Things to consider
The internet has truly opened the doors to international trade, allowing us to reach a global audience like never before. English is often cited as the language of the internet. However, consider this: 75% of the world’s population do not speak English.
A multilingual approach is therefore important if your company is targeting international clients and consumers. But equally important is optimising your site so that it is search engine friendly. Below is a list of things to consider
if you have translated or want to translate your site.
Countries where English is the official or primary language:
Country specific domains
Country specific domains, e.g. www.mywebsite.co.uk and www.mywebsite.fr help improve your local search rankings. Downsides are that they are expensive and difficult and time consuming to maintain. Go for specific domains if resources allow.
Subdomains & subfolders
Only one domain. You can place multilingual content within this. So, for example www.mywebsite.com/fr for French content and www.mywebsite.com/en for English content, etc. Benefits are it is much easier and less expensive to maintain than country specific domains and can create an impression that your products or services are far reaching and therefore successful.
Do not directly translate keywords. Users in different locations may type different things
when searching for the same products/services.
Key tip: carry out local keyword research!
One page, one language
Do not put two different languages side by side on the same page. This confuses the search engine spiders which does not go down well. It may also confuse your readers.
Automated machine translations
Automated machine translations offer a cheap way of creating multilingual websites. However, beware: due to its low quality, Google can view machine translated content as spam and may penalise the website in its rankings. If you do use automated translations, ensure the relevant pages are not indexed by search engines.
This is a guest post from Raihan Ahmed of TransABC Translation Services, a global translation agency providing assistance in all the major world languages.