Guide to Global Sales #1: Attracting international traffic

Every online business has steps that people must take to become a customer. In this four part series, we’re dissecting the common acquisition funnel and applying it to global customers. From attracting new visitors to your site to localizing the checkout process, we’re mapping the entire customer journey with plenty of translation tips along the way.

Image source: Hubspot

The conversion funnel is broken down into four main stages: Attract, Convert, Close and Delight. No matter how large or successful your business is, chances are you have at least one blockage point in your funnel. This guide will help you discover what that blockage may be, and how proper translation can help.


Step #1 focuses on attracting relevant international traffic. Obviously, without traffic to your online store, you can’t be selling. Take these tips into consideration when crafting your localization plan of attack:

Craft quality multilingual content

The most critical element to great global SEO is content. Without content, there’s nothing to search for. Creating content in multiple languages helps you rank in search engine result pages (SERPs) served in that language. This is especially true if your competitors aren’t creating multilingual content. And believe us, any edge you can gain in terms of SEO is worth pursuing.

Another important tip: never rely on machine translation. Machine translation looks like spam in Google’s eyes. Nothing can replace native level human translation if you want to achieve high-quality search rankings.

Cater to search engines worldwide

When developing a website for search engines, most companies only focus on Google. For good reason, of course. Google holds a majority of the market—63.9% to be exact. However, Google isn’t as popular abroad as you’d like to think.

Google-focused strategies work in America, but not necessarily in other markets. As a result, adapting your SEO strategy to the popular search engine of your target market is pivotal to SEO success. Different search engines can have varying search algorithms, and award higher rankings to sites depending on varying site elements. Paying close attention to these differences will help make sure that potential customes will find your website when they’re searching in their own language.

Get social, globally

Social media is now the #1 driver of all website referral traffic. So if you’re solely focused on search traffic, you’re missing out. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter have evolved from a mere engagement medium to a major source of website traffic, and we all know that more traffic means more sales opportunities.

But like search engines, different countries use different social platforms. Local social media platforms oftentimes capture the majority of users’ attention, so you’ll need to do research prior launching your campaign to ensure you’re targeting the networks that best align with your target market.

Here are a few examples of localized alternatives:

  • Weibo – Visual blogging platform in China used regularly by individuals, celebrities, media outlets, businesses and government agencies.
  • VKontakte – Europe’s largest social network and is the second most visited website in Russia. On VK, users share text updates, video, audio and images and can also play browser-based games
  • LINE – The major player in Japan; lets users video chat, text and call one another through a single app. LINE also promotes brand-exclusive news and coupon opportunities.

Interested in learning more about multilingual social strategy? Our guide to global social media, produced in collaboration with Fliplingo, is filled with tips for expanding your brand to global audiences.

Go global with Gengo’s people-powered translation platform.

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The guide to global social media

Our social media guide, made in collaboration with Fliplingo, introduces you to the key strategies for successfully expanding your brand to global audiences.

Alex Nguyen

The author

Alex Nguyen

​Alex crafts and coordinates content for Gengo’s marketing team. Based in San Francisco after a brief stint in Tokyo, she loves all things culture and design. When not at Gengo, she’s likely brushing up on her Japanese, letting loose at indie electronic shows or trying out new ice cream spots in the city.

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