Sara Sargent
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Cómo Se Dice “SEO”? The Benefits of Multilingual Content

The Internet has made the world a much smaller place to live. Not only does news travel at lightning speed, but anyone can now engage in cultural exchanges without having to pay for a plane ticket.

What does that kind of interconnectivity mean for business owners like you?

It means that there’s a definite need for multilingual businesses—and that means multilingual SEO. Small businesses looking to make their products available to international markets need their content to register with non-English algorithms. Yes, this kind of work requires some translational assistance. Rest assured: it’s worth the effort when orders for your products start coming in from around the world.

What Is Multilingual SEO?

Multilingual SEO is exactly what it sounds like: it’s optimization in languages other than your native language. (For us, that’s English.) Multilingual SEO uses the same elements as English SEO, but in another language. If you’re not bilingual, this will mean:

  • Translating your copy and researched keywords
  • Preparing your domains for international searches, and
  • Establishing a multilingual SEO backbone that allows your content to appear on international SERPs.

What Are the Benefits of Multilingual SEO?

As a small business owner, is multilingual SEO practices worth your time? If you’re looking to expand your business beyond your local scope, or if you live in a diverse environment, it definitely is.

The benefits of multilingual SEO include: 

  • International reach
  • Greater platform versatility
  • Boosted sales
  • The development of an international reputation
  • Improved industry authority

The one downside of multilingual SEO is its production of duplicate content. You’ll need to work with your platform’s schemas to ensure that Google doesn’t accidentally penalize you for creating two pieces of identical content.

What Elements Should You Make Multilingual?

Broadening the scope of your SEO’s language doesn’t mean creating duplicates of all your SEO elements in foreign languages. Instead, you’ll want to limit your multilingual translations by a) the preferred language of your desired audience, and b) the site elements in which your preferred audience is most likely to engage.

Once you’ve identified the language your preferred audience speaks, you’ll want to start modifying the following:

  • Copy – The fun thing about language is that the words we know don’t always mean the same thing in other languages. This means you’ll need to re-research your keywords when translating your content. Don’t rely on Google Translate for this kind of work. Instead, work with native speakers to avoid accidental mishaps.
  • Domain Names – You’ll also need to tailor your domain names to suit the country your target audience lives in. If you’re targeting an Irish audience, for example, make sure your domains end in .ie.
  • Hreflang – That’s not a translated word, but rather one term that describes the technical backbone of your platform’s SEO. You’ll need to use a hreflang to let Google know which version of your content to show to an international audience. Unless you’re well-versed in coding, you’ll likely need to call in an expert for this work. Making sure you have the hreflang in place, though, is the difference between sharing universally-English content and accidentally making your monolingual consumers work as amateur linguists.

If you’re feeling confined by your audience, why not open your small business to the international market?

Image attribution: tumsasedgars – stock.adobe.com

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