Lead the World to your Website: Secrets of Successful Global Gateways | John Yunker | Skillshare

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Lead the World to your Website: Secrets of Successful Global Gateways

teacher avatar John Yunker, Globalization expert, author, publisher

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Take a Global Gateway Tour

    • 3. The Elements of a Global Gateway

    • 4. The Visual Gateway

    • 5. Understanding Geolocation

    • 6. Understanding Language Detection

    • 7. Developing Your Global Gateway Strategy

    • 8. Next Steps

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About This Class

So you’ve added content in a new language to your website, or you’ve created an entirely new localized website. Now you need to direct people to this new content. That’s where the global gateway fits in.

A global gateway is the initial point of contact between your website and the world — it is, in effect, a web user’s first impression. And you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

A global gateway strategy ensures that people find localized content, no matter where they live or what languages they speak. This class will teach you to develop a successful global navigation strategy for your website. Whether your site supports two languages or 20 or more, this class will provide the foundation you need.  The techniques and recommendations in this class are the result of more than a decade spent studying the process of directing web users to local content. You’ll learn secrets from the best global websites – as well as practices to avoid. We’ll look at the global websites of Amazon, Apple, Disney, Hertz and many others.

This class assumes that you have no global or technical experience or speak any other language than English.

Meet Your Teacher

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John Yunker

Globalization expert, author, publisher


Hello, I'm John Yunker. 

Over the past decade I've helped hundreds of companies and organizations improve their global websites and processes. I've written a number of reports on web and content globalization, including 14 annual editions of The Web Globalization Report Card, Geolocation for Global Success, and Destination: Marketing.

