Hello in many languages

Are you wanting to target a foreign audience and break into international markets? Translating and localizing your business is vital, but it is not enough. In order to ensure that your international target audience finds you organically, you need to develop and implement effective marketing strategies, and multilingual SEO is a good way to do that.

What is Multilingual SEO?

Multilingual SEO involves optimizing your website content for different languages, so it can be found in new markets and by people who speak different languages. 

According to Statista, most internet users use American English as their search language. But statistically speaking, English is just the third most spoken language in the world. Even if your main audience is living in English-speaking countries, you’ll find that not all of your visitors are native English speakers. So, it’s worth using multilingual search engine optimization to reach as wide an audience as possible.

It might be tempting to rely on Google translate, which non-English speakers can use to translate both the results of a Google search and the contents of your site. But, the truth is if you use a multilingual SEO strategy, you will receive much better results, both in terms of SEO and the quality of the translated content.

Why is Multilingual SEO Important?

The process of expanding into an international market requires coherent and consistent marketing strategies, in which SEO and localization play a crucial role.

The SEO rules applicable to the local market apply to the international one. In addition, you must add localization efforts. To make your content accessible and searchable, and to have a unique presence that resonates with your new audience, translations need to be fine-tuned. Everything needs to be refined, from cultural and religious norms, to the different nuances of the language. The more localized you can make it the better it will be received by your audience. 

Multilingual SEO Best Practices

Translate and Localize

For multilingual SEO, it’s not enough to simply translate your site’s keywords. Instead, you need to identify the key words your target audience tends to use when searching and incorporate those words into the translated content.

When considering your translated site, you need to identify the keywords that resonate in each of your target locales. That’s why it’s imperative to try and work with a localization company who are native to your target market. You should include keywords in your website’s content, meta tags, and ALT tags once you have a solid list of keywords.

Translate Your Metadata

As you develop a multilingual website, you’ll need to make sure you also translate the metadata (meta description and ALT tags). These are crucial on-page SEO elements that will help you boost your rankings in new countries.

Since languages differ, this is not always a simple word-for-word translation. As a result, you must conduct new keyword research for your new target market before publishing the translated version of your original content.

Keep One Language Per Page

You might be tempted to translate just some parts of your website and keep others in the original language. 

Having multiple languages on the same page can alter your users’ experience, especially if they do not understand the original vocabulary of your website. The reader will have difficulty navigating to other pages in the first case, even if he understands the main content. Users who lose context in the context of user-generated content in different languages can be confused or even frustrated by user-generated content in different languages.

The Takeaway

When creating a website in multiple languages, it’s vital to ensure the quality of your translation. As mentioned many times, having a localized website is a matter of quality content on every page. Furthermore, you need to consider several multilingual SEO factors, to help you define a clear intended reader for each of your pages and avoid duplicate content on your website.