Serving pages of content in multiple languages is a great feature to be able to provide for your website.
However, the problem is that multilingual websites are still pretty much in a beta stage.
What we mean by this is that their history is not very long and as a result, content sites have been experiencing multiple problems – which is problematic for a lot of us, particularly when it comes to SEO planning.
Despite the problems though, you are still able to serve pages of content in multiple languages and there are a few ways to do this.
This guide will examine the easiest ways you can do this, along with some other very handy tips.
Read on for more.
How To Add Multiple Languages
There are a few different ways you can provide multiple languages for your content via your website. The easiest way to do this is by adding a plugin via your CMS (content management system).
The majority of web pages are created using WordPress, so we’ll start by looking at how to add this plugin via WordPress.
Adding Google Translate To WordPress
To add Google Translate, you must first install and then activate the Google Translate plugin. Once this has been activated, head to settings and then navigate to Google Language Translator.
This will then configure the plugin and allow you to add it to your website. There’s a box next to the plugin and you will need to ensure this is selected so that the plugin is then active.
Save the settings and then move onto appearance and then widgets. All you have to do now is drag the Google Translate plugin to your chosen page’s sidebar.
Then, save the widget and preview the translator to ensure it is working.
It’s crucial to note that when you have opened the Google Language Translator widget settings, you’ll be faced with multiple empty boxes for languages on offer.
Not every language in the world will be here, and this is due to Google’s limitations, along with general limitations for your website.
However, you will be able to select your language choices. There is an option at the top to select all languages. This is a good setting to choose for the advantage of reaching more users, but it’s not without its problems.
The more languages you choose, you might notice the functionality of your website’s chosen page slowing down. This doesn’t always happen but it’s worth thinking about.
Google Translate is a fantastic tool because not only does it allow users to be able to read your content in their language, which of course is advantageous on its own – but it allows users to be able to rate the translations.
Translating tools are never 100% correct due to how complex language is – but allowing native speakers to be able to change, rate and review translations is a great way to help the transition along.
Head to settings and then select TranslatePress which will allow you to add languages to your website. Select your chosen languages or go for all languages.
Your default language will already be selected but you can add more. However, it is important to know that the extra languages are an add on which can be used if you are on a premium plan for WordPress.
This can be worth adding, especially if you are serious about serving pages with multiple languages.
There are other options like customizing the language switcher looks too, although this isn’t a requirement.
This is actually something you need to pay attention to as well – TranslatePress has a function for translating Metadata if you choose to have the premium package. This can be enormously helpful when it comes to SEO.
Often, when serving pages of content in multiple languages, content creators often overlook Metadata (such as meta descriptions, URL slugs, page titles, alt text, tags and other such things that are critical for SEO success.
If you have this plugin, go to the settings and you’ll see a box that says “translated” or “not translated”. Simply select to translate and you’ll be done.
However, bear in mind you need to do this for every page and every element of SEO.
Add Languages Manually
This is a more complex way to add languages, but essentially you access the HTML document and use “lang” with your chosen languages.
So, manually you could do:
If you wanted to have your page entirely in (this example) English, this is the quickest way to do it.
You can change language anywhere on your page(s) using this method but bear in mind this is very time consuming and probably impractical from a business perspective.
Using this example of translating to Spanish, you can see how the process works for any language:
<p> Spanish ” <span lang=”es”>hola</span> “</p>
Advantages Of Serving Pages In Multiple Languages
There are a variety of advantages to multiple languages via content pages. The first is the most obvious and that is increasing your potential audience.
From a business point of view, being able to reach out to other nations can be very beneficial, especially if you have other business interests in certain countries.
More audience can equate to more traffic, which means a potential of more revenue. This can be through advertising or simply through increasing the chances of the purchase of products.
The next is providing a service to certain customers with native languages, even if they can speak English.
For example, providing the option to read your content in Gaelic (Irish) can be very pleasing to potential customers from Ireland or Irish people in other countries.
Simple things like this can actually increase traffic through user behavior.
The Bottom Line
Serving pages in multiple languages can be very beneficial – so by following these tips, you may be able to improve your website’s reach!