Thinking about targeting new regions and languages with your content? Learn about the Uberflip features you can use to build effective localized content experiences.
About Hub Localization
As of 2019, over 55% of content on the web was in English. But while English might be the dominant language on the web, you're missing out on a lot of potential customers if you're offering your content in English alone. In 2014, CSA Research surveyed consumers across 10 non-Anglophone countries about their language preferences on the web. The survey found that:
- 75% of those surveyed prefer to buy in their first language
- 60% would rarely or never buy from English-only websites
- 56% either spend more time on sites in their own language, or deliberately boycott English-language websites
In other words, you'll never reach these potential customers with English-language content alone. That's why, if you want to maximize the reach and impact of your content, localization is essential.
Uberflip has a suite of built-in tools and features that make it simple to localize your Hub content without the need to involve your IT team or other technical resources:
- Language Hubs and Hub Locale to house localized content and set language HTML tags
- Custom Label Translations to translate navigation and other UI elements in a Hub
- Multi-Language Links to set hreflang HTML tags for international SEO
In this article, we'll provide an overview of these features and how you can use them to localize your content in Uberflip.
Step 1: Create Language Hubs With Hub Locale
Localizing your Uberflip content starts with creating language Hubs. Uberflip's localization features are designed around using separate Hubs for each language or region you want to support. For example, say you wanted to offer your content in Spanish in addition to English. In this case, you'd have two Hubs: your original English-language Hub, and a Spanish-language Hub that contains the same content translated into Spanish.
⇒ If you want to add further Hubs to your Uberflip account, please contact your Customer Success Manager.
Can I have different languages in a single Hub?
In purely practical terms, yes: you're able to add content in different languages to a single Hub if you want. However, we don't recommend doing this, because you won't be able to take advantage of the other localization features, which rely on using separate Hubs for distinct languages/regions.
The key Uberflip setting that enables language-specific Hubs (as well as all other localization features) is Hub Locale. This is a Hub-level setting that specifies the language and region of a Hub:
Setting the Hub Locale is one of the first things you should do whenever you add a new Hub to your account. Primarily, it sets an HTML tag on the Hub that declares the Hub's language and region in a format that browsers and search engines can understand. Just as importantly, it works with other localization features to translate Hub UI labels and set the appropriate SEO tags.
⇒ To learn more about Hub Locale, including what it does and how to set or change it, see this article: Hub Locale Explained
Step 2: Translate UI Elements With Custom Labels
Hubs contain all kinds of user interface text labels, such as headings, buttons, and so on. Once you have a Hub set up for a particular language, you need to make sure that the Hub interface is in that language as well.
The Custom Labels feature makes this easy. Once you have set a Hub Locale, Custom Labels will automatically translate all Hub interface text into the appropriate language. Pre-made translations are available for a number of widely-used languages (e.g. Simplified Chinese, Spanish, etc.). If a pre-made translation is not available for a language you want to support, adding the translations yourself is simple.
⇒ To learn more about Custom Labels, including which languages have pre-made translations and how to add your own, see this article: Customize Hub Interface Text or Change Hub Language with Custom Labels
Step 3: Set Hreflang Tags With Multi-Language Links
Lastly, one of the most important aspects of any localization project is SEO: ensuring that your localized content is being surfaced to people who are searching in that language, or who are in regions where that language is spoken.
The primary SEO tool for localization is the hreflang tag, which is a type of HTML tag that Google and some other search engines look for. By setting hreflang tags on your pages, you can tell these search engines both which language a given page is in, and which other languages that page has been translated into. Using hreflang tags is an essential SEO best practice, because:
- They help to surface your content in search results: When a search engine indexes your content and sees the hreflang tag, it knows that it can serve a translated version of the same content to people searching in a particular language. Since readers usually prefer content in their primary language, this also helps to improve their user experience with your content, and therefore increases their engagement.
- They allow you to avoid duplicate content issues: Sometimes, different localized versions of pages can look very similar to one another: for example, a page targeting a US audience and another targeting a UK audience might only have differences in spelling and things like currency symbols. In such cases, search engines may consider the pages to be duplicate content, and downrank them in search results. Placing an hreflang tag helps to avoid this, as it tells search engines that the two pages are actually alternates, not duplicates.
The traditional downside to hreflang tags is that they need to be added individually to the HTML of every localized version of a page, which can be tedious and usually involves digging around in page code. However, in Uberflip it's easy to set hreflang tags with the Multi-Language Links feature. With Multi-Language Links, you can simply click-to-select pages that are localized versions of one another to "link" them together. Once linked, Uberflip automatically sets the appropriate hreflang tags on all of the pages (based on their applicable Hub Locales) — no working with HTML required.
⇒ To learn more about Multi-Language Links, including related features such as the language selection menu and contextual linking, see this article: Create Multi-Language Links Between Hubs, Streams, and Items