If you’re looking to expand your business, translating your website is always a good idea.
After all, it grants you access to a broader target audience, gives you an edge over your competitors, and ultimately boosts your conversions, as people are more likely going to trust you if the content of your website is written in their native language.
Now, if that doesn’t seem convincing enough for you, there’s one more benefit that having a multilingual website can bring: improving your search engine rankings. You can boost your SEO simply by making your website available in multiple languages.
But how can translating benefit your website? Well, let’s discuss this in further detail.
Benefits of Multilingual Website
Improves User Experience
Search engine crawlers rank your website based on how good the user experience is. They check your website’s loading speed, whether it is mobile-friendly or not, its security, how easy it is to navigate, etc.
In other words, the better your website’s UX is, the higher it will rank in the search engines.
Check out these 12 Proven Tactics to Improve your Website Usability and UX for Better Conversion.
Now, when it comes to multilingual websites, translations need to be done right in order to improve your SEO.
Here’s the thing. Many people resort to automated translation tools, like Google Translate, so that they could save some time and money. Well, that’s a big mistake.
You see, besides the occasional grammar and vocabulary errors, these tools often translate a text word for word, being unable to understand the full context.
As a result, your website will look unnatural in the eyes of a native speaker, making him leave the webpage. Search Engine bots will eventually notice that your bounce rate will skyrocket, thus lowering your rankings.
Avoid Duplicate Content
If you play around with Google Translate, you will notice that the sentences you translate are very similar in structure. This isn’t such a big deal if you’re translating a small paragraph, for example.
But think about what will happen if the entirety of your translated website shares the same structure as the original. You may be thinking about what the problem is.
Well, the chances are that Google will register this as duplicated content, therefore, negatively impacting your content SEO.
Enhance Overall SEO
SEO is a vital process for ensuring your website is visible for search engines. Remember, the better your site ranks, the higher your pages will appear for relevant search keywords.
Let’s take a look at it this way: whether you own separate domains for each version of your website, like website.com and website.de, or you make use of subfolders like website.com/en/ and website.com/de/, Google registers both versions as being part of the same website.
This, in turn, means that any traffic that you drive to either version of your website will positively impact your search engine ranking on both versions.
It’s pretty safe to say that, when working on your SEO strategy, keywords matter. After all, to boost your traffic, you’d want to find keywords that are relevant, something that users typically type in the search bar.
For that, you’re going to need to do keyword research. The same thing goes for translated websites. You might be tempted to straight-up translate existing keywords into another language since all of the research has already been done.
Well, you shouldn’t do that. Think about it, languages differ, and so does the way people use these languages. For example, in English, when we are looking for web design services, we will naturally type “web design services” in the search bar.
However, in other languages, the placement of words might differ substantially, like “services web design,” for example. If you don’t include this into account, your SEO ranking will surely suffer from it.
Again, don’t use automated translation tools. You should take this seriously. After all, by finding relevant keywords in another language, you will get to rank for keywords that the competition isn’t using.
You’d be better off collaborating with a local marketing agency. The same thing goes for countries that speak the same language.
Although both the US and the UK speak English, there are still plenty of differences when it comes to the way people speak, which can potentially have a negative impact on your keywords.
For example, the word “chips” in the UK actually means “French fries” in the US, whereas “chips” in America refers to “crisps” in British. Confusing, right?
With that said, if your business is in the UK and you are looking to expand your business to the American market, you would be better off by contacting a US-based marketing agency.
Better Understand Your Audience
Before you get to translate your website, you’ll naturally need to do the market research of the audience you’re targeting. Besides the language, people from other countries, with different nationalities, will also have a different culture and behave differently.
After all, there’s no point in reaching a new audience if you don’t understand it thoroughly. But how does understanding your audience help your multilingual website’s SEO?
Well, as we’ve previously mentioned, it helps you in optimizing your keywords. Not only that, but you’ll also get to make the users feel more at home when browsing your website.
As a result, they will get engaged more with your website and spend more time on it. And with these two being classified as ranking factors, you will ultimately get to boost your SEO.
Now that we’ve discussed about the benefits of multilingual SEO, let’s take a look at some common mistakes you should avoid.
The first one is for online stores. Many businesses tend to get too caught up by the translation of their website’s written content and often forget about other things, like adapting the prices, for example.
As a result, visitors will have a hard time estimating the value of their products in their national currency and will most likely end up abandoning your website.
It will ultimately impact your ranking negatively. With that said, make sure to take prices into account. For example, if you own a store based in the US and you’re looking to expand to Europe, the prices should be displayed in Euros.
Secondly, before expanding to a foreign market, make sure to check the laws of the countries you are targeting. As obvious as it may sound, many businesses tend to overlook this step and end up facing the consequences.
And finally, when translating a website, you’re probably thinking about titles, articles, captions, etc. However, people often forget about more “hidden” parts of the website.
We’re talking about alt texts for images, URLs, meta descriptions, metatag titles, etc. Well, these are especially important for just about any SEO project. So, by not translating them, you’ll most certainly drop in ranking.
All in all, a multilingual website can bring a lot of benefits to your SEO strategy. But there are still plenty of things you’ll have to take into account when expanding to a foreign market.
With that said, in order to get the most out of SEO strategy, it will be best if you’d contact a company that offers digital strategy services.