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5 examples of multilingual websites that did everything right (and how they did it)

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When planning to expand your online business to the international markets, there are several things that you’ll need to attend to. For one, translating and localizing your website content is a must, along with investing in international search engine optimization (SEO). You may also need to tweak your web design and brand message to fit your target markets’ cultural preferences.

But before you embark on this, it never hurts to analyze and take notes from the best. And we’ve got you covered: in this article, we’ll share five examples of multilingual websites belonging to organizations that have successfully ventured beyond national borders. We’ll also reveal how these organizations nailed their transition from domestic to global by creating a great user experience for international audiences. Let’s dive in!

1. Edgard & Cooper

Edgard & Cooper homepage

About Edgard & Cooper: Founded in 2014, Edgard & Cooper sells tasty and healthy dog and cat food produced from natural ingredients, such as fresh meat and real fruit and vegetables. This Belgium-headquartered business is also committed to obtaining from ethical and sustainable sources, and donates 1% of all its sales to charity.

What we love about its website: The website’s colorful and pleasant design definitely deserves a mention – it feels so inviting and will appeal to dog and cat owners internationally.

Shoppers can conveniently switch the website from its default language of English to one of the seven other different languages using a well-designed language switcher. When they do so, the website displays a customized order amount that shoppers will have to hit to qualify for free shipping. For example, this amount is over £20 for United Kingdom shoppers, and €35 for shoppers from France.

Finally, a frequently asked questions (FAQs) section at the bottom of the homepage helps address common questions that may otherwise deter visitors from placing orders.

Key website technologies and plugins

  • Website builder: Shopify
  • Translation solution: Weglot, with content translations available for the United Kingdom (English), Belgium (Dutch and French), France (French), Germany (German), Italy (Italian), Spain (Spanish), and Finland (Finnish) markets
  • Marketing automation: Klaviyo
  • User engagement: Elfsight
  • Customer loyalty: LoyaltyLion and Smile.io

2. Bluetooth Special Interest Group

Bluetooth homepage

About the Bluetooth Special Interest Group: If you’ve ever paired your phone with either your wireless earphones or your car, then you’ve probably used Bluetooth. This technology enables short-range wireless communication between devices, but it isn’t proprietary to any one manufacturer. Instead, Bluetooth is under the care of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), a community formed in 1988 and now comprising 36,000+ companies globally.

What we love about its website: The Bluetooth SIG has used our Weglot translation solution to automatically implement hreflang tags on its website. Hreflang tags indicate to search engines which web pages of a website are alternative language versions of each other. Using these tags helps search engines serve the appropriate versions of Bluetooth SIG’s web pages to its audiences in various countries.

The website’s “Find a Product” page also helps visitors perform basic and advanced searches to easily find specific products that incorporate Bluetooth. Apart from that, drop-down menus in the header neatly reveal various content subcategories when clicked, providing a clean and convenient navigation experience.

Key website technologies and plugins

  • Website builder: WordPress
  • Translation solution: Weglot, with the website being available in English, Simplified Chinese, Dutch, Japanese and Korean
  • Marketing automation: Marketo
  • Contact forms: Gravity Forms
  • Downloadable files manager: Download Monitor

3. Nikon Canada

Nikon homepage

About Nikon: Being one of the most well-known camera businesses, Nikon probably needs no introduction. It was founded in Japan more than a century ago in 1917 and now has operations all over the world. And whichever country Nikon ventures into, it takes care to adapt to the local market – just take its Canadian website for instance. Canadians speak both English and French, so no prizes for guessing which two languages Nikon Canada’s website is available in.

What we love about its website: The striking visuals of Nikon camera equipment and gorgeous scenery immediately catch your attention (we’re talking about a camera business here after all!). After that, clear calls-to-action (CTAs) invite you to “Shop Now” for a new camera or “Learn More” about the latest Nikon technology.

The homepage doesn’t directly state any prices, which adds to the feel of prestige that Nikon wants to communicate. But when you’re ready to shop, you’ll find essential ecommerce information on shipping, returns and more in a “Shopping Help” section in the website footer.

Key website technologies and plugins

  • Website builder: BigCommerce
  • Translation solution: Weglot, with the website being available in English and French
  • Ad management: Facebook Pixel, Google Global Site Tag, Google AdWords, Google DoubleClick
  • Security: Signifyd
  • Video delivery: Brightcove

4. AdColony

AdColony homepage

About AdColony: AdColony is an international mobile advertising business with a reach of more than 1.5 billion users globally. Headquartered in California, AdColony has offices all over the world and helps advertisers reach the masses using cutting-edge programmatic and monetization tools. It counts many big-name brands as its users, including Häagen-Dazs, Nintendo and Lyft.

