Multilingual SEO: optimizing search experience to reach your international customers
Multilingual search engine optimization has always been about providing a great user experience. Multilingual SEO however has evolved into much more than keyword research, website technical optimization, and rankings in local search engines. In 2016, international SEO needs to be fully integrated with other marketing actions such as paid search, PR, crawl, social media. As a multilingual SXO / SEO agency, we are here to help you maximize foreign user experience, and to get your website as visible as possible to global audiences.
Today, SEO is about delivering the best possible experience to the visitor. In the last few years, according to many, multilingual SEO was too focused on search engines, and was not focused enough on your foreign customers intent. Your international customers are the most important factor in search. As long as we’re creating multilingual content and maximizing the experiences of our foreign customers, our international search engine optimization efforts will be successful.
For that reason, a new approach has come up: multilingual SXO / search user optimization. Multilingual SXO is simply at the intersection of multilingual search engine optimization and conversion rate optimization. By providing a great user experience in other languages, your website gets more visibility on foreign markets, and you are able to sell to foreign customers abroad.
More visibility on foreign markets
In 2016, multilingual SXO encompasses all aspects of the search experience, from beginning to end. It is crucial to have a holistic approach, to take into account the many aspects of SEO / SXO so as to get your business known by a large number of people at an international level.
Multilingual search experience optimization with Openvalley
These are stages to ensure that all aspects of the website are ok to maximize your website presence on foreign markets:
- Create great multilingual content that performs
Does your multilingual content meet the expectations of foreign customers ? Before the Panda algorithme of, it was much more common for sites with low-quality content to rank for their chosen keywords, even on foreign markets, than today. Sites with 300 to 500 words of text on a page, stuffed with keywords, could potentially rank in the local search engine results. Obviously, this provided a very poor user experience and did not match user intent.
Multilingual keyword research is essential, but it’s not as simple as taking the English keywords and translating them into the language of the target market. Translation does not take into account local dialects, adopted terms, colloquialisms, and other nuances that can’t be translated through software, Multilingual keyword research that informs and optimizes the user experience will focus far more on specific aspects of holistic topics covering also long-tail queries that provide highly-specific information.
For instance, a detailed tutorial on making a wedding is much more likely to meet the needs of someone searching for ‘how to make a wedding dress’ than it is for someone searching for ‘wedding dress,’ or ‘buy a wedding dress.’ Obviously this strategy is also better for marketers, as longer, more specific queries are far more likely to convert. Keyword research, that can be described as analysing your foreign customers intent, is the cornerstone of any Multilingual SEO / SXO campaign. It is used to assess what are your potential customers serching on the foreign market you are targeting, the popularity of keywords, and the amount of competition existing for specific search keywords. We need to produce high quality content, that is written in a way that addresses the specific needs of the foreign target market
2. The experience foreign visitors have while on your website:
Global SEO is all about creating a world-class user experience. If the customer is satisfied, then you’re likely to convert, and your site is likely to rank higher, due to low bounce rates. Is your cross-border ecommerce site really user friendly ? How quickly does your site load from the targeted country ? Is your site easy to navigate? How does it display on mobile devices?
A recent survey by X-Border Payments Optimization Index showed that that ecommerce sites must improve significantly in order to deliver a better international shopping experience. The highest scoring websites typically offered free shipping, had mobile-friendly sites, had a variety of language and payment options and had pages localised with correctly formatted address fields for the customer’s country.
Optimizing the usability of a website site is extremely important at an international level. If your site detracts from the user experience, not only are your foreignvisitors likely to be disappointed, they also won’t convert. Optimizing your usability will involve making sure:
- Your site loads quickly from abroad
- It displays properly on all devices (responsive design)
- It is using hreflang tags if necessary
- Make sure you set up all of your domains/subdirectories/subdomains on Google Webmaster Tools.
- You have implemented the right domain name strategy
- You are using rich snippets when available
- Your navigation is clear and doesn’t contain any broken links
- You have good flow throughout your site: Strong calls to action on each page, helpful internal linking, etc..
- You have to ensure the right website architecture is in place
- Currrencies, transportation costs, taxes are localized
For that reason, we need to track user interaction with your website (queries, CTRs, dwell time, etc.) in order to improve it to maximize user experience.
3. Optimizing your content for foreign customers and search engines
Does your on-page SEO elements accurately convey your topic? Or are visitors disappointed when they reach your site from the serps? Does Google know what your content is about?
On-page SEO elements are not only for search engines, but they also help provide a great user experience. Indeed, in this step the objective is to summarize and to highlight the main topics of the multilingual web page for your readers. The idea is to break up long chunks of content into scannable segments; that way, your title tags give readers a clear picture of what your page is about.
To optimize your content for both readers and search engines, we focus on the following:
- Using the right keywords in your URLs, title tags, headings, content and alt image tags (where appropriate.), but don’t focus too much on it
- Write a captivating meta description and use rich snippets to let foreign customers know what you’re offering.
- Making your content as scannable as possible using bullets, lists, italics, and keep your paragraphs short.
- Writing both long and short-form content: Longer, more comprehensive pieces of content tend to rank better, however short, actionable pieces are often easier for your mobile users to read ‘on the go.’
- Publish great new content
International SEO is the combination of staying connected with search engine changes and working with different cultures, languages, and stakeholder expectations while constantly remaining customer-focused and data-driven. In addition, international SEO must also align with the regional business strategies of your company. To maximize your visibility in search at an international level, we just need to keep optimizing for your foreign customers.
Get your quote today or learn more on how the Openvalley agency can improve the visibility of your website. Call us or send us an email.