What is a Mixed Language Website
A mixed language website is a site where content is written in more than one language, but those languages are not divided properly in order to make it easy for the visitors to navigate between one and the other. Typical examples of this are elements in a different language appearing in the middle of a page (like a product description), or an entire page that doesn't match the others' language.
Whatever the case, there are multiple issues with mixed-language content, here are a few examples:
Multi-Language Content and SEO
Search engines put a lot of focus into providing relevant search results, and the quality of the content is one of the main criteria they use to do that. Another very important aspect is a good user experience (fast site, mobile-friendly etc.). When Google crawls a website and finds mixed languages within its pages it draws two important conclusions:
- The content is not well curated
- This results in an unpleasant user experience, where visitors may not understand part of the content.
That is why website that host mixed-language content are severely penalized when it comes to SEO. Google doesn't want to take chances and suggest a site that users won't enjoy
Issues with localization
Having mixed-language content in the site can cause problems when localizing the site. Most localization solutions are able to identify the site's languages and act accordingly (language menus, links, URLs etc.). When mixed content is detected this can confuse the software and result in a website that is not easy or confusing to navigate.
Also, mixed-language content will make it very hard for the website's owner to keep track of updates and changes, and whether all the new content has been translated properly.
Most importantly: lower conversion rate
As we said multiple time, the end result of all the issues we discussed is an uncomfortable experience for the users. Your visitors may be annoyed because they can't switch language, or because they find content in a language they don't understand. In any case, this frustration will most likely turn into visitors leaving the site.
Recommended best practice
It is very important to keep the site well organized. If the site contains more than one language the navigation should be very clear and easy to find. Users should be able to switch to the language they prefer easily, and they should only find content in that language.
If you are localizing your website using Bablic we recommend to have your website in one single language before adding Bablic on it. This will not only make it quicker and easier for Bablic to scan and index content, but also to structure the localization aspects of your site in the best way possible for a pleasant user experience.
Lastly, if you operate this way it will be much easier for you to manage content, keep each language version under control and updated after changes and updates, and even automate most of the work.