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Multilingual SEO - WordCamp Antwerp 03-18

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How to handle SEO if you want to target more than one language or more than one country. How should your international SEO strategy look like? Find out in this presentation!!

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Multilingual SEO - WordCamp Antwerp 03-18

  1. 1. How to handle multilingual SEO
  2. 2. Annelieke van den Berg @_Annelieke_
  3. 3. How to handle multilingual SEO
  4. 4. Multiple locations and multiple languages
  5. 5. Key takeaways When maintaining a multilingual site,
 you should consider: • content • site structure • hreflang • multilingual plugins
  6. 6. Case study Time!!!
  7. 7. Meet Ellen
  8. 8. excitingfries.com That’s Karl Gilis btw ;) source:@agconsult
  9. 9. multilingual SEO strategy
  10. 10. Google’s mission: 
 to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful
  11. 11. Holistic SEO:
 to focus on all aspects of website optimization
 in order to be the best result
  12. 12. Holistic SEO
 Quality content Technical
 excellence Good
 UX & UI Flawless security
 Awesome
 PR & Social
  13. 13. User experience: be the best result Build a great site for your user. Users will visit, stay, and link to your site. Google’s algorithms will deem you a good result. Google will rank you higher.
  14. 14. Ellen’s conclusions 1. Be the best result. 2. Don’t use scorched-earth tactics. 3. Adopt a sustainable SEO strategy. 4. Use a holistic multilingual SEO strategy. 5. Keep the user in mind.
  15. 15. Research about the two countries
  16. 16. Target both languages?
  17. 17. Research on cultural differences
  18. 18. Keyword research
  19. 19. Marieke: “always start with keyword research!”
  20. 20. How Ellen comes up with keywords She gets in the head of her audience to discover what words they use: 1. Looks at survey data. 2. Checks Dutch and Belgium competition. 3. Read their comments. 4. Checks words they use on social media.
  21. 21. Google keywords Ellen googles her keywords. • Can she outrank her competition? • Browses incognito • More specific keywords?
  22. 22. Use of different words for the same things
  23. 23. Lists her keywords
  24. 24. Copywriting in a non-native language
  25. 25. 1. translate 2. write new content 3. transcreate Three ways to create content
  26. 26. 1. translate 2. write new content 3. transcreate Three ways to create content
  27. 27. 1. translate 2. write new content 3. transcreate Three ways to create content
  28. 28. The process of adapting an article for another language while maintaining the:
 1. style 2. tone of voice 3. content What is transcreation?
  29. 29. Transcreating content Original article Transcreated article 1 1. Convince people to buy product 2. Make people laugh 1. Convince people to buy product 2. Make people laugh 2 Invite people to leave comments Invite people to leave comments The goal of the text should stay intact:
  30. 30. Think about domain structure
  31. 31. Possible combinations ccTLD gTLD Subdirectory excitingfries.nl excitingfries.be/nl excitingfries.be/fr excitingfries.com/nl-nl excitingfries.com/nl-be excitingfries.com/fr-be Subdomain excitingfries.nl nl.excitingfries.be fr.excitingfries.be nl-nl.excitingfries.com nl-be.excitingfries.com fr-be.excitingfries.com Subdirectory & subdomain nl.excitingfries.com/nl be.excitingfries.com/nl be.excitingfries.com/fr
  32. 32. Possible combinations ccTLD gTLD Subdirectory excitingfries.nl excitingfries.be/nl excitingfries.be/fr excitingfries.com/nl-nl excitingfries.com/nl-be excitingfries.com/fr-be Subdomain excitingfries.nl nl.excitingfries.be fr.excitingfries.be nl-nl.excitingfries.com nl-be.excitingfries.com fr-be.excitingfries.com Subdirectory & subdomain nl.excitingfries.com/nl be.excitingfries.com/nl be.excitingfries.com/fr
  33. 33. Possible combinations ccTLD gTLD Subdirectory excitingfries.nl excitingfries.be/nl excitingfries.be/fr excitingfries.com/nl-nl excitingfries.com/nl-be excitingfries.com/fr-be Subdomain excitingfries.nl nl.excitingfries.be fr.excitingfries.be nl-nl.excitingfries.com nl-be.excitingfries.com fr-be.excitingfries.com Subdirectory & subdomain nl.excitingfries.com/nl be.excitingfries.com/nl be.excitingfries.com/fr
