Multilingual E-commerce Website: Typical Mistakes to Avoid


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multilingual mistakes

E-commerce owners having their business presence in multiple countries usually get multilingual websites  created to tap the potential market. But when optimizing the website for a particular country, translating the website into specific language is just not enough. 

There are several factors you need to consider including using the rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”, backlinks, ccTLD, cross-linking and more. This is because Google serves the most pertinent result for the search query as most of the times searchers are not concerned with the language factor at all. This article points out the mistakes which are prevalent on multilingual e-commerce websites, and which cost site owners dearly.

  1. Not changing the URL
    Most SEO executives don’t change the product URL. For instance, if you have a product URL in English, then for the French version you should change the product URL into French translation. Similarly, the content on the website need to be in the targeted language.
  1. Overlooking hreflang=”x” and rel=”alternate”
    Hreflang=”x” and rel=”alternate” are effective tools that multilingual website can benefit from. Each page on the website must have a rel=”alternate” reference to translations. Eg, rel alternate to
  1. Goofing up with rel alternate and rel canonical
    If you have implemented rel alternate properly, then check rel canonical to see for any issues. Also, never use canonical to point to the translated version of the website. For eg, canonical must point to
  1. Using robots.txt or no indexing for translated pages
    This would be like hurting your own foot. Using disallows or robots.txt to translated pages will prevent these pages from showing up in search engines.
  1. Cross-linking the translated pages wrongly
    You can interlink the translated pages using hyperlinks. Sometimes search marketers make the grave mistake of linking the translated pages to the home page of another country. Make sure to link the pages to the appropriate URLs.

When working on multiple versions of the site, most SEOs often find it difficult to optimize the website for multiple languages. Avoid making the mistakes listed here to improve user experience and the performance of your e-commerce website.

Rituraj Borooah

Doing all things Internet Marketing since 1996. An avid student of Internet Marketing, he enjoys life on the bleeding edge of Digital Marketing Tools Trends & Techniques. A devout husband and father, he loves Tennis, Gym, Books, Movies (a lot of it!) and being weekend family Chef! Presently, he is on a weight loss spree.

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