Multi-language siteSo far, Project Hours was only available in the Netherlands. The English language was supported, but in a way that Google did not like, and therefore there was no real presence in the rest of the world.
I finally managed to sort out this issue. The most important fact is that a multilanguage site only works well in Google if the url contains the language of the site (i.e. https://projecthours.net/nl) and the web pages must contain certain tags that indicate in what (other) languages the page is available.
Project Hours now works as follows:
- https://projecthours.net : this links determines the language of the browser and redirects to the appropriate language specific url (see below)
- https://projecthours.net/nl: this link displays Dutch UI and content
- https://projecthours.net/en: this link displays English UI and content
Simple, but it took me a while to get it right. The pages must contain the following tags so Google knows what the language scheme of the site is so the appropriate language versions of the site can be returned in Google search results.
The following tags are included in every page for every language:
Visibility on the InternetTo attract more potential customers, I created Google advertisements for each language with Google Adwords Express. The ads link to the appropriate language url (/en or /nl). This is important, ads will never work with generic urls that display either Dutch or English! The ads are displayed according to regional language, so in Engish-speaking countries people will see the English ad, NL users see the Dutch ad of course.
With my Google account I can check user statistics for these ads.
This sunday morning, there was one click on the Dutch ad and 80 (!) clicks on the English ad.
Also note that all clicks come from smartphones!
That's all for now, hopefully Project Hours will have some international customers soon!