International Marketing Strategy: Your Website

Marketing strategy: How to structure a plan?Your Website is your 24/7 Sales Director; we have all heard about this before; and this is also a true statement applicable for Chinese website.

There are many tactics and strategies surrounding your Chinese website and these can make significant impact to the effectiveness of the campaign. The following are the essential strategies we deploy for our clients:

  1. Do not under-invest in your Chinese language website, many companies simply want to save on cost; and only allocate very limited fund for the marketing purpose; this will not work; as it will be a half-done job.
  2. It is essential to have a Chinese website; I often hear ridiculous comments like; “We will only target English speaking markets in China”; think it as you are an Asian company expanding into US; would you just have a Chinese website or would you have your website in English? It’s the same concept.
  3. Always have your website in 2 versions: Simplified Chinese (used in China & Singapore) and Traditional Chinese (used in Taiwan, Hong Kong and older generations Chinese communities). Many companies only choose Simplified Chinese for their website; by doing so; you are actually missing out a very large population of target markets & consumers; especially the more wealthy segments.

It is important to understand that Chinese communities are particularly sensitive when comes to their writing; you could potentially offend consumers in Hong Kong and Taiwan by handing them a Simplified Chinese marketing brochure and vice versa.

Additionally; by having your website in both versions; this will ensure your website can be found on different search engines; and think it of this way; this is almost like creating 2 websites under 1 website; hence double your web presence effectively.

  1. Web contents: similarly; you have to have good web contents for your Chinese website; these web contents must contain keywords and SEO-friendly to assist your website to rank higher in the search engine.
  2. Hosting: The location to host your Chinese website is a hidden secret; it is a rather complex issue; on one hand; you want your website to be hosted on a local server in China but taking a risk that it maybe terminated by the authority without any reason. On another hand; you want to ensure your website is always live in China; so what should you do? We often take a “Double Proof” strategy; meaning hosting your website in 2 separate locations; one in China and another in Hong Kong.

As a lot of marketing managers have asked me about the Search Engine Markets in China; I have dedicated to the next section exclusively.

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