  34. 34. • Don’t use subdomains • Only use ccTLD’s if you have the funds • Use subdirectories instead General guidelines for domain structure
  35. 35. Ellen’s current status: 
 -target both countries - determined keywords - letting friend write copy - domain structure
  36. 36. What’s left to do? - Bring the right pages to people - Avoid duplicate content
  37. 37. Rank the right version of a page based on 1. language 
 2. location.
  38. 38. hreflang
  39. 39. hreflang is markup 
 It specifies:
 1. language
 2. region
  40. 40. hreflang allows you to have almost the same site with only slight regional variations.
  41. 41. Ellen is fierce
  42. 42. Implementation of hreflang Implementation method Where to implement the hreflang? 1 hreflang in your HTML’s <head> In the metadata of the page 2 hreflang in the HTTP header Metadata on the server-side 3 hreflang in the XML sitemaps On your site, outside of the page
  43. 43. • Use the HTML’s <head> on smaller sites. • Don’t use the HTTP header for hreflang • Use hreflang in XML sitemaps on larger sites. General guidelines for hreflang
  44. 44. hreflang example: subfolders 1. Dutch site for the Netherlands 3. French site for Belgium 2. Dutch site for Belgium href="http://excitingfries.com/nl-nl/" hreflang="nl-nl" href="http://excitingfries.com/nl-be/" hreflang=“nl-be" href=“http://excitingfries.com/fr-be/" hreflang=“fr-be”
  45. 45. hreflang has the following elements: 1. an hreflang canonical 2. a self link 3. return links 4. optionally, an X-default link A hreflang <head> implementation
  46. 46. <link rel="canonical" href=“http://excitingfries.com/"> 
 <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/" 
  hreflang="en" />
 <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/nl-nl/" 
  hreflang="nl-nl" />
 <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/nl-be/" 
  hreflang="nl-be" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/fr-be/"  hreflang="fr-be" />
 How it looks: English site
  47. 47. <link rel="canonical" href=“http://excitingfries.com/nl-nl/"> 
 <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/" 
  hreflang="en" />
 <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/nl-nl/" 
  hreflang="nl-nl" />
 <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/nl-be/" 
  hreflang="nl-be" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/fr-be/"  hreflang="fr-be" />
 How it looks: Dutch site
  48. 48. <link rel="canonical" href=“http://excitingfries.com/fr-be/ mayonnaise/"> 
 <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/mayonnaise/" 
  hreflang="en" />
 <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/nl-nl/ mayonaise/" hreflang="nl-nl" />
 <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/nl-be/ mayonaise/" hreflang="nl-be" /> <link rel="alternate" href="http://excitingfries.com/fr-be/ mayonnaise/" hreflang="fr-be" />
 How it looks: French Belgium site
  49. 49. For hreflang to work: 1. Every page that links to another page needs to have return links between them. 2. Every page needs to link to itself. 3. All of those links need to equal their individual pages’ canonicals. Key takeaways
  50. 50. For hreflang to break: 1. Broken links or relative URLs. 2. Missing return link 3. Wrong country/regional code 4. Wrong canonical 5. Two implementations When hreflang breaks
  51. 51. What have we learned?
  52. 52. Ellen’s conclusions (1) • Creating successful multilingual keyword research 
 is hard work. • You should do proper research on what terms 
 people use in a specific region. • You should have different keyword strategy sheets for different regions, countries or languages.
  53. 53. Ellen’s conclusions (2) • Be very careful when translating terms. 
 Never rely on Google Translate! • If your proficiency is not good enough, 
 make use of (near) native speakers. • Transcreate content
  54. 54. Ellen’s conclusions (3) • Think about the domain structure you’ll be using. What are your funds? • How you want to implement hreflang. • Which plugin you can use.
  55. 55. Thank you!
  56. 56. Questions??

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