By Adriano Di Palma – Junior SEO at MooMu Media
Online shopping has well and truly taken the Australian market by storm. In 2011 alone, 68% of Australians reported making an online purchase. And who can blame them? Online shops are open 24/7, provide much cheaper prices, and present a much more convenient option for shoppers.
In such a competitive market, how can Australian businesses expect not to be trumped by an ever increasing demand for cheaper online goods?
In this article we’ll look at some of the innovative ways that Australian businesses have tackled this challenging problem: by turning what seemed like an insurmountable negative into a huge potential for profit.
See opportunities – not obstacles
They say that in the face of adversity, the adaptive will always thrive. For proof, we need look no further than some savvy Australian-based online businesses that have seized opportunity by themselves expanding into the overseas markets.
Australian online electronics retailer, Kogan Technologies, fought back early in 2010 when they expanded their business into the UK market.
Kogan saw a lack of competition combined with a huge opportunity for growth, and decided to pounce. They successfully purchased a “.co.uk” domain in 2010, and with only warehousing and logistics set up in the UK itself, are successfully managing their UK business from their base in Melbourne.
In a similar vein, a highly successful Australian software company named Atlassian, have also experienced rapid growth over the last 8 years. Its products are currently used by more than 20,000 companies in over 134 countries, with their international strategy instrumental in making their products immediately available to a global market.
Establishing an online presence
An online presence is essential for any company intent on reaching foreign customers. More than this, you want your business to be on top of the search listings whenever customers are searching for the products or services you provide.
Successful online marketing is never simple, and when dealing with multiple languages, it can become even more difficult and sometimes expensive.
One of the most cost-effective online marketing methods is search engine optimization.
Aidan Moore is the director of multilingual search marketing company MooMu Media, and he offers some great tips for companies looking to benefit from doing online business internationally:
How do I know if there is demand?
There are a number of ways to gauge demand in a new market.
The first is by utilising one of the many free online tools [link] to find out what volumes of searches are undertaken on your product in a particular country. This will give you an idea of what search terms attract the most traffic.
It is also very useful to read and participate in local forums, blogs and social media. By combining this with regular tracking of your competition, you’ll have a much better understanding of the market and what people are searching for.
Both of these strategies will obviously require you to have local language expertise at your disposal.
Do I need a new domain?
If you are targeting UK customers, do you need a .co.uk web address?
Creating a new website might be time consuming, but in the end it will have the best results. Not only do search engines prefer to display local websites in their locally targeted results – consumers will have more confidence in them too.
However, if you don’t have the time or resources to create an entirely new website, you will at least need to make some localized pages specific to your target market; this is a lot less effort, but it will still boost your performance.
Do I need all new content?
The short answer is yes.
First and foremost, search engines value unique content. Duplicating old content is bad practice and could lead your new site to rank poorly (Google will see it as a carbon copy).
Secondly, if you are targeting a country with a foreign language, it is of the utmost importance that you use their local language. When you are translating your site, also remember to use a native speaker and undertake extensive keyword research in that language so that you understand which terms local customers use to search for your products.
Finally, new content is better for humans too. By creating original content it’s more likely that local sites, blogs and forums will link to it – especially if your site if it is in their local language.
Links to your site, and social media activity, are important elements in helping your site appear in engine results.
A final word
Online commerce is growing rapidly and is not likely to slow down any time soon. While this new growth can be intimidating to established businesses, with a little bit of effort and research, it’s easy to stay in the game and remain competitive.
MooMu Media, specialises in helping companies expand their markets internationally through the creation of multilingual online marketing campaigns