Jenny Stanley
Jenny Stanley 26 March 2021

All About Multilingual Web Design

When you search for anything on the internet, you expect to have access to any type of information or website in your own language. How would you feel if you visit a site that isn't translated into your language or is poorly translated? I would say probably very frustrated. 

Multilingual websites are key for your expansion into new countries and markets. If you are looking to expand internationally, it is vital that your new audience can access your website in their own language. This also means that the translation has to be done professionally to convey trust to the viewers. Using automated translation tools such as Google Translate may be convenient but it might not translate in the way a native speaker would.

So, it is always best to opt for a professional translator.  In addition to reaching a broader audience, having a multilingual website can allow you to reduce bounce rates, improve conversion rate, establish a competitive advantage, rank higher in international SEO, be customer centric and improve your brand image. As a multilingual website design agency, we can help you set up your website in multiple languages.

Why Might you Need a Multilingual Website? 

Being able to communicate with different audiences is key to expanding into new markets and entering a global domain. Having a multilingual website might be what sets you apart from a competitor and gives you an advantage when acquiring new customers. By having a multilingual website you will most likely increase your exposure and with that generate new leads for your business.

How Does the Technology Work?

Using browser detection technology, you can set up language detection based on your visitors’ default browser language. This way the website is automatically translated into the appropriate language. There should also be an option on the site allowing users to change the language settings themselves to their preferred choice. 

When creating a multilingual website it is also highly recommended to include international SEO in your strategy to target the countries corresponding to the languages you are adding to the website. The 3 main steps are: to define your target country with an international-friendly URL structure (country targeting); establish which language your pages are targeting with the use of language tags (language targeting) and create and share content in your target users' language(s).

Country targeting includes country code top-level domain (ccTLD), a subdomain, a subdirectory, and more. Language targeting consists of adding hreflang or language meta tags (bits of code that designate languages your content is available in). 

How to Get a Multilingual Website? 

If you’re looking to transform your existing website into a multilingual one, do not worry, that’s possible. All you have to do is get your content professionally translated and apply it to your site. However, there are a few aspects to keep in mind with the new languages.

One of them is design. Indeed, when translating into other languages the number of words might increase or decrease, you may have to adapt some content based on the language’s culture (transcreation) as perhaps some information or illustrations might be relevant for one audience but not another. It is also important to include a language menu that can be easily spotted by any user, so they are able to choose whichever offered language they prefer.

As an example, a site visitor in Madrid may prefer to read the content in English. Once the website is ready, remember to adapt your SEO strategy to include these new countries and markets so users can find you in their searches. You can also take advantage of this opportunity and make other tweaks to your website that have been put off until now!

Appetite is a creative tech studio that has extensive experience in building and designing websites. We have worked with several clients to develop their websites in several languages. It is important to invest in a good agency with multilingual staff, and at Appetite, we have over 10 native languages in-house. With our help you will elevate your site by offering it in several languages and by consequence, enter new markets and expand globally.

Contact us for more information! We will gladly have a chat with you!

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