Mixing English and Spanish in the same web site

by anonadado 2 replies
Hi gurus,

We want to create a multilingual web site (in English and Spanish) and have some doubts.

We are a small spanish company (only 5 people) but the core of our business is international, so the web site should be in English.

However, we are a Spanish company and probably some of our potential customers will look for information (in Google) in Spanish. So if we limit the web to the English language we will probably not appear in the first positions (or won't appear at all).

We have hired a local marketing agency that has suggested us three possible solutions to this problem:
1.- Use WPML and create the site (and future blog posts) both in English and Spanish.
2.- Create the web in English, but add an "About us" section in Spanish summarizing all the other content.
3.- Create the content in English, but add to each blog post or web an "abstract" (a small paragraph) in Spanish.

I would appreciate if you you could comment the pros and cons of each alternative, both from the SEO perspective as well as the "impact" or "image" of having a mixture of languages shown at the same time in the site or in the same page.

Thank you.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #english #mixing #site #spanish #web
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  • Profile picture of the author quadagon
    If they are your only choices then option 1 everyone. Option 2 and 3 sound truly awful on every level.

    Personally I'd put the Spanish site on a subdomain. I'd have a small icon on every page to indicate it's available in Spanish and English. You can let Google know it's the Spanish version of an English article by using the hreflang tag.

    You can read more on hreflang tags here

    I think I'd then ask the marketing agency for a refund.
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  • Profile picture of the author unifiedac
    I've built a site using WPML for an American & Mexican audience, it's actually a really good product.

    I wouldn't have both languages on the same page. WPML makes it easy for visitors to switch between any languages (using drop down menus or flag icons) available for that content. It also allows you to easily track which pages/posts have multiple language versions, manage translators, and more.

    Marketing to a Spanish language audience is no different than English, just different keyword phrases. However, I found with the Spanish language, there are many business/marketing words that don't have Spanish translations, such as "marketing" and "blog." When I would hand over an article to be translated, I spent a lot of time describing words, and ultimately realizing there is no translation. My recommendation would be to hire translators that specialize in your space.

    As @quadagon mentioned, hreflang tags are important, but WPML handles them for you. If done correctly, Google will index the two different languages as separate URLs:

    https://wpml.org/2014/02/making-multilingual-site-ready-search-engine-indexing/
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