You might think that getting global traffic or building a global audience requires big marketing budgets for translations, localizations, ccTLDs, ads and other items that involve a middleman (who will want to charge you fees). You can do better than that.
The web is a global sales platform, and the products and services that you are selling have the potential to be very popular in areas outside the U.S. — that is, if your product is digital, scalable and distributed globally (as it should be).
I use content monetization engines such as Amazon Kindle and Udemy Online courses for the distribution of my products, so I can reach global markets with zero cost to set up my business operations. Since people discover and buy my products in Europe, India, South Africa, the Philippines, China and other locations outside the continental U.S., it’s very important to me to be familiar with overseas search traffic patterns for keywords related to my business.
These digital global markets offer millions of users who might be interested in your content, which are also less competitive to reach. Here are my strategies to reach a global audience.
- Use Google Analytics geo reports to monitor your global traffic. Today, 56 percent of my traffic comes from outside the U.S. I’m located in New York, and my website is mainly focused on attracting visitors interested in SEO, but I also have many worldwide users. All of these users represent opportunities for any product I develop for an English-speaking audience to reach incremental sales. Then, look at your conversion and traffic data to get actionable insights and identify patterns. Which markets drive the highest quality visitors? What are the most profitable markets?
- Use Google Trends to identify market potential for your content. Google Trends is a great place to start crafting your global content marketing strategy. For example, traffic for the keyword “SEO” is high in places such as Vietnam, India, the Philippines and Singapore, so you can cater your content around that to market to those countries. I wrote a book about SEO, so this kind of data is important to me when it comes to planning my own cross-boarder content marketing strategies.
- Create native content for international markets. Having an understanding of international search traffic patterns lets you design and create native content (in English) for international markets. For example, if you want get traffic from an English speaking audience in the Philippines, write about a topic that is very relevant to that local audience. You can do the same kind of analysis for searches related to any product, service or content you intend to promote overseas using Google’s Keyword Planner tool.
- Build relationships or joint ventures with local influencers. Invite influencers from overseas markets where your content has high searchability. For example, I invited an influential SEO professional in the Philippines who wrote an 8,000-word guide for my website. This post was an instant hit and drove significant traffic to my website from the Philippines, a market with high searchability for keywords containing “SEO.”
- Offer Top Performing Content for Translations and Global Distribution. If you have quality content, people around the world will want it. Focus on solving problems that are cross-border in nature, and you’ll find that you can reach a truly global audience with your message. It’s a win-win situation, because your translated content becomes an original content for the publisher which they can acquire from the author for a translation. You can do the same if you are bilingual and a publisher.
- Use Geo Analytics for Performance Media. The analytics data can provide important guidance for your paid media efforts. I recently ran some paid media (Facebook promoted posts) ads for one of my SEO books. I created a couple of geo-targeted campaigns to test performance. The fact that I knew that SEO interest was strong in India led me to decide to experiment with a targeted campaign aimed at the Indian market. I got a 12 percent CTR (click-through rate) on this campaign, which delivered a lot of highly qualified people to the book’s Amazon page, and boosted sales measurably. In comparison, I got a mere one percent CTR on the U.S.-targeted campaign.
Think globally. The world is completely connected today; by studying overseas search trends and designing a targeted overseas campaign based on your findings, you can massively grow your potential global audience of customers without spending big bucks.
A version of this post originally appeared on The Next Web.
Matthew Capala is an Internet entrepreneur, SEO strategist, international speaker, trainer, and author of Amazon best-selling “SEO Like I’m 5.” He is the founder of Alphametic, an organic growth accelerator, with clients including L’Oreal. Matthew has launched several popular websites, including SearchDecoder.com, a place for SEO ideas for entrepreneurs. He writes regularly on The Next Web, and is a sought-after speaker and SEO workshop trainer. His work and ideas have been recognized by The Huffington Post and Chicago Tribune. As Adj. Professor at NYU, Matthew teaches a graduate course on search marketing. You can find his online course at IWillTeachYouSEO.com, dubbed “the number one SEO online training system on the Web.”
BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.