SEO & Multilingual

It must be recognized, the natural SEO of its WordPress site has become over the years a very important element of many positioning strategy on the web. One of the advantages when you have a multilingual site will be to position your site very high in the search engines, and this for many languages. We are talking about Multilingual SEO. We’ll find out how to do this guide on Multilingual SEO , but beware, no wizard’s secrets in this article, you’ll have to work. I will show you both how to treat your multilingual SEO, but also WordPress translation plugin use for its multilingual SEO to go like a charm.
We will discover best practices, but also the right tools to achieve its multilingual SEO with WordPress.

Basics of SEO: How does it work?

Imagine for a moment that you are Google (or the search engine you prefer like Qwant for example). Millions of people come to you to ask for tons of things, and that every second. Your job is to put forward the top ten sites that best answer each question asked by a user.

Imagine for a moment that you are Google (or the search engine you prefer like Qwant for example). Millions of people come to you to ask for tons of things, and that every second. Your job is to put forward the top ten sites that best answer each question asked by a user….

To the simple saying of this operating system, it is very easy to understand that everything is about algorithmics, there is no human who comes to treat the results of Google with whom we could agree to better position your site rather than that of your competitor. It is also easy to understand that no one can sell a first place on Google, nor any magic recipe. Only using known rules will allow you to do this.

Ok, back to our little game: you are Google. If so, how would you get the top ten pages displayed first? The answer is quite amazing as it is simple and provides all you need to know to achieve a good SEO.

  • Look for the topic in the page you are browsing. Obviously, we will have to design a page that focuses on a particular term to position well. Thus, if we talk about health insurance for dogs, it is interesting to add content on the various diseases common to dogs. If you treat all types of pets, then your page may be much less interesting at best Google, your content is diluted in the middle of another more general.
  • Have a specialized site on a type of content. To come back to our example, if your page on dog insurance are found in the middle of a site dealing, randomly, triathlon, then the chances are much thinner than your content interests especially Google, while a site entirely dedicated to dogs would allow this page to work much better on search engines.
  • Review the pages that work. It is important to know that trust is a prominent part of our culture. We believe the recommendation that would be made to us of a person who is regarded as specialist of the issue more than the first comer. Google works on the same principle. But to achieve this, it will be based on links from one site to another. The more the site will be considered as a reference in its field, plus its links related to its activities, will allow other sites to win renaming, in the eyes of Google as well. The creation of such a mesh is essential to any good SEO website.

Thus, if this is the way Google proceed to decide which pages to display in priority among these 10 responses, what should we expand to improve the positioning of our web pages?

  • Produce quality content (again and again!)
  • Stay focus. The more specialized your site, the better it will be.
  • Promouvoir son contenu est essentiel. S’il est bon, alors ceux qui le découvrirons le reprendrons et en parlerons.

Basically, this is easy right?

How to make Google love you?

So we just see how it all works. Ok, it is in simplified version, but the goal is precisely to allow us to rest simple and clear bases on what SEO is. It is often wrong to think that this is too complex. Now that we know this, let’s see what information we get for ourselves.

Here, no way to teach you to produce quality content, this is not the purpose of this article. Thus, we will assume that this step is set. When we talk about SEO and good content, we do everything to ensure that Google knows how great this content is and should be proposed above all others.

Did you know that the Google version of your site was slightly different from the version you are seeing? And yes, Google is not fooled by the aesthetic qualities of a web page. It reads this page with its content and the HTML that composes it. All CSS and JavaScript goes by the wayside.

Google will therefore get rid of anything that is pretty on your website and will only focus on content and HTML. Proper use of HTML will be of great importance in bringing weight to specific parts of your content. Thus, a text put in title or bold in a text will have more weight than its copy in simple text.

The first time we approach the question, we are often a little confused. How to good use HTML tags if they are so important to Google? In fact, I tend to say that things must be done naturally. So why take time to talk about it if it’s enough to do it as we feel? Simply because what is stated without saying is always better by saying it anyway 🙂

Understanding how HTML formatting should be used is both simple and important. Imagine you want to read a newspaper. The latter is long and you do not know what to read exactly. So :

  • You turn the pages by reading the headlines.
  • You stop on some subtitles to the title passage that interests you.
  • When you are convinced by both the title and the subtitle, you will generally read the entire article.

