International SEO Positioning for Multilingual Sites

The international SEO for multilingual sites, even before the technical optimization, is based on the study of the target markets and on the understanding of the research habits of each individual country.

This study allows us to understand the needs expressed by our potential buyers and to segment the correct target for our multilingual site.

Projects related to multilingual sites often do not achieve the desired results for the simple reason that they are attacking markets where there is still no need for our products / services.

A preliminary analysis allows instead to select the markets interested in what we offer and the consequent exclusion of the markets where instead there is no request.

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Multilingual SEO optimization

From a technical point of view, in SEO optimization for multilingual sites , the main difficulty is precisely in associating an area of our site with a specific country and a specific language to Google and the other search engines.

The difficulties increase due to positions in markets where the same language is spoken , where there is a strong danger of duplicate content (for example England and the United States or Spain and Mexico).

For these reasons, many multilingual sites tend not to have adequate performances on all the markets where you ideally want to promote yourself.

Therefore it is necessary to provide precise and correct directives to the search engines, in order to simplify the understanding of the multilingual site and obtain the correct association of resources which will then be shown in the search results.

SEO management of multilingual sites

From the point of view of SEO optimization, a multilingual site can be managed in different ways, more precisely through:

  1. National top level domain. Example: Sito.it for Google.it, Sito.de for Google.de, etc.
  2. Generic top-level domain (extension .com, .net, .org, etc.) and subdirectories with language code. Example: Sito.com for Google.com, Sito.com/it/ for Google.it, Sito.com/de/ for Google.de, etc.
  3. Generic top-level domain with subdomains with language code. Example: Sito.com for Google.com, it.sito.com for Google.it, de.sito.com for google.de, etc.
  4. Generic top level domain with language parameters. Example: Sito.com for Google.com, Sito.com?lang=it for Google.it, Sito.com?lang=de for Google.de, etc.

What is the best multilingual SEO strategy?

There is no better management than any other, but there is the most suitable management based on the specific project and specific situation.

Any multilingual SEO management , if implemented correctly, can result in the best SEO placements and maximum organic visibility available.

In addition, the management methods indicated can be implemented on all websites: WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Prestashop, PHP or simple HTML.

Please note : only the generic Top level domain management with language parameters is detrimental to correct performance on search engines and primarily not recommended by Google (see Multiregional and Multilingual Sites documentation ).

Other geolocation signals

In addition to the indicated management, linked to the choice of domains and the structure of the site, there are a whole series of geolocation signals that allow Google to understand the reference markets of a site:

  1. Hreflang: is an html markup that allows you to indicate to Google the existence of language versions of our site. The markup must be inserted into the head of our site following this standard: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/18907 .
  2. GSC international targeting settings: the Google Search Console international targeting tool allows you to indicate to Google the specific country to which a domain, subdomain or directory is addressed. Should be used with generic top-level domains.
  3. Telephone number: the telephone numbers shown on the pages are one of the factors used by Google to establish the audience to which a site is addressed.
  4. Physical address of the activity: the address entered in the footer or on the Contact page provides a geolocation signal for the entire domain.
  5. Links from other local sites: if a domain is mainly linked from sites in a specific country, Google could associate that domain with that country.
  6. Google My Business: the address entered in the local tab, geolocates a specific domain.
  7. Content references: the geographic references in the content are a relevant geolocation signal.
  8. IP address of the server: the location of the server is a very weak and not decisive signal to geolocate a site.

Experience and strategy in international SEO positioning

The experience accumulated together with my staff in many international markets, allows me to successfully manage search engine positioning campaigns in multiple international markets.

I promote Italian and foreign companies, allowing them to take advantage of a single interlocutor for all international SEO initiatives both on site and off site.

If you want to take advantage of the opportunities of international SEO positioning by managing the multilingual SEO campaign of your site in the most correct way, do not improvise but contact an expert SEO consultant .

 

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