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Updated
January 9, 2019

Who is Jevgenijs Cernihovics: Jevgenijs has planned, designed and implemented WP multilingual sites with WPML for more than six years.

In your experience what features have been most beneficial for businesses which build a successful multilingual website?

-Compatibility with other plugins and long-time good quality support. Good internal documentation. Extensibility with a community of developers around the solution.

What are the common misconceptions businesses have about creating a multilingual website?

Businesses rarely realize that multilingual content management requires a special internal business process. They are also rarely aware of the associated costs of it and availability of necessary skills on the market.

Give some insight into the process of building the website. What are the first steps you take with the client, what happens in the first meeting, how often do you update them etc

It all starts with gathering business requirements.

What should businesses prepare before they commit to building a multilingual website?

Business owners must assign resources to maintain the process of multilingual content delivery.

What are the best plugins for businesses?

GravityForms and its ecosystem is indispensable. WooCommerce as a shop is a very good solution which is also WPML compatible.

Who is Christos Vasilopoulos: Christos is part of Channel Doublet which has more than 12 years experience in digital marketing services. They have helped more than 400 businesses develop an online presence.

In your experience what features have been most beneficial for businesses which build a successful multilingual website?

SEO knowledge and on page/off page content marketing actions. Knowledge on how to target different audiences in different languages and implementation of tools to be able to analyze and track business goals and SEO goals.

What are the common misconceptions businesses have about creating a multilingual website?

They don’t do research on how to best create content around their services/products when it comes to multilingual audience. There is also lack of knowledge on the amount of work needed to deliver a technically correct website.

Many businesses think, for example, that WordPress or any other platform is out of the box and that (in their minds) means “needs little work to make it and sustain it”. That is wrong. All CMS/e-commerce platforms solve many things but a proper technical implementation is crucial.

There is lots of work involved to make a CMS site on top of the design part; a different chapter by itself. Many businesses lack in the research field. They start by buying a theme and adopting a CMS platform. That is wrong. The website development is the last in a series of things prior to getting there.

Give some insight into the process of building the website. What are the first steps you take with the client, what happens in the first meeting, how often do you update them etc

We have a long discussion with clients to understand their business and goals and what they consider as a success. We ask to learn about the profile of their clients, demographics, their buying habits, strengths and weaknesses of their products/services, their unique selling proposition and many more. We usually update them three times as the project is developed and then on a monthly basis (per case). It depends on what kind of services they bought from us since we provide a range of analysis, development, tracking/metrics services.

What should businesses prepare before they commit to building a multilingual website?

They need to provide info about the things being asked. There are businesses that stop to think when they get asked about their unique selling proposal. When we ask them to tell us why you think your customers should buy your services and not of a competitor, many times we get a response of “we are the best”. That doesn’t translate to business goals and metrics. So we dig deeper.

They also need to have someone to be involved with the content creation part, since we provide analytical reports on keywords, competition and lots of such data. So someone there must be able to “translate” data to actual content. Many times they ask us to do that. When there is a project that “demands” constant content creation (i.e. a blog) then they need to commit to the SEO goals approved as long as the SEO campaigns run.

Are there any significant benefits to having a multilingual website that businesses are not aware of when they first contact you?

Yes, they don’t know about the importance of SEO and search engines. There are businesses who think that having a page with content in 2 different languages on the same page is OK. This shows they don’t have a wider language on how search engines work, rank and penalize.

What are some of the top tips you’d give to businesses thinking about creating a multilingual website?

Research your audience, research volumes and ranking difficulties for what you want to promote, analyze, set goals, define the budget, and then… build the website.

How can businesses make your life as a developer easier when you are building their website?

Have someone who can follow instructions from experts who know their business, meaning us. We mention that since each business is not obliged to hire someone who is a digital marketing expert, but marketing people need to listen and follow. After all, when things are properly set and measured, it is easy to see the proof that proper, structured actions really work.

Anything else you’d like to add which you think would help a business?

Discuss with your digital agency team (or sole person) to see if they understand what the concepts of business goals, metrics and milestones means. When you invite someone for your website (corporate, e-shop or blog) and they immediately discuss the design (look and feel) part of the website then simply run away!

Someone who cares for your business asks lots of questions on the business and never makes offers on the spot. A good proposal requires analysis and research, which eventually provides benefit for the business.

Every business wants to “sell” something and every business wants sales, leads or awareness (with sales as the final goal). A good build website with all its tools will get you there.

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