Webmaster Papers




Google
 
Web webhostingpapers.com




/pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js">

How Worldly is Your World Wide Web?


The growth in Internet usage around the world is astounding - 146% in the five years prior to March 2005. And it's not just European and North American users on the Net. The fastest growth was found in Africa with an almost 200% increase in usage. I am often pleasantly surprised as to how fast the internet connections are in 'developing countries' like Indonesia - much faster than the connection at my parent's farm in rural Alberta in fact!

But wait - don't rush off and start translating your web site into Mandarin or Setswana just yet. 'Internationalizing' a web site it does not necessarily mean translation, at least not initially.

Who is really your customer?

Just because you sell the greatest new gardening tool, it doesn't mean that you will sell directly to every green thumb gardener in the United Kingdom - you would use a sales agent or distributor, right? So it makes sense that you would use your web site to find a British business partner rather than direct customers. Use your web site to advertise as if you were hiring a new employee and list the experience and contacts your new partner must have. I recommend that you prepare a 'Partner Inquiry Questionnaire' that will weed out the truly interested from the rotten apples. If they take the time to fill it out, they are serious. If not, you haven't wasted your time.

If you have already identified a partner, use your web site to promote them. List their contact details - use a page titled 'International,' 'Distributors' or 'Global Locations' and link to their web site. If they don't have one, or it is very basic with little or no information you can provide a valuable service by linking to technical information on your site, or provide them with simple programming code that they can incorporate into their own site.

Not world wide - yet

If properly promoted, your web site will generate inquiries from all over the world. However, if your company is only shipping its widgets in North American right now, save everyone time and effort by clearly stating so right on your web page.

If you have plans to enter new markets in the near future, invite interested customers to be put on an e-mail notice list. It's an excellent way to gauge market interest - and think of how easy it will be to hit the ground running with this list of prospects, once you do enter the market.

Where the heck is Saskatchewan?

When that awesome new prospect visits your 'Contact' page, is it clear who you are and how they can reach you? Be sure that your contact information is understandable by anyone who reads it, regardless of where they are from.

- Don't use abbreviations like St. or AB. Spell out the entire word.

- Be sure to indicate which country you are located in. International customers may not realize that Saskatchewan is a province in Canada.

- If you have a toll-free number, indicate where it works (e.g. in North America only). For other numbers, be sure to include the country code.

- When listing your hours of operation, use the 24 hour clock and note the time zone (and if applicable, whether you observe daylight savings time), relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). For example, a business in Alberta could indicate that its hours of operation are:

Monday - Friday, 08:00 - 17:00

November - March: Mountain Standard Time (MST) = UTC-7

April - October: Mountain Daylight Time (MDT) = UTC-6

Keep it current

I hate visiting web sites with a 'What's New' section with an entry from 2001, the year the web site was launched, or worse - nothing is new! Be sure to announce your international activities - trade shows you will be attending, new markets launched, successes abroad...

Be wary of any listing any information that, while useful for your domestic customers, can create conflict for your foreign partner. For example, an on-line price list is useful in Canada but dangerous if you charge a different price for your export customers. The same principle applies to products that you may not be able to offer in all markets. Be clear and you should be able to avoid any conflicts.

We're not in Saskatchewan anymore

It's time for your web site to reflect your global aspirations, whether or not you are a world class company, or intend to be someday!

And if you are still intent on translating your site, consider that there are 291 million English language Internet users, 113 million Chinese and 67 million Japanese followed by Spanish (57 million), German (54 million and French (37 million).

Copyright´┐Ż 2005.

Cheryl Lockhart of International Strategies Ltd. assists small- to medium-sized Canadian and foreign enterprises navigate the complexities of global business development. Services include international project identification and management, market research and analysis and foreign partner development.

To learn more about exporting and gain access to more FREE e-zines, visit her web site http://www.intl-strategies.com

