Multilingual website? Here’s how SEO can help!

Virtual search field over Keyboard

Virtual search field over Keyboard

SEO and translation Multilingual website? Here’s how SEO can help!

Published on 15.03.2022 by Vera Bender, copywriter. She writes and publishes articles on Corporate Communication topics at Apostroph.

Would you offer underpants to a customer who comes into your shop asking for pants? Probably not – and if you wouldn’t do it in your retail store, don’t do it online! Find out here how SEO can help you.

It’s that famous example: pants and trousers. If you ask for pants in the USA, you‘re asking for trousers. But if you talk about pants in the UK, you mean underpants. What you really want to say is trousers. Why are we talking about this?

Your customer dialogue begins online

We assume that your customers are important to you. These days, customers are also online when on the go. Either looking for an online shop or to discover and explore your company and your offerings. For this part of the ‘customer dialogue’, there’s a powerful tool: search engine optimization, or SEO for short.

SEO works for you

SEO is a comprehensive bundle of measures that ensures you are found online. SEO has a technical side that wants to be implementation smartly, and concerns all your online texts. So it depends on what and how you write on your website or blog.

Translate keywords 1:1?

One of the keywords is appropriately called keywords. Keywords should be the most frequent search terms used by potential customers. And this brings us back to the ‘pants-trousers’ issue.

Let‘s assume you have the right keywords and have written the perfect text for your website. Your text is easy to read, helps readers to engage further or motivates them to buy – and Google also understands what it’s about. Very good! Can you now just translate it?

SEO tips for a multilingual online presence

If you want to build your business in different language regions, it’s vital to carefully optimize your translations too. This begins right from the selection of the search engine.

While most people talk of ‘googling’ and usually optimize content for Google, other search engines are important for other places (or for certain target groups). Our tip:

➔ Check which search engine is relevant for your target group and optimize your translations appropriately.

Linguistic details are also crucial. There’s no need to go overseas for this. If you sell hairstyling products in a German-speaking region, you might speak of Coiffeur in Switzerland, and Friseur in Germany (or would the search term more often be spelled ‘Frisör’?).

➔ Look at what your potential customers say – which keywords do they use?

Also, local customs and cultural differences decide whether your online presence is convincing.

➔ Be guided in your translations by where and how your potential customers live. That’s how to win them over.

SEO really pays off with translations

What seems time-consuming is actually a service to the customer, which they will acknowledge. In other words, it’s worth it! And the translation process is pretty straightforward these days. For example, it can be done using interfaces directly from your website’s content management system. Exploit fully the potential of search engine optimized texts and translations.


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