How to Use Multilingual SEO For World Markets
Every moment you are losing a global opportunity if your business is limited to local customers. With the global economy booming and internet crossing all the borders, it is imperative now for any company to ensure that its reach extends beyond the local /national borders.
Now the question could be why you need multilingual SEO when your company is already doing well nationally. A rough statistic reveals that there are around 300 million consumers in the United States. So it is logical to think that reaching even these numbers of consumers can derive optimum exposure and profit to the company.
Lately, small business SEO services also take into consideration the middle-class market in the Asia and the Pacific region and stress on multilingual SEO. Why? It is because this particular market includes around 550 million consumers as of today. Current studies suggest that it will grow to up to three billion by the year 2030. It thus represents the 2/3rd of the total middleclass community of the world.
It makes international strategy using multilingual SEO very much crucial because it will not only increase the market share of your company but will also help in brand expansion. Also with majority of the people accessing the internet through Smartphones, it now seems highly practical to reach the local audience.
It also makes applying multilingual SEO strategy applicable and imperative for almost every exclusive brand.
Create An Online Marketing Strategy
It is important to use the right medium that will promote your message. And for that professional SEO services always prefer picking up the right structure for the website so that the message you desire is conveyed to the right audience.
So what should you use? Subcategories or subdomains?
1. Go Beyond Google
Of course, Google is the topmost search engine with its huge world-wide market share. However, when it comes to planning considering international markets, it also becomes quintessential that we take into consideration search engines popular in other countries.
For example, Japan prefers Yahoo; Chinese consumers use Baidu whereas Czech Republic people favour Sezam. Interestingly, Google has a special policy for taking care of its global clientele and employs ccTLDs or country code top-level domains.
So you need to consider all these things while coming up with your global strategy for multilingual SEO so that you are successful in maximizing exposure of SEO across the domains and various alternate search engines of different countries.
2. Research & Setting Up Goals
Before you chalk out the marketing plan, it is always better to check out the resources you would be using for the project. First, find out whether you are ready to make your business international? Next, consider the budget limits of your company because expanding your online presence for reaching across different countries you will be required to invest substantial time and money.
Go through this checklist before coming to a final decision:
· Is it possible to set up an office locally and if not, do you possess the right resources to come up with an office virtually?
· Do you have a representative who can offer service to bilingual customer and if not can you hire expert translators?
· Are you planning to employ different marketing team for different countries or can your existing team handle the promotion among people of different cultures?
· Is the tech support team you have qualified and equipped enough to handle hosts for multiple websites? Will you need more tech staff?
So before you start planning strategy for multilingual SEO check out your:
· Content development
· Tech support
· Landing pages & Links
· Maintenance and security
· Outreach of media for different countries
Also, check whether you need to use SEO services for multilingual expansion with the help of Google Analytics. It will provide you details whether your business has a global audience and can offer the greatest opportunities in different countries/languages.
3. World-wide Ranking Signals
Google makes use of around 200 or more markers for ranking in its algorithms. Many of these are considered highly significant to analyse international markets. Here are certain steps for analysing:
Domains of Top-Level: There are specific domains with country-code such as .co, .au and even .uk. You can trust these domains for their affiliations to local markets.
Location of Server: Its significance has become less in the past few years due to the advancement in cloud hosting. Even then, top SEO services still consider it a component important while planning multilingual SEO strategy. Research says that, you can get an edge if you host in the specific country that you are targeting promotion.
Geo-Targeting: Owners of the website can alert Google about the nation their website wants to target.
Local Signals: Using inbound links derived from the local websites ensures that Google places the target place correctly.
4. Architecture Of Website
Another major consideration before starting multilingual SEO strategy implementation is to determine whether you are using subdirectories, subdomains or ccTLDs.
· Using ccTLDs (country-code top-level domain names)
It helps the search engines target the geographical locations appropriately. It helps to improve rankings for the local region, reduces the significance of the location of the server and gives you an option to prepare the tailor-made site to address unique and various local audiences.
However, it is difficult to acquire ccTLDs without the local presence and they also require considerable financial investment as well as additional infrastructure. Moreover, you need a varying SEO strategy as well as human resources for each domain individually.
· Using Subdomains
The vital point of subdomains is that you can host them individually even though they are present within the generic top-level domain name (gLTD). They can be location or language specific and it is possible to geo-target them separately with the help of Webmaster Tools.
Local hosting and separation of the websites and set up is also possible using subdomains. However, you need to treat each subdomain separately that requires individual SEO strategy. Also, you cannot derive the benefit of geo-targeting from Google when using subdomains.
· Using Subdirectories
One of the most preferred tools is subdirectories as they can be easily passed from website’s different sections. It makes for a satisfying user experience. Moreover, setting up of subdirectories is simple and these can be put into practice even within the existing structure of your website.
You can use Webmaster Tools to geo-target each site individually. While using subdirectories you can cut down on the budget as you do not need separate domains. The only negative side of using it is that the geo-targeting signal is quite weak, so local users might avoid it in favour of other popular regional or local website.
