Unless your entire customer segment speaks only English, or your business is located in an English speaking country, you will need to have multiple languages on your WordPress website.
I will list the do’s and don’ts when making your website multilingual.
- Use professional translation services if you can’t speak the language well. Otherwise, bad translations can lead to distrust and you will not get any customers. As well as, you will rank lower than websites that has professional translations.
- Choose the right plugin. There are currently 2 popular language plugins, WPML and Polylang. The difference is WPML is a paid plugin for larger websites and is considered more “professional”. Polylang is a free solution for small to medium Websites and is considered less “complete” because it is free.
- Which one do you choose? I would always recommend Polylang, because in my experience it has less issues than WPML and easier to work with. Polylang has most of the features WPML has, and there are workarounds for specific features.
- However, it depends On which other plugins and theme you are using. Many themes has direct support for WPML.
- Be aware of the ranking! Just simply translating a text doesn’t mean it will have the same ranking. SEO works differently for different languages, because people in different countries search differently on Google. So, if you really want your website to do well, then you need to find someone, like Digitalhandyman, that can do the translation and SEO.
- Don’t use Google translate. It may be ok 5 years ago, it is definitely not ok today. It isn’t expensive to find professional translation services today. Customers will go away because by using Google translate, it tells them that you can’t even properly manage your website, how can you manage their booking?
- Try to have the same information in different languages. You can customize some information for each language, but if there’s too much difference, the customers would feel you are trying to trick/scam them.
- Try not to have Just a landing page for other languages. Honestly, translating your entire website doesn’t cost that much, but it adds so much more value to the customers. They will have a better experience of your website and therefore is more likely to buy from you. If for some reason you can’t translate everything, then make sure you translate the IMPORTANT information!
- Do translate what you are selling or offering. Translating a welcome page does nothing for you or the customers! If they don’t know the details of what You are offering or selling, how can they buy from you? Translating your products and services, and booking page is more important!