Building a multilingual website from scratch can be quite hard even if you’re a polyglot. This is mainly due to you having to hire a developer to make multiple versions of your pages in all the languages you want your site to support.
So what can you do to make things easier?
Well, for once you can start off by building your website using Wix as that’s probably the best platform for building multilingual sites. The main reason for this is their “Wix Multilingual” feature which lets you create multiple versions(not duplicate sites) of your site in different languages. You can then go to each language version and just fill in all the content in the appropriate language. And what’s great about all this is that you don’t need to have any prior knowledge of coding and HTML whatsoever.
Sounds too good to be true?
Well if so, keep on reading to find out how you can take advantage of Wix’s multilingual features to boost your site’s influence on a foreign market.
How to set up Wix Multilingual
Before you start translating your content and whatnot it’s first important to have a Wix website on which to post said content. So, start things up by signing up for their platform and choosing the primary language in which your website will be. Then go over the following steps:
- When your website is live, go to the “Wix Editor” and click on “Settings” in the menu bar on top.
- Click on “Multilingual” and then press “Get started”.
- Choose your site’s main language and the flag you want to be displayed alongside it. Then click on “Next”.
- Now it’s time for selecting your secondary language and choosing the appropriate flag, again. Bear in mind that you can add more than two languages to your site.
- Lastly, click on “Next” and then “Start Now” and voila, you’re ready for action.
Translate your website
Now that your Wix website is set up in your primary language it’s time to get down to translating it. Of course, if you’re not fluent in the language you want to add as a secondary one on your site, you will most definitely need to hire a translator (or have a friend help you with the translation). Having someone fluent in a said foreign language will help a ton as they’ll be able to catch all the cultural nuances and all that other jazz that gets lost in translation.
Ok, so you have a first-class translator, now what do you need to translate exactly?
Translating the text
Start off by translating all of your site’s copy such as articles, headers, text boxes, buttons inside the menu tabs. And if you’re using eCommerce platforms like Wix Stores., you will also need to have all of your retail details translated as well.
Also, pay close attention to the texts in your call-to-action buttons(in your site’s secondary language). Those work best when they’re not literally translated and have some small cultural reference in them or a pun relevant to the language.
Aside from translating all of the written content on your site, you will also need to “translate” your images. If you have images containing text in them, have them reworked to match the secondary language of your site. The same goes for translating the meta title and description as well so that they have a higher chance of ranking in search engines.
Also, be sure to “translate” the dates of your site’s articles or blog posts(if you have any). There are two formats for dates out there, one is MM/DD/YY and the other is DD/MM/YY, so be sure to pick the one that is used in the foreign country that you’re targeting.
Tweak your SEO settings
Once you’re done with translating your website in another language, now it’s time to make it findable through search engines. For this, you’ll need to find the appropriate keywords to target and also to see the way they’re structured. To do this you can use third-party tools like Ahrefs and Semrush or you can just take advantage of Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool (yeah they have one of those!).
When you’re done collecting all of these keywords in a Google Spreadsheets or Excel document, it’s time to put them in play. Change certain phrases and words in your copy to match the keywords you’ve found and be sure to follow the basic SEO guidelines.
Use Wix’s Multilingual Language Menu
After you’re done translating and optimizing your content for search engines, it’s time to let your site’s visitors know that your site is available in more than one language. For this, you can use Wix’s multilingual language menu which is easy to spot and even easier to use. This feature is also customizable, for example, once someone clicks the menu, the languages can be displayed as flags or abbreviations and you can also mess with its layout.
A great thing about this language menu is that it automatically appears after you activate Wix Multilingual.
The sweetest spot for such a menu is usually somewhere in the header navigation bar where it’s perfectly visible for anyone lucky enough to land on your website. The faster they see it the better it is for you.
Ok, but why should I go multilingual?
Well, if your content, is top-notch or you offer a product that sells like warm bread, then going multilingual is more than logical. The more countries you target, the more quality traffic your website will get, and the more customers you will have.
Let’s say for example that you’re thinking of translating your Wix website in Chinese, do you know how many page visitors you can get? Thousands, that’s how much! This, however, all depends on your niche, if it’s something people are searching for in the foreign country you plan to target and you have good domain authority, then you’ll probably be killing it.
But going multilingual is not always the right thing to do, so be sure to first make a list of advantages and disadvantages and look at which outweigh the other.
Wix is a great website builder, but where it really shines is its plethora of features targeted at site owners who plan on going multilingual. Thanks to its simplicity compared to WordPress, it’s a great platform for people who don’t know much about code and HTML but want to get their voice heard(in as many languages as they want).