Many businesses operate cross-border which means that they need to communicate with customers and partners from other countries. One of the primary ways of communication of every company is its website. And when you try to reach potential customers from other countries, it’s strongly advisable to do it on their native language. And here comes the importance of multilingual websites.
In fact, there are plenty rock solid reasons to create a multilingual website. Here are a few ones, if you are still not convinced:
Creating a multilingual website for your business can do wonders for your search engine rankings. The reason is that when you have content in a specific language you will be able to start ranking in searches for that specific language. That means that your website will have exposure to a whole new group of potential customers which is an opportunity you cannot miss. In the same time, you shouldn’t forget that Google isn’t the only search engine out there. In most countries it’s number one, but there are also some other sites that are very popular locally. Take for example Yandex in Russia, Baidu in China or Senzam in the Czech Republic.
Potential customers are way more likely to see you as a reliable and trustworthy partner if you communicate with them on their native language. The reason is that many cultures are reluctant to trust businesses that don’t “speak” their own language. Creating a multilingual website is one sure way to avoid getting in such situation. Imagine putting a lot of resources into reaching potential customers in another country (through advertising or getting in touch with partners there) and then realizing this was to no purpose because you don’t communicate with users on their native language.
Get ahead of your competitors
If your main competitors haven’t created a multilingual website yet, why not be the first one. Establishing yourself in another country first will only bring you benefits in the long terms. So, if that is the situation in your niche, go ahead!
How to create a multilingual website using Oxxy
Oxxy provides its users with the opportunity to easily create a multilingual website on our platform. There are several ways to do it:
The easiest way is by using the Google Translate widget. You just need to add it from the elements’ menu and place it on the desired place on your webpage. After that, your visitors will only need to switch to another language from the Google Translate bar and all your pages will be automatically translated.
The biggest advantage of this method is that it is super fast. Your site becomes multilingual for just a few seconds and you can have it on every language that is supported by Google.
But as you know, rarely anything perfect is so easy.
In fact, there are plenty of disadvantages of using this automatic method of website translation. First of all, although Google has done a great job in improving its automatic translation service in the last few years, it’s still miles behind a human translation.
When using an automatic translation tool, you have absolutely no control over the way your text is translated. That is why you will often end up in a situation when your texts sound simply ridiculous.
Don’t forget also that when using the Google Translate widget you have no control over the way your texts look on your pages. Often they are shorter or longer than the original ones and do not fit in the desired places which totally brakes your design.
The good news is that there is a lot smarter way to create a multilingual website using Oxxy. In fact, you have a few good options.
Separate websites for every language
If you have a large site with many pages and subpages, the best option is to create e separate website for each new language. This is a little bit harder as you cannot automatically copy the design of your pages and you will need to manually recreate each new page. Then you can put country flags or buttons linking to the new websites on the top of your main website.
Although this option is a little bit more time consuming, it’s still way better than to rely on automatic translations if you want to look professional.
Duplicate your pages
If your site isn’t consisting of a lot of pages and you just want to translate it to one or two new languages, you can do it by duplicating all your pages and translating the texts to the new language. Here is how to do it step by step.
Step 1: Create the website on your primary language. That is the language you expect most of your visitors to use.
Step 2: When you are done with all pages on your primary language, duplicate each one of them (we offer such functionality and you can do it with a click of a button. Click here to see how.) and translate the texts into your new language.
Step 3: Remove your new pages from the main menu. Your main menu should only include the pages in your original language.
Step 4: Create a customized menu using buttons. It will be used instead of the main menu on the pages that are not on your primary language. Keep in mind that each button should link to the relevant page of the new language. You can style it in the same way as your main menu.
Step 5: Remove the main menu from the pages of the second language and place there the new customized menu. All your pages that are in the first language should have the main menu (the menu element) with links only to the pages that are in the same language. All your pages that are in your second language should have the menu you created by yourself using buttons.
Step 6: Finally, add links to the new languages on your homepage in ordered to direct visitors to the language they prefer. You can do it with buttons, just with text or with language icons that you can download from the web. Keep in mind that it’s very important to link to every language you have, including the primary one. You also need to pin the links to all pages, by selecting them together and clicking Show group on all pages (the green button in the group’s menu.)
You can check how it’s done on the Crystal Waters corporate website that is created using Oxxy.
Now that you know how to create a multilingual website (and why it’s super important!) you can go to Oxxy and build one too!