Since this behavior is universal, Google is inspired to develop algorithms that come to take our way of considering. Thus, one of the most important parts of any web page is undoubtedly its title. The title of a page is marked in HTML by the title tag. Then, in a page, we also have titles, but this time with the tags h1, h2. or h3. The first level marking the most important level title. It’s going downhill. It is rare to go below the H3 fuck in reality.

A title is meant to be a summary of everything it encompasses. Thus, the title of a book is the summary of a book; the title of a chapter the summary of the chapter in question; the title of a paragraph the summary of the said paragraph … and so on. Taking great care of one’s titles is therefore extremely important. So you always need to use course, descriptive and clear titles for each of your web pages. It is also very important to vary your titles. Repeating the same title on all your pages would be of no interest. Worse, that could serve you. Another tip, it is useless at all to put the title of his site in the title of his page, if not lose space. Remember that your domain name is just as visible as a page title. Why come ruin precious characters unnecessarily? Use them instead to boost your SEO on the page in question.

With our insurance example for dogs, a good page title could be Dog Insurance. Well, this is of course just for the example. I think it’s almost useless to say that with a title like that, it’s unlikely that my page will finish first on Google, for the simple reason that given the competition, it will certainly not sufficient. But it may be possible to position oneself on slightly more specialized terms. Imagine that your dog insurance offers the specificity of covering your dog during winter sports? A good page title could be winter sports dog insurance, for example. You have just positioned yourself on a niche market, without any pun!

Putting your website in a niche is today the most effective way to position yourself on Google against much older and massive competitors than your new website. Does this make sense to you? A good thing to do then.

Now that you are going to write a great page title, accompanied by a great title of paragraphs, you will finally be able to concentrate on the actual writing of content. Learning to write for the web, this can be learned. Many books and articles deal with the subject. My advice, stay relaxed in the face of this task. The more you want to do, the more the pressure will rise, and the more your writing ability is hindered. The first lines are often the hardest. Let yourself go. Imagine that you are a visitor looking for the article you are going to write. What would you like to find in it? That’s it, you’re already starting to hit with success. Why ? Because producing content for its readers is the basis of success. Producing content for its own pleasure will not take you very far in positioning your website on Google and company.

WordPress SEO tools

The simple fact of using WordPress is in itself an excellent thing. There is not a SEO that has been called to use WordPress for this ability that few other CMS have at their disposal: to produce HTML content simple and understandable quickly by search engines. For anything related to the referencing fields in a web page like the meta description tag, there is a good chance your theme will give you a place to indicate this information. If this is not the case, no problem, you just need to use a WordPress plugin plugin. There are many.

Like everything about optimization, a small correction must have the maximum effect. Web referencing is in essence quite nebulous, and you can spend hours there. But as a beginner, you will also discover that tying up some more information with each page creation can have a significant boost effect. Just like WPML to our preferences when it comes to multilingual, SEO by Yoast to our preferences when it comes to natural referencing for WordPress. You will discover both a simple plug and play WordPress plugin, but also a plugin that works perfectly with WPML. The basic features are very easy to access, while offering a complete administration interface for all the more complex tasks.

Here is the type of rendering you will have:

SEO by Yoast is a plugin that is growing all the time, and has been for years.

We can see that if the plugin is able to do it, then it will show you the data it finds a little like Google would. Here no real guarantee of end result, it would be impossible, but rather a very good idea of ​​what it might look like, and try to influence.

The keywords that SEO by Yoast should focus on are given in the second part to give a rating to your content. As you can see, he will tell you if he finds these keywords in the title of the page, the titles, the URL, the general content, as well as the meta description of your page. This can be seen as an automated checklist. A good thing to avoid forgetting to optimize the SEO of a given page.

Let’s take a look at the most important part: the SEO title and its meta description. It may sound like nothing, but optimization is happening here. The little action that brings a maximum in return. Designing a good page title and a good meta description can make a huge difference in the success that a web page will encounter or not.

