Best Practices For Multilingual SEO

Posted By on March 27th, 2019 in Search Engine Optimisation

“The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results.”

This joke nonetheless reflects an implacable truth: online visibility decides the fate of your company. In the eyes of the world (and potential customers), a company exists only if it is present online. If you want to increase traffic to your website, you must not neglect SEO – a set of strategies implemented to increase the visibility of your website in search engine results. 

To adapt to the expectations of digital marketing, face international competition, or to better present your products or services, a multilingual website offers many advantages, and it must be taken into account when working on your SEO strategy.

Multilingual SEO: Translating Your Content

Accurate translation should be a part of this multilingual SEO strategy. If done well, it contributes greatly to the visibility of your website in SERPs. The quality of the translation is also essential to ensure good brand image.

First and foremost, when you implement a multilingual SEO strategy, you should start by looking for relevant keywords. If you are ranking for English keywords in Dubai, translating these keywords into Arabic is something you should not do. For this, you should carry out a study of keywords for each of the languages on which you wish to rank.

You then move to the translation of content. Each language has its abbreviations, its specificities and ways of expressing itself. This is why you must opt for a professional translation. Hire a professional translator who has experience and understanding of SEO.

Ask a professional translation agency or specialist in your sector if necessary (legal, financial, medical translation), to benefit from SEO adapted translations.

P.S. Translate Everything!

It is a big no-no to leave any part in the language of origin. EVERYTHING must be translated and there must be ONLY ONE LANGUAGE per page.

A Multilingual Website – Which Languages to Choose?

The choice of languages in which to translate your site is fundamental. The first step is certainly to evaluate your main target markets. If your potential contacts are in the Middle East, it will be necessary to translate your site into Arabic. The fundamental question to ask is: to which public is your website aimed at? Analyze who will be the customers you intend to reach, and identify the language in which you will need to communicate with them.

Define a Suitable URL Structure

Use a unique URL for each language of your website. This improves user experience as well as facilitates the webmaster’s job in managing multi-language websites. It is also a prerequisite for Google to ensure good SEO.

Add Hreflang Tags to Locate Your Content

For this, there are several possibilities: a domain name with a ccTLD, a subdomain or a directory.

Google wants to know which territory you are targeting (in addition to the language you use).

If a British citizen does a search on his mobile for the delivery of flowers, the proposed sites must be in the United Kingdom or even close to his home, and not in the United States!

Choose a Relevant Language Selector

Why shouldn’t I use a flag? Because the flag refers to a country and not to a language! On an English site, why not then indicate “Spanish” and “French”? Because a native will click naturally on “Français” or “Español”!

In conclusion, a multilingual website, if built properly and according to best practice, will only bring benefits to your business: reaching a larger audience, increasing your visibility and consequently your profit.

If your target market is international, your site should be too!

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