Success is a multi-stage process, not one shot. Therefore, after your business has established itself locally, logically it’s the time to reach out to a global audience. In fact, it’s an opportunity that is becoming increasingly open to international giants as well as small & medium companies.
But how are you going to go global with a unilingual website, a platform that talks to only one group of people? The answer is “Multilingual SEO, or “SEO Localization“, which actually opens up your website to millions (China has billions!) of prospective clients across the globe.
So, what’s the benefit of what we call SEO localization? What kind of added value, if any?
If your business embraces SEO localization, your website content will be ranking high in as many different languages as you wish. And remember! These wonders will be done without creating any new content. The existing content, after being translated with international SEO in mind, will be presented to your new audiences in their own mother tongues – adapted to fit well with their specific tastes and cultures.
So, what if you want your new audience in Canada, Austria, China, Australia and Zambia (did I forget Brazil?) to find your website through Google and other search engines?
How to Optimize Your Website for multiple Markets?
Now that you’ve decided to harness the power of multilingual SEO Localization, what is your SEO localization approach? What are the steps for launching your maverick multilingual website?
For now, let’s have a look at these steps one by one:
1- Which Languages to Target for SEO Localization?
The first step, and probably the most logical one, is to study your website’s analytics in an in-depth manner to decide which countries, language communities and regions your website should be targeting.
Your website analytics is a sort of roadmap for you to plan out your next moves. For example, if your French language e-commerce site is targeting prospects in Québec, the predominantly French-speaking province in eastern Canada, but Google Analytics Dashboard reveals that you’re receiving large numbers of German-speaking visitors (or visitors from German-speaking communities). What then?
Therefore, it’s logical in this case that you have to tweak your business strategy to target a German-speaking audience – because if you don’t make this move, you’ll be losing website visitors, word-of-mouth recommendations and conversions. Can any business afford to lose these three treasures of Ali Baba?!
2- Should All Content Go Through SEO Localization?
Even though many would answer with “yes”, with the purpose of providing a consistent “user experience” across the whole website, it’s still more beneficial for you to ignore the following types of content/web pages:
- Outdated irrelevant webpages on the website.
- The low-quality webpages and blog posts ─ which don’t primarily aim at conversion.
What’s more, logically you would start your SEO localization with the most-visited and best- performing pages, such as home page, about us page, navigation tools, pop-ups, CTAs, etc.
3- Choose Your Website Domain Structure
Your next step in making your website ready for multilingual SEO localization is to choose the domain structure, noting that the 4 most widely used structures for multilingual SEO are:
- Separate domains for each language (google.co.uk)
- Subfolders (www.apple.com/fr/)
- Subdomains (fr.facebook.com )
When we look at the advantages of a subdomain over a subfolder, we may summarize them as follows:
- Each subdomain serves a different purpose.
- Each subdomain functions as a separate “business” within the whole corporation.
- Subdomains can help to get high rankings, with each subdomain standing on its own and may or may not be linked to from the main entity. As they are very important, these links are the biggest reason why many would prefer a subdomain to a subfolder.
Now let’s look at the advantages of a subfolder over a subdomain. As the majority of businesses normally focus on one or two main topics, so unless there’s a good reason for the site owner to separate business units, it’s clear that the subfolder option involves less work, and therefore the owner is likely to maintain it, which means better rankings.
4- Keyword Research and Localization
Now that you’ve chosen the right website structure, the next step will see the role of a professional multilingual SEO localization partner becoming clear, vital and essential. It’s time for translating the website into a second, third or fourth language.
The expert SEO localization company will embark upon conducting the relevant keyword research in the new language (or languages) in order to target keywords that have high search volume and low organic competition.
What’s more, when it comes to localized keyword research, any business may translate local keywords in order to rank high in the new targeted markets. But, the problem with this strategy is it doesn’t take account of the search volume in different markets or country-unique keywords that may have high search volume but no domestic equivalent terminology.
However, the only solution to guarantee that your business is targeting the right relevant keywords is to choose a translation and SEO localization partner with native linguists who are also versed in the process of keyword research.
5- Follow On-Page Best Practices
Your SEO localization vendor will certainly include the main keywords once in the meta title, meta description, URL and h1 title and a few times, but not excessively, elsewhere on the page.
Since keyword stuffing has become an old-fashioned SEO practice and no longer works and will even result in penalizing, you are advised to prioritize good spelling and grammar over inserting exact keywords in your content.
Why Future Trans?
An ISO 17100 certified company, Future Trans has over a quarter-century established a worldwide reputation for providing our top-notch clients with a full portfolio of language services, particularly SEO localization services, that make their websites appealing to new target audiences in new markets – communicating with them in their own languages and perfectly fitting well with their specific tastes and cultures.