We get it. Search Engine Optimization is a tough topic all on its own. And when you add in the challenges of localization along with SEO, the idea of gaining and maintaining search rankings across multiple languages and markets can get downright intimidating. The word “overwhelming” comes up in conversation far too often regarding this topic. But it doesn’t have to if you look at SEO as a series of opportunities for customer acquisition and sales growth. For this reason, we would like to share 8 SEO opportunities to take advantage of when you’re ready to make the global leap or are already there.
How Do You Eat a Google-Sized Elephant? One Bite at a Time.
By breaking down SEO opportunities into categories, you can prioritize your efforts to gain maximum impact and progress as you become more adept at tackling the topic.
4 High-impact First Steps to Give Your Rankings the Boost They Deserve
- Site Speed that’s Built for the Fast Lane and Fast Search Results: Google and other search engines favor sites with fast load times (because, as you can imagine, customers favor fast results). A few simple tweaks, like optimizing image size and looking at how many plugins you have (and removing the ones not being used), can increase speed and boost ranking.
- Use “long tail Keywords” to Spike Rank: At first glimpse, using the broadest keywords for your industry seems like the perfect way to cast a large net. But search engines rank higher if you find specific terms and phrases that are less competitive because they are more targeted. Using these words tells the search engine you have the specific information a customer is searching for. Of course, there is a balancing act between search volume and competition for the search term, so spreading multiple more specific long tail keywords across different pages of your site will yield the SEO reach you need while giving you a high ranking for each of those specific words.
- Metadata Invites a Meeting Between You and Customers: While metadata isn’t specifically a search factor, these page descriptions appear on search result pages (SERPS) to give human eyes a preview of what they will see on the page when they click. A clear, short promise that uses the keywords you are targeting can make a big difference in clickthrough rate.
- Content is Still King: It’s often said by Google and the other search engines, but it’s still very much true. The best way to game the search engines is to not try to game them at all. Well-written, SEO content that answers customer questions concisely yields long-term results for your website in a way mere keyword packing never will. The reason is simple: as more readers click on your site, the search engine serves it up as being ever-more relevant to other searchers.
4 Maximizer Steps for Multilingual SEO Results
Adding a second language option to your site to boost sales is a logical business step for many. As an example, Canada is a dual-language country. Therefore, every company should offer a multilingual web experience for its customers. And many companies in the U.S. have seen solid growth by adding a Spanish option to their website.
But going multilingual is not without a few pitfalls that could hamper your SEO results in the original and even the new language. Planning ahead can help you avoid a sales shortfall later.
- Give Each Language a Dedicated Domain to Make Search Ratings Smarter. This gives your search engine a clue as to which portion of your website each language covers and helps serve the most relevant search to each language. For example:
There are three different options for setting up multilingual domains; each has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to multilingual testing results. We’ve talked about this in a previous blog post if you’d like to learn more – or simply drop us a line, and we’d be more than happy to discuss it with you!
- Telegraph Your Language Moves by Applying Hreflang Tags. Besides the language indicator in the URL, search engines use hreflang attributes to help understand what to make of multiple versions of the same page that contain different languages. Inserting these tags into the header of a page or through the site map will help crawlers sort and organize your page to make sense of what rankings they should assign and what regions they should be showing a page to. As a quick, if not complicated looking example, the index for an alternate set of home pages in French and Spanish for the English website example above might look like this:
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”fr” href=”https://sitename.com”/>
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”es” href=”https://sitename.com”/>
- When Translating Pages, Don’t Forget to Translate Metadata. As mentioned above, metadata doesn’t help search rankings, but it is the human point of contact to draw in clicks. Translating the metadata when you create an alternate language version of a page on your site also translates the eye-catching human promise that will get you clicks in the new language.
- Don’t Let Translation Quality Slip. As a company that got our start in Language Quality Assurance, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this step. A poor-quality translation won’t connect with customers and, in the long run, will cost you search results as few customers will find the site useful. A successful iSEO strategy still comes down to creating relevant content first and THEN figuring out how to serve it up so search engines can see how it will be relevant to readers.
Sounds confusing? Worry not; Chillistore has you covered!
We don’t blame you if this all sounds overwhelming. Don’t worry. This is where we can help. We have expert reviewers for any language who can check your existing content to make sure it is accurate and resonates with your target audience. And if you need help with the copywriting process too, our team is here for you.Drop us a note – we’re happy to help!