AskPat 111 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 111 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. Of course, this show wouldn't be possible without you, because you're the one who asks the questions that make this show possible. So thank you all, to the amazing people who ask questions here on the show. If you have a question you'd like potentially featured, head on over to AskPat.com and just ask right there.
And this show wouldn't be possible without our amazing sponsors, and this one is a crowd favorite. This is ZipRecruiter.com. You know, if you're going to hire anybody in your business to help you out in some way, shape, or form, it can be really difficult to find the right candidate. And there are a ton of sites out there where you can post a job description and get candidates for that position you want filled. Well, now your life is going to be made much easier with ZipRecruiter, because you can post to 50-plus job sites at once, with a single click. You don't have to waste time anymore, and they'll even highlight the best candidates for you, making it easy for you to hire the right person fast. So try it out right now for free if you go to ZipRecruiter.com/pat. Again, that's ZipRecruiter.com/pat.
Now let's get to today's question from Laura.
Laura: Hi Pat, my name is Laura, and my site is LatinizaDigital.com. My question is about languages in websites and podcasts. My target audience are Latino entrepreneurs who mostly are bilingual, but a percentage of them may prefer to produce some content in Spanish. So, should I separate my website and podcast feed into two separate entities for each language? Or it'll make more sense to mix the two, English and Spanish, under the same website? Like you have AskPat with SPI. And in the podcast scenario, we would be recording one episode in English, another in Spanish, within the same feed. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. And also, how do you think this decision would affect page rankings, SEO, and my ability to reach my audience? Thank you so much for everything that you do, Pat. You're awesome. Abrazo, or a hug, Laura. Thanks.
Pat Flynn: Laura, thank you so much for your question. And you know, this question might seem like an easy one on the surface. You know, your audience is bilingual, what's the best way to create a multi-language website? What about SEO? It's pretty complicated actually, because there's 1,001 different ways to do it. But I did do some research for this question because I was really interested, and I know there are a lot of people out there who also have bilingual websites. Well, the trick is, and probably the easiest thing to consider, is the fact that Google likes to see one language per page. I mean, there could be a little bit of second or third language on a page, to sort of direct people who may prefer that second language. But, generally speaking, Google, for SEO purposes, prefers to see one language per page. Not necessarily per website, but per page. Because think about it, those pages are what show up in the results, and in order to give the user at the end, who searches, the best experience, they're going to want that one page with the language that is best suited for them.
So that hopefully helps guide you a little bit, but there are a lot of other things to think about. You talked about a feed. I think it's important that, on the feed level, people can subscribe to the language that they prefer. So, for a podcast, for example, it wouldn't make sense to, or it would be inconvenient for a person to get two episodes; one in Spanish and one in English, or one in German and one in French. You know, it would just not make sense, because that other one wouldn't be useful at all, it would just be wasted space in somebody's phone when they get that new episode coming their way.
So, whatever language people prefer, they should have a feed that is specific for that language; both for text and for podcasts as well, and even for videos if that's the case. Now there are other different ways to handle it. Sites like Mashable, for example, they have different WordPress sites but all on the same domain. So what I mean by that is, for example, there's mashable.com for English, and there's fr.mashable.com for France. And, you know, this is where it gets a little bit technical, and I apologize if this is a little in over your head; it was a little bit over mine as well. Probably the best advice I can give you is to find a site that you know is multilingual and see what that experience is like. And if possible, try to get a contact of the blog owner just to see what has worked for them. You know, contacting a site like Mashable might be impossible, but there are perhaps other bilingual sites out there who have a great user experience that you could tap into, to see how they do it.
Well let me continue with this, individual WordPress sites on the same domain. I like this because it's good when the sites are not translated using a third party plugin, or some type of equation or algorithm to actually give you a translation. You know, when you push a button sometimes, and you translate it from Language X to Language Y, it's like not ever a perfect translation. What this does, the individual WordPress sites, is it actually is written in that language; it's completely different content in each language. For Mashable for example, Mashable has different writers and editors per language, and the France version is run completely independent.
So that could be a great way to go. And then you could serve those . . . one thing you could do is on the English version, for example, you could say, “Hey, would you prefer this in Spanish? Click here.” And that would take them to spanish.mashable.com or whatever the domain it actually becomes for that separate WordPress individual site. Or, in addition to that, in addition to having people select their preference and taking it to that separate site, which that site in itself would be SEO optimized for people for that language in that specific region as well. You could serve the region specific domain to people who are coming from that region. There are ways to do that based off of IP. So you can, you know, you've probably noticed this before if you've ever traveled overseas. Maybe you're in Germany, you type in Google.com—the English one—well it will automatically redirect you because it knows your IP address, it knows you're in Germany, to Google.de. I think that's the German one. Or if you're in the Philippines, for example, it redirects you to Google.ph.
So, I think that would be the best way to go. There are other ways to handle it, but to me, I think for SEO purposes, and just for organizational purposes—and to make sure that you're getting the best out of each of those sites and not just some wonky translation that you're not sure is always going to be correct—treating those WordPress installations differently. You can probably use the same theme, you'd just have different content writers, or different times of writing one and one. And then what you'd have to do is when you add new content on one, just simply copy/paste, or have somebody translate and put that version in the second language on the other. Maybe it's not the same content. Maybe there are specific pieces of content for those different languages that are only relevant for that specific language, and you can treat them almost as two different sites.
Now that would also help in terms of the feed, because the feeds are really important. Think about it from a user perspective. If I'm getting . . . if I have one feed, and on that feed is an English version and then also a Spanish version, or another language. That other language, for me personally, isn't going to really help me. It's actually just going to be kind of annoying and it's going to take up space in my phone or my device, when all I want is the English version. So, for feed specifically, I would make sure that you have a feed specific for English, and specific for the other language as well. And you could easily do that using those different WordPress sites. You know, literally having just a different folder in your root domain that has a completely new WordPress installation, and that could be specifically for your second language.
So, I hope that helps, Laura. I mean, I know that's a lot, and I would definitely do a little bit more research. Try to find somebody technical who has done this before, or find another website who has an experience that you want to mimic as well, and ask them for advice. Or see how they do it and see how you can adapt that as well. Thank you again so much, Laura, for your question. I really appreciate it. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way.
And, of course, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. And as a reminder, I want to thank today's sponsor, ZipRecruiter.com. If you go to ZipRecruiter.com/pat you could try it out for free, and you can see just how easy it is to hire amazing people for you and your business. You can get the best candidates by posting to 50 different job sites at one spot, ZipRecruiter.com. With just one single click you could save a ton of time. And, I've got to tell you, a lot of AskPat listeners have used ZipRecruiter.com and love it. So again, ZipRecruiter.com/pat.
And as always, I'm going to end with the quote of the day. And this quote comes from Seth Godin, and that quote is: “Once you free yourself from the need for perfect acceptance, it's a lot easier to launch work that matters.”
Cheers. Thanks so much, and I'll see you on the next episode of AskPat.
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