Jan 03 2005

Three Basic Steps to Globalize Your Web Site for International Visitors

Published by at January 3, 2005 10:30 pm under Web Globalization,Globalization,Localization,Translation

Marketing Sherpa interviews John Yunker:

We asked Yunker for three basic steps you can take to begin globalizing your site this year.

-> Step #1. Start small

A. List your strategic markets for next five years

Once you have a basic list, register domain names in those countries so you don’t lose out on them, even if you don’t plan to use them immediately.

B. Pick a single country to begin

Get your feet wet by branching out into one additional market so you can fully understand the details of globalization before launching a full effort.

C. Be prepared to support your new local site

“The minute you do launch a local Web site, you will be expected to support it, so you’ll need some people who have language skills that can support questions that come in via email or by phone,” says Yunker.

Customers understand that you may not offer the same services that you offer in your local market, but you have to manage their expectations, he says. If you can’t offer phone support in the local language, make that clear, and offer alternatives.

D. Research the culture

Okay, this should be obvious, but don’t forget to be sensitive to local culture

E. English language or not?

Many companies make the mistake of thinking the whole world (or all business executives) speaks English, but in truth it depends on your market segment.

-> Step #2. Keep your site’s bandwidth low

Be aware of the bandwidth requirements of the countries to which you’re reaching out. Limit graphics and avoid animation. This means little or no Flash or rich media.

-> Step #3. Rethink your “global gateway” start page

Note: The sweet spot for your global gateway icon is in the upper right-hand corner of each page a new visitor might enter your site on.

Read more

Hat tip: Going Global

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