Optimizing your website is crucial. Not only does it help attract new customers, but it also enhances their experience, fosters brand loyalty and encourages more engagement. By extension, making sure your website is optimized and localized in multiple languages grants you access to new markets and new business. The question is – how do you do it?
This guide will shed some light on the best practices for website optimization. Whether you use Transperfect website localization services or you prefer a DIY approach, these tips should help get you started.
This one seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many companies don’t get this right. The first step to optimizing your site is making sure you have translated every single element of the text. From the titles and body text to the user agreements and settings, every word on your website should be translated accurately into your chosen languages.
Pay special attention to the culture in your target markets – what may be acceptable in one region might be wholly inappropriate for another. Do your research and make sure your content and translations are suitable.
Although it’s a good start, translating text is not enough. You will have to think about integrating file formats, CMS and other programs necessary for your business. The website will have to encode special characters, adjust hardcoding for dates and times and use the right calendar for the location. Formatting will also be a major consideration, for example:
- making sure there is enough space for content in other languages;
- presenting content in a right-to-left and left-to-right format;
- maintaining the website and updating multi-language versions.
Search Engine Optimization
Of course, there’s little point in having a top-quality multilingual site if nobody can find it. Optimizing your site for multiple languages means a bit of tweaking to your SEO – hreflang tags, metadata and URLs will all need modifying. Factors such as language-specific URLs help search engines like Google find your page and drive traffic to your website, so don’t overlook these key changes when optimizing your site.
It’s also important to look at your keyword strategy. Researching new keywords for new markets is critical to reaching as many customers as possible – what may work for English sites isn’t necessarily going to have the same success with German sites.
Testing is one of the most overlooked elements of website optimization. To check users can access your website fully, you need to test the site across languages, browsers, devices and operating systems. You should test how the website works from a functional perspective, ensuring that layout and design are consistent across languages, and the user experience is fully optimized. This will prevent delays, reduce costly mistakes and keep your customers happy.
No matter what line of business you’re in, ensuring users can access your website with ease and speed is key to driving sales. If you’re ready to optimize your site in multiple languages, these tips should help guide your strategy and get you started.