Multilingual website. How to take care of international SEO?

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There are many reasons why you might want to create a multilingual website, and if you own an online business that’s looking to expand internationally, this should definitely be one of your priorities. A multilingual website can help you increase your visibility and build your credibility in the eyes of potential customers from other countries. However, this doesn’t mean that creating such a website is going to be easy or stress-free – in fact, having one may actually complicate things even more!

What is international search engine optimization?

International SEO is the act of optimizing your website to rank as well as possible in search engines outside of your country. It’s more difficult than simply ranking within your own borders, but there are some things you can do to make it easier.

One of the best ways to get started with international sistrategy by translating your content into different languages and using those translated versions on your site. Another way is by making sure you have an international Google Analytics account set up on all versions of your site so you can track where visitors are coming from and what language they speak fluently.

How does Google index language-dependent pages?

Google crawls your website and indexes all of the pages found on your site, with respect to its content. A big piece of advice to keep international SEO optimized is to do thorough content translation. Internationalized sites also benefit from having different domain names or subdomains, with language-dependent URLs in the hreflang tag pointing to each version of the site. You will want each translated page to have a unique set of meta keywords and keywords, too, but be sure not to overlap them across languages.

Multi-regional and bilingual site management

Here some basic definitions, before you’ll start international SEO optimization process:

  • A multilingual website is any website that contains content in more than one language. For example, the website of a Canadian company is available in English and French. The Google search engine tries to find pages that match the searcher’s language.
  • The multi-regional site is clearly targeting users in different countries. An example would be the website of a manufacturer that ships its products to Canada and the United States. Google Search tries to find a local page relevant to the searcher.

Use different URLs for different language versions

Use a plugin to automatically generate the different language versions of your website. Optimize your content for each page or post individually and make sure it’s not just machine-translated. You can do this by assigning different meta tags per page, and adding keywords relevant to that language version into the title and text of the pages or posts.

Tell Google about the different language versions

Several options are available for selecting the language or regional version of a page. Label your pages properly using hreflang annotations or with a sitemap.

Choose a domain name and brand name wisely

Choosing the right domain name and brand name are two of the most important aspects of creating a multanguage website. It’s not always possible to find the perfect domain name or make it easy to get a domain with international extensions, but here are some general pointers when it comes to naming your site. 

Keep in mind what you want people looking for your website to be able to find easily. Think about how they will search for your company and try to include words they would use into the title of your website. Add local phone numbers and other contact information on each language version so customers can reach you locally if necessary.

Optimize your navigation and create language sections on your homepage

Organizing your website’s navigation is important, as it makes your content more accessible and can make your site appear more credible. If you don’t have the resources to build an entirely new site or app, you may be able to use plugins to convert parts of your existing website into a multilingual experience. 

In order to make it easier for visitors to your website, they should be able to choose the language they want to use before they visit. These should be easy to find, and if you offer language variants. Once the visitor chooses their preferred language then all of the content will automatically display in that language.

Make sure you aren’t duplicating any content

Creating a website in more than one language presents some challenges, and it’s not as simple as translating your site. That’s because Google will consider the two websites (or multiple copies of the same site) to be the same resource. When one of them ranks better in search results, the other will lose out or not rank at all. If you have content that is unique to each version of your site, you can use URL parameters to set the desired domain and language. You could also use 301 redirects from translated URLs back to their original URLs when linking internally on your own site.

Wrapping up

Creating a multilingual website is a lot of work. It means not only localizing your text, but also designing and implementing multilingual content layouts. That said, as long as you are strategic about it and make the right choices with regards to localization technology and design, you can have an effective and successful site for any language! The best option is to work with preffesional Hamilton SEO expert, who will take care of your webiste(s).


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