8 Best Practices for Multilingual SEO
Is your audience international? Do you want to conquer new countries? Then, you will have to switch to multilingual!
SEO can be done in multiple languages, but be careful if it’s tempting not to translate your pages. This could cause you to lose visibility in new markets.SEO can be done in multiple languages, but be careful. It’s tempting not to translate your pages. This could cause you to lose visibility in new markets.
How to do well? I’ll tell you everything!
1. Create sub-directories
First: Consider creating sub-directories to represent each language in your primary website for quality multilingual optimization. This technique helps maintain domain authority. Therefore, pages translated into English are listed at www.site.com/en.
2. Register a domain that conforms to the country codes
If you target a country-based audience, acquiring a national top-level domain (ccTLD) is a relevant approach.
For example, if you want to target UAE, the ccTLD will appear as www.examplesite.ae. This can be done quickly by some CMS and web hosts.
However, you should know that search engines will treat each site separately, so you need to gain authority for each domain.
3. Translate content intelligently
On each page, it’s a foreign version. Therefore, it is essential not to put texts in several languages side by side. In addition, avoid automatic translations, sometimes approximate, which do not consider each country’s SEO specificities. Indeed, a strong keyword in one country might not be desired in another. Sometimes all it takes to change your positioning ultimately is a synonym.
4. Take advantage of the “hreflang” attribute
To prevent Google from seeing your multilingual content as duplicate content, you can add the Hreflang snippet. This code is used to link English URLs to foreign URLs.
Google offers detailed instructions for using “hreflang” via HTML tags, HTTP headers or a sitemap.
5. Adapt your metadata
The metadata of your site contributes to positioning in the new countries that you are targeting. However, simple word-for-word translation of metadata from English to another language is not recommended.
Take up known good SEO practices by performing keyword research by targeted country. Then, you can use it to adapt your English articles and for writing meta tags (description and title, in particular).
Please make a list of English words and their translations. Next, analyze the search volume for each term in the target country. Finally, assess the keywords offered by your SEO tool to determine if they perform better.
6. Translate links
It is important that all links are translated, not only the sections and categories.
For example, a URL like “domainname.com/english” should be fully translated as “domainname.com/french.”
If you need to translate the links on all pages, start with those whose goal is to convert to promote SEO as quickly as possible.
7. Add a module to change the language
If you do your SEO job correctly, people in each country will be redirected to pages in their language. However, some users browse with a VPN and may be located elsewhere. Therefore, they will need to change the display language of your website.
Others speak multiple languages and may want to choose. For example, a French person living in the United States will be tempted to select a display in French rather than in English.
It doesn’t cost anything to add it, and it can avoid losing a conversion!
8. Adapt SEO to users’ browsing habits
You have to keep in mind that Google isn’t necessarily the most popular search engine in every country. Baidu, for example, is the most popular search engine in China.
Think about this when developing your SEO strategy to target another country.
These 8 best practices will allow you to give your multilingual website the chance to attract visitors and converts from every target country.