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Top Tips to Enhance Your Multilingual SEO

When it comes to multilingual SEO, first and foremost, you want to make sure that people are seeing the correct pages for their location. You also want to avoid penalties for content that is considered duplicate. Thankfully, Google has laid out some best practices for multilingual SEO, and there are a number of measures you can take to improve your rankings.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some actionable steps you can take as part of a high-quality content marketing strategy to beat the algorithm and bring more organic traffic to your multilingual site.

Multilingual SEO: What is it and when should you use it?

Multilingual SEO is the act of optimizing the content on your website for different languages, so you become searchable in new markets, and people in different countries can find your website through organic search.

SEO experts will tell you that multilingual SEO means you have to optimize your site for native speakers of languages in countries other than your own.

1. Use dedicated URLs

Your URL is the first part of your website that users see, and it’s also where you should start when doing localization SEO. Each of your language or country pages needs to have its own URL so that Google can effectively crawl, index and rank your sites.

2. Planning out your multilingual SEO strategy

So you’ve decided to adopt a multilingual SEO strategy: great. But what do you need to consider when you’re planning what that strategy will be and how will it fit with your broader digital marketing strategy?

Any search engine optimization strategy has to start with an understanding of your audience and their search habits. In your target countries, this might be different from in your native country. Consider the target languages that your audience will be speaking, and make sure you have country-specific solutions that translate your content and your SEO metadata into those.

3. Stick to one language per page

Google uses the visible content of your page to determine its language—so you need to make the language obvious by sticking to one language for content and navigation. Side-by-side translations are a no-go!

Having more than one language on a page also impacts the user experience as it’s confusing, and context is easily misinterpreted.

4. Translate the “hidden” parts of your website

SEO incorporates both the content that users see and the content they don’t—and both are equally important.

When creating multilingual websites, it’s easy to forget about your website’s “hidden” parts. This refers to the text that works in the background and the pages that users only see when they perform a certain action. These include:

  • Metadata descriptions
  • Metatag titles
  • URLS
  • Alt text for images
  • Checkout pages
  • Contact pages
  • Newsletter sign-up forms
  • Error messages

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