I authored the first book devoted to website globalization, Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies as well as the most recent book Think Outside the Country (also available in Japanese). I've spoken at numerous industry events, including the Unicode Conference, Brand2Global, Internet Retailer, and Localization World. I have a journalism degree from the University of Missou... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi. My name is John Yunker In this class will help you develop a successful global gateway strategy. Now, perhaps you don't even know what a global gateway is. You don't have a multi lingual or global website. That's okay. This is a great time to take the class because you will learn how to do things the right way. You'll get a good understanding of salad foundation for all of the elements that go into directing visitors to your website, no matter where in the world they live or what language they speak. One of the elements is right behind me. Country codes. This is a map I've created. Ah, some time ago that displays the world's country codes and country codes are one of the key elements that companies use to direct users to local websites. But it's just one element and there are many elements out there. You're gonna learn them all. And by the end of this class you'll be well on your way to developing a more user friendly world. Ready and globally friendly website. Let's get started 2. Take a Global Gateway Tour: you may be wondering what the heck is a global gay went well, it depends. It depends on the website. Global gateways. Actually, a lot of things. Some things that you see some things that you don't see the best way to understand what a global gateway is to experience it. And that's what I'm gonna do. Over the next few minutes, we're gonna visit a number of websites beginning with Amazon. Very popular website, of course. And where is the global gateway here? Well, in a sense dot com, you have to look at first to your out. That dot com address is your first encounter with Amazon. Right now, the other element that you're going to see here is this English to Spanish toggle. Now this is a gateway as well. This is a language gateway between between Spanish and English. For the dot com website. You see your language settings. Now, what about a geographic? A regional global? Well, for this, you have to scroll down and and you can see here we have the language toggle. But then we also have this rather cumbersome gateway where you can change countries here. Of course, your shortcuts. If I wanted to go to Amazon, Germany. I I do amazon dot de and I go direct to Amazon, Germany. That, too, is part of your global gateway strategy. And that is something that you're going to have it the end of this class. Let's try another website. Starbucks. Okay, go to Starbucks dot com. Where is my gateway? I wanna go to another country. Well said. Unfortunately, it is down here at the bottom. It's a change region link. And then from here you have a selection of options. I could go to Japan. We go to Japan here, and if you look up here, you'll notice there is. They are using the correct Japanese country good, and I'll talk about that slightly different website here is you can see fully localized for the Japanese market. Now let's try another one. Let's try Dyson. I want to buy a vacuum, so I go to Dyson dot com. I am based in Germany, and so clearly I really want something that's, uh, localized for May. So once again, I do have to do some scroll. I mean, this is not ideal to put them to bury your global gateway link into the into the footer. But I get to the footer and I see I can find my German site here and you'll notice it's Ah , it's in German, the name of the country, which is proper localization. What's not proper is use of flags, and I will talk about that later in the class. So here we are. We're Dyson got D if you can see here uh, slightly older Web design and interestingly, you can see the older Web design had the, uh, the Gateway link in the header, which is what I recommend. Let's try another one. Let's say you want to book a flight and let's go to booking dot com booking here. Uh, flight or hotel booking has its gateway in the header, and you can tell by this this flag, which is not there right icon. But it is an icon, and it is used by many sites, and you click on here and you get a wide selection of locales. There's also what I call currency. Gateway is, well, something that e commerce sites often use. I Kia I mentioned I keep in first class, but this is ah, great landing page in which it functions as a gateway in itself. And you can see here it's tiki dot com. So it is not really giving me a localized website yet because like DOT com is a global address and I could go to the U. S. Site clicking here. I can also just scroll down and say I want to go to a lot of good Lafayette and this is interesting. You have a choice between English or are locked in, and in there you have it. So the global gateway is really an experience. It is. It is all of the elements you use to seamlessly direct visitors to their localized content . And your strategy is going to evolve. It's your website evolves. But if you get it right, you will significantly increase traffic to your localised websites. And that's what this class is all about. 3. The Elements of a Global Gateway: What exactly are the elements of a global gateway? Let's take a look. Therefore, uh, four general elements said I have identified that formed your global Gately strategy, beginning with country cuts and country codes. I've selected a few here dot B R, Dr D, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Canada and then to that You may or may not recognize these are in different languages. Different scripts and these air are non Latin country codes or internationalized domains. And I'll talk about that shortly. The visual global gateway. I've selected one here. This is what you would visually use T self select where you want to go. Geo location is a behind the scenes technology to something that determines it looks at your computer on where you're located. Okay, so that's going to your mobile. That bicycle beer, your laptop, your desktop computer. There's an I P address associated with where you with your device and where you are. And the Web server can use that information to respond with the correct domain or localized content. And there's one other behind the scenes technology called language detection or language negotiation. This