If you are planning an international strategy for your online marketing there are a few important points to consider. The first may sound obvious, and that’s because it is, but think about language and native tongue. If you want to optimise your website for an Italian audience, for example, well then it had better be in Italian! That is the most basic point out of the way.
Though the big ‘G’ is the search engine of choice here, not every nation favours Google, so deciding which engines to target in your chosen countries is also something worth a fair amount of research (though don’t worry, we’ll start you off with a few useful tit-bits further down this post).
Consumer culture also varies internationally, so your buying process may vary from country to country, your messages will need to be tailored and the subtle and not so subtle nuances of cultural variation should be catered to if you are to maximise success.
Where are People Searching?
Well, in most cases/countries where Google is being beaten to the number one spot in terms of popularity, it’s because the preferred engines are optimised for the language, and in some cases even the alphabet, of the country.
Top examples include the Russian engine Yandex, which boasts a market share of over 60%. It is tuned to recognise the inflexions and grammatical structure of the Russian language, as well as being built around the Cyrillic alphabet.
The Czech Republic has an engine of its very own – the entertainingly named Seznam (which, when said aloud, sounds rather as though you’re casting a magic spell). And the South Korean site Naver blows Google out of the metaphorical water with a 70%, versus a meagre 2%, share of South Korean searches.
Yahoo Japan is the preference in that neck of the woods (though no, nobody does know why).
Finally, Baidu is the big winner in China, with around 50% of the market share about Google with around 30%.
Tips and Tricks
We’re not about to offer you the earth here. Sadly, you’re going to have to do your research but here are a couple of little insights:
- Interestingly, Baidu doesn’t seem at all interested in in-bound links, so don’t waste your time making web friends in China. Spend your money on a healthy helping of pay-per-click instead
- Yandex, on the other hand, is all about link building. The Russian engine does count inbound links and rates you on your geographic location as well.