You're probably sick of the term SEO. Everyone seems to bring it up, everyone seems to know what it is and can promise you that glorious first page in the search results, but no one gives definitive answers about how to do it. Now multilingual SEO is one of the latest considerations in the world of topping rankings.
Years ago, there was a way to win easily with search engines and push yourself right to the top. Keyword stuffing and a tonne of links to yourself were all the rage, but the world of search engines has changed significantly.
Regular quality content pushes you up because search engines like activity. More than that, backlinks from reputable websites are ways to boost your website’s reputation rather than the old blackhat method of being put on directories.
Now that you know the basics of the world of search engine optimization, the impact provided by translating your website into more languages is an aspect often overlooked. This is especially true if your business is currently in global markets. By translating your website, you will instantly boost your ranks.
That’s why we compiled this short list of the top 5 things to know about multilingual SEO and how it can benefit your business internationally.
Keyword Research for Multilingual SEO
You may have perfected your keyword targeting for your current website, but when you localize to another country, you have to localize to their keywords. It’s all good translating your content, but you have to consider what terms are being searched for otherwise it partly negates your good work.
Natives are best for this. Although you can change your location through a VPN, a native will have a better sense of the country when deciding on a glossary of keywords.
Blog and News Posts
What a lot of companies do is translate their critical pages on the website, localizing the seemingly most important pages due to their high visit rate. The most competitive usually localize every landing page to give them an edge. There is a way to outdo them.
Translate all of your content. As said before, search engines love fresh content – especially when it’s regular and of a high quality. What better way to boost your rankings than to translate all your blog current blog posts and every future post.
Your content though won’t always be relevant across demographics. What you have to say to your Brazilian clients won’t necessarily matter to your Japanese clients so it may even be better to hire a content writer specific for each country to ensure that the website is continually updated to make those search engines smile. More importantly, increase your user experience and, by extension, your conversions.
Video Content Too
Adding subtitles to your videos is the most cost-effective solution to translating for a bigger world audience. If that wasn’t enough of a bonus if you can factor in some of your chosen keywords, subtitles counts as content and give you an SEO boost.
In fact, this is not specific to translating your content. Subtitles are a great way to boost you up the list for two reasons: search engines love videos and it counts as high-quality content. Don’t forget either, video websites like YouTube and Vimeo are search engines.
Do Not Use an Online Translation Tool
If you use a free online translation tool, you get what you don’t pay for. Your content will be riddled with errors, won’t flow, and will deter your customers. They won’t feel valued as a customer/client if you aren’t willing to put in the money to communicate in their native language.
We love repeating these figures and for good reason: 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own languages and 56.2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.
Invest in your clients and they will reward you with their patronage.
Further than that, using Google Translate for your website is actually against Google’s WebMaster Guidelines which can see a dip in your website’s presence.
Local Domains or Subdirectories
All this work has to go somewhere, right? Is it better to localize your domain (name.de, .fr or de.name etc.) or create a subdirectory on the website (.com/de/)?
Domain names are best because it is clear geotargeting and it can override your need for a local server. That being said, it can be expensive, and name unavailability and we recommend a local server for quicker loading times.
Subdirectories are easier to set up and low maintenance, it’s a simple addition to your current website. The problem is that the geotargeting is a little less clear (especially for the user), has uglier urls (less linking, perhaps) and does not have a local server which may impact your reach and search engine trust.
This is the beginning of a bigger picture. Search engine optimization has come a long way and there is less opportunity to promise a first-page rank – mistrust those who do because they are either exaggerating or misinformed. Localizing your website is a great, cost-effective way to reach whole new audiences without setting up physical hubs in your target locations. Really, in this increasingly globalized world measured in milliseconds, there is no excuse to not provide your website for the user because websites are all about the users.