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    How to set up a multilingual site for SEO

    Julia Ventskovska
    CEO MK:TRANSLATIONS 23.12.2020
    How to set up a multilingual site for SEO

    Our world is becoming more and more international. Multilingual content is no longer a whim, but a necessity that modern realities dictate.

    For example, a New Yorker sitting at home can easily visit the website of a Ukrainian company through the search engine. And it would be great if he found there information in his native language. Moreover, when entering the international market, a multilingual site is a must-have. Take Canada, for example, where people speak both English and French.

    But translation of website content is not the only thing that should be done. You need a whole range of activities: from interface adaptation to technical settings and SEO optimization, so that a multilingual site is displayed correctly in search queries of different countries.

    The ways to organize a multilingual site

    1. The use of different domain names

    For example, if a Ukrainian site is registered on the .ua domain, then the .de domain may be used for its German version

    The main advantage of such version of a multilingual site is the effectiveness of promotion and the ability to link to a particular region. But there is a serious disadvantage — a significant investment of time and money for the translation, filling and promotion of each site separately.

    1. The use of subdomains

    In this case, the language into which the site is translated, and only then the domain name is noted in the address bar. Multilingual sites of large online shops and portals, as well as multilingual media, are usually organized In a such way. This is also how Wikipedia works.

    The disadvantage of this way of multilingual site’s organizing is expanses on creating copies of the site in each language and the need to purchase links for each subdomain.

    1. Organizing the site with directories and folders

    In such a case, a site uses the multilingual module and the content is copied in categories and folders. Such a multilingual site works on one domain, and it is easier and cheaper to promote it.

    1. Other ways to organize a multilingual site

    There are other options of website translation depending on the customer’s budget. For example, you can translate a few pages so that they redirect users to the main resource. Or you can use plugins (like WPML for multilingual WordPress site).

    What you should take into account during translation

    • Every visitor of the website should be able to choose a different language, regardless of their country and search engine settings;
    • In order to choose the language in the multilingual site menu, it is better to use text rather than icons with flags of countries — in such a way you make it easier for visitors and get rid of confusion;
    • It is necessary to be scrupulous about the adaptation of content — you should not “blindly” translate all sections of the website. For example, news and promotions for one region will not be of interest to the locals of another one;
    • Do not forget about the captions to the images and on the pictures — they should be translated and adapted too. Also, take into account the currency of every particular country and the format for writing the date.

    How to know that multilingual site is set up correctly

    • After choosing the language, the user goes to the same page of the website, but translated;
    • Different URLs are written for different language versions of the page;
    • All the content is translated correctly and meta tags are written properly.

    Correctly set-up multilingual site is an effective tool to increase the coverage of potential visitors and a guarantee of successful entry into foreign markets. That is why it is better to entrust this difficult task to experts.

    At MK:translations we know how to make sure that the content of your multilingual site is understandable for its target audience, regardless of the chosen language, while the site itself ranks at the top of search engines.

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