Maximizing Your Website’s Global Reach with Multilingual SEO

If you have a website that performs across multiple locales and in multiple languages, you must ensure your site is optimized for all these audiences. And this is where multilingual SEO comes in. Multilingual SEO improves a website’s searchability to audiences that speak different languages. This enables breakout businesses to penetrate new markets, connect with…

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If you have a website that performs across multiple locales and in multiple languages, you must ensure your site is optimized for all these audiences. And this is where multilingual SEO comes in.

Multilingual SEO improves a website’s searchability to audiences that speak different languages. This enables breakout businesses to penetrate new markets, connect with foreign consumers, and build a positive brand image worldwide.


“Multilingual SEO is a critical component for global brands looking to expand their reach and connect with customers around the world.

“By focusing on in-market audience research and synchronizing website content and architecture with the nuances of users’ search behaviour, brands can increase their online visibility and provide customers around the globe with experiences tailored to their needs.

“This not only increases brand recognition and reputation, but also drives the right users, at the right time, to the right part of the website – leading to increased traffic, higher conversion rates and improved bottom line results.

“By looking beyond simple keyword localization and prioritizing strategic multilingual SEO programs focused on audience behavior, global brands can truly tap into the vast potential of the international marketplace and succeed in the digital age.”


Robbie Reddy, SEO Director, Welocalize


However, not all businesses know how to do multilingual SEO effectively. This post demystifies multilingual SEO, what it is, why it matters, and tips for implementing it.

Let’s begin.


What Is Multilingual SEO?

Multilingual SEO is the optimization of websites for various languages in search engines. Effective multilingual SEO enables your business to be discoverable in global markets, exponentially increasing your online reach and organic traffic.

For example, Amazon targeted the SEO keyword “Amazon Business” for its U.S. audience. With the help of multilingual SEO, its Amazon Business page is also discoverable to Spanish users through the keyword “Amazon Negocios.”


When Should You Use a Multilingual SEO Strategy?

Multilingual SEO is essential for companies with a diverse customer base that speaks various languages.

Here are the types of companies that need multilingual SEO:

International e-Commerce Companies

Regardless of size, companies that sell and ship products internationally need multilingual SEO to maximize revenue. It enables them to generate organic traffic from customers abroad, including those who aren’t comfortable or proficient with English.

Companies in Linguistically Diverse Countries

According to statistics, over 350 languages are spoken in the U.S. alone. Multilingual SEO will help you secure a bigger market share, even if you’re focusing on the domestic market.

Companies Gaining International Attention

Keyword research and traffic analytics platforms reveal if your products or services have a demand in other countries. Capitalizing on those new markets requires multilingual SEO strategies that channel traffic into the right conversion funnels.

Businesses That Sell Digital Products

Apps, online courses, and other digital products in different languages need multilingual SEO. It bridges the gap between businesses that offer these products and their potential customers.


What Are the Benefits of Multilingual SEO?

Multilingual SEO, when done right, can improve your website’s overall performance globally for many reasons. Here are the 4 main benefits of multilingual SEO:

Grow Your Searchability to a Wider International Audience

This may seem obvious, but it is a should that needs reiterating. Optimizing your website for multiple languages allows your content to be seen by more users on a global scale. Multilingual SEO techniques could help boost your search ranking and volume in other target locales.

Provide Consistently Satisfactory Customer Experiences

Customer experience has never been more important than it is today for consumers all over the world. In fact, 40% of buyers will not purchase products if the companies do not provide native language support. Therefore, adapting your content with multilingual SEO can help you improve the customer experience for consumers worldwide.

Improve Your Brand Image

Your brand message can get lost when adapting your site’s content for multiple languages. Words and phrases in English might not have the same impact or perform well once translated. So, by using multilingual SEO, you can ensure your brand message remains strong and performs well through search.

Increase the Conversion Rate of Non-English-Speaking Customers

Today, 74% of consumers are more likely to buy products from you if the information is available to them in their own native language. Optimizing your website using SEO tactics could increase your conversion rate, as it will help users reach your desired endpoint quickly and efficiently.


