5 key SEO tips for your multilingual website
A multilingual website needs well-crafted content in all languages. But how can you improve your global rankings in search engines? Here’s how to ensure your international SEO strategy increases your online presence and engagement.
What is multilingual SEO?
Multilingual search engine optimization (SEO) configures all language versions of a website to boost its rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs). International SEO focuses on increasing traffic from multiple countries.
Multilingual and international SEO best practices are essential to effectively reach and connect with target customers. We’ve rounded up 5 tips that deliver results.
1. Don’t just translate keywords
Ultimately, all content on your pages should be created to be found. Prevent your marketing endeavours from falling short by digging deeper into how your audiences actually search. For example, did you know that conversational long-tail keywords are more effective in cultures where voice search is more popular?
Your new keywords should answer the target demographic’s queries to maximize your click-through rate. An in-country SEO specialist will localize questions and keywords in the right context and assess their potential.
2. Optimize all elements
SEO for multilingual websites should adopt best practices for the target languages, including:
- Meta tags
- URL structure
- Images and audiovisual content
- Schema markup for local businesses, videos, products and offers, etc.
Be sure to fix any broken links and localize metadata such as alt text and captions. Adding hreflang tags identifies variations of your original page and help search engines display the right URL.
Subdirectories (e.g., www.yoursite.com/nl) benefit from the authority of your existing websites, unlike a country-specific top-level domain (ccTLD) (e.g., www.yoursite.nl) or subdomain (e.g., www.nl.yoursite.com).
3. Make topics relevant to locals
Informed international targeting helps present useful topics to audiences and avoids anything unfamiliar or inappropriate that would undermine performance. Localizing your pages shows that you understand your target market.
Consider national holidays, sales periods, local customs and the climate – what do users expect to see on a website and what words are in their search queries?
Recreating content in a way that piques curiosity and resonates will boost your ranking on SERPs. You can work with copywriters who’ll nail the tone and style for compelling country-specific campaigns.
4. Get high-quality backlinks
Link building is a powerful way to improve rankings. And for multilingual website SEO, backlinks from trustworthy sites in the same market and language will multiply your reach.
Think about your current and future partnerships. If a site has mentioned your brand without a link, requesting one with a friendly email may be worthwhile. Acquire additional inbound links from:
- Case studies
- Guest posting
- Influencer marketing
5. Don’t leave multilingual SEO as an afterthought
The best time to get started on multilingual SEO is now. After all, it’s an ongoing process that takes several months to see the first results.
Plan ahead – ideally, before your localized website goes live – to save time in the long run. Also, look into which search engines dominate. In China, Baidu and Sogou are major players in mobile and desktop searches, respectively.
Continuously implementing these tips as your site publishes more content in your chosen languages will bring in traffic and revenue.
Need some help? Turn to Attached for advice
Getting more clicks and leads requires meticulous technical SEO in languages your teams may not speak. Attached has a global community of native experts to optimize your website and craft content that attracts organic traffic.
Get more insights on multilingual websites, see how we can help, or speak to our team for an SEO site audit and practical feedback.