5 Tips To Set Up a Multilingual Website
Written at 05 April 2016 10:51 by Stefan Materzynski
Setting up a multi-language website is quite a challenge at least for 3 reasons: it’s very time-consuming, it requires extra-budget and advanced software. Of course all of them are pretty much connected as after all, it is all about getting higher return on your marketing investment. On the other hand, in today’s cosmopolitan world, an ever-increasing number of businesses go international and the multi-language website simply becomes a must for them. As more and more often our clients ask us to build for them a multi-language website in HubSpot CMS, we’ve decided to share our experience and sum up some of the best (and worst) practices. Be prepared for some hard work!
This one is extremely important from the SEO point of view. If you don’t divide your sites into different language groups, you are running a risk that some of them may not be found by search engines. By geo-targeting your content, you indicate to Google which sites are appropriate for users in a given country. This can be achieved by using a specific domain or Google Webmaster Tool.
Don’t neglect keyword selection
Never assume that one particular keyword will give you the same results in all languages. The best example is the name of the famous French cheese brand: Kiri. While it sounds perfectly normal in French language, in Farsi it means ‘rotten’ – no wonder why the Iranian consumers weren’t eager to buy it. Put simply, if you want to drive a qualified traffic to your website, put an effort to find really relevant keywords for each language. HubSpot’s Keyword App gives you the possibility to check the rank of your keywords in different regions and languages.
Don’t use automatic translators (and don’t even think about it!)
Every now and then we hear about some inaccurate and funny Google translations. If you don’t want your company to lose credibility, never use automatic translators to translate your website. Every piece of published content, every blog post or landing page must be written by a person, fluent in a given language. Otherwise, the chances are it won’t make any sense to your readers.
Invest in an integrated marketing platform
Reaching your audience through different marketing channels, using relevant, customized content, is a very complex process which certainly requires a good marketing software. Multi-language website means more types of content, more different groups of prospects and much more data to manage. An advanced marketing system (HubSpot’s COS, Wordpress or other) will enable you to track your leads’ behavior, nurture them with the content in an appropriate language and schedule your content to be published according to the correct time zone.
Don’t forget to get Inbound Links to all your sites
The equation is simple: the more inbound links you get, the more visible your website becomes for search engines. Let’s say that you have a website in two language versions: English and French. If you concentrate exclusively on building inbound links to the English site, you will be findable only for your English prospects. Our point is: don’t waste your time and money on setting up a multi-language website if you don’t intend to work equally hard on each marketing strategy. So, how to get valuable inbound links to your website? Of course, the very best way is to regularly publish blog posts or other content important to your audience and make it go viral. Make sure to create a top-quality content for every language version of your website!
If you feel overwhelmed by the amount of things to do and don’t want to waste your time or money, consider entrusting this task to professional web designers. Before you do, make sure they are able to build a responsive, multilingual website, using an integrated and most up-to-date marketing platform!
Pine Cove Consulting