Think like a Local

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Think like a Local2019-02-20T14:21:06+00:00

Trying to increase your brand awareness and market share in a new territory? It’s no easy feat. Attracting a global audience brings with it a multitude of challenges; differences in culture, online browsing behaviours and language barriers all impact the way your brand is received.

Local intent searches constitute 30 percent of mobile queries. And with many apps automatically picking up on location, it’s important to optimise your direct channel for local search.

Think like a Local to expand your online reach

Step into the mindset of your potential audience and explore the complexities and challenges that might exist. Prior to creating a comprehensive digital strategy, you will need to address some key areas:

  • Identify your key audiences/traffic sources (i.e North Americas, Europe, Asia etc.)
  • Determine the messaging you want each audience to receive – is your content suitable for the target market? How does said translate into the chosen destination?
  • Consider potential communication barriers; some countries forgo Google and Bing and instead use Baidu (in China) or Yandex (in Russia) –  Research should indicate whether you need to explore the possibility of advertising on different search engines.

5 tips when chartering new territory:

1. Do your research

You can never do enough research when it comes to assessing the opportunities available for differing markets. Google offers a great tool which helps you identify new business opportunities using country-specific insights. These insights can be a great starting point when evaluating market opportunities. We’d also recommend using Google Analytics and conducting an analysis of users and conversion rates by country to assess potential key markets.

Once you’ve identified these opportunities, you’ll need to devise a plan on how best to target this defined audience. Google’s Keyword Planner is a great place to find local search queries and the average cost per click in different countries.

2. On-Site Optimisation

Before building out your campaigns, it’s crucial that you review your website to ensure you are able to provide a seamless on-site experience. Optimise for a diverse plethora of search queries and implementing this throughout your metadata is imperative.  

Your site is essentially your shop window and as with any shop window, it is important to feature information and features your audience will find attractive. As before, user search behaviour and online behaviour varies from country to country and it is important that you know how each audience performs on your site. Personalised content is key when trying to connect with an international audience and when it comes to building a seamless browsing experience, few things are as powerful as delivering the right message at the right time. This has to extend beyond just getting visitors to your site, but right through the booking journey.

Content Localisation through SEO involves a deep level of analysis whereby content needs to be optimised for local intent. We have found that by tweaking imagery and layout as well as adapting tone and language, a stronger connection is made with your target market and fosters a better conversion rate.

Localised testimonials which include the user’s locality further highlight your ability to cater for potential guests. Mentioning features you have on your site such as international plug adaptors, for example, shows you have thought about the needs of your audience.

3. Online Channels

Once your site is fully optimised to provide the best possible user experience, you need to implement channels that form an integral part of your localisation strategy. Google Ads, for example, offers an array of features when it comes to internationalisation. Additionally, as a Google Partner agency, Avvio can access tools such as Google Translate to translate your ads into local languages when there is a strong enough budget in place. Google also use linguists who will write ad copy that seeks to increase conversion.

Paid advertising can be more competitive and/or expensive in other countries. We have a number of strategies which seek to tailor your campaigns:

  • Bids can be customised to relevant time-zones to ensure optimal click-through rates.
  • Audience lists can be added with bidding strategies and demographic targeting to ensure a fully optimised campaign  
  • Other paid channels such as social media can be created to target different locations.
  • Video provides a great opportunity to reach users at the research stage. Showcase where you are in relation to local attractions and use keywords relating to notable attractions to refine your targeting. Video and display offer great targeting options around travel and accommodation which is a great way to narrow down your audience.
  • Localised campaigns and landing pages. Radius targeting with Google Ads and Facebook.

Let’s not forget the free online opportunities that also exist. A blog for example, can be a great way to showcase local experiences that may be of interest to your user. Videos on your site can also display some local attractions which we find works really well on Country specific landing pages.

4. Make use of Localisation Features.

Google explains it best in their article, Going global is all about acting local. Putting your local thinking hat on means thinking in the mind of your country specific user. Directories and platforms such as Google My Business and Bing Places need to be aligned with all your name, address and phone number details aligned.

Country-specific landing pages for your paid campaigns offer a great opportunity to tailor content specific to your target audience. Your landing page content should be tailored to suit a particular demographic through content and imagery. Keyword research plays an important part in creating relevant content for the right audience. You should also consider using different imagery to suit a particular location. Local attractions, for example, can be a unique selling point. Mentioning how far you are from these attractions are great indicators of locality.

Remember, when optimising content to give details around local restaurants, bars and other attractions. Use tools such as Answer The Public to decipher any content gaps that might be on the site. The type of information someone in an international market is going to look for will differ to those in the local, domestic market.

5. Measure, Measure and Measure again.

As with any aspect of digital, it’s paramount that you continuously measure your performance and make adjustments to your strategy to ensure your campaigns are running optimally. We would also suggest you:

  • Use Google Analytics to measure the behaviour of your users. Analysing how people are engaging with your site and where they might be bouncing off, is crucial.
  • Compare the performance of translated vs non-translated paid search campaigns. Having translated and non-translated campaigns give you fantastic insight into what converts best for your website.
  • Measure conversion rates of your landing pages specifically if you have translated or Country specific landing pages.
  • Use an international content calendar and take into consideration important international days and events which may impact your search queries.

To increase your direct booking revenue you need to implement a multi-faceted, guest-centric digital approach. Want to learn more? Put on your metaphorical thinking cap, and learn to ‘Think like an Innovator’