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5 Strategies to improve the SEO positioning of your multilingual website

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multilingual website

We all know how complex it can be to get a good organic search positioning. This task becomes even more complicated if it is a multilingual website, i.e. a website translated into several languages.

To reach our target audience we must work on the positioning of our website. A good SEO positioning will make our website appear among the first results of search engines, which will generate more opportunities to be found by consumers. 

But what exactly does SEO consist of, and how do you improve the positioning of a multilingual website?

To answer  this, we will first explain a little more in depth what are the mechanics by which Search Engine Optimization (SEO)works.

SEO positioning is the act of persuading search engines to recommend your website over others and, in this way, get the page seen by a greater number of users. The relevance of your website to search engines is as important as the quality of the content you offer to users. Without quality content there is no relevance, and conversely, without relevance, quality content remains invisible. 

When it comes to optimizing the SEO of a multilingual website, there are different strategies than if it were a monolingual website. Just as in the communication process we need to adapt the language of the recipients, in SEO positioning there are certain factors that also need to be adapted.

do you know how to define an International SEO strategy for your multilingual website? 

Don’t miss out! Here we tell you all about it. 

1. Research the target market and your competition

Before you start, the first and most important thing is to make sure that your business can work in the new markets you want to enter. We know that expansion to other countries often leads to business growth; however, if your business model is not well received, does expansion make sense? 

Expressed in a more colloquial way, we could pose the question, "Can you sell ice to an Eskimo?"

As you know, it is not only expanding a company into new markets not only language must be taken into account. Knowing the culture of the target society is essential to adequately adapt our offer to the target. What may be a wonderful idea in France may have a terrible reception in Germany. To make sure that you will really succeed, it is essential that you study the target market, your local competition, the target company, etc.

2. Define the buyer persona of your multilingual website

The second step is vital: define your buyer persona. 

In other words, who is your product or service aimed at? 

what is a buyer persona?

Your buyer persona is a definition of your ideal customer. Creating a buyer persona is a very useful exercise that will allow you to specify the profile of your target customer in order to better identify their needs and thus adapt your sales strategy more precisely.

It is not unusual for the same company to target different buyer personas. Your product or service can serve to satisfy different needs of different sections of the public, so it is important to consider the different profiles in order to target each one of them correctly. 

This becomes even more relevant if we take into account your buyer persona or personas in the new target markets. 

A change of language implies a certain cultural change and the profile of your ideal customer in your source market does not necessarily coincide with that of the target market

You will need to research the new market, and your potential consumers and their behavior, to create a realistic buyer persona profile and adapt your multilingual content strategy.

3. Create specific content for your multilingual website

Following on from the previous point, we pose the following question:

is it effective to offer the same content to different buyers?

As we saw before, the way to adequately impact the target audience is to offer them personalized and adapted content. If your website content is multilingual, giving it a unique touch for each market will more effectively capture the interest of that audience.

The content of a website is much more than the text that appears on the pages. All the elements that make up its structure must  be valued and adapted to the public that will visit it.

You will have to take into account the preferences of your users in each target market. If there is one thing we can take away from all this, it is that a literal translation of your website will not be enough to achieve your goals, it will have to be a translation that fits into that socio-cultural environment. 

And this is what a multilingual website allows you to do. 

4. Pay attention to SEO translation

When we talk about improving the SEO positioning of a multilingual website, we refer to a basic and unavoidable step: SEO translation.  

In our article "International SEO: the most common mistakes when positioning your website in other countries" we have already explained the main mistakes that are made when working with a multilingual website.

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, SEO is our main tool to position the website in the target markets, as it works to gain the preference of search engines over other competitors.

In order for the translated content of our website and blog to be positioned in the same way as the original content of our site, we must take care of the translation of all SEO-related elements.

This includes several points to which you should pay attention:

  • Translate the content in a reader-friendly way: translating your website only by means of an automatic translation plugin can make the texts seem mechanical and difficult to understand. You need to take into account the nature and complexity of your content, as this will determine the most appropriate translation method and tools for your project.
  • Select the keywords or key words  that your target customers in the target market search for on the Internet and do not just translate literally the original ones. A keyword in the source language may have more than one alternative in the target language. The opposite can also happen, that we have alternative words in the source language to which the same translation corresponds.
  • Translate text metadata: this includes keywords, titles, meta descriptions, URLs, image alternative texts, etc. All these not so visible data are very influential for SEO, not translating them properly will seriously penalize the positioning of your multilingual website.
  • Adapt the interlinking strategy to pages in different languages: internal links must be replaced by translated links from your website, as well as external links, which have to be changed to point to domains in the same language.
  • Generate sitemaps properly: the sitemap is an index that has the function of helping search engines to understand how the website is distributed and the relationship between the different internal pages that are within the same domain. This code must be generated correctly from the translated content, for this it is important to have a good translation of the website. It is important for search engines to give more relevance to your website based on the geographic region in which searches are performed.

Guide: Why translate a blog or website?

5. Hire an agency specialized in SEO translation

If you've made it this far, you probably have a lot of questions running through your head right now. 

sEO translation? metadata? Sitemap translation? buyer persona?

You may know these terms, or have  an idea of most of them, but how do we apply all this in a simple way to improve the positioning of a multilingual website?

That it is not enough to simply translate a website literally is something we already clearly understand.

Indeed, SEO is the basis of any digital marketing strategy and it is necessary to translate and adapt it to each language to  to ensure that our multilingual website attracts and converts the right customers.

For this reason, the best option will always be to count with professional experts who can understand and adapt the strategy according to the magnitude or complexity of your project.

In short, don't underestimate the right localization of your website. Follow these 5 key strategies to improve your positioning and trust an agency specialized in SEO to not only translate, but also adapt to the requirements of your strategy.

If you still have any doubts, don't forget to visit our blog. There you will find all the information you need and more, we will be happy to help you!

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