How to Attract and Track a Global Audience: Digital Marketing for Global Websites

If you offer your products and services globally via your website and are looking for ways to drive more business, you’ve come to the right place. 

Welcome to part 3 of our three part series on building websites for global audiences. In part 1, we discussed the advantages (some obvious, some not so obvious) to reaching a global audience. And in part 2, we discussed how to strategically & technically approach your website when targeting different regions. With those blogs as our foundation, today's post will explore how you can attract customers around the world through successful digital marketing.


KEYS TO digital marketing SUCCESS

In this section, we'll discuss the keys to successful digital marketing in 2020 including the utilization of cross-channel marketing, a focus on integration, and establishing analytics and key performance indicators. 


Let's unpack this a bit. First, what does "cross-channel" mean? A channel is a marketing channel; SEO is a marketing channel aimed at driving prospects and customers as is social media marketing, display advertising, email marketing, ad-retargeting, and the list goes on.

The point is you can’t rely on solely one channel! Why? That’s not how your prospects work. They don’t just use search engines. They’re not just on LinkedIn. And they don't read everything coming through their inbox. 

To achieve the reach and frequency necessary to make your marketing message stand out, you need to leverage a cross-channel approach so that your marketing message will resonate and win brain-share with your ideal customers. 


Each of your marketing channels should positively impact the others. A simple example is your content marketing channel - PR efforts and SEO need to be integrated such that the content you’re creating, the PR and earned media placements you’re getting, coincide with the larger category of keywords you’re targeting to drive ideal customers from.

To further illustrate this point, no matter how you got an ideal customer to your site, if your marketing efforts stop there, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to leverage ad-retargeting to solidify your company's value proposition and the specific product, service, or content that ideal customer is interested in.

Put simply, marketing that's done in silos doesn’t work and hasn’t worked for the past 10+ years. So, if your just doing SEO and wondering why you’re not achieving the results you want, or if your PR and SEO partners aren’t strategically integrated, that's likely the leading factor to why your marketing system is broken. 

Analytics and Key Performance Indicators

What gets tracked gets optimized. Once you set up your cross-channel and integrated marketing system, it’s important that you also set up tracking at each touch point to understand what’s working and what’s not.

For instance, if you evaluate your PR efforts by the number of contacts that you reached out to, are you tracking the right thing? Instead, try tracking A) the number of PR placements, and B) the popularity of said placements. This will allow you to better evaluate your efforts whether from an internal team or external partner.

The graphic below visually represents a complete digital marketing system. More information on how to implement this idea in your company can be found in our free ebook: Creating an Integrated Marketing System: An Accountable, Results-Driven Approach

With a well-build foundation that tracks results, no matter what you do, you’ll learn how to be successful.



Below are tips to successfully utilize SEO, social media, and analytics for your regionally specific, multi-lingual website. Skip to the sections that are relevant to your business, or read them all for a quick and dirty guide to set your efforts in the right direction. 


1. Treat each localized site (regionally specific) as it's own entity

Identify your ideal customers in each market. Where do they shop? What sites and apps do they use?

This is extended in our technical approach, as discussed in part 2, where we recommend you have a website or micro-website (whatever you want to call it) that speaks directly to the needs of that market. This is also important for branding, messaging, SEO, analytics, and many more reasons.

NOTE – That’s not to say that each localized site should sit on an island, quite the opposite. It needs to operate in concert with the rest of your localized sites, global brand strategies, and initiatives. The main point here is that what works in one region may not work in another.

2. Speak directly and clearly to your ideal customer

Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Instead, articulate empathy through your deep understanding of your ideal customer's pain points. 

3. Engineer your success

You say you want to achieve X in Y market. How does that actually happen? It sounds good on paper but I’d encourage you to diagram backwards all the myriad of things that need to happen in order for you to achieve your desired outcome.

Once you know all the required activities and what each of those activities need to produce, set a realistic time frame for implementing, achieving, and iterating.

Before we get into SEO, social, and analytics, it’s worth noting that these are, by no means, the only channels you should explore. Treat each region as its own, understand how your ideal customer shops, and utilize the best fit avenues to get your compelling message across.

Global SEO & Social

Ultimately, if your overseas buyers can’t find your websites, all your efforts are for nothing. 

1. Target relevant search and social sites

Make sure to target the relevant search and social sites for the given target market. For instance, tell search engines you have a site specific to that region and in a specific language. 

2. Correctly set up regional search console data

Set up each regions site in Google or Bing’s search console as well as setting the proper meta tags for each regional site and language. Remember, a region can and often should support multiple languages. If you don’t know how to do this, reach out to your SEO agency or ask us, we’re happy to help.

3. Identify influencers in each market

Whether for PR, earned media, or social. Once you’ve got your top 50, do your research and develop a compelling story that fits in their place in the world. Pitch each and get the word about your products and services in the hands of those who are holding the mega phone with a direct connection to your ideal customers. 

An important note if you’re targeting China. Google is not permitted in China so you’ll want to optimize your Chinese site for Baidu. Similarly, Chinese consumers use Alibaba instead of Amazon.

Setting up Google Analytics for a multi-region, international website

Most companies simply install the Google Analytics snippet and call it a day. Unfortunately, garbage in is garbage out, and this strategy results in poor insights. To ensure your getting proper analytics, follow these tips:

1. Create one MASTER Google Analytics VIEW

Don't forget to ensure the master view is tracking on all localized websites. This will ensure you can see how your web properties at large are performing.

2. Create a Google Analytics VIEW specific to each localized website

A regionally specific, individualized view will allow you to evaluate the efficacy of each site.  

3. Set up filters to remove bots and spam traffic

This simple action will drastically improve accuracy on all VIEWS.

4. Set up goals, conversions, and funnels on each view

This ensures the actions that matter on your site are being tracked — what gets tracked, gets optimized! From bid requests to eCommerce transactions, if it matters, set it up as a goal in Google Analytics. From there, you can sharpen your targeting and improve processes (i.e. your copy or product development).

5. Set up stakeholder specific dashboards

Multiple dashboards - one for your CEO, CMO, CTO and regionally specific stakeholders so each can evaluate what really matters to them regarding the site in an easy to consume manner.


Closing thoughts

There’s a lot to consider when attracting and tracking a global audience. Although this article covers just the top of the iceberg, we hope you gained valuable information on what to do and what not to do in order to ensure your international website is a success.

If you have any questions, want to deepen your knowledge, or need a partner in creating your next website, drop us a line!

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