Have you ever thought of displaying your website in multiple languages? More and more online companies are choosing to offer the website in multiple languages. It ensures that you can reach a wider audience. Unfortunately, the process of making the website available in multiple languages was not completed within a day. On this page we would like to tell you the do’s and don’ts of a multilingual website.
Why a multilingual website?
If the growth of your website stagnates, this can mean two things. The current website has room for improvement or at the ceiling of the market. So take a good look at the total traffic that you focus on with your website. Do you score well on all terms? Then it is a good idea to consider a multilingual website. You can appeal to a broader target group and gain more authority on the internet. However, there are several hooks and eyes when switching to multilingual websites.
If you want to switch to a multilingual website, it is important that your current website is solid. This is the basis on which you want to build on. You know through the current website, which links within the website refer (link structure), you have already developed a real content plan full of pages that you can use, and there are many other things. As soon as the entire website is not good, the website will not be good in another language.
There is a lot involved
Publishing a website in multiple languages is more than just translating the text. If you want to link to another page on a website page, you must take a good URL into account. It sounds logical, but in practice, this is often forgotten. Pages are translated, but the URL does not change. Of course, you do not want a website visitor on the Dutch website to be redirected to the German website. It is important to organize everything properly so that you are not faced with surprises. It is for good reason that many companies have their website translated by professional translation agencies. For example, a perfect translation agency that not only translates websites but also SEO texts. As a website owner you are always assured of good SEO texts.
Site structure multilingual website
There are several options for structuring your multilingual website. Request a domain name or create a sitemap per country. Both structures have advantages and disadvantages. The pros and cons of applying for a domain name per country are:
- The costs can be high because you have to apply for a domain per country;
- It can be cumbersome in terms of management. Perhaps every website has a different back-end system.
- Each domain has a separate authority that needs to be worked on;
- You can fully adapt the website to the customer needs in the specific country. Both in content and appearance;
- The domain name is also very recognizable for website visitors.
The pros and cons of a subfolder are:
- The big advantage is that you work on one domain. However, the subfolder can cause confusion because the URL can be misleading.
- When you choose subfolder, the best choice is to choose it for a .com website. This makes it easy to work with / nl or / us URLs from the .com.
It is also good to know that there are CMS systems where you can easily manage multiple websites in one back-end system. If you find it exciting and too risky, you can always call in companies for this. With their experience and expertise, they can successfully launch websites in multiple languages.
When switching to a multilingual website, it is important not to translate the SEO texts indiscriminately. A language can never be translated 1 to 1. This is because other words will be used, and the sentence structure will change. When translating a website, you have to take two things into account:
- Does the focus keyword on the page have search volume in the other language. A keyword may have enough search volume in one country, but none in other countries. So take a good look at this.
- When translating the page, check to what extent the keyword appears in the text (keyword stuffing). When translating, the keyword may appear too little or not in the text.
In short, do not translate your website indiscriminately in Google translate, but engage a professional translation agency, for example. More and more translation agencies are specialized in digital translations services, including SEO. So they know the importance of keyword stuffing.
Immerse yourself in the culture
Translating a website and setting it up properly is no guarantee of success. For example, immerse yourself in the culture of the other country. You cannot always just adopt the writing style, the appearance of the website, and the structure of the text. Each country has different laws and regulations that you must take into account. So focus on the right countries and the right market. After all, you have to win the trust of the foreign customer. In some countries, customers buy quickly, and in others, customers need to gain real confidence in the product and the company. For example, in one country you have to provide extensive information and in another country only the price is important. Customers abroad may also be used to other payment methods. Respond to this and don’t let the payment method be an obstacle for your potential customer. Where Ideal is most popular in the Netherlands, it may be different in other countries. The same applies to the other VAT levies and shipping methods in which you have to research what is customary for this. So you see that translating a website is more than the technical side of a website. You can be in position 1 of Google, the customer must eventually also proceed to conversion.
Get in touch with a professional translation agency, website builders who are familiar with multilingual websites, and immerse yourself in the culture of the country. This way you have put the website well from different angles. You can prevent mistakes with the knowledge and expertise of professional companies.
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