Does/can your business sell to buyers from countries outside your own? If so, read on for some tips on how your website can encourage higher levels of enquiries.
Conversations we have with A1WebStats subscribers sometimes lead to a few observations about their website visitor patterns. These are:
- They have a lot more international website visitors than they were previously aware of.
- Of those international website visitors, having stripped out the junk, many look like potential buyers (based on their movements through website pages).
- Their level of ‘international’ enquiries/sales are weak compared to the levels of people coming to their website from other countries.
Thinking from the perspective of international buyers, they are probably primarily interested in one thing:
Have you previously sold to businesses in my country and can you prove it?
More than languages and flags
Many websites focus on international visitors by offering a range of different languages, or offering the option to select different currencies. Those are both useful, and can be analysed via analytics (to see how much they’re used).
However, they don’t go quite far enough in that they don’t provide a history of relationships with other businesses in those countries.
Some businesses do go further. For example, the screenshot below is from a home page where it shouts out “we welcome enquiries from Europe”.
However, it could go a lot further than that because:
- Within that website, there’s no link from that Europe image off to a page that gives more information on their international focus.
- Within the products and services page of that website, the ‘international’ message doesn’t exist – it’s purely on the home page, and visitors don’t just go to, or land on, the home page.
Appealing to international visitors
If you would like to be selling to more international visitors then this is the recommended path to take …
Create a page on your website that focuses purely on the products/services you’ve supplied to clients within the international areas you would like more business from.
At first this may be a basic page that has several examples, including the names of those companies, their geographical location, what you did for them, and (ideally) a testimonial comment from them.
If you have numerous examples then it would make sense to have an introduction page that then leads to sub-pages focusing on different geographical regions (e.g. individual countries or groupings such as ‘Europe’, ‘Asia’).
The purpose of the page (or pages) is to create lots of examples of what you’ve done for those international customers. The more examples you supply, the more enquiries you’ll get – guaranteed.
Having a page that focuses on your international clients isn’t enough alone – you need to promote it from other pages of your website.
Certainly on every product or service page, and ideally on other pages as well, you will need a graphic depicting your international reach (e.g. a map of Europe), along with wording to the effect of:
See our clients throughout Europe >
That acts as a click-through to your page providing more details of those international clients.
This way, regardless of where your website visitors are from, and where they go on your website, they will see a constant encouragement to click through to a page that demonstrates that you’ve worked with others in their geographical area.
By using A1WebStats you can track every individual visitor who gets to your new page(s). In many cases you’ll see the path that takes people through to then making contact with you.
If you see people going through to those pages but they still don’t make contact then it could mean that you need to make those ‘international’ pages stronger.
What if you don’t have many international clients?
If you’re a business that could do business internationally but you don’t have much evidence of it currently, this is the suggested path to take:
- Work your hardest to gain some international clients, until you’ve got around 3-5.
- Write fantastic case studies related to the services/products supplied to those clients.
- Build the one page within your website and create links to it from products/services pages in particular.
- Over time you’d like to build that one page into more client examples, and possibly sub-divide into further pages (e.g. for individual countries) but at this stage one page will be sufficient.
Why don’t more websites do this?
Usually, it’s a case of being unaware that there are reasonable numbers of international visitors, who are potentially looking for the products or services you offer.
More than that though, it’s nothing more complicated than businesses being unable/unwilling to put the resources into creating that extra part of their website plus creating the visual calls to action for people to click through to the ‘international’ part of the website.
We’ve seen thousands of websites as part of our work and none come to mind as having a strong international focus that’s based in proving what services/products have been supplied internationally.
And there is the opportunity … for those businesses who want to pull business away from their competitors who aren’t so internationally aware via their websites.