works by looking at the language, setting the language preference of your Web browser and browsers have this you may or may not have seen this were adjusted. This. It's generally aligned very closely with the language setting of your computer or your your smartphone so you unit generally don't have to change it. But you can detect that, and you can also respond if you detect someone's browser, request Portuguese. You can respond when they visit your site with Portuguese content. So how did these all fit together into strategy? Well, I've got a, uh, generic website here dot say this is your dot com website and up above. If all of these visitors from around the world who want to visit your website more often than not, they're going to use the dot com address, which is really your global address in the US is coming to think of dot com is synonymous with us. It's not globally dot com. Is it global users You? It is a global front door, so they go to your dot com site. They land there. They may not see any content or or or content in their language content that's relevant to their market. So what are they looking for? They're looking for some sign of a global gateway. Ideally, you have a link in the header. I'm using this generic globe icon, and this link allows them to self navigate to their localised websites. Now there's an alternative, of course, which our country coats and I mentioned those. So I've got three here. Japan, Germany and France. No, those are front doors directly to localize websites. So if you use country cards, people don't even have to go to the dot com site. That goes straight to the countryside's. But if we go to the dot com site and you have this global gateway icon, they can click on that and then re navigate to those localised websites. Finally, there's another process, and you've probably have seen this with overlays. Sometimes you'll land on a site, and they'll be a little overlay that will ask you to opt in to a certain setting or preference. You can use overlays, toe opt people into the market so similar to what I showed you with Kia, you could do an overlay that says, basically, do you? We've detected you're in the US. Do you want to visit the U. S. Website or do you want to go somewhere else? And you can use geo location and language detection to behind the scenes to power the these over ways, and that's a very popular technique as well. So as you can see here, there's a lot of elements involved, uh, elements that the user she's elements of the user does not see, but collectively, what? The goal is to get people to their to their local content as quickly as possible. And it's it's worth noting you may not see this on your website night, and I hope you have spent time looking at the traffic of people who visit your website and where they come from. But with most large companies, more than half as much as 70 80% of the traffic to their dot com website originate from outside of their home market. This is a very important strategy for ensuring that you get people where they want to be in an increased traffic to these localised websites, 4. The Visual Gateway: the visual global gateway is the most important thing you can do right now. You don't have to register a country code. You don't have to bother with back end technologies. It's a one thing that most small businesses do initially and and can make the greatest impact on improving the user experience. So the first thing I recommend you you do is when you create your global gateway, keep that gateway link in the header. As you can see here on the right and I recommend the upper right corner, you see the Globe icon that Cisco's global Gateway. Siemens is another company that puts its global late Gateway link in the header. Now I have how highlighted some companies like in Amazon, that puts its link in the footer. Some companies do that because they've done other things now. Amazon, of course, uses country coats point heavily, so they've invested so heavily in country codes. They also used geo location. When you use some of these other elements, you might make the business case that you can demote the global gateway linked to the footer. I don't recommend that for any company, but it's it's understandable when you're using other elements as well. If all your use is a visual global gateway, which is the odds are that you are initially definitely keep it in the header. Now you also want an icon that draws attention to the global gateway. And why is that? Well, here we have Caterpillar Japan, and I don't speak Japanese. So I land on this page and I want to navigate a way to get to my localized website. And I could just randomly click on this text or if there was an icon, it would I would know where to click. Unfortunately, Caterpillar actually does have a globe icon here That makes a big difference. These icons communicate to people regardless of the language they speak. Now, which icon is best? I've included here 31 for Microsoft, one from Adobe and one from Fria. Now all three of these do work. But there is one that is the best far and away the best. And it is Adobe. Why is this one the best? This is what I call a generic globe icon and buy generic. It does not show, uh, anyone view off the planet and believe it or not, there are people like myself who focus on on helping companies be. Is Jake geopolitically neutral as possible and avoiding geopolitical issues? You don't want to offend certain countries. Regions, cultures and maps are often reflective of sometimes geopolitical biases. Uh, when you show a glow, what side of the globe do you display that might show more Western orientation versus in Eastern orientation, similarly, with a map? So if you if you want to avoid all of these inferences, go with a generic alive icon. Also, it displays really, really well in small sizes. It could be vector based. It's a great icon. If you start off using this, you're ahead of so many companies because a number of companies like Adobe, have recently changed over the past year. Now the menu itself should be a what I call a universal global gateway menu. And what I mean by Universal is that it's one menu that you can use across all of your localised websites. It includes all of your country and region selections, and it displays the options in the local language. So this isn't a list just in English. As you can see, there are a lot of languages you may or may not understand, and that's OK. You don't have to understand. Every all that matters is that