How can businesses transform their online presence to stay connected with global markets?
That question took center stage as the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business Center for Global Business hosted a webinar for the greater Maryland Smith community.
The webinar, “Quarantine Yourself, Not Your Business: Web Strategies to Stay Connected With Your Global Markets,” featured insights from Colleen Fisher, director of the Baltimore Export Assistance Center at the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Jessica Reynolds, a senior director at the Maryland Department of Commerce. Attendees were advised on how to internationalize their business’ website and become more appealing and visible to overseas users.
“A website is part of a digital e-commerce strategy and represents your sales and marketing. If you have a website you're already global,” Fisher said during the event.
Experts shared the following seven key takeaways:
- Use tracking software (i.e., Google Analytics) to see who’s viewing your website and from where.
- Adjust your homepage to show interest and capabilities for international business.
- Make sure your website design is mobile-friendly.
- Remember that other cultures use different search engines (i.e., China uses Baidu).
- Content is king.
- Run third-party “site check-ups” to compare yourself to your competitors.
- Consider scalable translation options for better localization.
Implementing these steps can go a long way for businesses looking to succeed in a cross-border society, Fisher said.
The webinar was the first in an ongoing series from the Maryland Partners in International Trade (MAPIT Alliance). The MAPIT Alliance brings together four key partners to raise awareness of existing export production programs, to facilitate greater access to and usage of these resources, and to build new collaborative and locally-focused programs.
In addition to the Center for Global Business, other partners were the Maryland-D.C. District Export Council (DEC), the Maryland Department of Commerce (Office of International Investment and Trade) and the U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in Baltimore.
“While all four partners exist as separate entities, they come together in this alliance to share information, collaborate on programming for the benefit of companies in Maryland and to connect people with the vast network of other entities that support international trade at the local, state and federal level,” says Rebecca Bellinger, executive director of the Center for Global Business.
This event was sponsored in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education.