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Webflow’s Localization & Your Site’s SEO

March 2024
5
Person typing on laptop

The internet has opened us up to a whole new world, and as our geographical boundaries ease, there comes an opportunity to connect with a global audience. 

Localization is more than just mere translation—it intends to adapt your website’s content, design, and user experience to meet the cultural, linguistic, and legal expectations of different target markets. By presenting your content in multiple languages, you’ll not only improve your site’s accessibility but you’ll also demonstrate respect and consideration for your newfound audience’s cultural preferences. By creating a more inclusive and welcoming online environment, you can significantly enhance your brand’s global presence and reputation.

The Importance of Localization For SEO

Aiming to reach a global audience? Then localization should be your go-to website tactic. Let’s take a look at how localizing your website content through Webflow can help your business reach new heights with an international audience.

Broaden Your Reach

Localization efforts directly tie to expanding your website’s reach. By catering to users in their native languages, you significantly increase the likelihood of your content resonating with them, leading to much higher engagement rates. 

Search engines favor websites that provide valuable, relevant content to users, meaning localized sites rank higher in search results in different regions and languages. This broader reach is crucial for businesses looking to open new markets or establish a global presence.

Enhanced UX

The core of SEO today is user experience. Localization improves UX by ensuring that content is always culturally and linguistically appropriate for its audience.

A website that speaks the user’s language—both literally and figuratively—is far more likely to keep a user engaged. Longer visit durations, lower exit rates, and higher interaction rates are all positive signals to search engines that can boost your site’s SEO performance. 

Local Search Rankings

Localized content is essential for appearing in local search queries. When users search for products, services, or information, search engines prioritize results that are most relevant to their specific location and language preferences.

By localizing your content, you enhance your visibility in these local searches, making it easier for potential customers to find you. Local SEO is especially important for businesses with physical locations or those offering services in specific regions.

Properly Implemented hreflang Tags

Hreflang tags help search engines understand which language and region-specific version of a page to display in search results, making its role in SEO crucial for multilingual websites. Properly implemented hreflang tags can prevent issues of duplicate content across different language versions of your site, ensuring the correct continent is shown based on the user’s location and language settings. This not only improves the user experience but also supports your website’s SEO strategy by directing content to the appropriate localized content. 

Understanding Webflow’s Localization Feature

Webflow’s Localization feature, which was introduced at Webflow Conf this past year, intends to simplify the process of localizing your content through a new set of tools. From adapting pages for different languages to automating hreflang tags for SEO, Webflow makes it easier for developers and content creators to implement localization strategies effectively. 

Webflow’s approach to localization is designed to be flexible and user-friendly, allowing web designers and content managers to adapt their sites for multiple languages and regions without deep technical expertise. At its core, the localization feature within Webflow enables:

  • Content customization - Modify the content for different languages, ensuring that each version is tailored to its respective locale.
  • Subdomain or subdirectory structure  - Webflow allows the organization of localized content by using either subdomains (like fr.example.com) or subdirectories (like example.com/fr/). This is crucial for SEO and maintaining the site’s structure.
  • Automated hreflang tags - Properly implemented hreflang tags are vital for telling search engines which language you're using on a specific page, helping to direct users to the content most relevant to them. Webflow automates this process, ensuring that search engines correctly index the multilingual versions of your site.

Tips For Implementing Localization Effectively For SEO

Strategize With Care

Before diving into localization head first, take some time to get to know the audience you’ll be creating content for. Conduct some market research and identify which languages and regions offer the most potential for your business. Consider factors like search volume, competition, and cultural relevance to your products or services. By understanding your audience, you can prioritize your localization efforts, create an experience that meets your audience’s expectations, and allocate your resources properly. 

Communicate the Most Important Information

As you branch out into new markets and create localized content for each, you’ll want to be sure that you are communicating the most important information. You may only offer certain services to some regions and not in others. Or, maybe the pricing is different from region to region. Take the time to come up with a content plan that effectively communicates your product or service based on the region you are targeting. 

Be Mindful Of Cultural Nuances

As we said before, localization isn’t just about translation—it’s about adaptation. You’ll need to take your efforts a bit further than just copying straight from Google Translate. 

As you do your research into your target audiences, don’t overlook cultural preferences, taboos, and values. Tailor your content, design elements, and even color schemes to be culturally appropriate and resonant with each individual target audience. Ensure high-quality translation and cultural adaptation to avoid alienating your audience with incorrect or insensitive content.

Implement Localization Efficiently In Webflow

Leverage Webflow’s CMS to manage and streamline the creation of localized content. Create a CMS collection for each piece of content that needs to be localized, and use fields to store different language versions. This approach allows for more efficient updates and ensures consistency across your site.

For static content, consider duplicating your site’s pages for each language version. This method gives you full control over the localization of every element on the page, from text and images to SEO settings like meta titles and descriptions. Organize your pages in a way that reflects their language and makes it as easy as possible for your team to make updates as needed. Maintain a clear and consistent site structure across all localized versions to facilitate easy navigation and indexing by search engines.

Optimize SEO For Each Language

For each localized page, customize the SEO settings to target your specific audience. This includes optimizing the title tags, meta descriptions, and URL slugs for keywords relevant to each language. Also, implement hreflang tags correctly to help search engines understand the linguistic and regional targeting of your content.

Maintain Consistent Design and UX

While content needs to be localized, the overall design and user experience (UX) of your site should remain consistent across different languages. Ensure that your site's layout, navigation, and interactive elements work seamlessly for all users, regardless of their language preferences.

Make it easy for users to switch between languages on your site. Include visible language selection options, and remember to store the user's language preference to apply it automatically on their next visit.

Test and Reiterate

Localization is an ongoing process. Continuously test your localized content with real users from your target markets to gather feedback. Use analytics to track engagement metrics and SEO performance, and be prepared to iterate on your content and strategy based on this data.

Webflow’s Localization opens doors to help your business reach new audiences. While Webflow does make the process of localizing your content easier, you must still approach your content strategy wisely to make the best impression possible on your newfound audience. 

Ready to take your business global? Schedule a call with our team to see how we can help get you where you need to be.

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