How to Tailor Your Website For A US Audience
Looking to export to the United States? If so, you’ll need to ensure that your website is up to the challenge. There’s a lot involved with ensuring that your website is ready for a US audience, and a misstep here could spell disaster. Below, we’ll address some of the most important steps you need to take at the outset.
The Right Domain
The first step to tailoring your website to an American audience is getting rid of some of the international trappings. For instance, if you’re using a .ie or .co.uk extension, you need to invest in a .com extension. If you don’t want to buy a .com domain, there are other options, including .net and even .us that may be a little more affordable. Many Americans are likely to bounce out of your site if they don’t believe that you can serve their needs, and a UK or Irish domain extension loudly declares where you’re located.
Tailor the Language
While both Ireland and the United States primarily speak English, they’re almost separate languages. US English differs from that used throughout much of the rest of the world in terms of both spelling (aluminum, not aluminium, for instance), but also word meaning.
For example, you’re not going to get a lot of traction if you are selling chipboard, but if you’re selling “particle board,” you’ll get more interest. It’s the same product, but the words used to describe it differ. The same goes for biscuits – they’re called cookies in the States. This applies to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of different products.
Naming is a vital part of not just ensuring your product is recognizable to a US audience, but also SEO. If you’re not entirely confident in your ability to Americanize your site’s language, Superprof Magazine has a handy guide that can help.
Tell Your Story
Your website is your opportunity to tell the story of your brand. It’s your chance to help American customers or clients get to know the business, its origins, its mission, and more. You’ll need to approach this in several ways. First, make sure you have a good About Us page (or a similar page) on your website where visitors can explore things like your mission, your history, your goals, and all the rest.
However, you cannot stop there. Americans want to know more about your company than where you came from or what ethical standards you adhere to. They actively seek proof of why they should do business with you. That comes in the form of customer testimonials, but also in case studies. Testimonials are good for grabbing attention and providing social proof. Case studies go more in-depth and help to build your brand’s authority and position you as a leader within your industry by highlighting customer problems and challenges, and how you were able to address those.
Focus on American-Sourced Content
It’s tempting to use collateral that you’ve already generated – case studies showing how you helped Irish clients build a better, stronger business, or overcome hurdles. Don’t fall prey to that temptation, though. Americans are a US-focused lot, and while testimonials and case studies involving clients overseas might carry a little weight, they actively seek out information from and about US-based clients or customers. Make sure that you have testimonials, case studies, and other forms of social proof from American customers.
Search engine optimization is the foundation of online visibility all over the world, but the keywords and phrases used to rank in Ireland will do you only so much good in the United States. Instead, you need to ensure that you’re creating content based around American spellings and words. You also need to ensure that you have links pointing back to your site from highly-ranked American websites so that Google ranks you appropriately in the SERPs.
When it comes to exporting to the US, you need to ensure that you’ve harnessed all the digital tools available to you and that you’re using them appropriately. Your website is the most critical asset in your toolbox. Follow these tips, and you’ll be well on your way to making inroads into the US market. If you’re unsure how to go about tailoring your site to a US audience or have questions, the experts at Emarkable are happy to help.