As per the latest Google survey majority of user’s feel that having information in their own language was very important. Especially if your user belongs to a Non-English-Speaking country this is a must have in today’s world. Most of the Corporate & E-Commerce website these days are built in Multi Country Website Structure.

Now, what is a Multi Country Website?

A Multi Country website is framework of multiple websites that share mostly the same code framework but serve different content & might also differ in functionality based on the requirement defined by the business team. When a user tries to access such a Multi Country site he/she gets redirected to the localized website based on their geo location.

If you are planning to create a Multi Country Website this article might prove helpful to you. In this article we will give you an overview about what are the key pain points observed while creating a multi county website & things you need to keep in mind while building a Multi Country website.

The very first step to add in your cart while building a multi country website is multiple sets of domain & hosting servers based on the legal rules & regulations of the country where you are planning to have presence. Once you are done with the purchase of domain’s it’s time to draft a business requirement document for your site. While drafting the document ensure you have analyzed the needs of each country and created the functional flow accordingly. For such websites it is always preferred that the theme of each country site should be identical however, the UI/CSS can be written custom for each country website for e.g. while working on one of our client sites we had to keep separate font size for English & a separate font size for Spanish as Spanish words are longer in length so to ensure they do not affect the responsive nature of the website font size of Spanish site was kept smaller.

Companies that cater to customers in multiple countries rely on multi-country sites to expand to foreign markets. But creating a multilingual or multi-regional website is not as easy as it sounds due to several uncontrollable factors.

Creating a multi-country website is not as simple as getting your web pages translated for the local audience. You need to localize your content and ensure it targets the right audience. You cannot rely on the same content being loosely translated to work for all target markets. It is all about understanding your local audience groups and catering to their needs.

If you want to grow your brand and cater to foreign countries, there are a few major challenges that you need to be aware of that are applicable to all global businesses.

Faulty Web Development

Most websites that cater to a multi-country market redirect to a global website when visiting the home page for the first time and lets visitors choose their region. Some websites automate the process and take visitors to their respective regional pages. But developing the redirection systems can be troublesome.

If you do not go through the setup process correctly, your visitors may be locked out by services like Cloudflare. You want to ensure that your web pages are functioning properly for the global audience. Some of the things that you need to do before going ahead with translation and localization are:

  • Update country selection settings
  • Update cookie settings
  • Check IP management settings (indexing and blocking)
  • Update XML site maps

Translation and SEO

While machine translation using online services can be quite cheap, using such services is not recommended. One of the biggest issues when translating one language to another is the impact it has on your SEO. You must use local keywords that will help you maintain great rankings.

You may need to invest in SEO experts who offer translation services and are knowledgeable about your industry. While it might not be the most cost-effective approach, it is worth investing in SEO services individually for every language that you want to translate your website to. Good SEO specialists will understand the nuances in languages and optimize your content with the right local keywords.

Content Management

It is normal for websites to have dozens of pages of content and translating all of them can feel nightmarish if you want to localize all your content. One of the best solutions for your content management problems is to adopt a cloud service.

Content-based cloud services can enable your business to transfer a copy of all existing web content in a CMS or API compatible format. You can also use WordPress plugins to make a copy of your website for translation as well.

Localization

If you want your website to reach out to a global audience, you need to localize your content. Localization not only involves translation and SEO optimization but also adding personal touches to your pages. For example, if you are based in the US and want to cater to your target market in Spain, you need to be aware of the cultural and regional trends. Your local material should be in line with your audience’s expectations and should not be offensive in any way.

Analytics

If you are expanding your business to other countries, you need to update your market analysis methods to ensure you are getting accurate data. As soon as you update and localize your website for other countries, your rank reports will start displaying inaccurate data. You need to ensure that the localized pages are doing well in specific markets.

All businesses that adopt a multi-country website need to break down rank reports for each local market to get an accurate representation of their SEO and marketing performance.

Coordinated Development

Since different teams will be responsible for managing and updating your localized content, maintaining coordination between all web developers can be highly challenged. Whether you are working with in-house teams or multiple web development service providers, it is important to have standard guidelines for maintaining and updating the website.

To avoid language barriers, you can have visual templates for consistency across all your pages. You can also take advantage of online collaboration services to help your development teams be on the same page.

Conclusion

As part of a general business practice we generally advice our client to use localized content writer rather than using google translation or any other translation services as the accuracy of such services is still not 100% yet. As a global business, your efforts need to be focused on the searcher when localizing your content. What works for your home market may not be applicable to foreign countries and vice-versa. Try to look at SEO success stories for inspiration and getting a glimpse at what you need to do to emulate other successful global businesses. And finally, you need to ensure all your local SEO teams around the world are on the same page to avoid SEO failures.

For most large organizations regional implementation has become necessity. Organizations deploy varying methods and technologies to achieve maximum efficiency from a single initiative thus, this approach is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s increasingly interconnected global economy. If you are planning to build a Multi-Country Website, feel free to reach out to us we will be more than happy to share our knowledge & expertise with you.


About the Author

Abhijeet is Sr. Manager, Technology and Solutions at Asentech, responsible for managing technical teams, designing solutions, performing productivity enhancements, and assuring the technical excellence of teams across projects. Abhijeet has 18 years of experience in Solutioning and Delivering enterprise applications for various clients across multiple domains. He is a technology enthusiast with experience in Microsoft technologies like .Net, BizTalk, JavaScript frameworks, SharePoint, MS Project Server to name a few.
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