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SEO in Multiple Languages Multilingual SEO

SEO for different languages

Imagine that you have a physical business in Mallorca, and you want to show and offer your product to the Spanish or German market. To do so, at least you should hire someone who can speak Spanish or German, isn’t it? And even so, only those who walk nearby your business will be able to see and purchase your products or services.

However, the Internet has made it possible for businesses to reach foreign markets as never before. Nowadays, companies and professionals find no obstacles when it comes to offering their services to (domestic or foreign) potential customers. SEO in different languages eliminates the linguistic barrier that users may have when searching for something on Google in their mother tongue, which means you will be able to reach a broader audience. Therefore, Multilingual SEO or SEO in other languages is not only a good strategy but the best strategy at the lowest price.

SEO in Spanish | SEO

Why? Because hiring a Digital Marketing Agency is cheaper than hiring employees or sales representatives to sell your products or services. In addition, no sales representative can manage all the users’ requests that Google processes every day.

Thinking about SEO for both the local and foreign market is essential if you do not wish to lose potential customers, reaching audiences unable to come to your office or store. It is true that there is no need for you to do Multilingual SEO if your potential customers only speak one language. But… are they your real niche market? Do you not want to reach other audiences?

In this respect, if you want to rank your business in Mallorca, Ibiza or Menorca, there is no need to carry out a comprehensive study to know that the wisest thing to do is SEO in Spanish, SEO in German and SEO in English. What’s more, depending on the type of product, you could also need SEO in Catalan. As you can see, with these 3 or 4 languages you can cover most of the Balearic Islands.

The most common mistake in Multilingual SEO

Many companies have made the huge mistake of relying on Google Translate to offer their websites in different languages. Have you never read something in English that was grammatically correct but you were quite sure it was not written by a native? Well, that feeling you have when reading something odd may result in rejection, and that is what happens to users when they are visiting your page and read poor German or Spanish.

Thus, having a well-translated website is the main step you should take when doing SEO in other languages. But there are other important things to consider:

International SEO is not Multilingual SEO

SEO in English is not SEO in the UK. More often than not, it is assumed that if we want to optimize our SEO for different languages it means that we want to target other countries - but that does not necessarily have to be the case. SEO in a specific language is not the same as SEO in the country where that language is spoken. Sometimes, we may want to improve our Google Ranking in English in a place where English is not the official language. Let’s see a more glaring example. Imagine that you have a business in Mallorca designed for British users visiting the island. In this particular case, you should hire SEO Services in English to improve your Google Ranking in Mallorca. As you can see, SEO in English is not SEO in the UK.

However, when optimizing your SEO ranking you should not forget Multilingual SEO, as there might be other audiences interested in your products or services. For instance, if you want to rank your business in the local market, it would be advisable to focus on the most frequent languages that both foreigners and residents speak to decide which languages to rank your website for. It goes without saying that you should translate your website into those languages.

At this point, a good Multilingual SEO Agency also takes into account all the different Google domains (google.com, google.es, google.co.uk, google.de, etc.) users could search from, which can be intimately linked to the amount of time they have been living in or visiting your target location. And why should we consider these Google domains? Because the websites indexed on google.es are different from those on google.co.uk and, as a consequence, Google ranks them separately. This means that doing SEO on google.es does not benefit your ranking on google.co.uk and vice versa. Here we offer some examples which make it clear that rankings are different for:

  • Users searching from Spain in Spanish on Google.es (e.g. residents in Spain).
  • Users searching from Spain in Spanish on Google.co.uk (e.g. British tourists in Spain searching for something in Spanish).
  • Users searching from Spain in English on Google.es (e.g. residents in Spain searching for something in English).
  • Users searching from Spain in English on Google.co.uk (e.g. British tourists in Spain searching for something in English).

If you analyze each situation listed above you will be able to see that each combination is designed for a different profile, in which we target residents, new residents, tourists, etc. Such differences are fundamental to build a good Multilingual SEO strategy - and they only consider Multilingual SEO in one country. Because if you are also interested in International SEO, you also have to think of the different countries you would like to be ranked in (see SEO in Germany or SEO in the United Kingdom).

In short, any Digital Marketing Agency specializing in Multilingual SEO should do a detailed market segmentation, analyzing the most profitable languages for its clients and establishing the proper strategies according to geographical orientation. Likewise, it should also monitor the user experience in different countries for each language and, lastly, do the appropriate modifications to improve their clients’ ranking in Google’s search results.

Identifying the Target Language or Dialect

If the goal of doing Multilingual SEO is to be present in foreign markets and have broader coverage, your SEO agency should do its best to discover your most profitable languages or dialects to put you first in the results page(s) of search engines such as Google. It is also important to bear in mind that doing SEO in English for a local Spanish market opens doors to other non-English cultures, for instance, Chinese, Russian or Polish, among others; since these tourists use English as a working language to find what they need when they are not in their home country. In this way, thanks to Multilingual SEO you cover a much larger audience than you could ever reach by using in your mother tongue.

SEO in Spanish | SEO

However, knowing your target audience is as important as deciding the language you want to be ranked for, as it will show the way that should be followed in your positioning strategy.

Therefore, when it comes to positioning your website in a different language (either in your country or in another country) it is very important to take into account:

  • The idiosyncrasy (characteristics or personalities) of your target audience.
  • The customs and traditions we must respect in this market.
  • The trends or ways those users search for your products or services, as it is very probable that your keywords vary depending on your users’ dialect.

Adapting your website to that Linguistic Market

After identifying your target audience, the next thing to do is to adapt your website to that linguistic market if you want to be well positioned on Google. So, if you want to do SEO in German for German users who are visiting Spain, you should have your website in German. But… what dialect? The same thing can be applied to SEO in Spanish, if you want to do SEO in Spanish, what dialect should you use? Or do you think that Spaniards speak Spanish in the same way as Latin Americans do? As a result, we must be very careful when translating our websites, and we should pay special attention to literal translation, as the content must be written taking into account your potential customers and their needs. Still, this investment is nothing compared to hiring a native for each language. Did you know that DELL spent months teaching Hindus to master the American accent so that they could offer a 24/7 service in the U.S.A.? That strategy made it possible for them to take care of all their customers and, therefore, the company grew.

These are some of the reasons why, if you want to position your company on Google in another language, it is so important to analyze your competition in advance to help you know the register you should use in your content, as well as the expressions, idioms or cultural references used in the sector. By so doing, you make sure you can meet any users’ expectations when they are browsing your website.

On the other hand, it would also be advisable to have your name domain with the extension of the country you want to focus on, for example, Germany (.de), Spain (.es), France (.fr), etc. You never know when you can expand to other countries or need International SEO.

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