I am about to start an online store and at first it will be for German customers in German language. However, I later want to expand to English-speaking countries for which I need a website in English. I want to set up everything correctly from the beginning to avoid re-making the whole site in the future. I highly appreciate any help for those questions regarding this topic:
1. What is the most Google-friendly way to handle this? My domain is a .com domain.
Should I use "exampledomain.com/de" and "exampledomain.com/en" or is something like "de.exampledomain.com" and "en.exampledomain.com" better? Or is there a different and better solution? I was also thinking about having my exampledomain.com for English content and de.exampledomain.com or exampledomain.com/de for the German version because sales in English speaking countries will be higher probably. Since I will be using shopify, it should also be compatible with shopify. (Lots of requirements, I know :( )
2. I would like to have a drop-down menu where people can select either English or German. What is a good app or theme for that? I don't need an app to do the translation but a feature that lets people chose their language since I can do the translations myself. SEO-friendly way to do this would be awesome! I have heard of weglot or langify but I don't know if they are what I'm looking for...
3. Is there an e-mail service that sends mails (order confirmation, registration, shipping etc.) to English customers in English but to German customers in German, depending on which language they used during check-out?
Thanks a lot!
The whole topic is quite confusing and I think others have the same problems.
Eugene from the Weglot Translate App team. Happy to help you on this!
If you decide to try Weglot out, our support team is very reactive so don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any question: email@example.com
If you're talking about the urls, the language change will not be seen for a human visitor: the URL will remain the same when you change between 2 languages. But for Google bots, we generate specific URLs for each language (and translated pages) so that your content is well-indexed on Google. At least, that's how Weglot works :)
You can make your store multilingual with GTranslate: https://apps.shopify.com/multilingual-shop-by-gtranslate
Here, with easy setup, you'll have all your store and the future pages available in the selected languages.
GTransalte has free and paid plans, which start with a 15-day free trial.
With the paid plans, you have a sub-domain URL structure for translated pages, like es.example.com for Spanish, or you can assign a custom domain you own, like myspanishsite.com, for example.
Both are good in terms of SEO, and es.example.com is considered to be search engine friendly URL structure by Google.
GTranslate provides different looks of language selectors, which can be customized to better match your website design.
You can also enable auto-switch to browser language feature, which will show the translated page instead of the original without selecting a language.
Check the example store, to see how GTranslate works: https://www.myla.com/
Sending email copies depending on the language selected is also available here.
Make sure to try the service 15-day trial and contact Live Chat support if any questions.
I'm really doubtful about serving different versions for Googlebot by user-agent because I am doubtful if that complies with all Google Multilingual SEO recommendations. In the long term all external inlinks will go to the URL that is visited by humans, which will be the main country. This basically means there is just going to be one language that gets all the external links. Therefore the links will be less relevant since German sites will, for example, link to English url.
I would say Weglot solution works fine but it is not optimal for SEO.