Multi Language Website Best Practice for Businesses

November 13, 2023

Businesses face the challenge of reaching a diverse audience from around the world. A key component in achieving this international outreach is creating a multi-language website. Developing and maintaining these strategies help companies to unlock a world of opportunities and enhance themselves.

Such essential SEO strategies provide businesses with a roadmap to effectively engage, connect, and expand their reach across language barriers.

Best Practices for Multi Language Websites

Experts who work towards building a multilingual online presence have a complex task that requires a lot of planning, strategy and consistency. From website translations to advertising, many things must be considered to succeed.

There are some SEO factors to consider to ensure that people can find their correct pages based on their location and language.

Multilingual SEO Optimization

Investing in a multilingual SEO website as soon as possible is one of the best first practices companies must take. Experts can carry these strategies with their SEO tools, giving you better and more visibility.

Translating keywords and carefully reviewing the local languages keywords will also provide a better result in different languages, generating not only traffic to the leading site but the others as well.

URL Strategies

One of the first parts that every user who clicks on a site sees is its URL. This makes it one of the first steps for experts to start optimizing. Each country and language must have its URL to help Google effectively crawl, index, and rank a page.

Specialists use language indicators in URLs to help search engines identify a language. Each of them has its own structure, including the country as a top-level domain, as a subdomain or simply as a subdirectory.

While none of them provide a significant advantage against the other regarding SEO terms, subdirectories are the easiest ones to maintain.

Check Who Visits the Site

One of the first processes before translating a whole website into many languages is to see who is visiting the page. Experts use different data analytic tools that help to detect where users come from, as well as new markets that haven’t been considered.

If the most present language is English worldwide, customers will also want to see a translated version in their native language. Doing so can increase trust and generate a feeling of comfort for potential buyers.

Even if analytics provide from where every user comes from, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a company must hire specialists to turn to every language. Choosing the most used ones is important, especially not to overload a team with tasks, which can be counterproductive.

Translate Pages

Experts that incorporate SEO must do it not only for the visible pages but also for everything “hidden” or beside it. These non-visible parts of a website play a key role when developing a multilingual strategy, as it’s used to make the visible text work after performing specific actions with clicks.

These parts include the metadata descriptions, metatag titles, URLs, alt texts for images, checkout and contact pages, forms, sign-up newsletters and error messages.

How to Design a Website for Different Languages

Employing the correct practices is vital to creating a multilingual strategy, but none are helpful if the company doesn’t have a site adapted for them. Hiring marketing agencies with SEO specialists can help to ensure this optimal design, which comes with specific tips and practices.

Employing Language Switching Solutions

For those sites that offer the possibility of changing between multiple languages, it’s vital that an expert adds a language switcher so visitors use their preferred language. These switchers have an important role, which makes them essential to be in a clear and easy-to-find location.

The main spots for a language switcher are commonly found in two places. Floating language switchers are placed at the bottom-right corner, being always visible, even if the user scrolls down or not. The other one is the menu-type one, part of the navigation menu, located as a site header.

Some sites also add it as a sidebar area or as a footer, although these types of switchers are less frequent between websites.

Adapting Time and Day Formats

A huge part of website design localization comes from adjusting the page to the users’ native date, time and relevant information. For example, depending on the region, experts might use the day/month/year method and then switch to month/day/year for other users.

Some languages also use different time formats: it’s possible to find users who are more used to the 12-hour clock, meanwhile, others are adapted to the 24-hour clock.

Using Multi-Language Templates

Ensuring a consistent experience across the whole site with many different languages means that it is needed to be used a basic multilingual template for each language. This ensures that the website doesn’t completely change based on the language a person sees.

Marketing specialists also use it to localize images, icons, secondary colors and more, all based on the users’ language, avoiding confusion among the users.

Allowing Users to Choose Their Language

While having a language switch for a site is very important to let users choose whatever language they want to see, it’s also vital to actually allow them to do so. There are multi-language sites that actually do not allow users to do so, forcing their visitors to read the site based on the region they’re living in.

Instead of putting these restrictive barriers, specialists should look forward to user-friendly features that actually help users access the preferred language they want to read.

A similar issue can happen with websites that implement language auto-detectors. What this feature does is detect the native language of the web browser, automatically setting the site’s one. While it saves time, it’s not always exact, so having an accessible switcher is very important.

Other Important Tips to Build the Website

Besides the importance of practices and design, multi-language website best practice experts need to nail certain practices to build a website that ensures optimal design. These are some of them:

Improve SEO Rankings

Translated content means that it’s more likely for a site to show more search results, increasing its visibility. Still, to make this happen, it’s necessary that an expert carefully analyzes and carries a multi language SEO approach to do so.

When a more comprehensive range of keywords is targeted for a site, including its metadata, the chances of ranking in the SERPs are also higher. Building a strategy around the main search engine your potential clients use is vital. For example, English speakers use Google, Russians use Yandex, and Chinese use Baidu.

Using the Appropriate Colors

Language isn’t the only factor that can define a culture when creating a multi-language website. The design and colors chosen also have different ways of interpretation along all regions of the world.

One good example of this is the red color. For the western culture, it’s deeply connected with love, danger and passion, meanwhile in Asia, it means good luck, prosperity and celebration. On the other hand, for some African regions, it symbolizes death or aggression.

The blue color is one of the most globally accepted ones, since it’s the one that has the most positive associations. It represents calm and peacefulness, although it can also represent sadness. It’s also used to show authority or trust, which is why many banks use it.

Check for Design or Spacing Issues

Specialists must check that their designs are permanently aligned, no matter which language. It has to look the same as the original language, although this can be a challenging task. When translating a site to a new language, the spacing in the carefully made design likely changed.

It’s mandatory to check every language design to find any spacing issues or similar errors that could be present within the site. Experts use different types of tools that allow a more accessible preview of such things, which hastens the process.

Use Regional Keywords

The keywords that marketing specialists and SEO experts use aren’t universal. These experts must do exhaustive research for each language and region targeted simply because translating each keyword isn’t good enough.

Using specific language keywords isn’t only tied to a language and different regions. Even English speakers have words that differ in one region compared to another. For example, an American store would refer to cookies simply as “cookies”; meanwhile a British site would refer to them as “biscuits”.

Companies that put effort into these small details will always have an advantage over their competitors, bringing them closer to the audiences they’re trying to target.

Conclusion

Implementing the multi language website best practices is a full-time task for businesses looking to expand their global reach and cater to diverse audiences.

By focusing on user experience, localization, SEO optimization and content management, companies can ensure that their online presence is not only accessible but also engaging and culturally relevant to a broader spectrum of users.

Adhering to these best practices not only helps to bridge linguistic and cultural gaps but also enhances their chances of success in the international market. Remember that specialist agencies like Kala can carry out these tasks professionally, ensuring your company’s success and increased visibility.

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