leading online fashion retailer received more than 45% of its revenue from outside the UK.
By the end of 2014 nearly 3 billion people where online.
Two-thirds of this audience came from the developing world.
The total number of mobile broadband subscriptions hit 2.3 billion worldwide with over 55% of those from the developing world.
When you recognize that more than 70% of internet users are now non-English speakers, it’s natural enough to turn immediately to translation to attract more international traffic. Yet your first step online in online globalization for your white label dating site will be to recognize that merely translating your English website is not nearly enough.
Beyond language considerations, cultural nuances must also be taken into account to create a local web presence that feels natural to your local visitors. Colours used in the site design can play an important role. The colour red implies positive sentiments of luck in China, beauty in Russia but danger when used in Germany. Similarly the colour green means go or start in Britain and the US, but also green is a symbol of infidelity in China – an important factor if your site is a dating website.
And finally, going multilingual may require a completely new web design. Some languages like Arabic and Farsi are written from right to left, which requires a site design that can adapt to a different flow of content. So again, for the example of a dating site – does your white label dating provider provide this service?
When it comes to keyword research it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking the online tools will do the job for you. Sadly, they won’t. So often is the case of a dating business will already have a English language keyword list that they use and generate through translators into a target market language. These translated terms are then put through the various tools until the user believes they have a multilingual campaign. But, remember it is about the language but it is also as much about the culture. Global keyword research will only be truly global if we identify and expose the idiosyncrasies related to a given or example market.
Different countries have different audiences, with unique dialects, languages, cultures and beliefs. But above all, the global keyword research should reveal the online search habits of the market.
Google is the most dominant search engine in the West but there are hundreds of international search engines that are just as popular. There are similarities in how they operate, each engine has its own and unique way to display SERPs and offer the best possible search experience for the online user.
Deciding which search engine is the most important for your dating brand visibility is an important step in your international online marketing strategy. You need to understand how each of these search engines differs from what you are accustomed to.
Russia and China are good examples of where Google is not the actual dominant search engine. Both have native search engines that possess a significant home field advantage.
Russia’s Yandex is the preferred engine in Russia and a number of Cyrillic script markets including Ukraine and Belarus. Yandex is the fourth most popular search engine in the world in terms of the number of requests.
In China, home-grown Baidu has a 65% market share with other native search engines like 360 (22%) and Sagou taking the lead (10%). One of the most noted problems for international online marketing is the Chinese government’s internet censorship. This proxy server monitors online user’s internet access and blocks website content deemed “inappropriate”.
When it comes to SEO – Baidu encounters similar issues to Google. Results are often manipulated through black-hat techniques or unnatural linking activity.
Just like the search engines, social media platform preferences vary from market-to-market. It’s never just Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. From Xing in Germany, Kaixin001 in China to Vkontakte (VK) in Russia – social media platforms are vast as they are unique. So, to maximise your social media marketing globally, make sure your strategy for your white label dating site is specifically tailored to that region and the market you are targeting.