Leveraging Trust to Drive International Expansion

  • June 25, 2024
  • SEO
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E-E-A-T, an acronym for Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust, encompasses the critical factors that Google evaluates to determine the relevance and quality of content for its users. This holistic assessment aids Google in prioritizing content within its search results.

Our recent articles have delved into the effective utilization of Experience, Authority, and Expertise to enhance a company’s international strategy.

Nonetheless, one pivotal aspect remains within the E-E-A-T framework: Trust. Although it is the last element we are discussing, its importance is paramount. In fact, it lies at the very heart of E-E-A-T.

As noted in Google’s search quality rater guidelines, Trust is the cornerstone of E-E-A-T. It gauges the accuracy, honesty, safety, and reliability of a page. No matter how experienced or authoritative a website is, it will attain a low E-E-A-T score if it lacks trustworthiness.

Image from Google’s search quality rater guidelines, May 2024

Demonstrating trust is crucial, especially for “Your Money or Your Life” (YMYL) topics, which significantly impact individuals’ or society’s health, finances, safety, security, knowledge, or well-being.

When developing international strategies, how can we leverage E-E-A-T to enhance our international expansion and convincingly demonstrate our honesty and reliability to a global audience?

Let’s explore some detailed strategies that can be implemented to achieve these international objectives.

How To Demonstrate Trust To An International Audience

Accessibility and Usability

To successfully market a product or service internationally, the initial step is ensuring that users in various regions can effortlessly access the site. This entails a website that is fast, secure, correctly displayed, and user-friendly, enabling users to easily find relevant information and make purchases.

International Branding

Beyond accessibility, it is essential for consumers to easily locate the brand. Hence, having an “international” brand or domain name that is memorable, easy to spell, and searchable by users worldwide, regardless of language, is highly recommended.

Localization: A Key Trust Builder

Localization is crucial for instilling trust in users from different regions. Each country, language, or region has its own distinct characteristics. We cannot expect to use the same message and strategies across all target markets; this approach will not convey sufficient confidence that we are the most expert, experienced, and authoritative website in our sector.

To effectively sell internationally, it’s vital to:

  • Analyze the languages spoken in each region to prioritize their inclusion on the website.
  • Transcribe, not just translate. The level of familiarity users have with our products or services varies by region, requiring message adaptation for each market.
  • Ensure the website defaults to the local language when users search from their region, achieved through proper translation and appropriate hreflang configuration.
  • Understand the local buying habits and cultural customs associated with the product or service in the region.
  • Study user search behavior to determine the best content format: text, videos (e.g., tutorials or how-tos), images (e.g., product demonstrations).

For instance, searching for the keywords “Tió de Nadal” or “Caga Tió,” referring to a local Christmas tradition in Catalonia, Spain, necessitates content tailored for local users. This type of search can be both informational and transactional since the tradition is well-known locally.

tio de nadal: Google search results
Screenshot from search for [tio de nadal], Google, May 2024

Conversely, similar searches in the United States aim more towards information gathering, as the tradition is not commonly known. Users seek to learn more about the custom, resulting in more descriptive content.

Search for caga tio: Google
Screenshot from search for [caga tio], Google, May 2024

Convey Your Site’s Safety

Ensuring a website’s security is a major challenge when operating internationally. Buyers cannot make physical claims for legal aspects, reimbursements, etc. Thus, it is crucial to clearly communicate details related to payment methods and shipping to establish that the website is trustworthy.

Recommendations include:

  • Using local currencies on product pages.
  • Incorporating widely used payment methods in each country, such as credit cards, Bizum, or PayPal.
  • Detailing the shipping process, including delivery times, return policies, shipping companies, and tracking codes, to build trust among distant buyers.
Credit card option on website
Screenshot from author, May 2024

Detailed “About Us” Page

For companies aiming for international sales, a detailed “About Us” page is vital. Potential customers may have no prior knowledge of the business, its products, or its origin.

The “About Us” page should include:

  • Company location and origins, with accompanying images or videos.
  • Information on the manufacturing process and product creation.
  • Team member details, including links to other platforms, such as social networks.
  • Showcase of expertise through awards, certifications, and quality seals.
  • Include third-party ratings and opinions.
About us page
Screenshot from author, May 2024

Reliable Customer Service

To persuade users to purchase from an international site, it is crucial to showcase reliable customer service, emphasizing the presence of real people behind the website.

Actions to enhance customer service include:

  • Creating a FAQ page addressing international concerns, particularly about shipping.
  • Providing direct contact options via chat, WhatsApp, phone, or email for quick human responses.
  • Including location details and linking to Google My Business with a detailed profile.
  • Displaying customer service reviews to show past user experiences.
FAQs about international delivery
Screenshot from author, May 2024

Link to Other Platforms and Sites

Finally, showcasing profiles on other social networks and demonstrating how others talk about the company can build trust. To do this, we can:

  • Create and link to social network profiles.
  • Obtain mentions from local influencers or industry leaders.
  • Get featured on local relevant websites.
  • Get listed in relevant directories within the industry.
Caga Tio YouTube video
Screenshot from YouTube, May 2024

Leverage Trust to Enhance International Strategies

Trust is critical for YMYL topics, but its importance extends to other sectors and sites, especially those targeting international markets.

Showcasing a site that is accurate, honest, safe, and reliable is essential for building trust with a global audience. Similarly, demonstrating our experience, authority, and expertise related to our sector, products, and services is crucial.

More resources:

Featured Image: BRO.vector/Shutterstock

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