Best Practices for Effective Multilingual SEO
Optimizing for search engines is already a difficult task that requires a lot of patience. You have to carefully choose your keywords and implement a content strategy that helps you build trust with the customer, create authority and boost your rankings. Doing this for multilingual businesses can be even more of a challenge.
If you have a business that offers products internationally or specifically want to target consumers in foreign countries, you need to cater to them. In fact, 90 percent of searches are done in the native language of the user, showing you how important it is to reach this target audience.
When making an effort for better multilingual SEO, even the smallest things can make an impact. That’s what we will focus on today at Genius eCommerce, the best practices for successfully building multilingual SEO.
Optimize for UTF-8 Characters – Foreign languages can often feature characters that are not part of the English language and may not mean much to you but mean quite a bit to someone else in their own language. Make sure that your website can support these characters. If the website is not able to support these characters and the characters become corrupted, it can prevent your website from being crawled properly. Also make sure that your title tags, image alt tags, and keywords match the target language and are translated properly with the accepted characters.
Choose the Right Keywords – You probably already have a list of target keywords in English and you may think that it’s easy to just translate them to multiple languages and put them to work. It’s not that simple. Translations can have different meanings or may not be the terms most likely to be used in another language. People are going to search for terms that are familiar to them and their language. It’s also important to conduct this translation for everything on your website, not just keywords.
Get to Know the Search Engines – Google may be your search engine of choice, but in other countries, there are other search engines that may take precedence that you need to be optimized for as well. In Canada, Bing is a popular choice. Some countries, like Korea, even use their own search engine called Naver. You can get new customers by targeting specifically to Google, but you could be missing out on your full potential if you don’t explore the search engines your international customers are using.
Have a Focused Strategy – There are some differences to multilingual SEO and trying to optimize your website for a different language. One thing that stays the same is the importance of having quality content. You should always consider where your SEO strategy is going and how you can keep up with the evolution of search engines.
URL Structure – Have you ever visited a website that looks like this: www.domain.com/en/about? The “en” in the middle of that indicates the language and that there may be other translations available. Each translation of your website should have its own domain for that country or a subdomain or subdirectory with the language and country information. Any keywords that are in the URL structure should also be translated properly.
Hreflang – Hreflang tags are part of the coding of a website and another way to inform search engines of the language a website is using, helping to increase the ranking for different languages that you are targeting.
The goal of SEO is to generate traffic and to make sure that the traffic you are generating is the right traffic for you and your business. If you have a business where you sell a product that can have an international benefit and generate interest around the world, you want to make sure your website is optimized for those countries that bring more to you in return.
Through all of your SEO efforts to make your multilingual website, remember to get help from a translator or a language service so you can be certain about the translations.
Keep reading Genius eCommerce for more updates and trends in the eCommerce world and how you can be prepared to take your SEO to new levels. This is who we are and what we do, and we want to help you with tips like these to build a campaign that delivers results.