Industry Trends & Innovation

Heading Towards Global Success: Multilingual SEO and Localization

Having a website well-optimized for SEO is the first step towards industry dominance. If your website ranks high for the most popular keywords within your client base in your home country, your revenue generation must be on a constant upward trajectory. And because you have conquered the local market, now could be the best time to expand globally.

But there is a problem: The online domination that worked for you back home doesn’t seem to work in these new, overseas markets. Your international audiences do not seem to relate to the niche keywords that brought you huge streams of traffic back home. Now you are panicking, not knowing what to do. But don’t worry; this article will help you improve your online marketing strategies and navigate around the problem.

So, what is happening? Well, your global success is stagnating because you probably haven’t found the right combination of multilingual SEO and global localization. The international audience wants your website content translated to the language they understand best and spiced up by a strong multilingual SEO strategy.

What Exactly Is Multilingual Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Multilingual SEO is a content optimizing strategy where you align your website and its content to the language and structure easily identifiable by search engines, while at the same time helping the engines select the country or region the website is targeting for each language.

To leverage the full potential of multilingual SEO, your localization strategy must be flawless. And because you only get one chance to impress your audience, you cannot afford to get anything wrong with either multilingual SEO or global localization.

Bottom line: You only get one shot at global success so your web content is readable, understandable, accessible, optimally targeted and easily searchable in as many countries and languages as possible.

With over 200 million websites actively competing for a limited number of clients, you cannot afford to miss out on the visibility that comes with a good SEO ranking. That being said, here are some of the benefits of incorporating multilingual SEO into your localization plan:

  1. SEO and Localization Are Intertwined

According to SEO experts Tactica:

“It is almost impossible to tell multilingual SEO and localization apart: they are so close that one cannot function without the other. When you think of localizing visual content to a certain language, then you are already overlapping to multilingual SEO. When you think of localizing code for maintenance, you definitely will have to engage local linguistic experts, which is basically multilingual SEO.”

In a nutshell, multilingual SEO cannot stand on its own without localization and vice versa.

  1. Direct Translations Aren’t Enough

If your idea of localization is translating your content word-for-word into a foreign language, then you are leaving a lot to fall through the cracks. One language can have more than five terms that refer to the same thing, or one word can have more than five possible translations. Assemble a reliable translation team and have them help you identify the keywords that resonate most with the culture and slang of each of your target locales. This is the only way you’ll succeed.

  1. Identifying the Right Search Engines for Your Audience

Google’s Chrome is the dominant search engine in most developed global economies. But the word we prefer in business is “all” and not “most”. What you need is a team of linguistic experts to help you optimize your keywords not only for Google but also other relevant engines.

For example, you may be targeting Chinese consumers with your product. Chances are that you won’t get any business because only about 1% of the entire Chinese online population uses Google to search for products. You must optimize your keywords for Baidu, the dominant engine in the region with over 70% of all internet users. Localization alone will not get this done. You will need the help of multilingual SEO to succeed.

If you want to expand your online presence to new markets, you need an intensive, well-planned international SEO strategy. The most important part of any international SEO strategy is making certain that the proper content is being shown to the proper audience, which supports their language and country.