If a part of your audience lives abroad and speaks another language, creating a multilingual website is an easy decision. But even if you are active only in your home country, a translated website can boost your business.
Why opt for a multilingual website?
One reason to translate your website is that many countries have people who don’t (yet) speak the country’s language. For example, students, ex-pats, and refugees. Chances are that some of them are interested in what you have to offer, if only they could read your content.
If so, with a multilingual website, you increase the chances that they will head your way. Whether they’re looking for a product or information, people prefer to shop in their own language. In a survey, a majority of respondents indicated that this is even more important than a low price. What’s more, a well-structured multilingual site not only widens your audience but also improves your position in Google. That’s because someone leaves an easy-to-read website less quickly, which Google sees as a quality sign. And this can result in higher rankings.
Things to check before you start translating your website
- Consider if you want to reach a language group (multilingual) or a country (multi-regional). More about the differences later on.
- Perform keyword research in the target language.
- Choose a translator with experience and an affinity for your industry.
- Consult with your translator about the appropriate balance between SEO targeting and your website’s tone of voice.
Starting with the right choices and proper preparation saves you time and trouble later on. Moreover, it will make it easier for foreign speakers to find your translated website.
Your multilingual website and SEO
A multilingual website requires multilingual technical SEO (search engine optimization). This way, you prevent Google penalties for duplicate content. You also ensure that Google directs your visitors directly to the right language.
To start with, determine whether you need a multilingual or a multi-regional website (or a combination). What is the difference?
A multilingual site offers content in different languages and targets, for example, English speakers worldwide. In contrast, a multi-regional site focuses on multiple geographical locations, for instance, French and German speakers in Switzerland.
With the right technical settings, you ensure that your Swiss visitor reaches your site directly in his language. Or that English speakers will find your English content, regardless of their location. More about the differences between multilingual and multi-regional sites and the choices that come with it can be found in this Google article.
Elements of a multilingual SEO strategy are:
- Domain structure
- Language tags (hreflang elements)
Starting with the right choices will save you unnecessary work. WPML is the translation plugin that provides all these options, which you can fully adapt to your situation. And most importantly, WPML gives you complete freedom in choosing a translation method.
Are you considering translating your website? Or are you ready to get started?
I can assist you in making the right choices for your multilingual website, for instance:
- Select and supervise a translator.
- Determine your search terms in the target language.
- Optimize the technical design of your website.
Sometimes, people are reluctant to make their site multilingual. But don’t hesitate — I provide translations, SEO optimization, and technical design for various websites, and I am happy to help you as well.
Do you want a well-structured, well-designed, multilingual website? And do you want to target a wider audience and make it easier to find your site? Get in touch today!