the person who is trying to find his or whore her country, a region can find it. So if you speak Arabic, you gravitate to the Arabic texts you find where you need to go now. If Saudi Arabia was in English, that's not going to do in Arabic speakers much good as leaving it in Arabic. Here's an example of what not to do. This is hurts Russia. What happened here is the global Gateway menu was completely translated into Russian. Now, if I gland on this site and I wanna navigate away from Russia to France or the US, it's not gonna be very easy to dio. So this should illustrate a little bit. Why a universal, a global global gateway is so important. You want to not fall into this trap, and this happens sometimes when you send your website out to a vendor, they want to translate everything. The men. You should not be fully translated. It should be a universal menu you created once and then you're done. Flags. What about flags? Well, I say, Avoid using them all together even though you see them use widely. This is from apple. Flags don't scale well. If you go to Apple's Global Gateway page, you have to scroll down quite a ways. They don't scale well because finds often used very similar colors. So visually it's it's it's chaotic. Also, if you can. If you look at the bottom of this man, you see, if Apple has some regional websites that don't have flags so apple, and to create little make believe apple flags, they just don't scale well. There's a geopolitical issues associated with flags. If you can avoid using them, you're also in a very good position. So I I do predict apple the one day stop using flags a number of companies have over the years. But if you can stop using them from the get go, you're in a good spot. 5. Understanding Geolocation: Now, whether you know it or not, you've probably already experienced geo location at this point. All banks use it now for fraud mitigation to ensure that when you log in to your bank online that it, uh, that you're located in the vicinity of where the bank thinks you should be located, as opposed to some other country off geo locations used by media providers. Netflix, for example. If you travel abroad and you tryto watch Netflix, you might find not all content is available where you travel. And that is also because Geo location creates these little virtual boundaries. Now, what I'm gonna talk about is just geo location as it's used for global navigation and to really reiterate every device phone computer has this numeric i p address, and it sends this address when you request a Web page to the server and server, looks at it and maps it to a physical location and then, based on that information can respond with localize content. It could redirect you to different. You are. Eller could just respond based on with content based on where you are. The best way to understand your location is really to experience So what I've done here is created. I'm using proxy software to create the impression to the wet impression to Web servers that I visit that I'm based in Germany. It's not a perfect technology, but let's see how it does with saying Google. Okay, so Google greets me in German. So Google says Okay, welcome to Google Germany. I do have another language link here for English. Google gives you multiple language options for various markets around the world, which is also part of a global gate gateway strategy. Let's try. I can. We had visited Ikey earlier when we were based in the US. Now we're based in Germany. Let's see what happens. Okay, it looks basically the same, except for this. This key button here, This is saying, we know you're in Germany. Do you want to continue to the German side? It's too subtle but important change, and it does improve traffic. It also doesn't override where you want to go, because when you go to the dot com address and this is an important thing here, this is geo location with dot com because dot com is Grand Central Station, you get ever everybody from all around the world coming through this, this station and you wanna honor where they want to go. Some people. Let's Maybe I am an American in Germany, but I still want to go to an English language site. E que still allows me to do that. Um, so that's something to keep them. Keep in mind. A swell. Let's try, let's say, staying on a travel team. Let's, uh, try American Airlines to an American does. And it takes a little while because, you know, I'm based in Germany right now and that imagine the traffic is going. Actually, right now it's going from the US to Germany to Americans. Webb, sir. So first I get this little clique cookies thing because I'm in Germany. Ah, and sure enough, it's redirected me to the German side. In fact, you can see up here the or L is in germ is the dot com dot de country code. So American just said, OK, you're in Germany. We're redirecting you to the German home page. Now, this can be a dangerous strategy because, as I mentioned, if I am American traveling in Germany and I wanna access my reservation, this is not gonna be necessarily the best response for me. It's not the most welcoming approach. So this is why overlays or landing pages like what I key. And it can be a more positive approach. Um, for people that are using the dot com address, and that's most important dot com because dot com is a global address. And that's why Geo location is so powerful for the dot com address is it helps you identify . Where do you think people want to do and then help them get there a little more quickly? Next, we're going to talk about the other back end technology language detection. 