Open your business to the world

Thanks to the internet and new technologies, you have the opportunity to share your passion and expertise via your website with nearly 5 billion people all over the world. Your website is a key enabler and gateway to international trade, showcasing your brand, products and services.

Advantages

  • 97%

    Internet penetration in Luxembourg in January 2020

    Source: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-luxembourg
  • 380

    new websites are created every minute in the world

    Source: www.millforbusiness.com, (Feb 2020)
  • 81%

    of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying

    Source: www.dialogtech.com
  • 75%

    of people base the credibility of a business on how their website looks

    Source: Stanford.edu
  • 97%

    Internet penetration in Luxembourg in January 2020

    Source: https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-luxembourg
  • 380

    new websites are created every minute in the world

    Source: www.millforbusiness.com, (Feb 2020)
  • 81%

    of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying

    Source: www.dialogtech.com
  • 75%

    of people base the credibility of a business on how their website looks

    Source: Stanford.edu

 

With all the available sources online today, including social media, you may be wondering whether you need a website at all. The answer is probably yes for several different reasons. So whether you are looking to build a website or enhance your existing site, here are a few important factors to take into account:

10 top website advantages:

  • Cost effective way to access new customers and increase sales
  • Available 24/7 = consumer convenience
  • Provides consumers with information needed to make an informed purchasing decision
  • Base for providing product information and quality customer service
  • A good website gives your business credibility
  • A platform for driving targeted marketing activities
  • A great way to compare yourself to and stand out from the competition
  • Easy and quick to update
  • Enables you to build your brand at home and abroad
  • Allows you to sell directly to domestic and international customers via the e-commerce section

A good starting point is to determine what are the main goals of your website and build your marketing strategy accordingly. These can include:

  • Building your brand
  • Providing information
  • Generating leads
  • Selling your products and services
  • Increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty

SEO

  • 90%

    plus of searches in Europe are made using Google

  • 5%

    of European searches are done on Bing and Yahoo

  • 90%

    plus of searches in Europe are made using Google

  • 5%

    of European searches are done on Bing and Yahoo

Get found and boost traffic to your website

One of the biggest challenges you will face is driving traffic to your site. SEO or Search engine optimisation is a key enabler and allows you to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your site. Unlike paid search, where you pay for every click (PPC) sent to your website from a search engine, SEO is free. With SEO, use of keywords enables your website to rank well within the organic search results of major search engines and be found by potential visitors.

How does SEO work?

Search engines include a crawler that gathers information about all the content they can find on the Internet. The crawlers collect and return the information back to the search engine which builds an index. The index is then fed through an algorithm which tries to match all that data with the search query.  Search algorithms are complex and constantly evolving.  Factors which influence ranking include direct website visits, time on site, pages per session, bounce rate, total back-links, content length, website security (https) and keywords used.

SEO – Tips for success

SEO tools can be found and managed in your Content Management System (CMS)

  • You will need to optimise each website page using headings and sub-headings
  • Your page title should clearly show who you are and what you do in less than 80 characters, (now even 50 are preferred by Google)
  • Your meta description (max. 160 characters) should contain more about your subject and eventual mission
  • Place one to two keywords in the title tag and others in the meta description
  • Publish unique, distinctive and quality content on a regular basis
  • Understand your target audience and what they are looking for (keywords)
  • Mix broad and more specific keywords
  • Name your images so Google crawlers can recognise and take the content into account
  • Take advantage of free keyword generation tools eg Google Adwords keyword planner, Wordtracker, Keyword discovery and SEO Scout, as well as metatag proposed improvement tool Widexl.com
  • Leverge SEO plug-ins e.g. Google Toolbar and Alexa toolbar
  • Use keywords also in the local language of your target market
  • Arrange for backlinks where appropriate from other reputable sites to your own website to increase your ‘credibility’
  • Test, monitor and continue to optimise on an ongoing basis. You may want to use SEO tools such as Google Search Console, Screaming Frog, SemRush, Moz.com.

e-Commerce

  • 72%

    of Luxembourgers purchased online in 2019

    Source: ec.europa.eu
  • 797

    million euros spent on e-commerce sales in Luxembourg in 2018

    Source: Ecommerce Foundation
  • 72%

    of Luxembourgers purchased online in 2019

    Source: ec.europa.eu
  • 797

    million euros spent on e-commerce sales in Luxembourg in 2018

    Source: Ecommerce Foundation

Staying ahead of the curve

A recent study by internetretailing.net found that the shift to ecommerce is here to stay – even when lockdown is over. Selling your products and services online, if you are not already doing so, is an incremental business opportunity and one you should consider carefully as e-commerce and consumer buying habits continue to evolve in this direction.

