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Multilingual Marketplace Best Practices

Expand Your Reach With A Multilingual Marketplace Solution
Defining the Many Levels of Multilingual Accessibility

Multilingual Storefront Solutions

Multilingual is a challenging logistical feature to implement but very powerful from an organic SEO and conversion rate optimization. In order to make your site accessible to different regions it's a requirement to implement. There are different levels of multilingual features and implementation aspects that we will go over throughout this guide.

The first question to ask is what the overall plan for the business is in regard to multilingual and what different regions and markets that you're looking to provide the marketplace to. Your answer and the timing of your launch date will dictate when and to what extent it makes sense to engage different levels of multilingual capability for a lot of clients. They're looking to deliver multilingual capabilities right off out of the gate, ultimately factoring into how we architect the content of your marketplace.

Discover the Sources for Your Content

Marketplace Content Procurement

The biggest thing with multilingual is looking at how to get all of the content accurately translated, which leads us right into some of the different levels of multilingual to start with. It's possible to use a tool like Google Translate or something similar to simply apply a sitewide translation that's automated and uses a resource such as one of those external tools.

This provides an immediate low-cost option that's reasonable for folks to be able to access. It's not the most intuitive, though, and it certainly doesn't provide the highest conversion rate optimization or accuracy. Specifically, it's going to give folks in different languages access to things they will have to trudge through to understand. If the marketplace is valuable enough and has enough resources that they find useful, it's certainly not going to make it a low barrier to entry for those users. The starting place we’ll consider, is using an off-the-shelf tool that can go to the site and automatically convert it to different languages.

Based on the end users’ preferences, without an immediate saturation of these markets or intention of advertising and growing into an international market that will need multilingual capabilities, then it may make sense to start with something simple like Google Translate or another third party tool.

 

If you start to see a lot of translations that are getting hits on them in your analytics tools, your partner, hopefully Clarity, can help you analyze that data. But once you see a threshold net that justifies investing in a more robust capability, you can switch from a simple and mediocre accuracy translation tools such as Google translate to something more complex. You can have a robust capability where the majority of the content is translated text by a human, most commonly someone who specifically is familiar with the products or product line. Generally, you would look within your company for someone who speaks that language or a contractor who can go in and complete the translations very rapidly. Many times, that's the next step to graduate too.

What Solution is Right for Your Business

Early Feature & Function Considerations

There are different facets of content on a site that we can translate. We can start by translating all of the labels, descriptors, and action buttons throughout the system. That's something that the marketplace should have off-the-shelf so it should be available from day one, something that the Clarity marketplace offers. If you do want to use specific translations for all the labels in the text and the descriptors and action buttons, etc., you can do that.

In addition, you should be able to modify how specific you are with your translation or type of translation you would want to implement. Whether you are translating four different keywords, text, action buttons, etc., we encourage you to make sure that you have the ability to modify that data per language. The next big piece would be modifying titles and meta information so the search engines can see the titles and meta information. The deeper content would be the last step of translation.

We commonly see folks going from using Google translate to then translating all the labels in the text and action items. Then they finally switch to translating all of the content within the site by using some form of contractor or an internal team member.

Unique Content for a Unique Audience

Displaying Site Content Dynamically

Some other key considerations with multilingual are about what the user experience is like. Whenever somebody's working with multilingual you're expecting a different user experience based on their market. There pros and cons to modifying the user experience based on what language they select but it generally can improve overall conversion rate and comfort level with the marketplace.

This can include things like imagery and image content based on their particular culture or nationality and regional preferences. This might be things like having different people and kind of different environments that those people are in to reflect that particular region or culture and then similarly it can also be the actual experience on the site and modifying how that experience works to reflect what they're used to.

There isn't a right or wrong way to do everything across the board, however from a user’s perspective, they're looking for credibility and comfort when completing transactions. They want something they understand and can do quickly without much thought.

At the end of the day, whenever someone chooses a different language, you can incorporate some of their cultural regional general language specific concepts into the site as well and that can include not just imagery and user interface modifications, but also branding and the styling on the site so that it feels familiar. . As you're reviewing different marketplace options consider what the capabilities here as you scale and grow your marketplace.

SEO Optimized URL Hierarchy

Top Level Domains URL Architecture

Another key facet to look at is the way multilingual content ties into organic SEO. If you are looking to take advantage of organic SEO and making the site both reachable and indexable for particular topics, then we encourage you to factor in the multilingual component with the different domain and subdomains. Plan your subdirectory structure and how to set it up for different languages throughout your project, thus preventing the need to redesign or rebuild large sections of your site. It's common to set up a different top-level domain, so for instance you might have a .ca, .mx, .cn, etc. You may have these different top-level domains that you configure and those will help search engines see those sites as unique websites that they index uniquely in helping the rankings of those sites in a particular region or country, etc.

It’s not necessary to purchase a country specific top-level domain; it's possible to just do subdomains. You could do things like canada.marketplace.com or us.marketplace.com and have subdirectories as well. The main thing to consider is whether you choose a top-level domain, a sub domain, or subdirectory, as it does impact the domain authority for the overall site.

Planning for Long-Term Growth

Content Management & On-Going Support

You'll want to consider whether or not you're going to be maintaining and updating the content for those multilingual sites, especially within the catalog portion of the products. So, if you're going to be updating the catalog content for different languages often, then that's something that you'll want to factor in. A big obstacle of managing a marketplace is pulling content from third party vendors and designating who will have the ability to put their content into the site in different languages.

One of the challenges with that is that they may be putting their content in a single language while you're wanting to expose that content in multiple different languages throughout the site. You can encourage them to go through a moderation process where they actually complete those translations and provide them with resources to be able to contract with multilingual translators. There are advantages to them translating their content as it gets exposed in a higher conversion rate format to a bigger audience.

In addition, it's also possible for automated tools to translate that content, noting that it wouldn't be as accurate as a human being doing it. There are APIs that we can configure and set up to automatically translate the content as it comes in.

Clarity Can Help

Clarity Multilingual Marketplace Experts

There are a lot of options in regards to content and how it impacts organic SEO and if that's something that you're looking at, we encourage you to dig into some of the topics that we've shared further within this section as well as the resources linked below. If you have any questions, we'd love to chat with you and provide complementary resources.

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