Using social media and SEO to reach English speaking online shoppers overseas

09 August, 2021
Target English speaking shoppers on social media


Tapping into the 500 million people across the world who also have English as their first language is a great way to start expanding into new online markets overseas with social media and SEO.

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You already speak to same language and with some simple tweaks within your ecommerce platform, you can offer the payment within local currency, familiar payment methods and even make sure shipping and taxes are automatically worked out.

But how do you attract them to your store in the first place?

Thankfully, being in the digital sphere means you’re already able to reach them relatively easily. Here are some top tips to get you started:


Before you launched initially, you will have carried out extensive market research and you’ll need to keep doing this every time you want to launch in a new market. Have a look at your competitors, or other businesses to see what they’re doing.

Look at the shopping habits of people in the locations you’re trying to reach and utilise the many blogs and best practice ideas from ecommerce and international mail solutions experts like Magento, Shopify, and Asendia.

Social Media

You’re already likely to have a good presence on social media. Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Pintrest or SnapChat, you’ll be able to use your established account to reach new audiences elsewhere, but you’ll need to consider certain things first:

  • Geography: Social media sites will allow you to reach audiences based on their location, a simple scatter gun approach could easily allow you to reach thousands, if not millions, of people by simply selecting your target country, but this won’t give you a great ROI, particularly if you have a specific customer you’re looking for.
  • Interests: Once you’ve selected their location, just like with the social media targeting in the UK, you can simply target those overseas with the interests that match your products. The more defined the interests, the more defined your audience.
  • Language: While you’ll obviously be using English to speak to your potential new customers consider local colloquialisms and phrases that they’ll be more familiar with. It’s often said the English and Americans are cousins separated by a common language so keep this in mind when writing your posts.
  • Content: While your budget will make sure your content is served to the right people, you want to encourage engagement so make sure you’re posting content that will attract likes, positive comment and shares so you reach even more people.
  • Goals: Work out if you’re looking to reach lots of people with a simple awareness campaign, get more hits to your site or likes for your page/account and keep an eye on how hard your budget is working for you so you can make tweaks, add more funds to a campaign that works, or abandon the campaign all together.
  • Tracking: Add a tracking pixel to your campaigns will give you the confidence your campaigns are working, or maybe need tweaking to work harder. You’ll be able to see how many people are hitting your sire and then ultimately making a sale so you can maximise your ROI.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

There’s a modern saying that if you’re not on the front page of Google, you don’t exist. You’ve worked hard to make the top search results in the UK, so you’ll need to continue this work overseas.

We’ll assume you’re already set up on Google Analytics and Search Console but there are other things you’ll need to consider too:

  • Google Ads: As with social media, Google will take into consideration the location of people using their search engine. To kick-start this, you’ll may need to utilise Google Ads to help reach people in your target locations.
  • Content: The content on your site is not just important to encourage customers to make purchases, it’ll also help search engines choose your website as a top result in search queries. Research keywords your customers are likely use in Google, create backlinks in written content to show your content is consistently relevant and update your content regularly to show your site is alive and well.
  • It’s not just about Google: While Google is the largest search engine, Microsoft’s BING is the second and well used across the world. Make sure you’re set up with a Webmaster Tools Account so you’re ranking with them too.
  • Tools and plugins: Using an SEO tool or plugin will give you a strong indication that your website content is meeting the constantly evolving requirements to be included in their search results.

Taking the above one step further, whether it’s on social or within a search engine, offering a location-based promotion to new international customers is a great way of encouraging them to click through to your site and making a sale.

You can easily build this into your content or even as a pop-up on your sire that triggers when they click through. Either way it’ll help you capture their data for a Data Protection Act/GDPR compliant future marketing campaign.

While these will give you, some starting points for getting your global expansion started, remember to research your own specific markets based on your type of ecommerce business so you can lay strong foundations for success.



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