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"Expanding Global Reach with Multilingual SEO Tools"



A Localize Case Study

Ahrefs is a software company that develops online SEO tools and training for marketers. The Ahrefs company motto is “We think big, start small, and move fast.”

With Ahrefs’ easy-to-use toolset, marketers can boost their SEO and rank higher in search engines to drive more traffic to their site. Ahrefs SEO tools are widely regarded as a must-have for marketing professionals in all types of companies. The Ahrefs team acts fast to continuously improve their software and meet their customers’ needs. Ahrefs attracts an impressive roster of clients ranging from small businesses to huge brands like Facebook, Expedia, eBay, Netflix, and Adobe.

After continued success in English-speaking markets, Ahrefs set its sights on the rest of the world.


Words Translated




Increase in Site Traffic

The Problem: Localization Challenges

No matter where they’re located, marketers need to know how to rank well in Google. With only about 20% of global internet users able to speak and read English, international SEO is an emerging market. Multilingual interface was the next step for Ahrefs.

Ahrefs had to think big and move fast to capture the attention of international customers. So, the Ahrefs team set an ambitious goal for global expansion:

The Goal:

Expand Ahrefs’ popular SEO tools and training materials into new markets: Asia and Europe.

The Problem:

Ahrefs needed to localize and translate their SEO tools and training resources into 12 new languages including German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Turkish, and Chinese. Adding new phrases and fetching translations should be automated! Egor Chemohonenko, a frontend developer, was assigned to this project. To get started, he needed to find a fast and accurate way to translate Ahrefs’ user interface into those 12 different languages. It was important to build an agile translation workflow that could keep up the pace with the “think big, move fast” mindset at Ahrefs. File-based translation workflows weren’t a good fit for Ahrefs because it took excessive engineering resources, manual input, and too much time to implement.

Ahrefs looked for a simple, scalable solution that would allow for maximum automation to eliminate constant human oversight. Ahrefs also needed a tool that have a powerful backend API to manage phrases and fetch translations. This wish list of localization features also needed to be scalable for future growth opportunities.

"We knew we needed something different from the traditional file-based approach to localize our product. If you want to support 13 languages, is important to find a service with powerful API to automate adding new phrases and fetch translations. We have used Localize for a few years and it works great for us." - Egor Chemohonenko, Frontend Developer

The Localize Solution: Fast Translation Management without Files

Localize is a translation management system (TMS) with an innovative, agile approach to managing translations. Localize had everything Ahrefs needed to meet their goal: intelligent automation features, dashboard for managing translations, and an easy user interface for translators. You can read the full Ahrefs' article about the localization of ReactionReact on their website.

"We, at Ahrefs, heavily rely on typed languages such as ReasonML and OCaml. The translation process required the extraction of tons of phrases from the source code, and OCaml showed it was up to the task. After the extraction process was automated, it was easy and straightforward to deliver phrases to the translator with the Localize service."

Egor Chemohonenko, Frontend Developer

Using the Localize Backend API, Ahrefs was able to automate phrases delivery to translators. At the same time Localize provided a collaborative environment where technical and non-technical team members could work together in a user-friendly interface. When they needed extra support, the Localize Customer Success Team was ready with hands-on advice and help.

I’ve been impressed with the friendly response I always receive from Localize Support. If we need some additional features, for example a phrase deprecation API, the Localize team implements it quickly.

Egor Chemohonenko, Frontend Developer

Dashboard in English and translated to Japanese using Localize.

The Results

With Localize, Ahrefs saved considerable time and money on engineering resources by avoiding the cumbersome and outdated file-based approach to translations. Other translation solutions required significant engineering and coding, manually translating strings on a webpage, and time-consuming file transfers.

Localize stood out from the competition because everything was automatic and seamless. Managing translations in so many different languages sounded challenging at first but Localize made it feel effortless for the Ahrefs’ team. Localize helped Ahrefs quickly set up their SEO software and digital training content for a global release without putting any strain on their internal team.

I’m really happy with the tool. It does everything automatically and I don’t have to touch it. - Egor Chemohonenko, Frontend Developer

Ahrefs met all its goals with the help of Localize. They successfully reached customers throughout all of Europe, Japan, and China. And the growth won’t stop there. Today, Ahrefs still uses Localize to quickly reach new markets and share innovative SEO tools with the rest of the world.

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