5. What To Choose- Geography or Language?
The choice of top SEO services in this regard entirely depends on whether you are targeting language or a country. In case your product is based on information, then language targeting is the best option. In that case, opt for language-centric multilingual SEO strategy.
However, if you deliver the products and sell them online, geographical location is more significant. So you need to focus on the country.
6. Using Hreflang Tags
When used in the XML sitemap these tags help to create page sets for language and also suggests to Google the country or language your every individual page is targeting to. It is possible to specify both the target country and the target language in the code. Thus, the search engines can easily guide the users of different countries to reach your particular localized site in their local language.
It is quite possible that your multiple websites are carrying duplicate content because most of them are in the same language. For example, .co.uk and .au can share the same text. To avoid a penalty for using duplicate content, best SEO services recommends the use of rel =”canonical” link element.
8. Determining Objectives For Multilingual SEO
Each business is different and hence there is no bespoke solution for all. However, here are a few ideas you can pick up depending upon your type of business:
· For businesses having good resources as well as budget, creating websites targeted to countries using country ccTLDs is the best deal. This strategy helps you to send the signals with strongest geographical ranking to Google. But for this strategy to become successful, you should build links that are country-specific having the ability to manage numerous domains.
· For businesses with limited resources, the best move is using subdirectories. Setting up each folder for geo-targeting is easy by using Webmaster Tools. It is one way of maximizing your results. You can as well improve the visibility of each of your subdirectories by building authority for domains.
· For using subdirectories also you need to build a exclusive Domain Authority. Subdomains and subdirectories can have the same integral design and geo-location.
So depending upon the different resources as well as objectives for every business you can decide the multilingual SEO strategy.
9. Drawing Traffic To Translated Sites
Now that you have followed all the above steps it is time to find out how to draw traffic to these newly translated sites. Since the search engines for different countries can be in English, Spanish, and French or in many other languages the first thing you will have to do is to move around in that specific language.
· Hire A Translator
The first step is to talk to your SEO consulting services and hire a translator who can make text edits without making any changes in your important multilingual SEO-related efforts.
· Identify Appropriate Search Terms
Here we are assuming that the first site is in English, and you need to translate it into French. Your English keywords or search terms are already ready. So you need to first find out appropriate and equivalent search terms in French.
· Take Help Of Free Translation Services
There can be multiple words for each word in French and hence you must avoid using official translations for doing your keyword research. Instead, you can use free translation services such as http://freetranslation.paralink.com and http://www.freetranslation.com that can help you find the perfect keywords in French or in any other language you are searching for.
· Pick Up Keywords Worth Pursuing
Out of the list of all keywords, find out which keywords are really worth pursuing. You can try out all the keywords and get top rankings with a little search. But in that case, there is a possibility of missing out on some most researched and relevant terms.
Use pay-per-click search engines offering search suggestion tools such as Overture or Miva that offer services in almost all types of languages for getting the exact keywords to pursue.
· Make Natural Groupings Of Search Terms
First, group your search terms together into different natural groupings. Now use different groups on different pages of the website almost similar to what you do for an English site. In this way, the search terms complementing each other will be grouped together and will be present on the same web page.
10. On-Page Optimization For Multilingual SEO
On-page optimization basically means placing the search terms in the most appropriate places. But it is not as easy as it sounds as people have some fancy ways to us of using their local language.
Hence SEO marketing services follow certain steps to ensure that the translation should be in such a way that the delivered message is readable yet does not interfere with your search terms.
Focus On Accents
One of the key questions while following multilingual SEO strategy across the global market is about accents. Use them if you want to get the right results. Research suggests that it is okay to leave the accents off on your English site. However, you need to keep it on while promoting in Italian, German, French or any other sites.
There are certain exceptions to this rule though. In case the market for your product is downscale then you might have to optimize search terms both without and with an accent.
Should You Keep Same Filenames?
Many companies prefer keeping the same filenames, even after creating a translated website. It can help the webmaster track all the filenames that otherwise come under the unintelligible category without having to use the translation tables. So technically, keeping the same filename can be workable, but it may not be that effective for SEO.
Housing The Translated Site
A general question is where you should house the translated site. Should you keep it in a directory of the original English website or a sub-domain or on a separate website? Generally, experts prefer giving the translated site its own domain along with the appropriate extension of the specific country. It is an easy practice for Italian or German language.
However, it can pose problems while using it for countries like Mexico, Argentina, and Spain. So, another good option is having a sub-domain that also gives the appearance of being a separate site. It also allows some directories to consider it as a home page for a listing.
Building Quality Links
Another important factor in the multilingual SEO strategy is to build the links. Build relevant and good quality links based on both search terms and topics according to the language of your website. Unfortunately, French or Dutch language offers fewer options for building links as compared to English.
But the positive side is that you need fewer links for getting good rankings on the Dutch or French search engines.
So if you are planning to expand your market into Latin America, Europe or to any part of the world, get the site translated and optimized for the multilingual SEO listings. Remember, multiregional and multilingual SEO is always undergoing changes.
Since it is an expanding topic you need to keep on checking the. latest, evolving new strategies to come up with novel and amazing ideas to improve your business online across the global market