Multilingual SEO is not easy. You need to maintain consistency across languages, and you also need to be aware of the different search engines’ requirements for each language.
We’ve compiled a list of best practices that will help you with your multilingual content strategy.
We have done extensive research on how to optimize multilingual sites with consistent content across different languages and cultures. Here are our top tips for creating a sustainable Multilingual SEO strategy for the long-term success of your website.
Tips for Creating Sustainable Multilingual SEO Strategies
Tip #1: Write In-Context Content
The title and URL are the most important elements that search engines use to determine what your page is about, so you want to place the most important keywords at the beginning of both.
The title should include all the necessary keyword variations that are relevant to a specific page, and it shouldn’t be just stuffed with as many keywords as possible – this can lead to penalties from Google for spammy behavior.
The URL is also very important, so you want to make sure that relevant keywords and phrases are included in the URL.
This is why it’s important to include all of the languages and variants within the URL – for example, instead of just using “seo-tools” in the English version, use something like “English/seotools.”
Google uses other signals beyond your title tags and URLs to determine what a page is about, such as the words in the actual content of the page.
Google can look at the words that you used and assign a “relevance” score to your page based on how relevant it is to certain search terms.
Therefore, if you have some pages with only English text, and other pages where you have both English and another language, your pages with both languages might rank higher because they are considered to be more relevant to the search terms.
Tip #2: Avoid Ambiguous Phrases
Don’t create an international SEO strategy for multiple countries. Instead, you should build a separate site for each country – if it’s only one language version, then that’s fine too.
The reason for this is that if you try to rank in multiple countries, you will need to attract visitors from each of these countries and find the best ways to monetize them.
This can be very challenging – there’s no guarantee that people will find your site particularly interesting even though it’s relevant because they might not speak the same language as you.
If you have multiple country-specific versions, then the potential of failure is much lower.
You should still use an international SEO strategy for your overall brand; however, each country should have a separate site in order to increase your chances of success for that particular language and location.
Tip #3: Create An International SEO Strategy
It’s very important to create a solid strategy that will get you ranked not just in one country but all around the world.
If you are planning on expanding your business and entering multiple markets, it’s best if you start doing this early on so that you have enough time to build up a presence through social media and other online or digital marketing channels.
You don’t need to worry about creating a website for each country right away – you can try and optimize your current site first, then build a new one from scratch once your rankings start getting higher.
Tip #4: Use Google Search Console For All Languages
Google has launched the ability to monitor all of the languages that are relevant to your business.
If you have a multilingual website, you want to make sure that Google can see your site in all of the languages that it’s relevant to.
This is also important for local SEO – if you have multiple country-specific websites, then these will show up in the “Bing Webmaster Tools” section of your Search Console account. Your SEO service company needs to create a solid strategy to give your business a boost in search engines.
Tip #5: Encourage User-Generated Content And Reviews
If people can create content in your language, this boosts the relevancy of your website and gives you more ways to rank for search terms that might not be included in your original content.
If customers are happy with what they’ve bought from you, then they will also leave reviews about it on their own blogs and social media accounts – this is something that is very important for local SEO, especially if you are going after a smaller market or locale.
Tips #6: Hire A Web Developer
If your website was originally created by someone else (for example, it’s an off-the-shelf template), then you might want to hire someone to make some language changes for you.
It’s best if you have a web developer that can create the right code for your website so that search engines can read and index it properly.
Tips #7: Use Targeted Keywords
If you are trying to rank in the same language as your main website, then it’s best to use keywords for SEO that aren’t just similar but actually relevant (e.g., I love to cook spaghetti compared to I’m a fan of Italian food).
This is something that will help you bring more traffic and possibly sell more products because the search results will be more personalized.
Tips #8: Create A Multilingual On-Page SEO Plan
For each language that you are targeting, you need to create a good on-page SEO strategy that will help with your rankings.
This means using keyword-rich content and making sure that everything is written correctly in order for search engines to properly index it.
Tips #9: Use Internal Links For Each Language Version
You want to make sure that your internal linking strategy is good so that search engines will be able to follow it correctly – this doesn’t just mean using the right keywords but also making sure that each URL is written in a proper way.
Tips #10: Start A Blog For Each Language Website
Even if you don’t have the budget to create separate websites for each language, one thing that you can do is start a blog in your desired language.
Make sure that all of your on-page SEO is optimized, and you’ll start to see an increase in traffic through your blog.
As you have seen from the above tips, multilingual SEO has changed dramatically over the past few years.
You can no longer ignore foreign markets and just expect to rank there without any effort from your side – you have to work on local SEO and use a dedicated strategy that will take into account all of the changes that Google has implemented for international search.
Remember that it’s important to take different languages into account because you never know where your next customers will come from!