5 Tips for Improving Multilingual and International SEO


It is difficult to overestimate the importance of content in digital marketing. Those who succeed in using savvy SEO tools are able to engage with wider and more diverse audiences. These include audiences who might not necessarily speak English. By improving your multilingual SEO resources, you make your website accessible and searchable in new markets, i.e., those that do not focus on English-based resources only.

You can also aim to increase your website rankings across continents. You do not always need to have multilingual websites to go international if your targets include English-speaking countries only.

What are some of the best tips for improving multilingual and international SEO tools? Check out our recommendations to make sure you make the most of your SEO capabilities.

–        Professional translators

Getting top-notch translation quality is an absolute must. You cannot afford to be lax with translation. Nor can you cut any corners or make savings that will prove to be counterproductive. Avoid using unreliable online translators that can get you in a lot of trouble. In addition to purely linguistic issues, you might get into trouble with culturally embarrassing or disparaging translations.

You need to get translators who are proficient in both the main and target languages. When your website sounds natural, you are more likely to attract more people by gaining their trust and confidence. You must only use certified translation services to ensure the highest quality of translated materials.

–        Geotargeting

Geotargeting is about developing content that is customized to the needs and interests of a specific country or location. This means you create different versions of your site, directing visitors to the relevant version in accordance with their location. For instance, customers from France are directed to a site developed for Europe specifically. You might have a different version for your visitors from China. And so on and so forth, depending on the number of countries you aim to reach.

Different domain names are used to differentiate between these varying versions. The same impact can be achieved by creating different websites or different web pages on the same website.

–        Pick the right URL structure

When it comes to choosing your URL structure, you have several options. Whatever structure you end up selecting, you need to make sure you stick to it. Let’s see what your choices are.

–        ccTLD

ccTLD stands for ‘country code top-level domain.’ Essentially, it denotes the end of the name of your domain. For example, if the domain extension is .de, it means that it is located in Germany. Thus, you can opt for a ccTLD in accordance with your requirements and business objectives.

–        Subdirectories:

You need to focus on subdirectories when developing your multilingual SEO tools or hybrid targeting methods. An example of a subdirectory is website.com/de. You can also add a country code followed by the target language.

–        Subdomains

This is a more complicated option. If you go for de.website.com, you make it more difficult for customers to find you or what they are looking for. This is because you limit the ability of the search engines to identify your website as a whole rather than broken down in pieces.

–        Find keywords that work locally

It is an ineffective strategy to simply translate your keywords. It may look like an obvious decision to just get them translated by your professional translator, but you need to invest much more than that. First and foremost, you should identify the keywords that are relevant to the local audience. This is your key local seo strategy.

Keywords are not always the same across languages. What works in the United States might not resonate with people in Japan and vice versa. Do your due diligence to learn more about what works and what works where.

–        Don’t forget the hidden parts of the site

Many people forget about the hidden parts of their website because, well, they are hidden. This refers to the information that visitors only see when they perform some action. This kind of data in the background includes metadata descriptions, checkout pages, metatags, URLs, contact pages, and so on. Of these, metadata and metatag titles are most important since they show up in search results. Make sure you search for them and translate any pieces that might have fallen through the cracks earlier.

Bottom Line

Developing multilingual and international SEO-optimized websites is a challenging task. You must make sure that your content speaks to the needs and interests of target audiences that vary by language and by location. Do your best to cater to their differing needs and enjoy the highest return on your investment.

Joanne Elliot is a long-time marketing expert and professional writer. She has successfully led lots of profitable marketing campaigns, working with some of the world’s leading companies. Joanne knows a thing or two about developing and applying SEO tools targeting international markets.