Integrating e-commerce software or a shopping cart into your website or building a standalone e-commerce site can be done relatively quickly with the help of a web developer.

  • Plug-ins exist for many CMS platforms. If they are not optimal for your own website, you can build a new e-commerce site with the same look and feel and link it to your existing site.
  • The best solution will depend on your current set up, number of products you sell, languages you wish to list in etc.

For optimal business processing and customer experience, you will need to integrate your website with your ERP system to cover invoicing, sales data, CRM, inventory management, product catalogue, pricing and payment.

Figuring out the best logistics processes is also very important to efficiently handle both deliveries and returns.

  • Post Luxembourg offers a complete range of e-commerce services.
  • You can also outsource to a third party logistics service provider, many of whom are now specialised in international e-commerce.

Tips for a successful e-commerce site:

  • Make it easy for customers to buy from you
  • Clean simple design matching your website brand and with a clear call to action
  • Easy to navigate with a simple check out process
  • Excellent product photos and detailed description
  • Offer various payment options including major credit cards, payment solutions eg. Paypal, Applepay,  and the possibility to pay by bank card or bank transfer
  • Include search and filter functionality
  • Optimise for use on mobile
  • Show related items
  • List in the language (and currency) of your key markets. While English is fine for the Nordic countries and the Netherlands, local language is preferable for the larger markets in Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
  • Also consider localisation for specific countries or regions e.g. Asia, South America
  • Send ‘basket abandonment’ emails to encourage visitors to purchase
  • Offer a great customer experience
  • Encourage evaluations and feedback to build credibility. Include a photo if possible
  • Generate shipping confirmation email and tracking
  • Set up special offers and promotions from time to time and/or loyalty incentives
  • Give clear contact information and support. Consider adding chat functionality during business hours to enhance customer satisfaction
  • Include social media buttons
  • For repeat purchases, no requirement to fill in customer details again
  • Pricing automation software allows you to lower or raise prices based on interest or repeat product page reviews – tweak to customer expectations
  • Ensure the site is very secure (more details under the Cybersecurity section) and publish your security policy to reassure customers
  • Add an FAQ section. If you receive a large amount of queries, you might be able to answer some of them automatically thanks to a bot via your chat

Best practices

  • 50%

    of traffic comes from mobile – and growing

  • 83%

    of visitors expect a webpage to load in less than 3 seconds

    Source: Truconversion.com
  • 50%

    of traffic comes from mobile – and growing

  • 83%

    of visitors expect a webpage to load in less than 3 seconds

    Source: Truconversion.com

Leverage your user interface (UI) to create a strong brand identity:

  • Use maximum 2 colours
  • Use the same font everywhere (or maximum 2)
  • Use the same size for body text everywhere
  • Use the same size for all the titles
  • Use the same size for all the sub-titles
  • Update your designs to ensure they are still modern and reflect your current product offering
  • Use attractive, high quality images
  • Include attractive HD videos
  • Include a language switcher to address your key markets

User experience is key

  • Put emphasis on mobile usage
  • Ensure easy navigation (use breadcrumbs)
  • Monitor and optimise site speed (ensure your loading speed is under 7 seconds, even better is 3)
  • Promote your website on social media and other online channels to drive traffic
  • While cookies enable a better user experience, since 2018 they are subject to strict GDPR rules. Ensure usage and consent is clear to maximise opt-ins and use a consent management tool if possible, especially for third party cookies used for analytics, retargeting and live chat.

