SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

Because we all want the best ranking possible for our site, let’s start with what Google has to say about multilingual sites:

Google tries to determine the main languages of each one of your pages. You can help to make language recognition easier if you stick to only one language per page and avoid side-by-side translations.Google: Working with multilingual websites

Keep the content for each language on separate URLs. Don’t use cookies to show translated versions of the page. Consider cross-linking each language version of a page. That way, a French user who lands on the German version of your page can get to the right language version with a single click.Google: Multi-regional and multilingual sites

Both articles are really worth reading when you want to know more about this subject, but the most important things will be covered here too. The essence is: one language per page, and make sure the equivalent page in another language is only one click away.

Google suggested three ways to setup your site:

Method 1: one language per site
Example:
  • www.mysite.com for English
  • www.mysite.de for German
  • a splash page on the domain with the most important language, or no splash page at all
This method is the easiest to achieve in RapidWeaver. It’s much like making two different sites. There’s one big caveat however: In fact, a .de domain is targeting a country (in this case Germany), not a language. German speaking people in Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Italy, Belgium and many other countries may have difficulty finding your site.

Method 2: one language per subdomain
Example:
  • en.mysite.com for English
  • de.mysite.com for German
  • www.mysite.com for the splash page
Setting up subdomains works differently with different ISPs. Contact them how to do it in your case, or read their documentation. Once setup, everything works the same as method 3.

Method 3: one language per directory
Example:
  • www.mysite.com/de for German
  • www.mysite.com/en for English
  • www.mysite.com for the splash page, or no splash page at all
In this tutorial, we will focus on the last method. The other two methods are not really different in practice, so if you’ve chosen one of them, do read on.

Next: do you want/need a splash page?
Something not clear? Found a mistake? Got a suggestion to improve this tutorial? Please let me know.
© 2013 Marathia Web Design | Contact