Multilingual SEO, a lot more than just translation

In website localization, it is not sufficient to translate a list of keywords. True market knowledge to ensure that style, colloquialisms, nuances and tone match market expectations is needed. A simple example; in France “mobile phone” can simply be translated as “téléphone portable”. However, in other French speaking countries, to maximize SEO your website should refer to “Natel” in Switzerland and “GSM” in Belgium instead. The use of SEO research tools to test keywords is also key to effective Multilingual SEO translation.

Native linguists, based in their local country and trained on SEO translation research and tools, are therefore prerequisites for this work as well as WhP’s in-house expertise on SEO optimization to support them in their searches and keyword mapping, as well as analyze the results they obtain before starting the actual translation.

Based on our research, WhP might suggest new landing pages for your website. WhP will also offer customers support on multilingual SEO best practices: webmaster tools, updates for effective multilingual SEO, deep-in page per page linking when switching language, translated URLs, specify language and target country in the website code, etc. These are often forgotten by internal webmasters or external web agencies specialized in designing and developing websites but not on managing multilingual content for worldwide SEO optimization.

Content Optimization

Once keyword mapping is done, translation can start. To maintain the quality of the original authoring on multilingual websites, WhP linguists have been carefully selected for their ability to provide quality marketing transcreation and not only translation. This is essential to reproduce the right message and create a real localized version applying mapped keywords.

Content writing rules are the same as in the original version. Keywords should appear in the URL, the SEO Title and SEO Description. Web-pages should include keywords in headers and a predetermined number of times in the actual content. Anchor text links or image naming conventions should not be forgotten either to increase keyword density and related topic relevance.

Many engines but similar SEO rules

There are many engines around the world, Google is the main one today but Yahoo, Bing, Baidu in China, Yandex in Russia, Naver in South Korea should not be disregarded as they might be particularly well implemented in markets you are targeting. Each engine has its own indexing policy and weightings rules for content but the same basic multilingual SEO translation rules apply. In some cases different tools to validate choices are needed and they are not available in English. WhP has internal staff to support SEO analysis on all languages needed.

The process, step by step

For Optimized SEO, translation involves the following steps:

  1.  Identify leading search engine in target country and related keyword tool to use.
  2. Translate keywords from English (or other language) to target language and consider alternatives. Check search volume in keyword tool and identify alternative variations of keywords.
  3.  Identify keywords that are accounting for search volume.
  4.  Map keywords to each web-page.
  5.  If needed recommend the creation of specific landing pages for relevant keywords.
  6. Proceed with transcreation, following SEO rules.
  7. If necessary, give customers guidelines on Multilingual SEO for CMS setup.
  8. Test results in context and tune to improve ranking.

These multilingual SEO services are important added value services within our Website localization services

WhP, a Multilingual SEO partner all steps of the way

The same way a webmaster or SEO specialist will maintain your website for SEO, WhP will manage your multilingual versions, reading through reports and making necessary changes for ongoing maximization of traffic to your website. The good news is that competition for ranking is not as high in other languages as it is in English. After making the initial investment on SEO-optimized web design and content, the next big decision to make is to select the right Multilingual SEO vendor to work on your global websites.