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The Challenges of Building a Global Website

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Building a global website

The Challenges of Building a Global Website

Is your business planning on expanding abroad? Perhaps you’re considering taking the plunge and going international in 2019? If so, you won’t need us to tell you that it isn’t a decision to be made lightly. Entering a new market in a different country needs careful strategic planning, with all the potential pitfalls taken into consideration.

Part of your business expansion process will involve a smart marketing strategy and all digital marketing stems from having an optimised and responsive website that helps your business meet its objectives and ambitions.

You can’t measure the success of any activity unless you know what you wanted to achieve by doing it. Building a website is no exception. Websites have different purposes; some are eCommerce sites where the goal is to sell products online, some are lead generation websites with the purpose of attracting potential business and selling services, whilst others simply fulfil an informational or showcase function. Each website’s aim and purpose greatly impacts the decisions throughout the process of creating the website. This has never been more so than when creating a website made for a global audience.

Building a Global Website, Pivotal WordPress, World Business Culture
One of the largest websites we ever built was the multi-purpose eCommerce and informational optimised website for World Business Culture, experts in global commerce. The site provides students and professionals with all the knowledge they need to prepare them for doing business abroad. It does this through an online shopping facility where beneficial resources can be purchased/downloaded, an insightful blog, tailored online advertising and by targeting the two audiences (students and business professions) on two distinct and separate levels.

Whilst making sure we stuck to the brief to fulfil World Business Culture’s aims, we also had to consider/overcome the following challenges when building the global website:

Understanding How Different Websites Look in Different Countries

Obviously, it’s impossible to build one website that looks amazing to everyone. It helps to decide which features to compromise on and whether to skew the global website towards the main audience’s countries. For us, this meant carrying out extensive research using tools like Google Analytics to understand the client’s main audience.

Making Sure the Text Flows Well in Any Alphabet

Following on from the first point, we had to weigh up the different translation options available to cater for the different languages of the website’s multi-cultural visitors. This involved deciding whether to have the content professionally translated and added to domain extensions (e.g. domainname.com/fr/ for France) or opting to rely on Google Auto-Translate.

Using Images Google Can Translate

This might seem fairly obvious, but you’d be surprised how many web designers make this mistake for a global website. When creating a website that will cater for a global audience, it’s best practice not to use text in images. Google can’t automatically translate text in pictures, and the website you build will look amateur with untranslated text in images.

Selling Products in a Global Online Market

Taxes work in different ways for different countries. With our client selling abroad, we were sure to gear the website towards adding different countries’ various tax codes. A website’s ability to give conversions in different currencies is also very important for a positive User Experience (UX).

Learning About the Various Cultural Meanings of Colour

Catering to the world’s various colour interpretations can be difficult when you’re just building one website for a global audience. But it’s worth bearing in mind.

Again, looking at where the most visitors come from to the client’s existing website (and considering which countries, in particular, they want to target) would help to narrow down which colours are suitable to use in the web design.

Do you want a new website or re-design to gear your business up for world domination? Give us a call on 01484 290 100. We’d love to help!

Mobile-Friendly Website for computers and smartphones.

Why You MUST Have a Mobile-Friendly Website

“Do I need a mobile-friendly website?”

Have you asked yourself this question recently? Smartphones and other mobile devices are fast becoming the preferred method of Internet access; if you haven’t already got a mobile website, you need to get one soon.

Why? Because your customers are increasingly going mobile.

Mobile Online Shopping Time Now Exceeds Laptop/PC Online Shopping Time

In 2013, there was a seismic shift in shopping trends. As of June 2013, the online shopping champions were – you guessed it – mobile devices. They officially passed desktop PCs and laptops, garnering 55% of consumer shopping time spent online, as compared to 45% for laptops and desktops combined. That number continues to climb. The latest statistics in 2016 show 97% of Millennials shop via mobile and 20% don’t use a desktop at all.

Mobile is Not Just a Must for eCommerce Sites

People are increasingly doing all sorts of online research using mobile devices.

A Google Survey found that:

  • 74% of visitors were more likely to return to mobile-friendly websites
  • 61% were likely to leave if a site wasn’t mobile friendly, and
  • 67% were more likely to buy at a mobile-friendly website

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing business.

Here are three reasons you must have a mobile-friendly website now:

1. It’s What Your Customers Want – and They Expect You to Provide It

mobile friendly ipad

Increasingly, your customers are on the go, and they’re accessing your website from their mobile devices.

What does that mean for you? If you don’t give customers what they want (easy visibility and navigation so they can browse and shop while mobile), they’ll go someplace else.

So how do you go about creating a mobile-friendly site? Don’t try to simply “tweak” your existing website to try to make it so. Traditional websites don’t display well on mobile phones.

Mobile phones have smaller displays and will often distort visuals on regular websites. Cut your mobile-friendly website down to just essential features, with content that includes links to secondary information pages. You should also enlarge interface elements for easy touchscreen navigation.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore those customers who still use desktops and laptops, though. They still account for a significant portion of your customer base and new prospects.

Change Your Standard Website to a Responsive Website

Instead, opt for a responsive website. A responsive website recognises the device being used (laptop, PC, tablet, smartphone, etc.) and will resize itself accordingly for optimal viewing. You’ll be able to accommodate mobile and PC/laptop users alike.

2. Google will Penalise You if You Don’t Have a Mobile-Friendly Website

mobile friendly

It’s true. From 21 April 2015, Google Search expanded its use of mobile friendliness as a ranking signal, and there’s a reason for that. Google recognises that you don’t need a computer to surf the Internet. Many sites, however, still use content, images, and navigation structures that just don’t work well on mobile devices.

Users can only see those websites properly using a desktop or laptop monitor or screen, and smartphone browsers end up with a very unsatisfying user experience.

Why does that matter to Google? Because if a particular website isn’t mobile friendly, Google will recognise that and be less likely to display it as a legitimate search result.

That makes sense, since Google wouldn’t be doing its job if half the results displayed were useless to mobile users. Google’s goal is to increase search traffic, including mobile search traffic, and you can use that to your benefit by jumping on board.

So when you’re asked, “Do I need a mobile-friendly website?” answer “yes.” It will help your organic search results. If you want to double check your website is mobile friendly enough, you can check using Google’s handy test, by clicking HERE.

3. You’ll Lose Business (If You Haven’t Already)

mobile friendly

You’ve probably already seen a decline in business if you still use only a standard website. If not, go mobile friendly before you do. Most aren’t yet completely ditching their desktops or laptops for their mobile devices, but an increasing number are.

Give your customers what they want with fast loading pages, easy navigation, and a streamlined site with great content and great products. Grab hold of that growing number of customers who use mobile devices to shop. Keep Google happy, too, and you won’t risk “disappearing” from search results.

Other Website Must-Haves

Is your website mobile-friendly? If not, what questions do you have about converting it to one that is?

Beyond just being mobile-friendly, do you know if your website is optimised to get YOU traffic and leads? If not, how can you improve it? Find out by contacting us at Pivotal Web here!