In the past, I've been hesitant at using a machine translation of my site. I'd love to have translators all over the planet to assist in translating my site for different audiences, but there's simply no way that I would recoup those costs.
That said, I do notice that my site content is shared internationally quite a bit – and many people are using Google Translate to read my content in their native language. That makes me optimistic that the translation may be good enough now that Google continues to improve using machine learning and artificial intelligence.
With that in mind, I wanted to add a plugin that offered translation using Google Translate, but I wanted something more comprehensive than a dropdown that translated the site. I want search engines to actually see and index my content internationally which requires a couple of features:
- Metadata – when search engines crawl my site, I want hreflang tags in my header to provide search engines with the different URL paths for each language.
- URL – within WordPress, I want the permalinks to incorporate the language of translation in the path.
My hope, of course, is that will open my site up to a much wider audience and there's a nice return on investment as I can increase my affiliate and advertising revenue – without requiring the effort of manual translation.
GTranslate WordPress Plugin
The GTranslate plugin and accompanying service incorporate all these features as well as a number of other options:
- Dashboard – A comprehensive service dashboard for configuration and reporting.
- Machine Translation – Instantaneous Google and Bing automated translation.
- Search Engine Indexing – Search engines will index your translated pages. People will be able to find a product you sell by searching in their native language.
- Search Engine Friendly URLs – Have a separate URL or Subdomain for each language. For example: https://fr.martech.zone/.
- URL Translation – The URLs of your website can be translated which is very important for multilingual SEO. You will be able to modify the translated URLs. You can use the GTranslate platform to identify the translated URL.
- Translation Editing – Edit the translations manually with GTranslate's inline editor directly from the context. This is necessary for some things… for example, I wouldn't want my company name, DK New Media, translated.
- In-line Editing – You can also utilize syntax within your article to replace links or images based on an language.
<a href="http://martech.zone" data-gt-href-fr="http://fr.martech.zone">Example</a>
The syntax is the similar for an image:
<img src="original.jpg" data-gt-src-ru="russian.jpg" data-gt-src-es="spanish.jpg" />
And if you don't want a section translated, you can just add a class of notranslate.
<span class="notranslate">Do not translate this!</span>
- Usage Statistics – You can see your translation traffic and the number of translations on your dashboard.
- Subdomains – You can opt into having a subdomain for each of your languages. I chose this path rather than the URL path because it was less taxing on my webserver. The subdomain method is incredibly fast and just points directly to Gtranslate's cached, translated page.
- Domain – You can have a separate domain for each language. For example, if used a .fr top-level domain (tld), your site may rank higher on search engines results in France.
- Collaborators – If you'd like individuals to assist with manual translation, they can have access to GTranslate and add manual edits.
- Edit History – View and edit your history of manual edits.
- Seamless Updates – There is no need to check for software updates and install them. We care about further updates. You just enjoy the up to date service every day
- Languages – Afrikaans, Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cebuano, Chichewa, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Corsican, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Frisian, Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian, Hausa, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Icelandic, Igbo, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kannada, Kazakh, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lao, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Luxembourgish, Macedonian, Malagasy, Malayalam, Malay, Maltese, Maori, Marathi, Mongolian, Myanmar (Burmese), Nepali, Norwegian, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Shona, Sesotho, Sindhi, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovenian, Samoan, Scots Gaelic, Somali, Spanish, Sundanese, Swahili, Swedish, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Welsh, Xhosa, Yiddish, Yoruba, Zulu
GTranslate and Analytics
If you're using the URL path for GTranslate, you're not going to run into any issues with tracking your translated traffic. However, if you're working from subdomains, you will need to properly configure Google Analytics (and Google Tag Manager if you're using it) to capture that traffic. There's a great article detailing this setup so I'm not going to repeat it here.
Within Google Analytics, if you wish to segment your analytics by language, you can just add the hostname as a secondary dimension to filter your traffic by subdomain.
Disclosure: I'm an affiliate for GTranslate.