Translating and appealing to a broader cultural and linguistic audience is top-of-mind for growth-hungry brands. With billions of non-English-speaking people on the planet and thousands of English variations, finding ways to digitally position your incredible products and services to all of these individuals is a crucial component of long-term growth in your market.
You want your website to rank across English variations effectively (e.g., British English, Australian English, etc.) as well as across languages (e.g., Hindi, Mandarin, etc.) To do this, you need to leverage multilingual SEO strategies that help promote your content consistently across digital channels.
What is Multilingual SEO?
The goal of multilingual SEO is to optimize digital content across regions, languages, and cultures. In the past, multiregional and multicultural SEO were both terms that we would use to create distinctions between culture, language, and region. But, since the strategies involved are similar, we like to blend them all into one comprehensive definition for clarity.
It's important to remember that third point, culture. Every language has multiple dialect variations that impact the way that people explore their world. There are marked differences between Australian, British, and American English, and the same can be said for every language on the planet. Those differences can impact the way that people interact and utilize search engines.
3 Strategies to Help You Win At Multilingual SEO
1. Create Fresh, Unique, Wonderful Content
The first step of any SEO campaign should be content. You want content that delivers value to customers and makes them crave more. But you also want content that makes Google happy. It's a fine balance. For websites looking to rank across language borders, it's crucial that you have your content translated and rewritten by professionals.
Some companies attempt to gamify their multilingual strategy by using automated online translators. That's a bad idea. Not only do those software programs not fully understand the complexity of cultural differences between words, but they almost always create awkwardly worded content that feels fake. Your customers won't appreciate poorly translated content. And neither will Google. According to Google's guidelines, "Text translated by an automated tool without human review or curation before publishing" will be penalized in the rankings.
Instead of throwing text into a translation machine that cheapens its architecture and shortchanges your content investment, get that content translated professionally. It will make your customers happy and Google happy. And that should make you happy.
2. Get a Little Technical
The secret formula of a successful SEO campaign is creativity plus technicality. On the technical side, you have to make sure that Google understands the purpose of your pages and who they're targeting. Remember, Google (and every other search engine) is still just an algorithm blended with machine learning. It discovers the purpose of your pages using some of the technical components of your website.
We won't get too deep into these, but we'll provide some links below to the most important technical website components.
- Hreflang Tag Attributes
- Rel=Author vs. Rel=Publisher
- Bing Language Meta Tags
- ccTLD and Search Console
3. Don't Forget Speed and Mobile-readiness
In 2020, we don't feel the need to remind you how important mobile-friendliness is to your website's rankings. But we do want to reiterate how many people use mobile devices outside of the US. While over 40% of all web traffic is mobile here in the United States, over 60% is mobile in Asia and other international markets. If your website isn't mobile-friendly, you're probably not going to rank well. It's that simple.
You should also consider speed. This can get tricky when you're trying to cater to multiple international audiences. You probably won't have dedicated hosting services in some of the countries you're trying to target. Luckily, Google says that it does care about speed, but it "tries not to rely on the server location alone." Making sure that your server capacity can support an international audience and that your website elements are well-balanced to deliver both aesthetics and speed is incredibly important. Did you know that 79% of shoppers will never return to a website if they're having performance and speed issues?
How Cuttingedge Translation Services Can Help
Do you want professionally translated (or transcreated) content that will wow your audience and creates tangible value for both your customers and Google? Contact us. Our translation professionals can help you dominate multilingual SEO.