Michael Bonfils outlined an approach when prioritizing international market selection. The wrong approach is to use your analytics to work out which markets to expand to.
The correct approach:
1) Choose your potential markets and list them down the left of a spreadsheet
2) Determine your components and rate each component for each potential market in the spread sheet.
Factors: amount of traffic per country but conversion rate is also vitally important. High bounce rate is an issue that needs to be addressed. Poor conversion and high traffic would mean a lower score.
Keyword research data
Don’t depend on direct translation, use keyword research to identify volumes of relevant search traffic. Make sure you research both with and without accents. Make sure each language is researches in each country. Mark each country appropriately.
Local competitors and international competitors
Size comparison is relevant to evaluating large multinationals. Check their paid and organic rankings. How many local competitors are there? What are the key differentiating factors. Again check the paid and organic rankings.
Usability of the site and content
Probably the most important factors. Check the cultural usability of your site. Your current boilerplate probably isn’t going to work. you may need to radically redesign the website. French like price points but Germans think there is something wrong with the product if sold on price. Heat maps differ according to culture too and this is important from a usability point of view. Redesigning costs money and this should affect the score you give the market.
Make sure you know the different engines factors. Google best practise may mean bombing in the local engine. Hosting infrastructure, naming conventions are all factors to be considered particularly launching in China. Duplicate content is obviously an issue between languages used in different countries.
Sales and E-Commerce Issues
Payment factors are different in each country. Asia in particular is very different. Currency issues and taxation are important. Shipping and import export are also important considerations
3) Create an average score column on the right and that will show you which markets are best to roll out into!Posted in International Search, International Search Summit, Mulitlingual | Tags: International Search Summit London 2011