Multilingual Content: How Does It Work?

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Hunter Laningham
Hunter Laningham



If your company has recently expanded internationally, or if your business caters to a diverse set of customers who speak different languages, you might find yourself asking your team how you can be more inclusive to those groups without completely remodeling your content strategy.

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Worry no more — HubSpot has you covered using multi-language content. 

Multilingual markets are the future, and putting customers first means giving them the option to switch your site to a language that's comfortable for them to read.

This will only help your company — small and big business alike — grow by helping your customers feel included in your message.


How to Use HubSpot to Manage Multilingual Content

There are a few ways you can use HubSpot to create and manage website and landing pages in multiple languages, including using smart content to show content in your visitor’s preferred language if you’re a Professional customer, and if you’re an Enterprise customer, using multiple domains to create a site in each language you want to target.

While both great and effective options, buying a new domain for each language or country can get pricey, and you might want to give your visitors the option to choose their preferred language on the pages themselves.

Multi-language content is a great and inexpensive way to manage content in different languages on a single domain by creating translations of your landing and website pages for visitors to switch between.

If this quick-answer document is the instruction manual on how to set up this type of content, let this article be your expert tutor, answering some questions you may have along the way, like, "Can you translate the header and footer of your pages?" "How is the page performance reported?" and "How does this affect SEO?"

Setting Up Your Content

So, you were able to translate the content on your page, but what about the content in global modules like the header and footer that aren’t editable on the page level, such as the navigation menu(s), copyright info, and site header?

Don’t worry, you can translate those, too, so when visitors switch the language on your site, they’ll be able to get around. Here’s how to do it: 

1. Head to the advanced menus tool under content settings and replicate your primary menu into your desired language. You can link this menu straight to your translated pages, so visitors won’t have to swap the language on every page. How cool is that?

2. To translate the global header, go to the design manager or the page settings and clone your primary template.

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3. Clone the global header in the template.

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4. Translate any text you have and select the new advanced menu for the new header to use.

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5. Repeat this process with your global footer. You can even translate the copyright text at the very bottom. Swap the global modules, replacing the primary language group for the new one.

6. Swap the template on the page level, and refresh.


At this point in the process, you may be thinking, "Why isn’t the translating automated?" Though it would be wonderful to click a button and instantly translate your page, automatic translation can often lead to incorrect grammar, or just a weird, robot-y cadence.

Your brand’s voice is unique, so translating your content manually (or with the help of the Smartling integration) helps you keep your content sounding like you.

Additionally, this allows you to personalize the content to include relevant references and links and to explain your products in a way that shows value for this new group of people you’re targeting. This can also help with optimization, since some tweaking may be in order regarding titles, URLs, and keywords, which brings us to our next point.


How Multilingual Content Affects Your SEO and Reporting


In the Academy article that details the set-up process for multilingual content, you probably noticed a section near the top on setting a primary language for your domain and another one a little further down on something called a “hreflang” tag.

While these two steps seem almost skipp-able, these are the steps that will help your SEO. If no primary language is set for your domains, or if you set it as english, then HubSpot will automatically include these tags in the page’s HTML to show that your translations are alternative, yet equivalent, versions of your page.

Using these tags helps search engines like Google notice that all of these pages are not duplicates, which keeps your SEO from being dinged and helps Google show your translations where they need to be shown.

All this being said, you could still disable it by having HubSpot skip over that rewrite by adding “hs-skip-lang-url-rewrite” if you don’t want the pages to be crawled as alternate versions of the primary. If you want more information about these tags, this Google article explains them really well.


Lastly, what do these pages look like in your reporting? All the analytics are consolidated under the main page and can be broken down by page language for further insight. So, you'd be able to see all the information consolidated on the primary page, but could see each language's metrics if you wanted to drill down further.

Additionally, your reports will show the primary page, although page-level reporting will differ depending on the version of the page you select.

Now that you’re an expert on setting up this multi-language content and how it functions post-creation, get out there and get global!

As global reach becomes more possible and more common, this type of multilingual marketing is only going to grow from here. HubSpot is here to help you expand your reach within your home country and help you make those dreams of expansion a reality.

If you have any more questions about this, check out the multi-language content FAQ page, or get in touch with your friends in HubSpot support. We’re always here to help.

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