Creating SEO-optimized content for a multi-lingual web site presents a whole new challenge for SEO. Needing a multi-lingual site is a good problem to have. It usually means that you have customers in multiple countries. However, it also means you have to double or triple your SEO efforts.
The good news is that optimizing your foreign-language web site is very much the same as optimizing your English one. You just do it in a different language. Here are some guidelines that should serve as reminders of what you should plan to do during the SEO process:
- Translate keywords into the new language. In some cases, you won’t be able to translate your keywords into a matching word in another language. In that case, you’ll need to choose new keywords.
- Translate existing web content. Again, translations can sometimes be squirrelly. Unless you’re an expert in the language to which you’re translating, hire someone to do it for you. A bad translation could cost you more in lost traffic than the services of a good translator.
- Apply all of the same SEO rules to your foreign content that you’ve learned for your English content. Just because the language is different doesn’t mean that the search engine or the search engine crawler is any different.
- Include the proper links both to and from your English site to your foreign-language site, but also include the appropriate links to English on the foreign-language site.
- Make language options clearly available on your web site. If these options are not clearly marked, your foreign visitors could miss them, and then you’ll lose visitors before they’re fully engaged in your site.
SEO is really no different in any other language than it is in English. The biggest concern when translating your site to another language is the actual translation. The SEO efforts are essentially the same, but getting the language wrong could cost you just as much as not having a foreign language site at all.