Let’s face it. People like to shop at local businesses. It doesn’t matter if they are in Canada, the United States, or Croatia. There is something about buying products from a company in your local area that is appealing. That doesn’t mean they don’t shop online. They still do, but most people don’t want to order something from someone who is located halfway across the world.
You can avoid this problem by developing a local presence overseas. All you need is a solid strategy and a dedicated proxy, and you will be well on your way to developing a local presence.
Let’s go through the strategies you will need to incorporate. Be sure to follow all of the steps in order to get the best results.
Conduct Local Research
Unless you have spent some time overseas, you probably don’t know much about how people talk. You need to tap into their language in order to look like a local. You also need to do some keyword research so you can reach your intended market.
It’s important to understand that search engines provide local results. If you live in Sacramento, your searches are based on the Sacramento market. When you live in London, your searches are based on the London market. If you live in Sacramento but want to tap into the London market, you can’t conduct a normal web search. You won’t get local results.
Fortunately, there are tools that emulate local searches across the globe.
Local Research Tools
Use the I Search From website to emulate a search from a different location. Choose your location, language, and device and then add in your search terms. Then, you can find out what comes up on that part of the world. That will help you research content and keywords.
Start by looking at the various websites. See the type of content they offer. Pay special attention to slang and dialect so you will look like a local.
Then, pull the keywords off of the websites. You can use the AdWords Keyword Planner to get the keywords from the various websites. Just enter the URL, and the planner will pull some of the keywords. You can look at the data for the keywords to determine which ones you should add to your website.
Building Your Websites
During this step, you need to build your international websites. You don’t need to use a dedicated proxy for this step since you will build your sites one at a time.
Do a little bit of research so you can have a design that is specific to that country. Go back to the websites that you pulled up in the last step and check out the design. Then, mimic it.
If you can build your own website, you can move through this step relatively quickly. There is a good chance that you need some help, though. You can use an online service like UpWork to find freelancers. Give them some examples of the type of site that you want and be sure to let them know it is for another country. Then, let them get to work.
You also need to consider the domain extension. Choose an extension that matches up with the location. For instance, .uk is the extension used in the United Kingdom. If you don’t have the right domain extension, people will automatically know that your site isn’t from the local area. When you use a local extension, though, you pass the first test. Your site will look legitimate so people will click on it.
You should also choose local hosting companies to cut down on your lag time. For instance, if you have a website in Canada, choose a Canadian hosting company. That way, your site will run faster.
Once you get your site set up, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step.
Get a Local Address
You can have a great local website, but if you have an address that is halfway across the country, everyone will know that you don’t have a local company. That is why you need to get a local business address. You don’t need to rent space in places all around the world. Instead, you just need to get a local address through a service like Regus. Then, it will look like you have a local business.
Here’s how it works. You buy business addresses for your desired locations. Then, people can send correspondence to the address. If they do, Regus will forward the mail to your desired location. Your customers will think that your company is actually located at that address, so they will assume that you’re local. That will help you jump through a major hurdle.
It will also set everything up so you can use a private proxy to go to the next level.
First, though, you need to decide which locations you need addresses for, and then you need to purchase them. Then, put your business addresses on your websites. This will provide people with the confidence they need to make a purchase.
Go International with Craigslist
Once your site is set up, you need to make a splash internationally. You can do that with Craigslist. Craigslist isn’t just a U.S. website. It has sites all across the world. You can advertise your products and services on the Craigslist website and reach your intended international audience quickly.
There’s something to keep in mind, though. Craigslist serves people in specific geographic areas. It only wants you to post an ad if you live in that location. Also, you can’t post multiple ads for multiple locations.
Actually, you can, but you have to use a dedicated proxy.
Choose a proxy for a specific location. Then, set up a Craigslist account in that location. Move onto your next proxy and set up your next Craigslist account. Continue with this process until you have all of the Craigslist accounts that you want.