What we love about its website: AdColony’s website has been sleekly designed for a sophisticated feel, and two buttons in the homepage’s hero section help direct developers and brands towards website content that is relevant to them. Catering to an international developer crowd, the business has made key developer resources available in multiple languages.

AdColony also provides translations of its website into Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch and Turkish. These may seem like uncommon translation choices until you learn that the business is the exclusive Marketing Solutions Partner of professional networking platform LinkedIn in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Turkey respectively.

Key website technologies and plugins

  • Website builder: WordPress
  • Translation solution: Weglot, with the website being available in English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish and Turkish
  • Marketing automation: Pardot
  • Contact forms: Contact Form 7
  • Search engine optimization: Yoast SEO
  • Security: Okta

5. Cakemail

Cakemail homepage

About Cakemail: This quirkily named platform offers email marketing and transactional marketing services to help small businesses grow their customer base. Cakemail’s features include dynamic content personalization, contact list management and segmentation, and email automations. The business is headquartered in Montréal, Canada and has been delivering emails worldwide since 2007.

What we love about its website: With its website being accessible in only two languages (English and French), Cakemail has carefully curated the content available in either language on its blog. This approach helps it ensure that it provides its target audiences with relevant content.

The business also has great attention to detail, having taken the time to translate and adapt the text superimposed on images for each language version. For example, an image in the English version of Cakemail’s website states “Make room for your growing audience, Floyd”, while the French version of the same image reads “Alex, faites de la place à votre audience en pleine croissance!”

Lastly, Cakemail has prominently displayed its support number on its homepage for users to get in touch if they need help with the platform.

Key website technologies and plugins

  • Website builder: Webflow
  • Translation solution: Weglot, with the website being available in English, French and Canadian French
  • User engagement: Olark
  • Contact forms: Typeform
  • Customer service: Freshworks CRM
  • Behavior analytics: Hotjar

What can your business learn from these 5 multilingual website examples?

Despite their wildly different multilingual website designs, all these five businesses have one thing in common: they’ve taken care to understand their local audiences, and adapt their messaging and website content accordingly. 

Preparing a website for an international audience involves so much more than just translating text from one language to another. For an even better user experience, you might also want to localize the entire online experience to fit the local context of the target market.

This involves taking into consideration your audiences’ cultural values and behaviors, as well as local preferences, and tailoring your content and website layout appropriately. For example, businesses in North European countries rarely display prices on their homepages as they prefer to focus on their products’ functionalities. On the other hand, it’s common for South European-language sites to show their prices right away. If you aren’t aware of such nuances and don’t address them accordingly, you may just turn off fickle local visitors from browsing your website or spending money with you.

In addition, after creating your localized website content, be sure to set up the rest of your website – and business – for international success! This can involve:

  • Choosing a website template with flexible customization options to promote the optimal display of your content for each target market. For example, your website template should be able to account for possible expansions of, or reductions in, content lengths when users switch your website’s language. This is because different languages may require a different number of characters to express a certain concept.
  • Deciding whether to park different language versions of your website under separate domain names, or under subdomains or subdirectories of a single domain name. Each option will have implications on the appearance of your URLs and also on whether the different language versions are considered different websites for global SEO purposes.
  • Adopting a multilingual marketing strategy, including producing multilingual social media and public relations campaigns. Ideally, your localization efforts shouldn’t stop at just building a multilingual website – look into localizing all customer touchpoints for a truly seamless user experience.

How to create a multi-language website for your brand

Creating an effective multi-language website begins with picking the right automatic translation solution for your website – and there’s really no better option than Weglot.

Our proprietary machine translation technology, which uses DeepL, Google Translate and Yandex among other machine language providers, helps you adapt your content to fit the needs of a bilingual or international audience. Then get full editing control of your translation quality. At the same time, features such as multilingual SEO facilitate better search engine rankings for your website even if you aren’t an SEO expert.

As illustrated by the examples in this article, Weglot is compatible with all major website builders and content management systems, including WordPress, Webflow, Shopify, BigCommerce, and more. Weglot also provides language switchers, whose designs can be customized using preset options or CSS.

What if you are new to creating a multi-language website? On the Weglot website, you’ll find a ton of resources to help you with just that. For example, our best practice guide for WordPress multilingual websites is a great place to start for WordPress users. You’ll also discover expert tips and best practices for boosting traffic and conversions, so that your multilingual website meets, and even exceeds, your business goals.

Make your website multilingual with Weglot

Providing an exceptional global user experience calls for careful research on your target markets, and then executing the right website localization strategy. Regardless of whether you are intending to expand your online presence abroad, or cater to a home market that speaks a different native language, Weglot provides the perfect website translation service. It is free to start, and you can sign up for a free trial to experience the power of Weglot today.

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