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An introduction to multilingual SEO part 1: what?

By Josian Phillips, 

It’s more important than ever for businesses to have a website that is up to the search engine challenge. Competition is heating up in almost every industry sector, while Google seemingly becomes more intelligent and sophisticated each day when it comes to separating the wheat from the chaff in its search results.

The backbone of any successful site is search engine optimisation (SEO) – a practice in which skilled experts use a range of smart techniques to help a website rank higher in Google’s search results. It’s not hard to understand why SEO is essential; the easier a website is to find, the more people will visit and the more conversions there will be as a result.

If a site hasn’t been optimised in a range of languages, however, what kind of experience will potential customers overseas have when searching for your offering? The harsh truth is that unless multilingual SEO is implemented, they’ll probably never find your site anyway. Tailored solutions are necessary, and it takes a whole lot more than merely using Google Translate to get it right.

Exceeds regular SEO expertise

The expertise required for successful multilingual SEO exceeds that of most SEO professionals. Firstly, there must be the ability to write and speak fluently in a wide range of languages. We all know how complex languages can be – one wrong word, letter or punctuation mark can have a dramatic impact on the meaning of a sentence or keyword. When translating a language for SEO purposes, it’s absolutely crucial that this is performed correctly. It’s not, therefore, a task that businesses should trust an algorithm-driven tool like Google Translate to perform. To ensure accuracy, human-powered translation services are pivotal.

Secondly, multilingual SEO requires in-depth knowledge of an individual country’s search habits. It’s not enough to assume that those keywords and phrases that have been implemented for a website in one country will work for another. Experienced multilingual SEO providers conduct extensive keyword research to determine what your target audiences in other countries are searching for, and then implement this to establish fundamental localisation links and make the search process as smooth and effective as possible. Again, this service goes above and beyond what computer algorithms can achieve.

Attain greater international visibility

While there are many things to take into consideration when it comes to optimising websites for international audiences, language as it pertains to SEO is at the top the list. Whereas multiregional SEO creates optimised content for broad geographic regions – an arguably flawed practice due to inaccurate linguistic assumptions – multilingual SEO drills down into each appropriate language, vastly improving international website visibility and user experience.

Regardless of where your website is hosted, catering it for overseas markets is essential for international expansion. It’s for this reason that so many large businesses employ experienced multilingual SEO experts; Google might be good at separating the wheat from the chaff when it comes to search results, but so too are businesses when they correctly opt for human-powered translation services for multilingual SEO over flawed computer algorithms.

Next > Part 2

Everything you need to know about multilingual SEO Parts 1-4:

An introduction to multilingual SEO part 1: what?
An introduction to multilingual SEO part 2: who?
An introduction to multilingual SEO part 3: how?
An introduction to multilingual SEO part 4: where?

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