If you have a website, you probably understand the significance of SEO. But what if there was a way to expand your market and reach even more people?
Multilingual SEO allows us to do just that. Multilingual SEO takes your existing content and translates it into a different language while optimizing the new material for SEO.
So, how will this expand your reach? Your site is now searchable in new markets. When keywords are searched in different languages, your website will rank for these too.
Only 20% of the world speaks English, so while your content might be reaching the right people, they may not necessarily understand it.
Here are five best practices to help you get started:
#1 Dedicated URLs
When creating a multilingual website, one concern is duplicate content. Duplicate content is not beneficial for ranking your site or for SEO.
Dedicated URLs help us avoid duplicate content since we can have URLs that include a language indicator. This way, search engines can identify what language the site is in, just from the URL.
For example, www.mywebsite.com is in your original language, and www.mywebsite.com/fr is translated into French.
There are three language indicator structures to choose from
- Top-level domain: www.mywebsite.fr
- Subdomain: www.fr.mywebsite.com
- Subdirectory: www.mywebsite.com/fr
The one you choose will depend on the goals of your site, as there are pros and cons to each.
Hreflang tags are helpful when you have your site in multiple languages. When someone is searching for your website, you want the search engine to send them to the page in the correct language – their language.
Let’s say your site is originally in English and translated into Spanish. When a Spanish speaker searches for your website, the English version will rank, but you also want the Spanish version to show up. This is where hreflang tags come into play.
The search engine uses the hreflang tags to see what language is used on the site and provide results accordingly.
#3 Human Translation
It is recommended to avoid machine translation when implementing multilingual SEO. Using online translators leaves much room for error. If you have ever tried to translate something into another language, you know that the results are not always accurate!
One company that uses human translation is SEO by Natives. SEO by Natives provides translation services along with SEO services. There is a team of native speakers who translate the content into Canadian French and ensure the content is optimized for search engines. They do keyword research in French to ensure your site is ranked for all relevant keywords.
#4 Site Speed
No one likes waiting for a page to load, and many times if a user is waiting too long, they will exit and find another website. Users care about site speed, and now search engines do too. Google has gone on record stating that they use site speed as a ranking factor.
Since search engines want to provide the best results for their users, they are not going to recommend a page that takes forever to load as it is not great user experience.
#5 Localized SEO
The content of your website is translated, but you are using phrases or references that another culture might not understand. Translating your content is the first step, but you also need to make sure the content is relevant.
Localized SEO is adapting your content to the culture of your new audience. Things such as currency, time, holidays, even color schemes, should all be relevant to your new audience.
As mentioned above, SEO by Natives specializes in translation along with localized SEO. They localize your content and adapt it to the French Canadian market and its’ culture.
You want your user to have a positive experience and feel as if the website was truly made for them!
Multilingual SEO is a great option to expand your market. This article talks about a few factors that go into the process, but there are many aspects to consider.
To recap, five best practices for when you get started with multilingual SEO are
- Dedicated URLs
- Hreflang Tags
- Human Translation
- Site Speed
- Localized SEO
Multilingual SEO can play a crucial role in your business’ strategy for growth.
Hopefully, you feel confident in taking the next step for your business!