Driving International Traffic in a Time of Uncertainty

Lucy Xu
May 27, 2020
4 min read

When things are more uncertain or feel more chaotic, it is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to do everything at once. Especially during these unprecedented times, businesses are scrambling; whether it is trying to test many different strategies and campaigns at once, trying to take everything digital to reach as many people and markets as possible, or any other frantic business strategy to stay afloat. Of course, this is normal — as unprecedented times call for new strategies for communicating with your current customer base, building trust through the uncertainty, and reaching new audiences.

However, all of the business actions listed above fall into one common theme, which is trying to do too much at once and, as a result, spreading your business and your team too thin. To help you overcome these common pitfalls and optimize your localization efforts to drive increased international traffic, we have broken down four key elements to keep in mind.

1. Set your target markets and languages … then stay focused.

To this, we recommend a localization best practice that we have recommended to businesses long before this period: determine the markets you will localize into first and focus on these markets so you are giving them the attention and care that they need. The major upside of this kind of prioritization and focus is that your authenticity will shine through, which will in turn making a meaningful connection with the new markets you are trying to reach — especially during this period.


If you need some help determining which markets to localize into first, we recommend digging into your current top-performing markets and pairing that with any markets that are currently trending in terms of spending power and demand. Specifically during this period, China and other East Asian markets have caught global business attention as they have entered their post-COVID-19 reality with businesses open, spending power staying dominant, and online usage and shopping skyrocketing.

2. Lead with what has worked for your home market and power up with international SEO.

This isn’t to say that your top-performing content for your native market will necessarily land as well in your target market, but it is a good place to start. After you have identified this content and any other products or content you will localize first and built the localization foundation for engaging your target market in the respective target language, it’s time to power up your global presence with some international SEO.

Think of this as the same way you would use SEO to power up your company’s online presence in your home country, but keeping in mind that ranking high in your native language and country does not quite correlate with how you will rank in our target markets. This is not only because they are speaking a totally different language, but also because the industry jargon, keywords, and terminology they are using might not be quite the same as what you are familiar with. Use all data at your disposal, especially international SEO.

4. Dedicate time and care to monitoring your international properties.

After you have dedicated the time, effort, and manpower to build your multilingual brand presence, the next step is to make sure that it is properly surfacing up in the search rankings of your target market. You’ll want to prioritize this as taking your product, properties, and apps global is not just to more deeply engage with your existing global markets by speaking their language — but also carries with it the very important goal of driving more traffic from these new target markets.

During this period, as some business areas may naturally slow down due to pandemic conditions, it is a great time to recalibrate your priorities and dedicate any excess capacity to focusing on monitoring the international properties you’ve established. From here, you can refine based on what is working — while considering all of the above tools and resources – to refine your target market presence.

Now, more than ever, is the time to unlock the power of localization to reach and engage your global audiences. If you’re ready to give localization a try to see exactly how you can start reaching international audiences at scale, Transifex is here for you: sign up to try Transifex for free for 15 days.

We are also now offering our localization Starter Plan for 3 months to projects related to COVID-19 and to SMBs across the globe (new organizations only) — to access this offer, use the code OpenForBusiness20 after you sign up. If you have any question or are looking to connect with other localization professionals and global teams during this difficult period, visit and join the Transifex Community.

Lucy Xu

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