As a website owner, it’s increasingly important that you translate your site into different languages. With over 60% of the world’s population online, finding the best way to translate a website – regardless of the platform you’re using – can help you:
- Reach out to a wider target audience and sell to a global market in their native language.
- Develop a coherent localization strategy that speaks to your audiences on their own terms.
- Increase your website’s organic traffic supported by a relevant acquisition strategy.
- Improve your conversion ratio by delivering an enhanced user experience.
In this article, we’ll explain the key benefits of translating your website into different languages and the different areas to focus on when creating a multilingual website. We’ll also take you through a step-by-step tutorial on the best way to translate a website.
Key benefits of translating your website
There are many ways you can benefit from translating your website.
For starters, translating your website into different languages gives you an opportunity to compete for multilingual SEO.
It’s no secret that most modern content management systems and e-commerce platforms – like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify – are SEO-focused. This makes them ideal for translating your website into different languages.
This way, even if your website or online store doesn’t show up on the first page of Google SERPs in English, you might have a chance with foreign language SERPs, say, Spanish, Arabic, or Portuguese SERPs – regardless of whether the user is using Google Chrome, Bing, Yandex, Chrome on Android, Safari on iPhone, or some other web browser.
Put simply, translating your website into multiple different languages can help you increase organic traffic significantly.
Another major benefit of translating your website into different languages is that it increases website accessibility. In other words, by translating your website into multiple languages, you’re making your website content more accessible to people who speak a different language.
For example, if you’ve published your site’s content in English, translating entire webpages (rather than simply relying on users’ browsers to do what they can) to Spanish will make it accessible to your Spanish-speaking audience. This makes it easier to encourage them to act on your conversion goal.
The Weglot multilingual translation solution makes it easy for website owners to offer content translation in over 100 languages. The best part is that it’s compatible with all content management systems (and non-CMS) and e-commerce platforms – like WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, BigCommerce, Wix, and Weebly – which means your site’s visitors will experience a seamless translation experience, unlike what you get with Google Translate or Bing Microsoft Translator.
Key areas to focus on when creating a multilingual website
When creating a multilingual website, there are two key areas you should focus on – multilingual content SEO and user experience.
When choosing multilingual translation software for your website, you need to make sure it indexes your website’s pages in search engines like Google. Translation apps like Google Translate or Bing Microsoft Translator don’t index your website’s pages in search engines for other languages, which means you miss out on a lot of SEO value.
Instead, you should go for a multilingual website translation solution, like Weglot, that uses dedicated and unique URLs for each translated version of your website.
Weglot, for example, does this by creating subdomains or subdirectories (depending on your CMS) for your site’s web pages like yourwebsite.com/en or www.en.yourwebsite.com for English and yourwebsite.com/es or www.es.yourwebsite.com for Spanish. It creates a new subdomain for every new language you decide to translate your site’s content into.
This is a much better approach than using URL parameters like yourwebsite.com/?lang=es for each webpage as that would negatively affect your site’s multilingual SEO.
It’s also important to make sure your website translation solution uses hreflang tags to let search engine crawlers know that you offer translated versions of your website and how to find them. This helps search engines like Google index your website.
As a website owner, you probably already know how important it is to deliver a good user experience to your site’s visitors which is why your multilingual website shouldn’t be an exception.
Your multilingual website should have a sticky language switcher or translate button on the front-end that lets visitors quickly select their own language from the drop-down menu to translate the content to their native language. Ideally, you should be able to customize the language switcher or button to match your site’s look and feel.
In addition to this, the translation solution should remember the user’s selected language translation, so they don’t have to use the language switcher to translate each page or post they visit. Once a visitor chooses their preferred language, the translation software should automatically translate content throughout their session.
The best way to translate a website
When searching for a translator solution for your website, you’ll want something more than a Google Translate-like service. The best way to translate a website if you’re using a CMS or non-CMS solution, or online store platform, is by using Weglot. It offers a number of important features, including:
#1: Content detection
Since Weglot is compatible with popular content management systems, like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, it can automatically detect all of the content that’s published on your website. This includes posts, pages, and content generated by plugins.