Content is king

  • Create a strong brand identity
  • Minimise text, add attractive images, visuals and videos. Use bullet points
  • Include a clear call to action on all pages
  • Build storytelling with emotional impact
  • A/B test to see which pages work best
  • Measure regularly and optimise. Use heatmaps to detect where users go and spend time (Tools like Hotjar can help)
  • Implement SEO best practices

Cybersecurity

  • 6

    trillion $ cost of cybercrime annually worldwide by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

    Source: Cybersecurityventures.com

     

  • 68%

    of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing

    Source: Accenture.com
  • 6

    trillion $ cost of cybercrime annually worldwide by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015.

    Source: Cybersecurityventures.com

     

  • 68%

    of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing

    Source: Accenture.com

Protect your business

No company with an online presence is immune to a cyberattack. Damage to your business can entail economic, reputational and regulatory costs. However, there are several precautions you can and should take to protect yourself and your business.

Most attacks against websites originate through the CMS (Content management system). In most of the cases, a lack of maintenance opens the door to attackers. Here are 4 security steps to keep in mind when managing a website.

  • Update regularly all the components of your website (CMS, plugins, themes, server…)
  • Make regular backups and check them
  • Protect Personal Data
  • Close all doors that are not needed

 

  1. Updates lie at the heart of your website security. Most attacks occur as a result of vulnerabilities in some parts of your website when not patched in a timely manner.
  2. Backup is also very important because it is what will make the difference between a serious incident and a nightmare. The backup will allow you to restart your website quickly after a crash. Without backup, months of work can be lost in a few seconds. You should organise a regular backup of your website and check if your hosting provider can also take care of doing the backup for you.
  3. If you collect Personal Data on your website (even through a simple contact form), you need to protect the data extremely well. Any leak or incident involving your visitor’s data can have a very negative impact on your reputation, not to mention legal consequences. The data collected should be protected by encryption and stored in a secure place.
    • Access to the data (with a user account for instance) must be secured at the highest level.
    • If you are using a third-party platform to collect and/or store the data, you should check the provider’s conditions and protection measures in place
  1. The Settings of your CMS, components and web server can make malicious attempts relatively easy for cybercriminals.
  • You will need to review all of them to ensure you do not leave any doors open
  • You can also restrict the back office access to people who really need it (whitelisting) or change the default connexion address, and ban IP addresses of users that make suspicious connexion attempts (example below).
  • You can also set up a double authentication procedure and strong password policy for access to the CMS to prevent brute force attacks.

Advice available from SECURITYMADEIN.LU. Visit our website www.securitymadein.lu for more information and to contact us.

Measurement

What gets measured gets managed

Peter Drucker, International Management Consultant

Make data-driven decisions

Regular tracking of website metrics will allow you to make continuous improvements including how to increase traffic, potential sales and user retention.

You can measure a wide variety of metrics by opening an account with one of the several website analytical tool providers (free or for a fee). You should note that following a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on 16 July 2020, it is deemed illegal for any websites to transfer the personal data of European citizens to the US. Google Analytics and Facebook Connect have been highlighted as current solutions using US servers. To avoid fines or a potential compensation request, it is recommended to use a website tracking software which stores data on a server hosted in an EU member country.

Some website software packages include built-in metrics and dashboard functionality. It is always good to compare monthly, quarterly and even yearly statistics to identify trends.

Begin by setting up SMART goals aligned to what you want your website to deliver then off you go.

The different website metrics you track can be linked to the different stages of the buyer journey as follows:

  • Awareness and Prospection (Need and discovery)
  • Website traffic – including the total number of visits to your website
  • Sources of traffic including geography, demography, paid ads or SEO
  • Bounce rate, the percentage of visitors who leave the site after viewing only one page
  • Top pages viewed
  • Sales funnel development – from prospect to customer. (Consideration and decision)
  • Conversion rate (how many visitors respond to a call to action)
  • Conversion by traffic source – great indicator of which channel to focus on
  • Cost of conversion
  • Time spent on site
  • Interactions per visit
  • Customer retention
  • Returning visitors
  • Customer’s lifetime value
  • NPS (Net Promoting Score): This is not a variable that you can track via Google Analytics, but it is important as it indicates your customer satisfaction levels. You can collect it via email or via a feedback form on your website by asking the famous question “On a scale to 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our business to a friend or a colleague?”

Growing Together

You’re not alone – we’re in this together.

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