So, you have a blog & your content is valid for all geo-locations in the world.
What’s the next thing you want to do?
If you are smart & have the resources, you will start figuring out ways to growth hack your WordPress site. Your goal will shift from adding more content to driving more traffic to your existing content.
One easy way to do this is by offering the same content translated & tailored for other geo-locations.
Today, I will be talking about the Weglot WordPress plugin that lets you translate your WordPress site into other languages. The best part is that it’s all automated & (they claim) search engine friendly.
We will look into the SEO part later. For now, let’s look at how this plugin works & how you can configure it for your WordPress site.
Note: I suggest you read the conclusion at the end of this article before you start implementing this tutorial.
Side Note: “Website” & “blog” are considered as the same entity in this tutorial.
Before anything else, let’s do a quick exercise in which you need to find what countries (and subsequently languages) are driving traffic to your website. If you are using Google Analytics, just follow the steps mentioned to find out which countries you are driving traffic from.
- Log in to the Google Analytics dashboard of your website.
- Click on Audience > Geo > Language.
- Depending upon your traffic volume, you should set the date range to suit your needs. Since we get close to 1.5 million page views, I will set the date range for two months.
- This is where you will see which country is sending you a maximum amount of traffic.
The below screenshot is from the WPHostingDiscount analytics:
In the above image, notice the languages other than the native language of your blog.
For example, in the above screenshot, I’m getting traffic from users who speak the following languages:
- es: Spanish
- de: German
- fr: French
- ru: Russian
Now, if I can offer the same content to them in their native language, it would give them a better user experience and of course, my ranking will improve as well.
This is where the Weglot WordPress plugin comes into the picture.
Now let’s look at the tutorial. In between, I will explain everything you can do with this automatic language translator plugin for WordPress.
How to configure Weglot to translate your WordPress website into any language:
Before getting started, here are a few things that you should do first:
You can also get started with their free plan that supports 2000 words & 1 additional language.
All set? OK! Let’s get on with the plugin’s configuration:
- Install & activate the Weglot plugin from your WordPress dashboard.
- Click on Weglot settings & start configuring the plugin.
In the “Destination Languages” option, enter the language codes that you got from your analytics data.
The next option is to configure the language button appearances:
And this is how the button appears on the right side of your website:
You can also configure the plugin to show the language selector on the WordPress menu, or in a sidebar widget, or you can custom place it anywhere using WordPress shortcode.
And the final option is to exclude certain pages from translating. Here you should add those posts/pages which are not targeted for users from a translated language/country.
Click on “Save Changes” & head over to your website’s homepage.
Use the language selector to select other languages & browse a few of your pages. What this will do is it will quickly start generating the translated languages from your website.
Now, go to the Weglot dashboard & you will be able to see all the translated pages. You also have the option to edit the translations. This is useful if you know the language, or you can hire someone to proofread the translated content.
Weglot & SEO: Is it SEO friendly?
Now, a couple questions which I’m pretty sure you will have in your mind are:
- What about SEO?
- Will it help to drive more traffic?
Weglot Translate is totally SEO compatible. Weglot Translate follows Google’s best practice regarding multilingual websites to serve a translated web page with a clean source code. Weglot adds alternate hreflangs tags so Google will index your website in multiple languages.
Now, it’s time to wait & see how these translated pages help in driving traffic. I will share the output & details after one month when I have some data to measure the progress.
Personally, I reached out to their founder to learn more about how they are handling SEO.
I asked the following questions:
- How does Weglot take care of SEO?
- When is Weglot going to support sitemap? Which plugin will let us generate a sitemap for translated content?
- What are the other best SEO practices one should keep in mind while using Weglot?
Here are the answers:
- Weglot takes care of SEO by creating separate URLs for each language. As Google said in its multilingual guidelines, it’s important to separate content by URLs: Each URL must return content in different languages. Weglot takes care of this.
- To make the alternate languages discoverable by Google, it’s important to have either the alternate URL in the sitemap or linked by the tags link rel=”alternate” hreflang in the header. Weglot automatically adds the alternate hreflang tags so that Google understand the links between the pages are in different languages.
- The best SEO practices to having a multilingual website are:
- Separate content by URL: Each URL must return content in a single language in the code source.
- Link URLs with alternate hreflangs.
This plugin looks promising & seems like the work of a skilled developer. I will share my experiences from this experiment in the coming weeks.
For now, I would like to know if you are using any technique to translate your web pages. What are your experiences & learnings from your experiment? Let me know in the comments!
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