December 02, 2021

6 min read

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If the online business is doing well in the home country, and the international market has the potential to expand – then, the business must go global. Amazon started from the bottom and the world knows where they are today! 

Going Global Businesses – Why Multilingual Site Is Required?

To attain success in the new expanding markets, the business must have to do some extra investments in regard to SEO. The investment is in International SEO or Multilingual SEO, both are used interchangeably. 

Targeting different countries having different spoken languages would pose a challenge, but the businesses Global Vision wouldn’t compromise on that. It is pretty obvious that people who are searching in Spanish would be directed to a Spanish Site.  Having a multilingual website by following all the multilingual SEO elements ensures that it shall be found in those targeted countries keeping the cultural differences insight. 

Is Cultural Difference Important?

As Network the Internet is expanding at a fast pace, and online businesses are eyeing international markets, the cultural differences in website designs have become sought for more importance. Because the most important question that arises, in this case, is that “Are Website Design Elements as appealing to the International Market as to the Home Market?” Like, using the Avatars could be appealing to the audience of one country, and might sound childish to the audience of another country. So, to be accepted there as a credible site – it would utilize the Multilingual Approach.

What Is International/Multilingual SEO?

A Multilingual Website is one that offers Content in Multiple languages or locations. To be appealed to different countries, an approach is used to optimize the content called International or Multilingual SEO. For example, If a Business has both English & Spanish Versions of its site, Google would show the Translated page based on the Language used for the Query by the Searchers. 

International SEO – Domain, Content & Hreflang

Domain Structure For Multilingual Site

To devise a successful approach in targeting the right audience, you’d need to narrow down which pages you want the visitors to land on. There are three options for the Domain Structure, which you can use – each with its own merits.

  • Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD): It can be pretty expensive & requires more infrastructure, but it can be helpful in Clear Geotargeting i.e. google.de
  • Subdomains With gTLD: It is easy to set up and allows different server locations, but the user probably does not recognize the Geotargeting from the URL i.e. en-gb.facebook.com.
  • Subdirectories with gTLD: It is also easy to set up, but it doesn’t allow different server locations i.e. facebook.com/de/

Content for International Audience

Content is vital to any website, but it has a different priority in terms of Multilingual SEO.  If you want to publish the content in several languages, then you’ll either have to create new content each time or you could possibly adapt to the existing one. 

Devising both Local & Global SEO strategies for a website can be a little daunting, but it comes with its own benefits. As for every content, the first step is to do Keyword Research and this step doesn’t even change for Multilingual SEO. 

Hreflang

Hreflang is more of technical stuff that you’d need to incorporate when offering the content in multiple languages. Having properly set hreflang tags on the pages, the search engine would show the most appropriate URL to people based on their language & location settings. In simple words, it’s like telling Google to show which results to whom. Sounds easy, right? but, it isn’t as easy as it sounds.  

Multilingual SEO Strategy

Keyword Research For Multilingual

Just like a normal SEO, you’ll have to begin writing the content with Keyword Research, but it asks for different sort of requirements in Multilingual like you won’t just translate the keywords – in fact, you’ll have to get inside the audience’s head, get to know the usage and what does it mean in different languages you’re targeting. As mentioned earlier, taking Cultural Differences into account can be a bit challenging, but once you spot the Crack you’d be much more appealing than your competitors. 

It is also a very wise approach to see which keywords are used by your competitors for the market you’re targeting, and if the list of keywords you drafted is different, then you need to analyze & rule out the weak ones to make your content more natural, targeted & comprehensive.

1- Competitors Always Your Greatest Guide
Have you entered a new market and want to target the organic channel in that market? Then find your digital competitor operating in this market before you and examine the keywords in which it is visible one by one. You can use tools like Semrush and Ahrefs to do this.

The domain overview will actually give you all the organic status information at your location, along with your competitor’s keywords. It is up to you to take action using this data.

2- Evaluate Word Variations
Let’s say you are an e-commerce company and enter a new market. Let’s assume you don’t know the language of this market either. When you enter a certain keyword in that language, these tools will already give you the words related to that keyword. But if they still don’t give the right results, then identify possible word variations and check their search volume.

How is it? For example, we have a trousers product. Pants + models, pants + prices, color + pants etc. Find the correct equivalent of the keyword searched in this way all over the world in this market and add it to your follow-up list.

3- Use Your Equity Adequately
If you are an e-commerce company, you have an excel table with your product stock information. Then you can use this list of products in this research phase.

You may be opening up to different markets with the same product range. By directly translating these products, you may want to check whether there is an equivalent for the user. Then translate this excel table directly using the =GOOGLETRANSLATE function from Google Docs without breaking it.

Then copy this translation cell and check the volumes from the Keyword Overview section via Semrush or Ahrefs. You can discover similar word variations of these products if they have volumes. If it does not have a volume, either the translation has been translated incorrectly or this product is seriously not searched.

In the screenshot below, we did it for our brand that entered a Hungarian market.

4- Find the Equivalents for the Words You Get Traffic
Maybe you don’t have a premium SEO tool and you don’t have the capacity to do research. We can use our own data on this site by using resources again. We can perform our contextual optimizations on the page by processing all the keywords that we have an appearance in our current market through Search Console in the excel table. This will actually give us the user behavior in this market and we will be able to trigger relevant keywords by adapting to the target market.

But the concept of search intent will, unfortunately, be a gap for us here. Because without using a premium tool, we cannot measure users’ search behavior. But we can get a result here by trial and error.

Keyword Research By Native Speaker

One question the marketers need to ask themselves before writing any piece of content is the Purpose. Every piece of content needs to have a Primary Focus Keyphrase – and to determine those key phrases in other languages would require the Expertise of SEO Professionals who are either Native or even have a near-native command of that particular targeted language. 

Keywords Performance Tracking

Keeping a track of keyword performance equips you with the ability to determine any areas that might need improvement, so this is essential to incorporate. This can be done through tools like SEMrush which allows you to use Country Specific Tracking & even track the performance of those URLs.   

Content Creation

Translating The Already Written One

This content creation technique entails the concept of ‘translating the already written content on your website into the targeted language”. This isn’t a tough task, if you have an in-house professional team – you can assign them to do so, Use WordPress plugins or even outsource it. The point is that it is one of the cheapest ways and it doesn’t leave any room for keyword research, not even for cultural differences.  

New Content Writing 

The second technique is to write new content entirely for the targeted language. You can follow the same process followed in the previous technique – have your team write it or outsource it, but to the Native Writers. What you can do on your part is to Outline the article, and the Native Writers would give a touch of local culture through their knowledge being residents and familiarity with the culture.

Transcreate

The final technique and the most preferable is the Transcreate which combines the previous two techniques. The article already written & posted on your site shall be treated as an Anchor, but, this time, a separate Keyword Research & Cultural Differences shall be taken into account. This will not be a translation, but the concept shall remain the same. 

How BoostRoas Can Help?

The world is getting more & more globalized each day, one can only be limited by their thought process & approaches. With the assistance of the SEO Experts, BoostRoas ensures that your website would perform up to par in its Global Market. 

We possess the abilities & expertise to devise & implement Multilingual SEO Strategies to maximize your Organic Traffic while pushing the horizon of your business beyond the borders to enable you to generate Maximum Revenue from all over the globe. 

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Written by:

Adem Yıldız

SEO Team Lead

Adem but you can call him Adão. He generally provides consultancy to e-commerce websites on search engine optimization. He improves himself every day to be a professional global marketer.

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