Website rankings rely on search engine optimisation (SEO), which is performed on individual pages of a website. But is multilingual SEO really necessary? 100%. And there are several reasons why.
What’s the point in multilingual SEO?
Any company looking to approach an international market needs to know what multilingual SEO is. Google and other search engines use the languages we speak as geolocation factors when ranking websites on search pages.
For example, a French user surfing the web will usually see French websites in their search results and, when presented with two websites optimised in the same way, one being in French and the other in another language, Google will show the French result first.
This is because web users prefer to scroll through search results in their native language. To summarise, companies hoping to approach international markets can improve their search page rankings by working on website SEO.
How do you build a website with good multilingual SEO?
Multilingual SEO comprises various technical elements that are invisible to web users. One such example is alternative image tags or URLs that differ depending on the language. Another key element of multilingual SEO has to do with content optimisation, i.e., optimising the actual written text on a web page.
Choosing which languages to focus on when it comes to the process of website translation and optimisation is a delicate task. Once you pinpoint the international markets you’d like to invest in, you’ll need a team of translators to translate your website from an SEO perspective so that you can promote your company online.
Content optimisation involves the use of specific keywords in a text, including in titles and meta descriptions. When optimising content for search engines, language professionals need to ensure that translated texts sound natural and flow well in their mother tongue, despite having been optimised and thus somewhat “manipulated” to please search engines.
To perform SEO in a specific language, translators need to be able to rejig sentences while respecting the original reason for the content and abiding by best practices in terms of SEO.