SEO Title : From an SEO point of view, we certainly have one of the most important variables in our hands. This part will allow you to generate a title that will not be the title of the article. It will be both useful for your visitors and the search engines. Its use is more intuitive.

Meta Description :This is the text that should appear below the link to your search engine page. Be careful, search engines may decide not to use this data. However, this is really rare and very often used as one wants it. This is a key element to trigger a user’s click on your page rather than your competitor’s. It’s important to spend a little time with each page creation on your site. A good meta description will provide a clear and objective summary of the page behind it. Do not try to embellish things, search engines and Internet users would quickly realize that the result would be the opposite of what you would expect.

The good rules of multilingual SEO

After having scanned what was natural referencing in its entirety, we can finally tackle the multilingual part of SEO. Let’s start with some prerequisites to understand where it will be necessary to set foot for a good multilingual SEO of its WordPress site:

  • Google must understand the subject of your website and its purpose
  • Google must understand the general structure of your website
  • Google must understand what each page is about
  • Google must understand which language your site uses
  • Google must understand which language is used in particular content
  • Google doit comprendre s’il existe une traduction dans une autre langue pour un contenu en particulier

WPML works on a model that is perfect for Google because all translations are managed in separate tickets, making the language detection work by Google as simple as hello. This will be reinforced by the fact that every element of your WordPress site will be translated, whether it comes from your theme or the plugins you use. Having a fully localized site will allow Google to ensure 100% of the language, and not to make mistakes when it designates the language of the site in question.

One thing that Google loves to know: how your translations relate to each other. If your WordPress translation plugin is well done, then the source code of the page consulted must indicate the links of the other pages, proposing the same content, but translated into a given language. This is exactly the type of boost that will allow your website to be well positioned on all of its translated content. But since your website has a lot of links pointing to your site as well as other sites, how can Google understand which link is a link to a translation? By letting it do its translation plugin for favorite WordPress, like WPML. The latter will come insert links hreflang automatically. These hreflang links are the way to indicate to the various search engines that the link pointed is a translation of the currently viewed page.

Using hreflangs links will help you achieve two very important things for Google. You do not have to guess the language because it is indicated by the hreflang tag variable. No need to guess where the translation of each page is, this is exactly the purpose of the hreflang tag. Rest assured that unless Google spends resources on these kinds of things on your site, the more it will spend on dealing with your content and nothing else.

Content translated automatically?

Google has for years been providing a translation service with the sweet name of Google Translate. So far, I do not think anything teach you. We had the pleasure of seeing a use of Google translate abusively on many websites for a while. Needless to say, but the result was far from convinced and provide even a beginning of interesting information.

In addition to having trouble producing a quality contextualized translation, the services of Google Translate certainly does not offer you an audit service of your SEO in the target language. Indeed, who tells you which term you will translate and which one should translate into the target language? An example to better understand. If you want to position an article on the theme of WordPress graphic themes, the term theme will be the word used in France and only this one. If we target the English, then we discover that the term theme is used by English speakers, but the term that template is equally so that he is almost absent in France.

If it is really more to demonstrate that automatically translated content is to be avoided 99.99% of the time, it remains nonetheless that this remains a possible solution in very specific cases as a site of company that would like to provide some information in general ways, sites whose textual content is not the main source of information such as a photo gallery site for example.

Multilingual SEO Check List

Once we understand how SEO works, we did most of the work because everything else is not that complex to get a multilingual WordPress site with good SEO. To conclude, let’s see what to do to have a good multilingual referencing in the form of a check list:

  • Write targeted and quality content.
  • Explain to Google and company what your different pages mean by specifying a unique title per page, and using the h1, h2 and h3 tags wisely.
  • Provide quality translations of your pages. Avoid using automated translation services as much as possible.
  • Also translate all the SEO tags of your pages.

Do you have multilingual SEO tips to give? Feel free to use the comments;)

More multilingual WordPress guides

These different guides on multilingual WordPress should also interest you. You can also find all our guides in the section Multilingual WordPress Guides from

Multilingual WordPress Guides

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Multilingual Compatible Plugin Guides

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Multilingual Compatible Themes Guides

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