Getting Your Website Ready For Multiple Languages
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) requires as much attention from the beginning of the website development process as the website itself. All too often, website owners dedicate countless hours and resources to design and graphics while leaving website optimization work undone or incomplete. The most important thing is probably your content, which should be translated and adapted according to your target audience. Website localization is usually the first step to making your website linguistically correct, and website optimization should be the second one although both processes should happen simultaneously for optimal results.
But that’s not all. A professional translator would render a perfect translation, but a translator with SEO expertise will know which words to use based on an extensive keyword research for your industry and your target market: France, Canada or Belgium, for instance.
You need to think about your localized website as a different entity, having a life of its own and, requiring particular efforts adapted to the market language required to reach the language/local audience of your choice.
Search Engine Optimization
Attracting international visitors to your website includes generally two types of work: Onsite optimization and off-site promotion, which make up the so-called Search Engine Optimization process. All optimization efforts performed on your English website need to be replicated for your language versions, although initial efforts made on your English version will certainly help.
Onsite Technical Optimization
The multilingual onsite SEO work or website optimization which consists in optimizing a multilingual website for better rankings is referred to as Multilingual Search Engine Optimization or Multilingual SEO. Onsite SEO work includes, translating your content in the desired languages, translating and adapting your metatags, using appropriate subfolders or subdomains (http://fr.website.com or http://www.website.com/fr), localizing website page names and alt attributes among other things. All these elements alone will not make a huge difference, but if you apply all the known tricks you will obtain the best possible search engine rankings in most languages.
I currently promote over 10 multilingual websites (mostly in English, French, Spanish, Dutch, German and Italian) and I provide the best results in English and French, my two major working languages.
Once you have tackled the visible content of your website, metatags should come next. These are strings of text located in your source code and play a role for search engine ranking. There are many metatags, but for search engine rankings, the ones to focus on are : Title, Description and Meta Keywords (optional).
My services focus on the onsite work in several languages including English, French and Spanish, which are languages that I am fluent in both actively and passively. I also can coordinate the onsite SEO work in additional languages such as Dutch, German and Italian which are languages that I know more passively and for which I cooperate with other multilingual SEO specialists.
Aside from optimizing your website in several languages, it is crucial to get other websites to point to yours. Therefore you can engage in link exchanges with other related websites, submit your website in general and niche directories, publish press releases in foreign languages, comment or write articles on blogs written in other languages, buy advertisement space in online newspapers and organize a PPC campaign. Read more about my SEO Consulting services here.
If you are interested in having your keywords and PPC campaign translated and managed in French, please check my French PPC campaign translation page.
Professional translator from English to French, Spanish to French and Dutch to French, Translation agency owner, Project Manager and Multilingual SEO Consultant