Expanding your e-commerce business to target customers across multiple countries is a significant growth opportunity. However, achieving visibility and driving sales in new markets can be challenging.
Localization and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are essential for your Shopify store and products. They help your items rank higher on Google search results. The goal, attract visitors interested in your business and increase conversions.
As you venture into new markets, adapting your content to resonate with local audiences is essential. But localization goes beyond mere translation. It involves understanding different countries' cultural nuances, preferences, and consumer behaviour.
We interviewed our partners from Orbe and Mentor Marketing. They shared their best tips to help you expand your online store to new markets. This will help you do it without friction. Orbe is the top-rated Shopify App for localizing stores, and Mentor Marketing is a marketing agency specialized in SEO.
This article will explain why adapting your e-commerce business to local audiences is key and provide tips on optimizing your e-commerce website's SEO across multiple countries on Shopify.
1. Localise your Shopify website and make it attractive to local customers
When it comes to expanding your Shopify website to cater to a global audience, localizing your online store becomes paramount. Fortunately, if you use Shopify Markets, creating localised experiences has become more accessible than ever.
Imagine a U.S. store targeting customers in the United Kingdom, Spain, and France. This store has different prices, products, currencies, and languages tailored to each market. All this is managed within the same platform. This is where Shopify Markets shines, enabling businesses to create customized experiences for different countries.
According to Shopify, 65 % of consumers prefer to buy from a store with content in their own language. By adapting your product descriptions, marketing materials, and website content to the local language, you can significantly increase the chances of converting international visitors into customers.
1.1 Key elements a Shopify store should adapt when expanding to international markets:
- Translate all website content, including product descriptions, menus, navigation, and customer support materials, into the local language.
- Ensure accurate and culturally appropriate translations by working with professional translators or localization services.
- Implement language-switching functionality to allow users to easily switch between different language versions of your website.
Currency and Pricing:
- Display prices in the local currency of each target market.
- Adjust pricing to reflect local market conditions, taking into account factors such as taxes, shipping costs, and local pricing strategies.
- Use currency conversion tools to provide real-time exchange rate information for customers.
Shipping and Delivery:
- Adapt shipping options and rates to meet the specific requirements of each international market.
- Consider partnering with local shipping carriers to provide faster and more cost-effective delivery options.
- Clearly communicate shipping policies, estimated delivery times, and any applicable customs duties or import taxes.
- Offer payment methods that are popular and widely used in each target market.
- Integrate local payment gateways to provide customers with familiar and convenient payment options.
- Ensure secure and seamless payment processing, adhering to local regulations and data protection laws.
- Understand and comply with the legal and regulatory requirements of each target market, including consumer protection laws, data privacy regulations, and tax obligations.
- Display terms and conditions, privacy policies, and refund policies in compliance with local laws and best practices.
One powerful tool that facilitates this localization process is Orbe, which acts as the gateway to these localized experiences. Orbe enhances the user journey and increases international conversion rates. It does this by redirecting users to the correct shopping experience based on their location and preferences.
Victoria Beckham unlocks global opportunities by localizing her fashion brand’s e-commerce experience using Orbe.
Localization can have a significant impact. For example, a carpet brand strategically sold its products at 50% higher prices in the United States than in Spain. Before using Orbe, users had to go through the Spanish experience.
They saw higher prices at checkout, leading to frustration and abandoned carts. However, with the implementation of Orbe, such frictions are lifted, ensuring a smoother purchasing experience for international customers.
Delivering localized content and prices on your Shopify website can significantly improve the chances of conversion. This helps create a better user experience and increases the likelihood of them purchasing from you.
2. Improve the SEO Game of your Shopify Store for International Markets
Expanding your Shopify store to international markets opens up a world of opportunities for your e-commerce business. To fully tap into these markets' potential, optimising your store's SEO strategy specifically for international audiences is crucial.
Tailor your SEO efforts to different countries and languages. This will increase your visibility in search results. It will also help you attract more targeted organic traffic to specific pages on your site.
2.1 Understand the International Market Landscape:
Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the countries you are targeting is essential before diving into SEO optimization for international markets. This understanding will help you tailor your SEO strategy to the cultural and linguistic specifics of each target market.
Researching and analyzing the market landscape will provide insights into local consumer behaviour, preferences, and competition. This knowledge will serve as a foundation for crafting an effective SEO strategy that resonates with your target audience.
2.2 Conduct Comprehensive Keyword Research:
Understand the Target Market: Begin by researching and define your target markets. Gain insights into their specific cultures, languages, and consumer behaviour to tailor your SEO efforts accordingly.
Localized Keyword Research: Utilize keyword research tools to discover relevant keywords and phrases in the local languages of your target market segments. Focus on long-tail keywords and search terms commonly used by local potential customers.
- Do a manual search on Google, to check if you appear on the first page or not and pick out keyword inspirations.
- The Google Search Console tool gives you info on user queries before they get to your site.
- Ubersuggest gives you an overview of your positioning compared to your competitors.
- For €89/month, Ahrefs generates lists of keywords according to their search volume, CPC, location, etc.
- For around €100/month, you can use its competitor, Semrush, which has a database three times larger.
2.3 The Best On-Page SEO Techniques for International ECommerce Sites:
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: Craft unique and descriptive title tags and meta descriptions for each page and product categories, incorporating relevant keywords and enticing users to click through from search engine results.
Structured Data Markup: Implement structured data markup (e.g., Schema.org) to provide search engines with additional context about your products, such as pricing, availability, reviews, and ratings.
URL Structure and Hierarchy: Create user-friendly URLs that include relevant keywords and reflect the website's structure. Organize content using subfolders or subdomains for different countries or languages.
Optimized Product Pages: Pay attention to product page optimization, including keyword-rich product titles, detailed descriptions, high-quality images, and customer reviews.
2.4. The Best Off-Page SEO Strategies for International Sotres:
Link Building: Develop a robust backlink profile by acquiring high-quality links from relevant and authoritative websites in each target country. Build relationships with local influencers, bloggers, and industry publications to gain exposure.
Social Media Localization: Tailor your social media strategy to each country by creating localized profiles, sharing country-specific content, and engaging with local communities. This can boost brand visibility and generate social signals that impact SEO.
Local Citations and Directories: Register your business in local directories and review websites specific to each country. Consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) information helps search engines validate your business's legitimacy and improve local search rankings.