Multilingual blogs are more complex and time-consuming than their singular counterparts. Administrators are often required to do parallel updates for each language regardless of the content in question. This means that SEO (Search Engine Optimization) often requires some improvisation to succeed.
Studies show that bilingual SEO optimization can bring in more than 13 times the traffic you would originally attract. If done correctly, multilingual blogs can elevate said content above any language-specific competition. Let’s take a look at several SEO tips as to how you can successfully start a multilingual blog with ease.
It goes to show that people of different native languages search for terms specific to their knowledge. This means that someone from France won’t search for the same terms as people from China or Russia. However, the only difference between their searches will be in the literal translation of said terms.
You can use this fact as a starting point for your SEO optimization by utilizing it in your URLs. Any and all pages on your site should have language-specific URLs that can be found by native speakers. A simple language choice in the navigation bar can make the transition easy for would-be readers. The following URLs can and should be translated to ensure the maximum UX (User Experience) comfort.
Every niche has a certain number of keywords which correspond with its topics. These keywords should find their way into your multilingual blog no matter what type of content you work on. However, a multilingual blog should also feature multilingual keywords as a result of the content’s translation. An interesting study showed that 56% of people avoid English websites and content altogether, often referring to the competition if their original sources couldn’t provide.
You can refer to a platform such as Google AdWords for necessary analysis and information. These keywords may change some of your content to better fit the added words. To avoid any editing problems, you can do the keyword research before any content is actually made. This will fasten your content creation process and ensure that your multilingual blog ranks well through SEO.
Character encoding matters
It’s important to optimize your content from the moment you start creating it. Character encoding represents the system of symbols used to encode any type of written content. As it stands, many languages do not share the same alphabets, words or sentence structures. One of the most popular and wide-spread encoding languages is UTF-8, which covers a plethora of global alphabets.
You can safely use UTF-8 for anything from English to Russian or Germanic languages. Using UTF-8 will flag your content as SEO optimized in popular search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. It’s good practice to combine this character encoding language with a translation and localization platform like The Word Point for added value. It will make your content error-free and ensure even better SEO ranking. It will also ensure that your content shows up normally no matter what browser or device might access it.
Unique embedded links
It goes without saying that different languages should focus on their respective language areas when it comes to embedded links. This means that you should always look for language-specific content to link back to your multilingual content. For example, a Spanish article can link to Spanish websites in order to add value to the readers. This SEO step is highly beneficial since Google’s mission remains to spread relevant, original information to everyone.
Since your website offers backlinks that are valuable no matter the language, the site itself will rank much higher than before. Keep in mind that such an optimization step will require a lot of research. You might not always find translated content in every language your blog offers. Weigh your pros and cons accordingly and do what is best for your site as a whole – not for individual content pieces.
Flag your content as “translated”
Search engines are comprised of codes and flags. They can rank your content only as highly as you allow them to. Translated content often gets buried under less relevant content due to one simple thing – lack of necessary tags. The most useful SEO optimization tag for multilingual blogs is “hreflang”, which flags your content as “translated”. This can effectively help avoid being tagged as “duplicate” or “spam” just because you posted the same content multiple times.
Recent tests managed to attract up to 47% more traffic as a result of content translation. This number is only apt to grow as you add more language choices and keywords. Adding attributes to your translated content will ensure that Google (and other search engines) see it as such. The subsequent SEO optimization results will reflect your added information and rank each version of your content as an original piece.
It’s good practice to launch a multilingual blog with only two languages available at the start. This will allow you to test the waters of what your audience’s might want and need in the future. Expand your offering based on readers’ comments, inbound traffic and overall content reception.
Don’t spread yourself too thin with multiple languages just to tick a box off. Offer as many languages as are requested from you but be careful about going over that line. It’s better to do something right and stick to it rather than to keep pushing the line and hope for the best.
Margaret Reid is a freelance writer who is seeking to discover new ways for personal and professional growth. Currently she`s working in the company The Word Point and trying to improve herself in the blogging career. Margaret is an experienced and self-driven specialist who cannot imagine her life without writing.