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The Global Startup: 8 Things You Need to Do

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Thursday, May 21, 2015 |

Startup tips for going global

Today, successful businesses, especially e-commerce-based startups, need to go the extra mile and translate across borders and languages. Other than translating all existing materials - which can be costly and time-consuming - one needs to know how and where to start to gain some (or more) traction. Mashable asked eight entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to share tips on how to take your startup global:

Start blogging.
- Kyle Clayton, Set Jet

Blogging will help you rank well in other regions or languages. It takes a while for search engines to begin displaying your content, so getting something posted is key. Publish well-written content that uses keywords specific to that region or language. Blogging once a week is a good start to ranking well with search engines. Research about and get to know similar products or businesses on the market in that region and write about how your company or product applies and is useful to them.

Put your contact information in a prominent place.
- Lane Campbell, Syntress SCDT

Having your company's contact information in a prominent place on your website will help your site get discovered and build trust with visitors.

Use the Google Trends country filter.
- Randy Rayess, VenturePact

At google.com/trends, write out a few words that you usually rank for, then use the country filter to compare keywords in areas that you are looking to rank.

Get writers who speak the language of the region.
- Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now

When expanding into a new region, most people make the biggest mistake of thinking they can just use Google Translate to convert English to the new language, and in most cases, the translation is inaccurate. Keep in mind that the Google algorithm can detect the language level and quality, so if there's a bad translation, the page will rank poorly. Worse yet, native language speakers will also be able to tell that you used a translator and be insulted that you didn't even bother to use the language properly. This is a sure-fire way to lose sales. Demonstrate cultural sensitivity by having a writer who knows the language.

Take different cultures into consideration.
- Mina Chang, Linking the World

Each region, country, and community has its own mannerisms, customs, etc. Dig deeper and take as much cultural information into consideration as possible.

Allow for and respond to customer feedback.
- Cody McLain, WireFuseMedia LLC

Use customer feedback as the foundation for new content. Be willing to hear how your customers feel about your product or service and what improvements they would like to see. Respond to their suggestions via multimedia so that they can put a person's face/voice to the message. Take what you've learned from that strategy and apply it to a new location (by hiring staff that would communicate in that language) with customers in that country.

Do in-depth research.
- Miles Jennings, Recruiter.com

To make a positive impact in other regions/languages, do some in-depth preliminary research about the area - demographics, trends, consumer behavior, existing businesses in the area, etc. See what your market reacts well to already in this new region and see where there is room for innovation. Find out if the popular websites for those who speak this language are using a similar content strategy. This detailed research will give a direction to the next actions you will take.

Use SEM to test the waters.
- Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union

Are people even searching in other languages for your keywords? The search volume might be so low that your entire effort would be a waste. Try a Google Adwords for a few weeks and measure the impressions and the impression-share to get an idea. After that, you can decide where you want to focus your content strategy for your website.

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