Webflow for European Businesses: How to build GDPR-compliant and multilingual websites in Europe

How to build compliant and multilingual Webflow websites in Europe

The main challenges of building a website in Europe can vary depending on the specific goals and target audience of the website. Some potential challenges could include ensuring compliance with relevant European regulations and laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which sets strict standards for the collection and use of personal data.

Additionally, designing and building a website that is accessible to users with different languages and cultural backgrounds can be challenging, as can optimizing the website for different devices and browser types. Finally, developing a successful online presence in Europe often requires careful planning and research to understand the needs and preferences of the target audience, as well as a well-designed and user-friendly website that effectively presents the website's content and services.

Here are the main points for creating a Webflow website that complies with European legislation and allows you to reach more markets:

1. GDPR: What are the main areas that you need to take into consideration?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is a European privacy law that protects the rights of individuals with respect to the processing of personal data. It establishes uniform rules to protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy rights. the law extends the EU’s data protection laws to all foreign companies processing the personal data of people in the EU.

This means that the GDPR will affect your business even if you don’t have any physical presence in the EU. If your website collects and processes the personal data of EU visitors, then you should go through a GDPR checklist:

  • Audit the personal data the website will collect and hold.
  • Secure your website to prevent personal data from unauthorized access, breach, or theft.
  • Update website policies with necessary information about how the site deals with personal data
  • Get explicit consent for collecting personal data via emails, forms, or cookies.
  • Allow easy opt-outs for users to opt-out of data collection.
  • Add a cookie banner to get explicit consent for cookies and allow users to manage cookie preferences based on cookie categories.
  • Review and ensure third-party services and vendors you use are GDPR compliant.
  • International data transfer must be done after appropriate security and policy assessments.
  • Facilitate methods for users to request access, modify or delete their data.
  • Prepare an action plan for handling data breaches.

TIP: Use Cookiebot consent management platform (CMP) https://www.cookiebot.com/es/. It provides fully automatic core functions that are easy to implement: cookie consent, cookie monitoring, and cookie control.

Webflow is GDPR compliant despite not being EU hosted, as we have signed the contractual clause issued by the European Commission which states data can be transferred outside of the EU if the necessary precautions are taken

Disclaimer: This GDPR checklist is intended as a general guide only. It should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should consult a lawyer in their jurisdiction with any specific legal questions they may have.

2. Targeting your audience in new markets in Europe.

The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 countries. It operates an internal (or single) market that allows the free movement of goods, capital, services, and people between member states.

However, each country has its own language, culture, regulations, etc. This makes international marketing strategies around Europe more complex than in the USA where there are common legislations and a common language across the whole country.

Here are the main areas that marketing, design, and content teams need to work on when launching in Europe:

  • Understand the needs and preferences of the target audience
  • Build a multilingual strategy with help of local experts
  • Adapt marketing and services to local markets
  • Develop an international SEO strategy

You can read our GDPR Compliance Check-list for your Webflow site.

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Understand the needs and preferences of the target audience:

There are different ways to get information from markets and users. Typically it is a collaboration between product and business.

Culture & market:

Understand the context and culture of the country. Understand the market, local players, language, and culture.

Qualitative data:

Talk to your users, make interviews or focus groups. Try to listen more and take the right notes to better understand your client's needs.

Quantitative data:

Analyze KPIs and data from your existing analytics platform or research that you might find available and relevant to your business.

Build a multilingual strategy:

Building a multilingual allows your company to be accessible to a wider audience, including individuals who speak languages other than the one the site was originally created in.

This can improve the user experience for these individuals and potentially increase the site's reach and popularity. In addition, having a multilingual site can improve the site's search engine optimization and make it easier for users to find the site through search engines.

Create a custom content strategy with different languages to customize the user experience with your audiences in each country and generate more leads or sales.

In order to set up your multi-language site on Webflow you have 3 options today:

  1. Duplicate websites and pages

  2. Use the Polyflow integration

  3. Use the Weglot integration

Overall, building a multilingual site can have many benefits and is an important consideration for businesses and organizations looking to expand their reach and improve their online presence.

Enhance your multilingual SEO strategy:

To improve your website's international SEO, you should first make sure that your website is properly configured for international audiences. This means using the hreflang attribute to specify the language and regional targeting of your website, and using the rel="alternate" link element to indicate the relationship between the different language versions of your pages.

You should also make sure that your website is accessible and easy to use for users in different countries, and that it provides relevant and useful content for those users.

Build dedicated URLs for each language, automatically add hreflang tags and metadata translation.

Geo-located content:

Services, Products, Pricing, T&C, teams, and many other pages might be different from one country to another one.

Having a geo-located content strategy in place will allow you to show not only the right language to your users but show them local content depending on where the user is based.

You can read our 30-point checklist for a successful Webflow website launch.

Adapt marketing and services to local markets

Adapting your marketing strategy to local markets can help your business to better understand and meet the needs of your local target audience. 

Here are some ideas for adapting your local marketing:

  • Translate your website into multiple languages
  • Create different forms for each country
  • Make creative copies that impact the local culture. Apple is a good example, as they localize and adapt their content depending on the country.
  • Experiment with different assets for each country.

Best of all, you don't need to duplicate content, you can create pages with the Webflow CMS for greater content scalability.

Developing an international SEO strategy

Will help you improve the visibility and accessibility of your website. When your website is optimized for search engines, it is more likely to rank highly in local search engine results

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Research the market and the target countries you want to address.
  • Create a multilingual website
  • Use local domains and hosting
  • Optimize for local search terms
  • Monitor and track your performance

Conclusion

Make sure to follow all relevant laws and regulations in the European countries where you plan to operate. This may include GDPR (Legal requirement in the European Union), e-commerce regulations, and other legal requirements.

Use a website builder like Webflow, that allows you to easily create multilingual content. This can help ensure that your website is accessible to users in different languages.

Consider using translation tools like Polyflow to quickly and easily create versions of your website in different languages.

Use language switchers on your website to allow users to easily switch between different languages. This can help improve the user experience for visitors who speak multiple languages.

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