With having Google MUM, multilingual SEO has now become the future to a great SEO strategy.
And, performing it in the best way can empower you enough to reach both local and international audiences in one go!
Today, Google is capable of deciphering 119 different languages, when it is about voice search, in order to take a step towards bettering user experience.
But, this good take, has brought up a new challenge for SEO experts who work on websites which target and cater to multilingual traffic.
And, with Google’s continuous approach towards betterment, website owners are now on their toes to make sure they do not lose out on the traction that they have gained over time.
Here, to make things easy, nothing can help you better than multilingual SEO, especially in the case of voice search.
But, before moving forward with the same, let’s first discuss and understand what multilingual voice search is.
The most prominent search engines all over the world, such as Google, Safari, Bing, Yandex, etc. have been making their best endeavours to better the level of experience that they deliver to their users.
And that unceasing endeavour has made quite a difference in the world where we stand now with search being made easier and most streamlined than ever.
As a result, today, searchers can look forward to solve their queries in their own language, and search engines can easily understand and leverage the best results accordingly.
Now, coming down to voice search, over 23% homes in America, today, have smart speakers, placed in their homes, and this upsurge is not going to stop anytime soon.
This is because, today, over 27% searches get conducted through voice, and mostly by smartphone users.
Astonishingly, this rate is going to increase by 9% by the end of this year, 2021.
This clearly refers to the fact that with every passing second, more people are stepping forward to communicate with Google through voice and that too through a conversation, in several languages and not just in English.
For instance, a Spanish person would perform their voice search in Spanish language, an Indian can make use of English, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Telegu, as well as the other languages spoken there and Americans would communicate with Google in languages like English, French, Spanish and whatnot.
And, that brings us to a world where Google needs to get better in understanding different languages which obviously there are trying their best to do, and SEO experts need to take care of how they are going to reach out to the right group of audience that they can get converted successfully.
So, it is quite clear now that you need to optimise your website in order to cater multilingual searches.
If you go through the Internet searching for the application of multilingual SEO in voice search, most results will come up just for either multilingual SEO or just for voice search.
But, at this point in time, most marketers need to concentrate on combining these two. And, if you are looking for the same, stay stuck to this blog as here we are about to discuss the same.
As you already know that Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is the way that helps searchers find their desired content on Google.
Multilingual SEO is just the same. The only difference is that it made to help searchers get to their desired results when they perform a search in their own language.
Explaining it in another way, multilingual SEO for marketers is the practice that allows websites to reach out to their target audience, even if they search in different other languages.
This practice of catering searchers belonging from different languages, involves using localised keywords as well as search terms, translating an entire web page, and optimising the web page to respond accordingly.
You definitely have noticed this while searching for things on Google using your own language, if that’s not English.
Yes, the results that appear in today’s date, are definitely optimised for multilingual voice search.
Now, let’s move forward to…
Voice Search was a technological marvel when it first came to public.
It is the tech that lets users perform a search on Google or several other search engines, websites as well as on apps through voice commands.
This is something that moves forward to the horizon of speech recognition.
Yes, just the feature that we see in multiple smartphones, and has eventually become capable enough in replacing the search bar itself.
So, the difference between a voice search and a regular textual search is quite a lot.
And, that difference is catalysing the growth of voice search’s popularity among millennials.
This is because, while typing you are required to put an effort of typing your query on Google.
However, while performing a voice search, all you need to do is talking. Ad, we don’t think most people out there consider it as an effort, if that’s for a small duration.
And, this is why voice searches are more conversational in style and tone, and occur for longer durations compared to the regular typed search.
For instance, let’s say, when someone intends to search for the restaurant that has the best Italian dishes, the concerned person has a couple of options for performing the search viz., regular typed search and voice search.
In the case of a typed search, the person will be typing in the search bar as “best Italian restaurant near me”. And, in case of voice search, the person will be simply saying, “hey Google, tell me about the best Italian restaurant near me”.
There is quite a noticeable different between the same person’s way of performing two searches. And, that is what you need to make good use of while performing voice optimisation SEO for your content to come up in voice searches.
Now, while adding the multilingual touch to this, you need to work accordingly.
Say suppose, while searching for the weather conditions in your city, you would simply type the name of your city, followed by “weather”.
However, if your native language is not English, you can just ask about the same in your native language in voice search, and Google will most likely come up with a very similar result.
And, now its completely understandable that the results that popped up performing the latter search, were optimised for multilingual voice searches.
Now, you must be wondering about how can you perform the same for your website or app?
Let’s find out.
So, Multilingual SEO, when performed properly, can be the best and perhaps the only way to catering to a greater set of audience on a global level and increasing your reach further though voice search.
In other words, this SEO technique can help your website rank high enough in the search engine results page so that even if your target audience is looking for a service that you provide in their own language, they can easily find you by performing a voice search on Google using their native language.
So, you do need multilingual SEO when it is about acquiring global audience.
