For decades, English has been the language of the online world. But as more and more of the world comes online, this is changing. With other languages gaining ground, internet users have started to demand more content in their native languages. And it is safe to say that there is no going back. Based on a survey of 8,709 global consumers in 29 countries in Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products with information in their native language. In addition, 40% said they will never buy from websites in other languages. It goes to prove that there is an unmet demand for content in other languages and that demand will only grow.
That is why many businesses, big and small, make sure to offer multilingual websites to their potential customers. Making a multilingual website has its tips and tricks. You have to make sure you are not only translating but also conveying the right message to the right audience. To help you build the perfect multi-language website, we have prepared the ultimate list. But before digging into them, let’s understand what benefits you’ll gain.
Benefits of a Multilingual Website
Today’s customer is more demanding than ever before. With so much choice and availability, businesses not only have to take care of the offered products and services but also of the experience they provide. One of the ways to make sure your customers receive the best possible online experience is by building a multi-language website. If you are still thinking about why translate your website, here are the benefits you will get:
Easily Understandable to a Wider Audience
Even though online has for a while become the new normal, when it comes to shopping online there still is a lot of distrust. People don’t trust what they don’t understand. When offering your content in your audience’s target language, you make your website easily understandable for them. In its turn, you receive loyal global customers.
A multi-language website will help you go big. It will enable you to conquer new horizons and expand your market.
Increased International Website Traffic
With people googling in their own language and finding your website, you will have increased international website traffic. It will provide a higher ranking in search engines and manifest itself in better sales.
Tips to Make a Successful Multilingual Website
Now that we know what benefits you will provide and get by offering a multilingual website, it is time to learn how to make your website multilingual. To help your business reach success, our experts have prepared a detailed guide on how to create a multi-language website. Get ready for the ride: here are the tips that will take your website from “zero” to a “user-friendly multilingual website”.
1. Choose a Platform to Ensure your Multilingual Website’s Smooth Operation
When building a house, we start with a concrete foundation. So we do when creating a multilingual website. You need to make sure the platform is right for you. If you are not a tech person, make sure the platform does not require special technical skills. The platform should offer easy ways to make changes. It also needs to be simple enough to add new extensions and plug-ins. In today’s online world you won’t go far without SEO, so also make sure it offers SEO tools. And if the platform provides various free and paid templates as well as themes, it’s a real catch.
2. Providing the Best UI and UX for Your Website Visitors
After choosing the right platform for you it is time to pay attention to the UI and UX. Following these UI/UX tips offered by our experts will help you design the best UI and UX for your website visitors.
Make the Language Switcher Easy Detectable
First and foremost make sure the language switcher is easily detectable. If your users aren’t able to switch the language, then what’s the point of all the hard work that you put into this?!
Design and Layout
The next step is to take into consideration the designs and layouts for different languages. As different languages have different alphabetic and grammar systems, different languages require different spacing. For instance, if you add Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew to your website, make sure you have the right design for such right-to-left languages.
When it comes to images there are 2 ways to go. You can either pick neutral images that would look apocopate for all cultures or add specific culture-friendly images for each language. Also, do not overlook dates and other such formats.
Set your Website to Automatically Detect Visitor Language
Another tip helping you provide a successful user experience on the multilingual website is setting your website to automatically detect visitor language. By enabling automatic language detection, your website will be displayed in the language that matches the language of the website visitor’s browser. For example, if one of the languages your website is set in is German when a visitor with a German browser language accesses your website, they will automatically land on the German version of your website.
Localize, don’t Simply Translate
You might think that website localization and translation are the same things, but that’s not correct. Besides language, website localization includes customizing the other aspects of a website to appeal to specific regional or cultural groups. The translation is only the first step in website localization. It is important to localize, as website localization improves the customer experience helping your website effectively achieve its goals.
Choosing the Right Localization Agency
As stated above, localization is vital. It is more than a simple translation. That is why it is so important to choose the right localization agency. The right localization agency will understand all the cultural nuances. They will be able to translate all the content pieces like titles, body text, alt tags, forms, images, buttons, etc. with the correct voice and cultural tone.
Implement Multilingual SEO
Although content is king, SEO is the queen. No matter how good your content is, you should implement multilingual SEO for a successful user experience. Some of it include:
- Comprehensive translations – Comprehensive translation is not just limited to your text, but also URL slugs and SEO metadata.
- Multilingual XML sitemap – With the help of Multilingual XML sitemap Google will be able to find all your content in each language.
- Optimized URL structure – Optimized URL structure affects more than just multi-language SEO and deserves more in detail discussion. We’ll talk more about it in the next section.
- Hreflang attribute – this helps Google understand which version of your website to deliver in different languages.
Making a multilingual website is a rewarding, yet challenging task. If you are looking for the perfect team to build a multilingual website for your business, look no further! We are here to help you. Contact us directly to receive more details and get started.