Online Marketing to New Territories
For any business to succeed, growth is essential. This is particularly true in the online market place, as it is probably one of the easiest places to market yourself internationally, provided of course, that you have the right team and resources to do this effectively.
For a United Kingdom based online business, spreading your business to France is not as simple as just registering yourdomain.fr and copying your website onto this domain. Not by a long shot.
For a start, you cannot copy your entire site onto a second domain, because of duplicate content issues, which we outlined a few weeks a ago in Simon’s excellent duplicate content blog.
So where do you start?
Well an excellent example of how to market to a new territory the right way can be seen in the work that has been implemented on Travel Insurance Direct, a site offering competitive travel insurance and ski insurance policies, who are currently expanding to Ireland.
First of all they registered a new domain with an Irish TLD, in this case;
In order for this to rank well in Irish Google (google.ie) the site is also hosted by a company situated in Ireland.
This looks pretty simple so far, get an Irish domain, host your site with an Irish host, and essentially it is pretty straight forward. Where the success element comes in however, is in the detail put into rest of the site. Your products are probably priced pounds, for an Irish site they obviously need to be in Euros and they need to be converting at an accurate exchange rate, otherwise you stand the chance of making a loss on products sold.
Travel Insurance Direct do this well, and their prices (in Euros) are clearly visible on the home page, as well as an Irish contact number for telephone sales and support. This is essential to reassure customers that there is a stable Irish base and an ability to provide telephone services to them from an Irish team of staff.
As well as having all this, Travel Insurance Direct have written brand new page copy for the site, so as to avoid duplicate content issues, and have made it all relevant to the Irish market. So as to keep the door open to their primary business in the UK they also do an excellent job of linking back to their main site with well placed links throughout the site.
On the contact page of their site, you’ll notice that they also have an Irish physical mailing address, details of territories covered and specific policies relating to the Republic of Ireland. All off these things help to further re-enforce them as an Irish brand as well as an international brand.
Expanding to a new territory is always going to be a challenge, but the most important thing is to get your marketing strategy in place before doing so – and make sure you get it right!