There are currently over 7,000 languages spoken today across the globe.
From Spanish to English, Chinese to French, and everywhere in between, there are countless opportunities for businesses to use multilingual content creation to tap into the global market.
We all search for and read content in the language we understand. So it makes sense that you’re considering translating your content into several languages.
For instance, where an English-speaking audience searches for a term like “translation services,” a Spanish-speaking audience may search for an equivalent term like “servicios de traducción.”
And guess what? While the former has a 20,200 monthly search volume on Google alone, the latter gets over 1,700 monthly searches — according to Semrush.
If you were a translation service provider, which of the search terms or keywords would you target? The answer is obvious — both! Because that’s a combined total of 21,900 searches.
This is just one example of how multilingual content can help you reach a wider audience worldwide, especially via search engines. In this article, we’ll go into more detail about its benefits and how you can get started creating it.
First, what exactly is multilingual content?
Multilingual content is content that is written in more than one language.
This can include websites, books, articles, and other forms of communication.
And the major benefit here is something I’ve pointed out earlier — each language you translate your content into provides access to a new pool of potential clients and customers.
What is content translation?
It’s the process of taking content, usually in digital forms like a website or blog content, and making it available in more than one language.
This can involve both machine-generated translations (like Google Translate) and human-translated content.
But it’s important to note here that while automated translations are quick and relatively easy to use, human-assisted translations are usually more accurate.
How to create multilingual content
If you’re wondering where to start, here are some good starting points:
1. Choose your languages
Obviously, the first step to creating multilingual content is to decide which languages you want to include. But there are a few critical questions to ask here:
- Which languages are important to your target audience?
- Are you sure your audience speaks those languages?
- Do you really need to create content in the languages you’ve identified?
- What’s the potential impact on your business?
There may be certain languages that make more sense for your particular business than others, so consider these factors when deciding.
For example, if you’re targeting potential customers in France, and you’ve discovered they mostly speak French, it might make more sense to create content in French than in any other language.
And it’s important to consider the cost associated with creating content in various languages.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to think about which languages will be easiest for you to create content in.
If you’re not a native speaker of the languages on your list, you’ll need to factor in the costs of hiring a translator or using translator software.
2. Select a translation service or software
You can also opt for human translation services like Gengo, which tend to be more expensive but offer a higher degree of accuracy.
If you have a small website with only a few pages of content, then using a translation service may be the best option. But if you have a larger website or one with complex content, then you may need to use software.
There are several software programs and services available, so it is important to compare features and prices before deciding.
Look at reviews too. For instance, Weglot has an average user rating review of 4.7 out of 5 stars on G2 and a similar rating on Capterra, so it’s safe to assume that it’s a pretty good translation tool.
Once you have selected a translation service or software, you need to be sure that you’re providing accurate and up-to-date information.
Especially if you’re using a translation tool; if you have the budget for it, get native speakers to review the translations as much as possible to make sure they’re accurate.
3. Identify content for translation
Once you have your languages and regions identified, identify content for translation.
Start by looking at your website and each page that needs to be translated. Determine the key content elements that should be translated and don’t forget to include easily-forgotten parts like:
- website navigation,
- meta descriptions,
- product descriptions
- image alt texts,
- text fields, etc
If you are translating a blog content piece as a part of your multilingual content marketing strategy (and you should — especially because of the SEO benefits), decide which blog posts and articles you want to translate.
Make sure to prioritize content according to importance and relevance.
Ideally, start with bottom-of-funnel pages like sales landing pages, product pages, pricing pages, blog posts, and contact pages, as these have the highest impact on conversions and revenue.
Also, consider personalizing content for different segments of your market. For example, if you are targeting multiple countries within a region, you may want to customize each one by using the local language of each region or country. This will help create a more localized and engaging experience for each local audience.
4. Set up a streamlined process for translating content
Once you’ve identified all the content to translate, the next step is to set up an efficient and effective multilingual content creation workflow.
