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Web Development
3 min read

Best Translation & SEO Tools for Engineering Websites

As a small or mid-sized engineering company, expanding your reach beyond borders can be a growth game-changer. But how do you ensure your premium Webflow website resonates with a global audience? Localisation is key! This blog dives into Webflow's built-in features and explores a popular third-party tool, Weglot, to help you navigate the world of website translation.

Going Global with Webflow: Built-in Localisation

Webflow offers a robust native localisation solution. Here's how it works:

  • Multiple Locales: Create separate versions of your website for different languages. You can visually manage content and layouts for each locale directly in the Webflow designer.
  • Content Management: Manage static content and CMS items for each locale. This ensures your website stays up-to-date across languages.
  • Image and Media Management: Localise images and alt text for each language, making your site more accessible and culturally relevant.
  • Element Visibility: Control which elements appear on specific locales. This allows you to tailor content based on regional needs.
  • Style Customisation: Adapt typography and styles for different languages, accommodating variations in character length and visual presentation.

Pros:

  • Seamless Integration: Works directly within the Webflow interface.
  • Visual Control: Maintain creative control over the look and feel of your localised website.

Cons:

  • Machine Translation Reliance: Requires manual translation or integration with third-party services for accurate translations.
  • Limited Workflow Management: Lacks features for collaborative translation workflows and version control.

Weglot: A Powerful Third-Party Option

Weglot is a popular choice for adding comprehensive translation functionality to Webflow sites. Here's what it offers:

  • Machine Translation & Human Review: Weglot provides machine translation as a starting point, with options for professional human review and editing.
  • Advanced Content Management: Manage translations directly within Weglot's interface, streamlining the workflow.
  • SEO Optimisation: Weglot ensures proper hreflang tags are implemented, which is crucial for search engine visibility in different languages.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive Features: Offers a wider range of translation management tools compared to Webflow's native solution.
  • SEO-friendly: Helps maintain strong search engine ranking across languages.

Cons:

  • Limited Customisability Between Languages: Weglot prioritises translation workflows but offers less control over website design and layout for each language compared to Webflow's built-in solution.

Accuracy and Control: The Human Touch

While machine translation has come a long way, some nuances can be lost. For critical brand messaging and technical content, human oversight is essential. Both Webflow and Weglot allow you to override machine translations and ensure accuracy.

Subdomains vs. Subdirectories: SEO Considerations

When creating a multilingual website, you have two main choices for structuring your content: subdomains and subdirectories. Here's a breakdown using French for the website "example.com":

  • Subdomain: This creates a separate website identity under the main domain. The French version of your website would appear at "fr.example.com".
  • Subdirectory: This organises content within the main domain. The French version would be located at "example.com/fr”.
The SEO Impact

The approach you choose has implications for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO):

  • Subdomains: Search engines often treat subdomains as entirely separate websites. This means you'd need to optimise "fr.example.com" independently for relevant French keywords to rank well.
  • Subdirectories: Search engines generally see subdirectories as part of the main website. "example.com/fr" inherits the SEO authority of "example.com", making it easier to rank for French keywords.
Choosing the Right Approach

Subdirectories are typically the SEO-friendlier option for multilingual websites. They offer a smoother user experience and leverage the existing SEO strength of your main domain.

Subdomains might be considered if you have a very distinct French version with its own branding or target audience, separate from your main website.

Webflow vs Weglot Translation: Choosing the Right Tool

For complete control over the look and feel of your website in each language, Webflow localisation shines. This is ideal if you want a unique user experience for different audiences. However, if advanced translation features are your priority, Weglot excels. With Weglot, teams can efficiently collaborate on reviewing and updating translations, ensuring consistent messaging across languages.

Pricing

While both Webflow localisation and Weglot translation offer subscription-based models, the best value depends on your project's needs. Webflow charges per locale per month, making it cost-effective for smaller multilingual websites. Weglot's pricing scales with the number of languages and translated words, catering well to larger projects with extensive translation requirements.

Taking Your Engineering Brand Global

By leveraging Webflow's localisation features and translation tools like Weglot, you can ensure your message resonates with a global audience. Remember, effective website translation goes beyond simple word-for-word conversion. Consider cultural nuances and SEO best practices to truly connect with international engineering clients.

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