If you’re doing business globally, it’s safe to guess that you’re dealing with multilingual website content. With user experience and search more critical than ever, international SEO is something you’ll have to tackle. But knowing where to start can be tricky, especially if you’ve gone from dealing with traditional localization workflows to tackling multilingual SEO content. But never fear! We’ve broken down our top international SEO tips into this helpful multilingual SEO checklist to ensure that you’re thinking about SEO from the very get-go.
Argos' Multilingual SEO Checklist
You must plan out your international/multilingual content before you get started, as this sets you up for success in the long run. It also ensures that you’re targeting the proper channels (as not everyone uses Google!) and being as inclusive as possible to the many cultures and people you’re writing for.
- Which search engine is used in each country?
- Does this piece of content work for the market you’re targeting, or is it better to rewrite it, so it’s more relevant?
- Is it culturally sensitive?
- Does it fit into your SEO strategy for that market?
- Is it inclusive?
Before you get started with translation, it’s vital that you do all your SEO research, as this ensures you not having to pay twice because your content must be edited later. Additionally, you must provide a brief because, as we SEOs know, everyone does SEO differently!
- Have you researched three suitable keywords (primary, secondary, and tertiary) for this piece of content?
- Are the keywords you’ve chosen unique to this page?
- Have they been added to your keyword map?
- Have you created an SEO brief for the linguists/writers working on this piece of content?
During translation, it’s critical that your content follows international SEO best practices. If you’re unsure what to do, follow this part of our multilingual SEO checklist.
- Have you made sure you’re ordering a creative service like transcreation or native content creation?
- Have your keywords been provided to your localization team?
- Are you allowing your localization team to step outside of a CAT environment to ensure they can be as creative as possible?
- Is the content following on-page best practices?
- The meta title should include the primary keyword and be between 45 and 60 characters long (half for Asian languages)
- The meta description should be as enticing as possible and be between 145 and 160 characters long (half for Asian languages)
- The URL should contain the primary keyword and be nice and short (for Cyrillic languages, the keyword should be written in the Latin alphabet, and for Asian languages, it should either be left in English or use pin yin)
- Pictures contain ALT text which also includes the primary keywords
- There is only one “Header 1,” which contains the primary keyword
- The page title is different to the meta title and H1
- The text is broken up by headers
- About half of these headers contain keywords
- Keywords have been distributed evenly throughout the text
- There’s no keyword stuffing (try reading the text aloud. If it sounds robotic, then you’ve added too many keywords, but if it sounds natural, you’ve done a good job)
Finally, once your content is ready, it must be uploaded correctly, so Google can see that everything is where it needs to be. Also, ensure you’re tracking your pages’ success, so you know what’s working and what needs a bit of improvement.
- Has the content been uploaded following the best practices above?
- Are you using the correct hreflang tags on your website? Remember, languages like Brazilian Portuguese need to use pt-BR and not just pt.
- Has the page been indexed?
- Are you tracking the success of your content?
- Is it being edited to ensure the content is always up to date?
If you’d like extra support with your multilingual SEO efforts, look at our SEO services and feel free to get in touch.