Now let’s move forward to understanding the steps that can help you optimise your website with multilingual SEO.
You cannot perform SEO without keywords. And, to get those very important keywords, you do need to perform keyword research.
Yes, keyword research is the most important aspect of any SEO strategy. And, you are already aware of the same if you are into SEO.
And, as this is also about multilingual “SEO”, keyword research is crucial here too.
So, the first step of performing multilingual SEO, is performing keyword research, properly.
Website translation is also important in multilingual SEO, but, that does not mean that keywords or key phrases will also change accordingly as you translate them.
It does not happen like that because, a particular keyword can be of high volume in one language and not at all in the other.
Not just that, but it can also become invalid when translated in a completely different language.
Try something out.
If you are into SEO, just search for the key phrase “last minute holidays” in your keyword research tool, you will find it having a high volume of searches.
However, when you search the same in French as “Vacancesdernière minute”, you will find it having low search volume.
This experiment was performed by Ahrefs. You can also find it in their websites. And, it clearly makes it understandable that translating your keywords in a different language might turn your entire SEO endeavour into zero.
Now, as you are ready with a list of keywords required to optimise your website with multilingual SEO, here comes your next step.
It is nothing but translating your entire website content and optimising it with the list of keywords that you have freshly searched for the same.
So, as you move forward to translating the content of your website, it is the best to hire a native speaker of the target language to do the job for you.
It often might tempt you to make use of Google Translate or similar automated tools used for translating content, instead of hiring a person who would charge you money.
In fact, Google claims to have the best translator.
However, it is always the best to hire a human being for the translation process.
Also, there is a thing in the air that robots will be replacing human workers in the upcoming future, but there is time to that.
And, the robots in today’s times are not even near when it is about beating their human competitors. At least, in case of translating a content.
But, no matter how efficient a translator you hire, make sure that they are maintaining the taste and tonality of the original content. That is a must.
There are a good lot of technicalities involved in multilingual SEO. Yes, so it is not going to be quite a cakewalk for you if you have a tendency to run away from technical search engine optimisation.
The most important among these is the Hreflang Annotation.
It is quite an important aspect of websites that have several versions of themselves saved in several different languages to attract global audience.
This annotation helps Google understand and find the exact version of your web page that it should be coming up for a particular search.
Now, you can also ignore implementing this if you want your English searchers land in the German version of your website.
But we can bet that you do not want that to happen.
Yes, Hreflang Annotation will make sure that your English-speaking audience can view the English version of your website and your German-speaking audience to the German version.
Alternative attribute is also something you need to take good care of.
Yes, it is also something that goes into the code of your website while performing multilingual SEO.
Alternative attribute inform Google about the presence of an alternate version of your website in an alternate language is just a version and not a duplicate of the previous one.
This is also quite important as Google is capable of digging out alternative pages and if they find out that you have not used any alt tags for the same, your website might end up getting penalised.
URL structure is also an important aspect of multilingual SEO.
Wondering, how? Let us tell you.
It is required to save multiple versions of your original website under one single domain, while performing multilingual SEO.
Hence, there has to be a separate URL for each of those versions in order to make sure that you can track the growth of the same through analytics tools.
And, it is also imperative to have different URLs for different websites because that will make sure that search engines can drive searchers to the right direction and to the intended website, without any errors.
Now while selecting the URL structure for multilingual websites, you do have a handful of options. But, make sure you are aware of the pros and cons of those options too.
If not, go through the below mentioned image that we found in Google Search Central.
Source: Google Search Central
After going through all of these, it is perfectly fine to feel confused about selecting a particular option and settling down with it.
Let us help you.
First, understand what your preferences are.
Google says, URL structure do not have any special impact on Google’s search algorithms, concerning SEO.
You can also consider using a subdomain or sub-folder or sub-directory for the same. And, that is also perhaps the easiest way of creating a multilingual website.
Although, if your website is build using WordPress, making use of the Polylang plugin is the potential best option for you.
While optimising your website for multilingual search engine optimisation, you should also consider giving much importance to the way you craft content for the same.
Try to focus more on creating content that sounds conversational, instead of writing down mundane content that would make any reader feel like the person has gone back to their school days.
Yes, do not craft content in academic style or show off your language skills with complex sentences or tough to crack words.
As you already know, most voice searches are conversational, your content has to be conversational too.
Make sure you closely keep up with a question answer format.
And, that makes FAQs, and short written paragraphs an important part of your content.
Try to address questions and give out answers in the best way possible to make sure your content appears in the voice search results for relevant queries.
If you have already performed the previous steps properly, then by now your website is ready for multilingual SEO.
But, have you ever given it a thought that why is even required in the first place?
See, it is quite easy. Multilingual SEO allows you to cater audiences who speak different languages. And, if you are wondering its importance in voice search then let us tell you:
Multilingual SEO for voice searches is the key to the future and a great set of audience. Period.
So, if you want to achieve similar heights with your business and step in to the global market, get started with it today!
What are you waiting for?
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