DO YOU SPEAK SEO?
31st January, 2019
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The best way to communicate online with international clients is to speak their language. Translating your website means you can reach these people easily. However, how do you know how well your translated pages perform in search? Here Alison Gardner, account executive and international PRspecialist at Stone Junction, explains how to improve your multilingual search engine optimisation (SEO).
Reviewing your current analytics is the best way to decide if you need to translate your website. For example, if Google Analytics (GA) shows that there are a lot of visitors from Spanish-speaking countries but your website is in English you could be losing out on potential customers.
Multilingual or multiregional
Once you have discovered the language pages that should be on your website you must decide how to translate them. A multiregional approach, where each target language has unique web content is beneficial as you can customise the content to appear in search for location-based keywords, on regionally preferred search engines and to follow regional cultural norms.
However, a multiregional approach is not always necessary. Starting with a multilingual approach and translating the content you already have means that you can offer information to more customers more quickly. You can then use GA to gauge response and consider if it will be more beneficial to localise content.
Wording is key
Now that you have translated the site, you need to make sure that you appear in search for the right key words. Look at the target keywords in English and see how the translated phrases perform in other languages. You can use SEO tools, such as SEM Rush, to find out similar search traffic that you can optimise for based on what performs better in each language.
Grammar is an important consideration when choosing target keywords in other languages. People often take shortcuts when entering a search term and may miss out accents or use the literal translation, rather than the grammatically correct phrase.
You should monitor both grammatically correct and incorrect keywords to understand how your website performs. You can also look at ways to put the incorrect keywords on your website, for example in metatag titles, URLs or Anchor text in menus.
Don’t forget to add Hreflang tags to each new language page on the website. These HTML tags tells search engines what language is on the page. This is vital as it is one of the ways that a search engine will decide what page to present to each user. If visitors are sent to the right place, they are more likely to stay on the website for longer.