If you have to verify your accounts with a phone number, this is very easy to do. There are countless apps that provide phone numbers. Download an app on your phone and then get the numbers that you need. Enter them into your Craigslist accounts and use them to verify the accounts. Then, you can delete the app if you want after you verify all of your accounts. You don’t have to worry about answering calls on those numbers after the accounts have been verified. Of course, if you want to keep the numbers, you can add them to your website as contact numbers. Just set up an answering service for the numbers, and you’ll have even more proof that you’re running a local business.
One your accounts are set up, use them to advertise your products or services. Just make sure that each ad is unique. You don’t want to send up any red flags to Craigslist. As long as your ads are unique, you shouldn’t have any problems. After all, you are protected by proxies.
Local Social Networking
Social networking is also a great way to develop a presence overseas. Instead of creating one social networking account, create a new account for each area that you want to serve. Use the local addresses you have set up for each area. That way, people will think that you are a local business instead of an international one.
You will need to use proxies to make this work. Social networks only let people set up a single account. In other words, you will be stuck with a single Facebook or Twitter account if you don’t use a private proxy.
When you set up your accounts, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
First, some social networks have fraud detection in place. They will notice if you log in with a German IP address and then log in with a U.S. IP address an hour later. You couldn’t possibly make it from Germany to the U.S. in an hour, so some sort of fraud is likely taking place. You’ll be shut out of your account until the network sorts it out.
To avoid this problem, make a note of which proxy goes with which account and continue to use the correct proxy settings each time. In other words, if you create your account with a proxy, you need to use that same proxy every time you log into Facebook. That way, it won’t look like you’re bouncing around the planet.
You can also avoid fraud detection by making your accounts unique. Don’t use the same URLs for all of your accounts. You should have a unique website for each local market. Use that unique URL and add in your local address. Also, use different keywords and descriptions for your different social network accounts.
In addition, create different posts. They can have the same context, but they need to be unique enough that they don’t stand out to the social networks.
Social Networking Tools
Finally, consider using tools to manage your accounts. If you have a lot of social networking accounts, you’re going to be overwhelmed. It’s a lot to keep track of on a daily basis. You will likely feel as if you spend all of your time managing your social networking accounts. You can free up your time by using various management tools. Use a basic management tool, like Hootsuite, or go with a bot. Bots are great because they actually automate a lot of the tasks for you so you don’t have to spend as much time working on building a social networking presence. You can use bots to interact with people on social networks and build a fan base.
Just make sure you use a proxy with your bot. Otherwise, you will end up getting banned on the social network. Then, you’ll have to start all over again. That’s fine if you have a single account. However, it is incredibly frustrating if you have 10 or 20 accounts. Do you really want to start over with all of those accounts? You might end up throwing in the towel instead of starting from scratch. Then, you won’t be able to maximize your profits with the international market.
Use Google My Business
Finally, you need to add your company to Google My Business. Google My Business makes it easy to show up in the search rankings, but you need a local address for this to work. Fortunately, you should have a local address through Regus or another service. Once you have your address in hand, create a Google My Business listing. Make sure that you use a dedicated proxy when creating each listing so Google doesn’t think that you’re spamming the service.
Google My Business might mail you a letter to authenticate your account. If it does, it will go to your address service, and then the service will mail it to you. Follow the instructions when you receive the correspondence. Then, your listing will be live.
Once your listings are up, it will be easy for people to find you online. You will show up on Google Maps and Google Search for free. You will look like a local business, no matter where you’re actually located. Then, people will be much more likely to buy your products online. They will have confidence in your business since it will appear to be local.
A local presence is critical if you’re going to be successful online. Follow these strategies to create your local presence. Make sure that you buy a proxy before you get started so you can move from one strategy to the next without any issues. Then, once you’re done, the search engines will act as if you have a local business. That will help you bring in more traffic than ever before. As you know, the more traffic you can bring in, the more money you can make. Start building up your local presence and then enjoy all of the benefits.