Multilingual SEO vs. Multiregional SEO: What’s the Difference?

Multilingual SEO and multiregional SEO are sometimes used interchangeably; however, they involve different objectives and strategies. Multilingual SEO targets customers that use different languages. Multiregional SEO, on the other hand, targets users in multiple locations.

Remember, there are English-speaking regions outside the U.S. and U.K. Targeting these regions doesn’t require a multilingual approach. However, you can benefit from multiregional tactics like using country code top-level domains (ccTLD) and providing location-specific information.

On the other hand, there are multilingual countries that don’t need a multiregional approach. Consider your target audience to decide if you need multilingual or multiregional SEO.


6 Tips for Implementing an Effective Multilingual SEO Strategy

Now that you understand the importance of multilingual SEO, let’s look at four strategies you can implement to create successful SEO campaigns.

1. Understand Your Target Audience Better

To start, you should always map the languages, locations, and search behaviors of your target audience. Determine if you need multilingual SEO, multiregional SEO, or a bit of both. This will help you decide which tools and strategies to implement to achieve your SEO objectives.

For instance, high-quality translation services are indispensable in multilingual SEO. In multiregional SEO, your pages may need to mention alternative solutions (payment channels, shipping services.) available in your target areas.

2. Conduct International SEO Keyword Research

Use keyword research tools that can analyze location-specific and foreign language keywords.

Keyword Magic Tool by Semrush, for example, lets you research keywords in different countries and languages.

Keep in mind that users from various countries search the web differently. They may use different keywords to look for information, or they might include certain phrases and local variations of product names.

International SEO keyword research factors in these nuances and tailors your strategy to your target audience’s search behavior. Apart from using multilingual keyword research tools, here are additional keyword research tips you should remember:

3. Create Dedicated URLs for Different Languages

Assign dedicated URLs to pages designed for specific languages.

Some businesses cut corners using basic translation plugins, which automatically translate certain areas of a page. This leads to incomplete translations (navigation elements and dynamic content blocks won’t get translated) and keyword over-optimization.

Rather than optimizing the same page for multiple languages, create dedicated, language-specific versions on separate pages. Use dedicated URLs like “” for your English audience and “” for your Korean audience.

Accelerate the indexation of page variations by creating multilingual sitemaps. You can create individual sitemaps for each country’s website or a consolidated sitemap for all language variations.

4. Use Hreflang Tags

Hreflang tags help search engines determine each page’s target region and language. Hreflang tags are embedded in HTTP headers or within the head tag of the page’s HTML code. They can also be added directly into XML sitemaps. The hreflang tag’s parameters consist of the target language and location codes.

Suppose you have a Spanish website targeting users in Spain, Mexico, and Argentina:

  1. Spain: <link rel=”alternate” href=”” hreflang=”es-es” />
  2. Mexico: <link rel=”alternate” href=”” hreflang=”es-mx” />
  3. Argentina: <link rel=”alternate” href=”” hreflang=”es-ar” />

5. Improve Your Website’s Loading Speed

Improve your website’s load speed to give your users a better experience. A fast-loading website is crucial to SEO and can positively impact your session duration, pages per session, and bounce rate.

Start with a performance analysis of your multilingual pages. Use a tool like PageSpeed Insights to reveal performance-related issues and highlight potential fixes.

Below are additional ways to improve website speed and SEO:

6. Optimize for Search Intent

Build multilingual content around search intent to lead your audience to the fastest route to conversion.

Search intent pertains to the motivation your searchers have for typing in their search queries. Their intent can be informational, navigational, commercial, or transactional.

  1. Informational search intent. The user is researching informative content (definitions, guides).
  2. Navigational search intent. The user already knows what they’re looking for and is searching using a brand or product name.
  3. Commercial search intent. The user is comparing and researching options by reading reviews, comparison posts, tutorials, and other in-depth content.
  4. Transactional search intent. The user is ready to purchase and is looking for the next step (product page, discount page).

Understanding search intent lets you deliver personalized content based on purchase readiness to potential customers. This elevates the customer experience and maximizes the value you get out of your multilingual SEO campaign.