RELATED ARTICLES


How to Create a Professional Web Site in 24 Hours
And whether your business sells products or services, you can use a Web site to increase your revenue and reduce your start-up costs. While you're at school, your Web site can take orders, answer common customer questions and introduce potential prospects to your business, among many other possibilities. For example, Ryan Allis, a 19-year-old entrepreneur now attending the University of North Carolina, was able to successfully create and market a Web site that sold a product that helps people with arthritis. As a result of his efforts, his company was able to generate more than $1 million in sales by the time Allis was seventeen years old.
9 Simple Steps to Create a Background Tiled Image Branded with Your Name
You have seen those web pages where they have the name of the Name Web repeated over over over in square tiles as the background. Now by following these 9 Simple steps you too can create a web page Branded with your Name, or Company Name.
Web Analytics - Getting it Right
Understanding and using web analytics.
Website Imperatives and Solutions
When you take a look at the most visited sites on the internet, what hits you in the face? Change, growth, new content. In a sense, a search engine is the perfect web site. By it's very nature, it grows and changes continuously and moment by moment adds new content. But, most of us are never going to build a Yahoo or a Google. The competition at that level is horrific.
5 Tips For A Better Website
Having an eye catching website is great, but are you optimizing your website to allow the best performance possible? I receive several emails a day from clients asking how they can get more hits to their websites, what can be done to increase sales, and how to prepare their sites for search engines. There are very simple things that can be done to help your website perform its best.
7 Reasons Why Your Small Business Needs A Web Site
Many small businesses have the misconception that their business can not benefit from a website; that websites are too expensive or that because they don't use a computer neither do their potential clients. Here are 7 reasons why your small business NEEDS a website:
Better Web Site ROI: Efficient Online Business with SEO, PPC, Split Testing, and Forums
If you're looking for better web site ROI, chances are, the web is only one part of your business, you have a specific budget for your web site, and you want the site to not only carry its own weight, but why can't it make you some extra dough, too?
10 Tips For A Successful Website
Have you ever thought the secret behind the success of most of the famous sites. Do you ask yourself these questions. Why do they get so many clicks?Why they are making so much money and i am not?Why only few web sites succeed and most of others fail?Just stop questioning and start reading.
Building eCommerce Websites that Work - Part 3
An interesting eCommerce success factor that isn't precisely overlooked, but which is often thought about more in terms of being a way of feeding the search engine spiders has to do with providing content. In a very real sense the customer's job is to consume. That's why you're in business.
What Hosting Companies Dont Tell You, Could Hurt You?
Did you know that hosting companies overcrowd their servers despite all the issues caused by servers running hundreds of accounts? Are you aware of what happens if your website is hosted on a server that's overcrowded? You're probably thinking to yourself, "what do you mean overcrowd their servers?" Overcrowded servers mean big money for your hosting company, but also big problems for your website.
Five Steps to Create Your Software Product with Outsourcing
Many executives and investors are skeptical that software products can be developed using outsourcing. Even more skepticism is expressed at the idea of outsourcing version 1.0 of a product. Yet Accelerance clients are using outsourcing to create their products right now. What is the secret to using outsourcing to successfully develop a software product?
The Problem with Automated Accessibility Testing Tools
An automated accessibility tool is a piece of software which can test a web page, or even an entire website, for accessibility. Automated accessibility tools are useful because they can save you a huge amount of time. Don't want to check images for alt text on each and every page on your website? Run the site through an automated tester and it'll do it all for you!
Cost Effective and Powerful Dynamic Websites w. Fantastico Web Hosting
If you are developing your website on a host that charges less that $5 a month, make plenty of backups as you are likely to loose your website files when the webhost goes out of business without notice. Indeed, be extremely wary of any such host. Once your website is attracting getting visitors, get your website hosted with host that does not foolishly try to over sell his server resources. And, expect to pay at least $15 a month or more for the added security and reliability of such a host.
If You Build It, They Will Come?
Building a new website can be a lengthy task. From scratch to the client's specification and then implement additional features and/or changes the client usually has. Sometimes far too much attention is put to the development of building the website and then on launch day expect the massess of visitors to flood in. This simply is not the case, unless you have traffic from another of your sites streaming over to the new one.
UK Online Shopping with an Edge, for Buyers and Sellers Alike
Any new website competing on the internet, needs to take its business seriously, as there is so much competition around. So, there needs to be an edge on quality, content, and general user appeal.
Internet Marketing Website Promotion -The 7 Biggest Mistakes I See People Make With Websites!
1. Many people are not getting good or complete advice. Often for example people don't understand all the concepts of Internet Marketing and having a website so they simply pay to have a website developed. Often this website may look good but it falls far short in the area of being "search engine friendly". This is typically because many businesses that deal with the web are very one track focused.
How Worldly is Your World Wide Web?
The growth in Internet usage around the world is astounding - 146% in the five years prior to March 2005. And it's not just European and North American users on the Net. The fastest growth was found in Africa with an almost 200% increase in usage. I am often pleasantly surprised as to how fast the internet connections are in 'developing countries' like Indonesia - much faster than the connection at my parent's farm in rural Alberta in fact!
Enhance Your Website With A Yahoo-Style Directory
Does your website have a links/resources page?
How to Get a Better Web Site ROI
Better Web Site ROI
Stop Losing Precious Web Site Traffic to the Dreaded World Wide Web Black Hole
You work hard to build traffic to your web page. If you are not doing 1 simple step you are loosing a portion of all your web site traffic to the dreaded World Wide Web Black Hole.