Find step-by-step directions for redirecting users to different translations of your website based on their geolocation. It only takes a few steps.
If you manage a multilingual site, an important factor in providing high-quality customer service to your audience is redirecting users to different translations based on their geolocation.
WordPress site managers looking to create various translations have it pretty easy thanks to the wide variety of plugins for site translation. However, most plugins require that the user select their preferred language. Some of the more advanced plugins make it possible to select the language automatically based on the user’s browser language but they won’t use the visitor’s location to determine the language.
As you surf websites for large brands, you’ll see that they automatically redirect users to their preferred language using geolocation. And if you want to compete, you’ll need to offer that service as well.
Learn the simple steps for redirecting visitors to a different translation for their website based on their geolocation using the visitor’s IP address and location.
WordPress makes it simple to redirect users based on location using a plugin. You likely have noticed that there’s a plugin for just about anything on WordPress and geolocation data is no exception.
Before you can redirect visitors to various language versions of your website, you need to create those versions of your website. On WordPress, you can use any of these plugin options to translate your website easily.
Then you’ll need to select the various languages you want to offer your website in. You’ll add each of these languages within the settings of the plugin. You can then have a translator review the automated translations for accuracy and nuances to ensure it reads smoothly. Once you launch the various language versions, you’re ready to start redirecting users based on geolocation.
So long as your translation plugin has generated various versions of your site for the translations, you’ll be able to redirect with ease.
For example, the original URL might be mywebsite.com but for Russian it is mywebsite.com/ru.
This makes it simple for the Geotargeting WP plugin to guide users toward the ideal language based on their location. Be sure you’ve downloaded and activated the plugin to get started.
Within the plugin, you can add new redirects and set the parameters for them. You should name the redirect so you can reference it again easily. Then you’ll be ready to start creating your parameters.
The rules will outline when to redirect and how it should respond. For this use case, you’ll be using country as the role. Then you’ll see options for various countries from the dropdown. You can use the “OR” functionality to add countries to the list that you want to redirect users to. Using “AND” instead of “OR” in the parameters will cause issues so just be sure you have it listed as “OR” to avoid issues.
You might set up a redirect for every language on your site. For example, your Spanish translation might apply to people visiting your website from Spain, Argentina and Mexico. While the dialect might differ from country to country, offering the Spanish site will be helpful to website visitors from these countries.
Once you’ve outlined the countries you want to target for a specific translation of your website, you’re ready to tell the plugin where to redirect the user. Input the destination URL. You can use dynamic placeholders to ensure that users get redirected to the same page as they were trying to visit on the website, just in their country’s primary language. This ensures a strong user experience, even with the redirect in place.
Within the settings, you can decide whether you want redirects to existing child pages or just a primary destination URL, such as your homepage. You can also decide whether you want the redirect to apply to search engines or not. And if you have employees working from remote locations and they don’t want the redirect to apply to them, you can whitelist their IP address to avoid the redirect. You have many options when it comes to this section so go through it slowly during setup.
After reading what’s involved, you might be wondering if it’s really worth it. There are many benefits you’ll experience from redirecting your website visitors based on geolocation.
Give your website users a personalized experience by showing you care about the primary language they speak and their unique needs. Allowing users to see product content in their primary language helps them feel more connected to that content, which can increase the likelihood of a purchase.
Plus, if you operate an e-commerce website, you can show product prices in the user’s currency. That makes it easier for the user to calculate what the product really costs them and compare it to similar options near them.
This can also increase trust in your brand, which solidifies relationships with your customers.
Generally, when you improve the user experience on your website, you also improve your SEO. Search engine bots will visit your website for indexing purposes. While redirection is often seen as a setback for SEO, showing search engines that you serve your customers based on their preferred language can build trust with search engines.
International SEO is challenging to master. Using 302 redirection tells search engines that it is a temporary redirect, which is not treated as seriously as a 301 redirect. And using 302 redirects ensures your website’s existing search rankings stay intact.
Although you offer your website in various languages with a simple click of a button or selection from a drop-down, users might bounce before getting to their preferred language if you don’t use automatic redirection based on geolocation.
By helping the visitor land on the language translation for your website that is best for them, you can reduce your bounce rate and help the user consume your content easily.
While geolocation redirects offer many great benefits, they can also present some setbacks if you don’t plan accordingly. Watch out for these mistakes that could do more harm than good when redirecting users based on geolocation.
If setting up various language redirects seems too complicated or you’re concerned you’re making mistakes, work with an expert. New Light Digital is experienced in multilingual websites and geolocation redirects. Schedule your free consultation now to get started.
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