Your current website may have everything you need. A great design, fast optimisation, SEO’d to the hilt and a great selection of curated content for your readers.
That doesn’t mean it can’t be improved further. As a website owner you should be looking for a way to continuously improve the experience for your readers and customers to entice them to keep coming back.
That doesn’t just mean improving your site for English-speaking users. Even though English is one of the major languages used on the internet, the realization now is that it only constitutes 48% of the content based on websites worldwide. Other languages such as Chinese, Japanese, German, French dominate most of the languages used on the internet.
In order to reach the largest audience possible, you have to translate website content and tailor it to readers who may not speak or understand English. Fortunately, the WordPress multilingual plugin, or WPML, makes doing so easy.
As the internet continues to expand it is important that your website target as many different audiences as possible. One of your main goals should always be to maximize your website’s conversions, whether that be from a service or product. In the realm of cross-border ecommerce, especially, localizing a website through quality translations can directly affect ROI.
You won’t be successful in your efforts if you’re only addressing internet users who are fluent in or familiar with your own language. For example, recent data indicates that 90% of Indian language internet users report being more likely to investigate an online advertisement if it’s written in their own language.
More than half of respondents also claim that language barriers prevent them from taking full advantage of online services. Research shows that this attitude is not restricted to Indian-language users.
Understandably, many customers would prefer to read a website in their native tongue. The internet is constantly bombarding its users with potential distractions. Even if a user is somewhat comfortable reading English, they aren’t likely to pay attention to English-language content when there is so much more content in their own language vying for their attention as well. If you want your content to get the attention of international users, you must translate it. If the content is converted professionally they will be more willing to buy your service or product.
There are many professional WordPress multilingual plugins out there, offering users varying degrees of accuracy, effectiveness, and ease-of-use. For this instance, we would like to focus on one of the most well documented plugins available for WordPress called WPML. As WordPress powers over 20% of all website on the internet, this seems like the best possible tutorial to help you with your website’s improvement.
You may ask “Why wouldn’t I just use Google Translate on my site?” It’s a free service, available to just about anyone on the internet. Unfortunately, while it may provide a basic framework to refer to if you’re merely translating content for personal use, the Google translation tool isn’t ideal if you’re a professional looking to attract a global audience.
The reason behind this is that Google Translate is an automated script that does not correctly convert all words and phrases. As a result, the content may technically be in another language, but to someone fluent in that language, it will seem nonsensical.
Google Translate may provide the raw material, but it requires a native speaker to manually translate your content in order to get the best possible content language conversion. This may require you to invest a bit of money into the translation. Using the tool is also a cumbersome process: First you need to create the Google-translated document; then you need to find a reliable native speaker who can take the content and make any necessary adjustments.
For CEOs of major corporations with large amounts of disposable income and a robust network of international employees and customers, this might not be a deterrent. For small business owners attempting to broaden their reach, it could keep them from achieving their goals.
Small businesses need to take a lean approach to their marketing. Very often, they have neither the funds nor the time for such a process. That said, we can point you in the right direction to websites which provide this service at a reasonable price!
Translating your content is advantageous, no matter what type of website you run. If you use a blog to showcase your creativity or build a fan base, you could reach significantly more people, boosting your online popularity and taking your career to the next level. Unless your website is strictly relevant to local users, there are major benefits to providing your content in a variety of languages. In the past, doing so may have been too time-consuming or expensive to consider. That’s changed, thanks to an easy to use WordPress language plugin.
WPML is a paid plugin which you can utilize on your website to convert all of your content, widgets and template files into a variety of specified languages. It comes packed with a variety of features which will cover in detail to help you get started. The plugin itself is easily managed from your WordPress admin area with no coding knowledge needed, it even allows you to use specific translation files you can send to your translators to import into your website easily.
WPML is used by over 450,000 websites on the internet to translate content and is one of the most trusted conversion plugins available for WordPress.
Website owners that care about their published content will be focused on Google indexing to make sure it is presented correctly. If you currently use Google webmaster tools you can see your site through the eyes of google, submit sitemaps, select desired country and URL structure.
When Google looks at a multilingual website it has a few requirements to ensure your site is indexed correctly for SEO optimisation.
The requirements include:
By this time you would most likely already have your website setup. You may have many plugins already installed and a great theme to work with. By the way this plugin easily adds a flag language selector to the top of your theme to allow readers to easily select the desired language. WPML is compatible with 90% of all themes and templates running on WordPress and many template developers make sure that it can be used with their WordPress themes.
To Get started you will need to purchase and download the plugin here.
3. Next you can select how you want the language selection to be previewed on your website, there are a few options such as:
4. Register your WPML copy and enter your serial key for the plugin to easily update from your WordPress administration area.
5. Basic content translation with WPML
Now your site has several languages installed you can start to manually copy and paste your content in for each language. You can click the plus icon next to any widget, page or post to add your multilingual content. If you have any questions about the workings of the plugin you can always contact WPML support which from my experience reply extremely fast and has a global customer support community.
Implementing a WMPL multilingual CMS to increase your websites readership can work well with pages and posts but what about eCommerce? WPML supports WooCommerce for WordPress with a simple translation interface, multi-currency payments and a bilingual WordPress site for categories and products.
Multi currency plugin for WooCommerce
There are a few commercial products on the market which you can purchase to allow your eStore to have a multi currency feature, though this also comes included with WPML so you get more features the you bargained for!
The multi currency plugin for WPML and WordPress allows you to add unlimited currencies which will show on your product page. You can manually set the conversion rate for each currency to keep it up to date with the multi currency market rates.
Setting up store pages with your WordPress multilingual plugin
You will need to have the standard WooCommerce pages appearing on your website, if you did not setup your store pages which you installed WooCommerce you will get a massage telling you to do so. From here each of the pages will be available with the translation title option. You can also translate your taxonomy terms, tags and categories for your store.
Translating products with WPML
You can select the products in your WooCommerce store by going to WooCommerce ? WooCommerce Multilingual. This product table gives you a summary of all of the products available for translation. You can click on the pen icon next to each product to manually add your language content from each of the languages you have selected when you setup WPML. On the product page there will be the products translation editor here you can edit all of the other languages defined on your site.
If your store has product variations such as size, colour and price, WPML automatically synchronizes all product variations to make life easier for you.
Standard URL’s in WordPress may look like the following:
With WPML the URL will look like the following:
You can edit each of the SLUG’s (URL’s) from within your WordPress website making it easier for users to navigate between languages and for you as a website owner to manage each of the different languages available on your website.
Translating Shipping Classes in WPML
Shipping classes in WooCommerce allows you to set a shipping rate for a group of items for sale. You may have different sized packaging items with different costs for each one. After you have created your shipping classes sou can translate them under under the Shipping Classes tab of the WooCommerce -> WooCommerce Multilingual page.
Added bonus for our readers!
Discount coupons for professional translation. Valid for 2016 / 2017 only!