In the Linguistica International blog, we talk a lot about the problems businesses face and the potential opportunities that come from targeting customers in new markets. However, occasionally, some businesses find themselves in the serendipitous position of targeting overseas customers unintentionally.
In this article, we will explain how businesses can accidentally attract international customers and talk about the steps you can take if you have traffic that you could really do without.
Be prepared to capitalise on unexpected opportunities
In the age of the internet, businesses can receive enquiries and orders from territories they had never intended to target. Any sale or enquiry should be welcomed and if it’s something you can fulfil, often one sale will lead to another, particularly if you can identify how overseas customers are finding you online.
In many cases, such an unexpected order will lead to a scramble to arrange shipping and some initial confusion about the relevant rules and regulations for imports in that country. You’ll also need to have a payment system and shipping service in place that can fulfil the order. However, not all businesses can plan that far ahead, in which case, it may be necessary simply to refuse the order and refund the customer but also to think about how you might be able to fulfil this type of order in the future.
How to identify international search traffic
It’s not unusual for even very small businesses to find themselves with unusual web traffic patterns that don’t make much sense. To check where your website’s traffic is originating from, go to Google Analytics, select ‘Audience’ and then click ‘Geo’ and ‘Locations’.
Low volumes of international traffic can potentially be explained by expat activity, but what if you’re receiving higher volumes of traffic from completely unexpected locations and with no clear reason? That’s when your international visitors could become a cause for concern.
Potential explanations for unwelcome search traffic
Despite being widely available for almost two decades, the internet is still very much the wild west, and receiving a large amount of unexplained international web traffic is not necessarily a good thing. That is particularly the case when the traffic visits your site for malicious reasons or through paid advertising campaigns that have not been properly targeted.
Fake traffic is artificial online activity generated by bots, click farms and other types of software, and unfortunately it’s extremely widespread. If you have lots of visitors from an unusual location over a short period of time that leave your website almost immediately, that’s a sure sign of bots.
You might think bots are harmless, but they can completely distort your reporting and make it difficult to distinguish between genuine and fake visitors. Fake visitors also lead to higher bounce rates, which can have an impact on your search engine rankings.
Plagiarism is a less common problem but could still be the cause of your mysterious international visitors. Some websites and their content can be cloned by those in other markets, which can lead to an unexpected increase in traffic from overseas.
If you suspect that your site has been cloned, you can paste chunks of your content into Google to see if it has been replicated elsewhere. If it is, the good news is that Google is adept at distinguishing between the original and duplicate content and the cloned site will be heavily penalised. You can also issue a DMCA takedown notice to get the content removed altogether.
Attract an international audience for all the right reasons
At Linguistica Translation and Recruitment, we can help you attract an international audience with meticulously translated content that attracts clicks from genuine overseas customers. Call 02392 987 765 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your project with our team.