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  by Pawel Kijko | 3 months ago

Case Study: How To Increase The International Conversion Of Your Site By 800%

multilanguage SEO

Everyone would like to sell their product. It is an age-old and golden rule of business. Launching your product or service on a foreign market is an extraordinary opportunity for the international expansion of any business. How to adjust your marketing so that you can start promoting yourself abroad most cheaply and effectively possible? Start with SEO.

Creating your ads, think of languages rather than flags

It is worth remembering that Google makes it possible to direct foreign-language pages with the use of meta hreflang elements not only to specific countries but also to particular languages. Therefore, for global companies, providers of such solutions as SaaS software, it is much better to dedicate their subpages to specific languages rather than countries. Worth knowing is, for example, that by creating a website in English, we reach a vast number of people who use the “English” settings preferences in countries such as New Zealand, the USA, or Australia.

The above is one of the main reasons why it is more profitable to give the user a possibility to switch between languages employing a button with the name of the language than the country or with a flag that represents it. In addition, some countries have more than one official language. If you use small flags, it may happen that some users will not recognize the flag, making the site unintuitive.

Each foreign-language web page is a home page for users who have reached it. For the most part, web pages have a logo in their upper right corner to redirect visitors to the home page, or they use the ‘Home’ button in the menu. These are the elements that allow the user to return to the place from which they usually began their adventure with the website. Sometimes, however, it happens that those who created a given website leave a link there to the home page from which they started working on it.

In the result, the user who is on a Spanish website, if they want to return to the home page clicking on a logo, is redirected to a version such as English. It makes them a little lost. The good news is that some pages can detect the user’s language and automatically adjust their version to the user’s preferences.

Creating a foreign-language web page, keep in mind the differences in language typography, the use of the alignment. In traditional languages from left to right format is used, while in Arabic is the other way round – from right to left.

Correct formatting

If you wish to offer your customers a multilingual website, it is worth remembering to use the meta charset correctly and set it to UTF-8. On typebank.co.jp or transli.ru web pages, you can apply an alphabet that is not available on your keyboard. As far as translations are concerned, it is worth taking into account that some words may differ in length, depending on a language version, so already at the stage of designing the website, it would be good to know that, e.g., English “add to cart” in Dutch is “aanwinkelwagentoevoegen”. On the other hand, in Chinese, the font should be larger, because the Chinese alphabet is complex and the details of its individual symbols matter greatly.

Take into account the specificity of the country

The other element that may cause unnecessary confusion among the recipients of foreign websites is the date format. For example, dates in the USA are different from those in Poland, the former uses month/day/year format, while the latter day/month\year one.

The next detail worth taking care of is the local phone number with a prefix representing the country. A national phone number provides the website with trust and credibility.

Finally, consider whether your text is fully in accordance with the culture and ethics of a given country. The common problem is that sending the content of our home page to a translator, we tend to forget that, for example, some of the humorous insertions or loose descriptions used on the website may bother its recipients from certain countries.

Use The Correct URL Structure Of Your Multilingual Web Page

There are many ways to present other language versions of your website to the prospective visitors. A problem is the choice of the URL of the website where the new language version should appear. It can be a sub-domain such as, for example, fr.domain.com (French), de.domain.com (German) or es.domain.com (Spanish).

On the other hand, we can use subfolders, that is domain.com/fr, domain.com/de or domain.com/es. Alternatively, these can be individual pages that contain keywords in the content, e. g. domain.fr, domain.de, domain.es.

Background

 In the case of TimeCamp – the Internet work monitoring software, the main customers are companies employing people focused mainly on computer work. The software allows one to monitor working time and to budget whole projects. It is, therefore, a typical software that can be used in any country, where the only working tool is a computer.

Since 2015, the company has been focusing on four new foreign sub-domains. In this case, there were four foreign domains:

  • Brazilian in the form of br.timecamp.com.
  • German in the form of de.timecamp.com
  • Spanish in the form of es.timecamp.com
  • French in the form of fr.timecamp.com

These were simple web pages, consisting of just a few subpages with the minimal amount of content. The subpages described, among other things, what the computer monitoring is, how competitive offers are presented, and why it is worth using TimeCamp, at the same time giving one the opportunity to sign up for its trial version.

timecamp old page
The old version of aweb page fr.timacamp.com. Source: webarchive.com

The Change Of Layout And The URL Structure Make Miracles

Inspired by numerous Cases, at the beginning of 2018 TimeCamp established a new structure of URLs for foreign domains so that new languages could be seen in subfolders:

To enable one a smoothly switch to new foreign language versions, a transfer has been made:

  • br.timecamp.com to timecamp.com/br using the HTTP 301
  • de timecamp.com to timecamp.com/de using the HTTP301
  • es timecamp.com to timecamp.com/es using the HTTP 301
  • fr timecamp.com to timecamp.com/fr using the HTTP301

At that time, the company decided to modernize the layout, which focused more on registration possibilities and lacked any additional information. The fact that undertaking the measure above has the positive influence on the conversion factor was confirmed by the following Case Study.

It is worth mentioning that, at the same time, the company has not forgotten about the correct implementation of the Rel= “Alternate” Hreflang= “x” attribute as a way of informing the web crawler in the relations between websites prepared for different languages and locations.

Results

Positive results were visible practically from the beginning. According to semrush.com, the visibility of timecamp.com in search results has significantly increased in countries where new languages were available and conversions increased by 800% from month to month.

timecamp in semrush
Source: semrush.com

 

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