Here are some examples:
- If you’re using a contact form plugin on your WordPress website, the Weglot plugin will be able to detect field labels and the Submit button and translate that into the destination languages (or target language).
- Or, if you’re using the testimonials widget on your Wix website, Weglot will detect and translate the customer’s quote.
- Similarly, if you’re using an e-commerce plugin, like WooCommerce or Shopify, Weglot will translate all of the pages it generates like the checkout page.
#2: In-context editor
One of the neat things about Weglot is that it gives you access to an in-context editor. Having some sort of context for the original content makes it easier for you (or for a professional translator) to make sure the translations are accurate.
Weglot features a Translations list and a Visual editor, which both show you the original text next to the translated content. This way, you can easily see the original text the content was translated from and its context. The Visual editor, for example, lets you manually refine translations on a live preview of your website or online store.
#3: Human translation
The best way to translate a website is to have the first round of translation done automatically through automated translation in real-time. Then, website owners should have the option to go back and refine translations as necessary.
This translation process gives website owners the option to hire a human translator or a translation agency. This is exactly how Weglot handles multilingual translations for websites. It’s the easiest way to translate your website’s content into different languages and reach out to a wider audience.
#4: Access to professional translators
Weglot gives website owners the option to order professional translation services directly from the Weglot dashboard. This way, you can easily have a professional human translator look over the automatic translation (i.e., machine translation) of your site and make any necessary changes. This makes Weglot one of the best website translation services out there.
#5: Optimized for SEO
The Weglot multilingual translation solution is optimized for SEO out of the box. What this means is that it automatically indexes your site’s translated website pages in line with Google’s best practices for multilingual SEO.
Weglot is the best translation solution out there as it translates each page’s title and metadata in addition to the content. It also adds hreflang tags to your sitemap to make it easy for search engine crawlers to find the translated pages.
And, as we mentioned above, Weglot creates subdomains for each language you choose to offer translations in which also helps with indexing and increases your site’s visibility in SERPs.
#6: Localized experience all along the customer journey
With Weglot, you can rest assured that you’ll be delivering a localized user experience all along the customer journey. This means that customers will be able to view content in their selected language at every touchpoint – from landing pages to checkout to email confirmation.
For e-commerce websites, delivering a localized experience across the customer journey might also mean integrating currency switchers or offering free shipping depending on the customer’s location.
Tutorial: How to translate your website
For the purposed of this article, we’ll take a look at installing Weglot on a WordPress website, but as we mentioned earlier, Weglot is compatible with all CMS and non-CMS technologies.
Step 1: Install Weglot
Navigate to your WordPress Dashboard and Plugins > Add New. Search for Weglot, and we’ll be the first option.
Click on ‘Install Now’, wait a few seconds until the button changes to ‘Activate’ and click on it again.
Step 2: Add your languages
You’ll now see a Weglot tab in your WordPress Dashboard. Click into it. Now the fun part – adding your languages! You’ll see a box where you need to add your API Key.
To access this, create a Weglot account (this is also where you’ll manage your translations.
Then simply copy and paste the API Key from your Weglot Dashboard, select the original language of your website and the ones you want to add to your site.
Step 3: Your website is now translated!
And that’s all there is to it; you’ve now successfully translated your WordPress website in just 5 minutes. You can no choose to make manual edits to your machine translation or leave them as they are.
It’s time to translate your website
When it comes to offering your website’s content in different languages, Weglot is truly the best way to translate a website, regardless of the platform you’re using.
The translation tool is incredibly easy to use and has a strong focus on multilingual SEO. Not to mention, it’s designed to help you deliver an enhanced user experience to your site’s visitors. And, unlike other translators and website translation services, Weglot gives you the flexibility to refine machine translations manually using an in-context editor.
Looking for an easy way to translate websites? Try Weglot’s 10-day free trial.