Updated in June 2021
Sometime ago, you decided to launch a new e-commerce store to sell your products and opted for a Shopify store that is easy to set-up and maintain. Today, you have a well-designed online store that perfectly showcases your products. Customers are able to easily navigate on your user-friendly website, and the payment process is incredibly smooth. Congratulations!
Although these are essential components for an effective online store, having only a well-designed website that lists your products in an attractive way is not enough. If you want your sales to increase, your store must be well indexed on search engines (mainly Google) as it is the main discovery channel for e-commerce today. This means that you need to optimize the organic indexing of your website. This is the goal of SEO: to properly reference your Shopify store on search engines.
If you have an online store, you most certainly know a lot about SEO already (if you don’t, here is a great starting guide from the Shopify blog). But what happens if you have an international audience? How can a diversified audience discover your products even if they are looking for them in French, Chinese or Portuguese? This is the goal of multilingual SEO.
In this blog post, we will see what are the advantages of having a multilingual Shopify store, how to create one in 5 minutes with Weglot and how to properly index your store in terms of “multilingual SEO”.
Why should you have a Shopify store in several languages?
There is a growing sense that everything online is in English and that everyone speaks English. But this is not the case, especially for e-commerce sites. When it comes to buying something online, 72.4% of global consumers indicated that they prefer to use their native language.
55% of global consumers even say that they only buy products from sites that provide them with information in their mother tongue! So, if you want to develop your international sales, it is mandatory to translate your Shopify store into several languages.
How to have a Shopify store in multiple languages
Shopify does not natively offer to have a store in several languages (yet). So the best solution is to use Weglot, a Shopify plugin that allows you to make your store multilingual in a few minutes.
For this, nothing could be easier. Just go to the Shopify App Store and search for “Weglot”. Once you have found the plugin, simply click on “Add app” and follow the instructions to install Weglot.
Once Weglot is installed, that’s it! Your store is now multilingual! You can easily choose from one of the 100 languages available in Weglot and translate your site. Weglot automatically detects all your store content and allows you to easily translate it via a single dashboard. From your dashboard, you can see all your Shopify store content and manage your translations.
To help you in the translation of your content, Weglot offers a first automatic translation layer provided by the best machine translation services. You can then order professional translations directly in Weglot to provide the best possible translations to your visitors.
If you want to do the translations yourself, Weglot Visual Editor allows you to easily translate your content in context. It’s always much easier to see what you’re translating. You can also invite collaborators to manage translations.
How to be well indexed on Google in several languages?
But once your Shopify store is translated with Weglot, how do you ensure that it is well referenced on Google and other search engines in all the new languages available?
This is what we call multilingual SEO. Multilingual SEO can be defined as providing indexable and optimized website content in multiple languages. The goal is to help search engines index your content regardless of the language it is written in and deliver it to visitors that are looking for your content/products in the corresponding language.
Weglot automatically allows you to meet Google’s requirements for multilingual SEO. We will now see how.
Translate all the content of your pages
To help Google choose the best page to show to a French person, it is first necessary that all the content of your page is 100% in French. If some of the content is still in English, the page will be penalized by Google. Weglot automatically detects all the content of your Shopify store, whether it is the product pages, the menu or the content of other plugins and allows you to translate it. Your content is 100% translated.
Translate the payment process
One of the main advantages of Shopify is its simplicity. Shopify, for example, directly manages the payment process. To increase your conversion rate, it is important that this payment process is also translated. Weglot allows you to translate it with the following process.
Translate the metadata tags
Translating all the content on a page means the visible content but also the non-visible content such as the title or description that is displayed on Google (what we call the meta description). Weglot also detects all the metadata tags like the meta description and allows you to translate them. That’s really important for a good multilingual SEO.
Have language-specific URLs
To make it clear to Google that the content of a page is in a specific language, it is necessary to create URLs specific to each language. For example, mywebsite.com/fr for French, and mywebsite.com/es for Spanish. You guessed it, Weglot also allows you to automatically create sub-directories like those for each language!
Have well defined hreflang tags
Finally, to make Google’s work as easy as possible, it is strongly recommended to have hreflang tags. What are hreflang tags? These are simple links inside the code of your pages that tell Google that the same page is available in several languages and list these different pages. Google can therefore easily find the right page in Spanish and propose it to a Spanish visitor instead of the English-version of the page.
You are now ready to expand your store internationally!
Thanks to Weglot, it’s easy to translate your store in multiple languages and index it on Google following the multilingual SEO best practices. You can now grow your Shopify store traffic internationally and expand your brand!
About the Author
Eugène Ernoult is the Chief Marketing Officer of Weglot (https://weglot.com), a multilingual solution for web owners and developers. Translating your Shopify store in different languages has never been so easy and powerful.