An online store today provides us the luxury of transcending boundaries and reaching audiences far and wide. It has equipped the entire world to access global products and services. To serve such a diverse audience, it is important to speak in their language and reach to them in a way that compels them to buy. In today’s global world, it’s a great idea to develop a multilingual website.


However, building a multilingual website comes with a unique set of challenges. Let’s look at the top few mistakes to avoid when building a multilingual website:

  • Relying on machine translation

Machine translations end up being abrupt and often lose their essence. While it’s not a technical mistake per se, but it ends up making a huge impact. Machine translations do not capture the nuance of the language and if done shabbily through Google Translate or other such tools, the translation loses meaning and can be disastrous, embarrassing, or costly in the long run. Instead, hire a local translator who can translate into the local language while maintaining the nuances and essence of the language.

  • Ignoring SEO

The foremost goal of developing a multilingual website is to capture the audience’s attention and gain more customers in the target market. The biggest tool of achieving that is to invest in SEO services. Implement a multilingual SEO strategy and ensure that the pages are fully indexed by the search engines in the relevant language. It would essentially include translating the URLs, translating alt tags, meta tags, search descriptions, researching for long-tail keywords in multiple languages, and also using plugins with multilingual SEO options. 

  • Skipping localization techniques

For multilingual websites, localization is a very important step. Localization essentially means tailoring your content to suit particular locales. The ultimate goal of localization is to give your products and services the look and feel of having been created for that particular market while taking into account the dialect, or variations in the language. Language sensitivity is a huge deal and many organizations across the world have paid the price for ignoring it. To provide a seamless experience to the native speakers, it is important to keep the nuances in mind. For eCommerce websites, localization would include the opportunity to shop using local currency, free global shipping options, formatting dates, addresses, providing local phone numbers, etc. Localization ensures that your customers get the best experience from your site.

  • Research language preferences

When setting up a shop in a regional market, it is important to select languages that will be most beneficial to your online store. Multiple studies have shown that consumers prefer to shop in their native languages. According to a survey by Gallup on language preferences of internet users in the EU, nine out of 10 said that, when given a choice of languages, they always visited a website in their own language, and 42% said they never purchase products and services in other languages. The crux is that if you want customers to buy from you, then your website must speak their language. 

  • Duplicate content

For multilingual websites, content generally remains the same. But search engines dislike duplicate content and penalize such websites. This will be putting all your efforts down the drain and not serve any real purpose. Instead of copy-pasting the same content, make it more localized and adaptive to the local market. The same concept and ideas will not work in every market. 

Having a multilingual website helps an online retailer but it is important to avoid these common pitfalls. These mistakes not only waste time and money but also do not fetch any results for your business.

If you are looking to expand and develop a multilingual site for your online store, visit