6. Understanding Language Detection: language detection is the last of the four elements of a global gateway strategy. It, too, is behind the scenes technology on, as I mentioned before your device sends your Web browser on your device sends a language preference or preferences. It could be more than one to the website server, and then the Web server can respond with content matching that language. If they have it now, it's often historically it was called language negotiation, because there's actually a little bit of negotiation that happens between the browser and the server because you can select more than one language. What I've got here is a screenshot from Google chrome, and this is from their preferences, one of the many preferences settings for the Web browser. And, as you can see here, beginning with English of the for the United States and moving on down to Spanish and Russian, I have set these languages up in this order and the Zahra ranked order. So when I visit a website, I'm telling that Web site the Web server first. I want English for the U. S. If you have that, if you don't have that, just give me English. If you don't have that. Give me Spanish, Latin American, Spanish and so forth. So that's where that negotiation comes from. Now, like Geo location, the best way to experience and understand language of detection is really just to see it in action. And so I have a little Web browser here, Fire Fox that we're going to have a look at at the moment and let's see here. So let's look at the settings first. Um, so you get a feel for how you would change settings yourself so I would go to content on fire. Fox. I see languages I had choose, and right now I've already got German as the number one language. And so you can You can select languages, say, out of the one of Rebecca. I added to the list, and I add it, and it's now at the top. But let's say I want I want to start with Germany. So let's start with German. So I get this all set up. German is my number one preferred language, I said. Okay, and now let's visit a website. Let's try google dot and sure enough, it's grating me in German, and that's not jail location I do not have jail location running at this point. Let's try another site. Let's try looking dot when it what it lo and behold, this is purely based on the language said. It's a booking dot com greets me in German right off the bat. Now it knows I'm in the U. S. So it's still honoring the U. S. Dollar currency. There's just so many variables now when you start to use both geo location and language detection, you're gathering all this information about your Web visitors. And then when you need to do that, it's created strategy for all of these different scenarios. So it's quite complicated for for these large organizations that that service customers around the world. You have so many different ways of responding to them, and you have to set up full backs as well. What if I request a language that's not supported? What language? You don't necessarily have to fall back to English. You could fall back to Germany, could fall back to something some other language. So all of these variables go into your global gateway strategy, which is what we're going to talk about next 7. Developing Your Global Gateway Strategy: Now it's time to put together your own global gateway strategy, the core concept that I want you to be aware of before you start to really develop this strategy is one of language versus location and what I've got. Here are two different global gateways. One for eBay, one for Twitter. Twitter has a select language model. EBay has a select country region or select location. Mom. It's a subtle but very, very important difference. In general social networks like Twitter, they tend to be language warrant. So all you ever select is a language, so you don't really have to necessarily select your location. That is not common. Um, and I think a lot of companies, when they start to get into Web globalization, they think language. They think, Let's just add Spanish or let's add French and there's nothing wrong with that. But as you start to move towards an e commerce model on a truly sophisticated global model , you're really going to start to drill down into specific locations or locales, which include a pairing of a country region and a language. So my recommendation is, if you're just getting started to think more of a local location based model. This will be reflected through your goal gateway, but it will also allow you to develop a not only global gateway strategy but a global content management strategy that is more scalable in the long run. And most importantly, when it comes to you commerce. That's how people tend to think. They tend to think about their their country, their location. Uh, I could select English on a website, but I still won't know if that website is going to support my currency is gonna deliver the product to me. So all of these questions that come to mind are answered when you support there specific country, so questions to ask as you start to develop your strategy. Well, first Howard, how is your website organized? And that that's key and this would be a time to really rethink that if you're not heading down the right path. Also, where people visiting your website from right now this is all available and your analytics very important data and will help you prioritize your global expansion strategy. Do you support country codes? Have you registered country codes? Can you support country codes if you're serious about entering new markets. I highly advise investing in them geo location and language detection. These are technologies that you could test. Now, if you're just getting started, you probably won't need to. I would stick with just a visual, global gateway and country codes. But it is something to to think about and have on your radar. And, um And speaking of radar, you really the plan is not just a plan. For the next year, you have to know where you are. Is a website, a zone organization right now. And where you gonna be in 1 to 3 years? And this all gets reflected in your strategy. This global gateway strategy is not fixed. It's going to evolve, and it's going to improve. And it's gonna It's gonna keep you on your toes, definitely. But I highly recommend you recommend that you at least have a strategy. Even if you only one localized website right now, put something down on paper. Andi, just have a plan for how people from that market who speak that language you're going to get to their localize content as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Because all of these elements help improve your user experience and treat users around the world. A ziff, they're as important as your customers in your home market. 8. Next Steps: OK, now it's time to take everything you've learned and go out there and look at all of the websites you visit regularly and highlight and take screenshots of those global gateways that you think are good global gateways and those that are not so good and upload them to the class Project website and share your thoughts. Also, if you come across any global gateways, you think they're just interesting or completely unique. I'd love to see them so upload those as well. If you have questions, let me know. And I hope this class was helpful and hope that you have great success developing your global gateway as you move forward. Thanks a lot.