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  • Best practices for a high-performing multilingual website

    It’s no secret that building a solid multilingual website is a must to truly engage your international audiences. But how can you seamlessly serve multiple markets and keep all versions up to date? Let’s look at expert tips to make your multilingual site a success in any language. 

    Set clear goals

    There is no one-size-fits-all approach to website localization. With so much that can vary to best meet your objectives and clients’ needs, it’s important to pinpoint what you want to achieve. Drawing up a language strategy with multilingual website best practices finds where your customers are, which content you can translate to multiple languages and the most effective way to move forward.

    You can start small – not all languages and pages are needed at once. For instance, prioritizing landing pages or brochures can yield tangible results and metrics.

    Start off with a site audit

    Ideally, localization should be planned from the outset. But it’s never too late to make your website multilingual in a cost-effective way. In fact, you can put what you already have to work – that’s where a site audit comes in.

    Our specialized consultants at Attached audit your existing content and recommend which services will best (re)build your site to reach your fullest potential. We find room for improvements, such as inconsistent forms of address or brand voices, terminology or design issues and multiple versions of old pages.

    Run a pre-localization website audit. Make your multilingual website a success

    Choose an appropriate layout

    On top of adapting your content, it’s vital to also rethink your site layout and where to place key information. In some Asian cultures, homepages have considerably more content with copy across the screen. For instance, Japanese websites tend to include more information about the brand and product on the entire homepage. However, a different language website, such as a French or English one, would be more user-friendly with ample space and fuller paragraphs aligned to the left for easier reading.

    In the visual below, you see the homepage of the McDonald's website for four different countries: United Kingdom, Japan, United Arab Emirates and China. They all have a different layout.

    Homepage MacDonalds in different countries

    Finally, make sure your design includes a language selector (or language switcher) in a place that’s easy to find (typically at the top or bottom of the page).

    Manage updates effectively

    Localization is a continuous process, so updates and maintenance should regularly be on your calendar. APIs and CMS connectors make updates straightforward by automatically importing the source copy into a computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool and exporting the translator’s work, saving time and avoiding errors.

    Attached’s teams can help manage your content to keep your localized pages consistent and offer advice when different versions of your site need unique campaigns, news or blog posts to appeal to local audiences.

    Tailoring your website to new markets and improving user experience requires thorough planning and specialists. With an expert partner like Attached, you’ll already be one step ahead. Our site audit informs your language strategy and places your business on a sound footing to attract new audiences and customers across borders.

    Reach out today to get started for expert advice on localizing your website.

    Find more elements to consider for localizing your website, or reach out today to get started.