Optimind is an offshore web design company located in Manila, Philippines. 75% of our clients are overseas. Based on our own setup and experience, these are the top 5 online tools that we can’t live without:
- Website Designed for Conversion and SEO
To enter the international market, you need a site that has a world-class design. Before designing or redesigning your website, you should consider SEO and Persuasion Architecture. Your great design work is nothing if you can’t be found by your prospects and if your website visitors don’t contact or order from you.
Communication is essential for any business. There are free ways to talk to your overseas clients. You may use Skype or Yahoo Messenger. There are also a lot of low-cost VoIP providers that you can subscribe to for you to get a US number (even a toll-free number).
- Merchant Account
Making it easier for your clients to pay you is a must. Wire transfer fees and process might turn off some prospective clients. You may shoulder some of the cost by getting a Merchant Account. Most Philippine-based companies use xoom.com or PayPal but I prefer using other online payment options because their FX conversion rates are way too low.
- Web Analytics
Review how your website is doing. Are you getting enough visitors from your target geographic location? What keywords are your prospects using to find your website? Will it be better to target other long-tail keywords as well? These are questions that can be answered by your web analytics software. Most web hosting companies provide this for free or you may get a Google Analytics account. Google Analytics is by far the best analytics tool in my opinion.
One of the most important investments we did this year was to sign up for a Basecamp account. Using Basecamp, we can easily monitor the progress of our projects anywhere we are. Client requests, comments, revisions are easily monitored using this online tool.