Having a streamlined system in place will help to make sure your translations stay accurate and consistent.
Here’s a streamlined process you can follow:
- Establish a workflow and assign responsibilities
- Create a style guide to ensure consistent translations
- Set up a translation memory repository (i.e. a database of previously translated content)
- Start translating content
- Have each translation go through an editing process
- Monitor the performance of translated content
A streamlined process like this can help you ensure that all your translations are accurate and consistent.
5. Monitor translation quality
After all’s said and done, it’s important to monitor the quality of the translated content. This means keeping track of the accuracy, style, and overall readability of the translation.
A good way to do this is to enlist help from native speakers of the target language. Ask them to proofread, edit, and give feedback on any translated content before it’s published.
This will help ensure that the content translated reflects the original content in a clear, accurate, and engaging way.
It’s also useful to track any customer feedback or comments that are generated in response to the translated content. This will help you make any necessary updates and ensure that future content is of high quality.
Finally, it’s important to keep track of any changes made over time so that you have a clear record of the translation process — which helps ensure consistency with future projects.
By monitoring the quality of translated content, you can make sure that your message resonates with people in different languages and cultures. This will ultimately help you reach a larger audience and help your business succeed.
Multilingual content FAQs
You might have a few more questions about creating content in multiple languages. Here are some frequently asked questions about multilingual content to help you out:
How much does it cost to translate an entire website?
The cost of translating an entire website depends on the size of the website and the number of languages you are looking to translate it into.
Generally, the cost of translation can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars.
For instance, website translation software Weglot charges $15 to translate 10,000 words of website content into one other language and $699 to translate 5,000,000 words into 20 other languages.
How long does it take to translate an entire website?
The time it takes to translate an entire website depends on the size of the website, the size of your team, and the number of languages you are translating into.
So there’s hardly a one-size-fits-all answer. Website translation can take anywhere from a few days to weeks or even months if you are translating into multiple languages.
How can I ensure quality translations?
The best way to ensure quality translations is to hire a professional translation service.
Professional services typically employ experienced translators who specialize in different languages, and many offer quality assurance services to ensure that the translations are accurate.
You may also want to consider using software that offers automated quality assurance, such as Ginger Software or LanguageTool.
How do you optimize multilingual content for search?
The key to optimizing multilingual content for search is to tailor each version of the site for the specific language.
This means using the right keywords and phrases for the language, as well as ensuring that the content is written in a style that fits with the culture.
You also have to account for the differences in search volumes and competition levels for different languages. So use keyword and market research tools like Semrush to see what keywords and phrases are used to describe topics in different languages.
This will help to make sure your content is optimized for maximum visibility in each language.
Additionally, use international SEO best practices for multilingual content, such as using localized URL structures, domains, hreflang tags, and metadata.
Finally, consider the technical aspects of multilingual SEO, such as making sure the content is crawlable and indexable, that all links are working correctly, and that any redirects are in place
What are the advantages of multilingual websites?
We’ve touched on some advantages already.
But some of the key benefits to having a multilingual website include the ability to reach more customers, drive more traffic from search engines, create a better experience for an international audience, increase your brand visibility, and establish an online presence in multiple countries.
Additionally, multilingual websites can help give you an edge over competitors who only offer content in one language.
Are there any resources to help with creating multilingual content?
Yes! And there are plenty of resources available!
From the translation services we’ve mentioned in this guide to search engine optimization tools like Semrush, there are plenty of options to help you create high-quality multilingual content.
There are several online communities and forums where you can find advice and guidance from experienced translators and marketers.
Finally, there are plenty of guides and tutorials, like this one available online to help you get started. I’d recommend starting with one preferred language and working your way up from there, as this will help to make sure the quality of your translations remains high.
Let’s wrap up here
It’s obvious creating multilingual content is often a daunting task — especially if you have a large website, but it’s also an incredibly rewarding one; I’ve shared most of the advantages here.
I hope this guide has provided you with the information and resources to get started on your own multilingual content journey. Good luck!