Recently I’ve met with several large Israeli B2B companies to discuss assisting them with their international online marketing efforts. While some of them have been successful in generating hundreds of millions of dollars in sales just from Israel-based business, they have nearly zero international activity. Unfortunately, I have found that these companies don’t know the basics or are not employing them to bring in international leads. Below are some basics steps companies should take to make sure their websites are equipped to handle international leads.
Language of your website
While I thought this would be very obvious, it actually was not (and that shocked me). If you want to attract let’s say potential customers from the US, then your website needs to be in English. People who speak English will not care or likely understand a website that is another language. Even a website that is mostly in Hebrew and has some mixed in English words, is not good enough. Your entire website needs to be in the language of the potential customers that you are trying to reach. It is fine to have a website in multiple languages with navigation buttons that lets you switch to different languages, but the local language of your customers must be included. How do expect anyone to understand who you are and what you do if they can’t read it on your website? See the below example of a lead form on an English version of a website.
Another thing to keep in mind is your keyword list. Make sure that you are familiar with your keywords in other languages. These keywords obviously need to appear on your website. Even if a product is described a certain way in Israel, it may not be the same in the US. Make sure your potential customer in the US be able to find your products with words that make sense in their language.
Your Web Address
Google uses your web address as an indicator of the location you are targeting. When people are searching for something, Google will show them the most relevant websites in their location. So, let’s say I am searching for something in the US, the search results will most likely show me results of a .com web address. It would be rare to see a .co.il or any URL that is not specific for the US to come up as a search result. Websites generally rank for their keywords in their location. In a nutshell, if your web address is mybusiness.co.il, you don’t have a great chance of ranking in the US for your keywords. If you want to rank there, then buy a new domain that ends in a non-location-specific extension, like.com.
If the goal of your online marketing is to bring in new leads, then you should have a lead form on every page of your website. It should be clear, easy to read, easy to find and not have a lot of fields that need to be filled out. Today there are tons of lead gen tools that can be used to create a lead form as well if needed. It should be simple and easy for your potential customers to get in touch with you. Here is example from our website of a popup lead form. Notice how it is clear, simple and directs the user to submit their information.
About Your Company
While your company maybe one of the biggest companies in Israel, that does not necessarily mean that people outside of Israel know who you are. Be transparent and show your audience who you are. Tell them about your team and your expertise. Why should they use you as opposed to other companies? What benefits does your company/product/technology offer? Just like any website, you need to establish trust with your potential client that you are the best choice for them – so show them that. If could be with client testimonials, partner logos, or really good content pages explaining who you are and why you are the expert.
In today’s digital economy, everyone needs a website. It functions as a virtual business card. It is reflection of your business and how you represent yourself. While your website does not need to be the most updated or have the latest features, your website should look like it was made at least in the last couple of years, and that also means that it should be mobile friendly. Take the time and effort to invest in your site so your potential customers will be impressed with you and will be more inclined to get in touch.
So, while these tips may seem pretty basic, they are often overlooked. When trying to generate leads, marketers tend to look for creative and interesting solutions, but it’s always wise to being with the basics first.