A Guide to Multilingual SEO Strategy

multilingual seo

multilingual seo

With foreign languages experiencing exponential online growth, it’s important to consider whether or not multilingual SEO might be of benefit to your company. There are still many opportunities to carve out niche footholds in foreign language sectors by utilizing top performing keywords to attract international attention, in domain names, URLs and within the content of your website itself. The following three principles outline core strategies for implementing multilingual SEO within a website.


  • Understand your target market. Local cultures exhibit different purchasing mentalities and the culture of buying in China will differ to that of the US in vital ways.
  • Understand your international niche and design sympathetic marketing strategies.
  • Optimize your website for multinational search engines. Although Google still dominates the global search economy, local search engines still occupy a decent enough market share in their respective locations to warrant your attention.

Assess (Goals and Limitations)

  • Your target market may operate in one language, or it may use many. Within a language there will also be colloquial differences which, when attempting to appeal to a specific community, it is important to take into account.
  • By tracking the performance of keywords across foreign markets it is possible to identify and target growth areas before they become oversaturated. Performance research is vital when assessing the viability of international projection.


  • Cultural relevance is just as important as content quality. By performing analysis on a local level you will be able to better understand your target market, both linguistically and in terms of purchasing behavior. Employ a translation agency or local professional, especially when marketing towards local communities. They’ll be able to keep their ears to the ground when it comes to current local trends, so your site will stay fresh and relevant for your intended audience.
  • Take care of every part of your website. Work appropriate keywords into the structure of your website as well as the content.
  • Be wary of duplicate content, which will get stuck in the Panda filter. Regional subtags should help filter out this problem, however make sure that you are employing hreflang attributes alongside your canonical urls.


To fully utilize multilingual SEO it might be appropriate to consider consulting a specialist in this area. Without an organic structure SEO can often prove to do more harm than good and, as international SEO is often highly complex, getting it right can be no easy task as what will attract the attention of one culture may deflect another entirely. A good copywriter will be able to perform regular content assessment as well as providing link building and social media optimization. When multilingual SEO is performed correctly it will make your website as visible as possible to a global audience, so getting it right is paramount if expansion is on your horizon.

Author: Damian Davila

Ideas and concepts from Damian Davila, Ecuatoriano thriving in Hawaii. Pro marketer and blogger. Find him at @idaconcpts on Twitter.

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