Ultimate Multilingual Link Building 101 – Rank Your Site Internationally

  • Samuel Darwin
  • Mar 17, 2022

While it is true that business crosses linguistic barriers, certain challenges hold true when it comes to Multilingual Link Building. Language is not the only barrier you will face. All issues that arise in usual link building occur in Multilingual Link Building, too. It is good to have a plan for the different countries you want your audience to be from.

Why Multilingual Link Building?

Growth and expansion of international markets have ensured that the reach of businesses is of utmost importance. Multilingual SEO and Link Building are the processes of optimizing content for foreign audiences and countries so that your site is welcome to such visitors. At the same time, your website should have content that is engaging, lead and revenue worthy, and exciting. Surprisingly, the English language has a lot of competitors. So, it is important that you prepare your content for the global market.

Website health and maintenance play a huge part in getting traffic. Multilingual support is one such method of ensuring this.

How to Perform Multilingual Link Building?

For any business, small or large, link building is a vital part of SEO and page traffic success. You should know what you are investing in if you are really concerned about your ROI (Return of Interest). The best practices in the industry will only lead you halfway to success. The rest is always the approach and the heart you incorporate into the process. Consider the below criteria when you start Link Building and phase into Multilingual SEO, or even if you consider going global:

  • Is your site healthy? How is your local SEO?
  • Would you need an international host?
  • How will you perform your SEO translation?
  • How does your product/service fare in your local market?
  • Are you targeting the right country/region?
  • How are you prepared to calculate your ROI on an international stage?
  • How long do you expect your transition curve to be? Can you accommodate it long term?

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Know Your Target Audience

Multinational companies, such as Google, Microsoft, and Samsung offer products and services in numerous countries and languages. This calls for Multilingual SEO support for everything starting from branding to page optimization. But, how does this affect you? Do you need Multilingual SEO to promote your business?

First of all, know your audience and the areas you are targeting. This helps you to create a URL that can be used in the specific country and language you want traffic from. Backlinks are a great way to ensure that you are taking advantage of your SEO experience.

Domain Name and URL Structure:

Determining your domain name and URL is the first step towards Multilingual Link-Building success. With many options available to perform this, you should be able to differentiate and select what you need for your website. 

“It’s difficult to determine geo targeting on a page-by-page basis, so it makes sense to consider using a URL structure that makes it easy to segment parts of the website for geo targeting.”

Google Webmaster Blog

Let’s look at some information that Google offers for creating your domain and URL.

Country-Code Top-Level Domain (ccTLDs)

Sample: Yourname.es or Yourname.fr

The advantages of this domain are that you have:

  • A clear target audience.
  • Host server from anywhere in the world.
  • Organized site difference.

In case of disadvantages, the primary fact would be the cost of implementation. Other cases are the long-term maintenance costs, availability, and legal requirements.

Subdomains with Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLDs)

Sample: es.site.com or fr.site.com

This domain has the below advantages:

  • Easy site differentiation.
  • Multi-Server support.
  • Google Webmaster tools that have geo targeting support.
  • Simple to set up.

The only disadvantage of this is that your users might be confused about the domain name as to which language or country it is.

Subdirectories with Generic Top-Level Domain

Sample: site.com/es/ or site.com/fr/

The idea is that the target countries are placed in subdirectories that users can select and access.

This comes with a host of advantages, such as

  • Low maintenance.
  • An extremely easy setup.
  • Google Webmaster tools that have geo-targeting support

But, there are certain cons to this, too. Such as

  • Single server location.
  • Site separation can become confusing.
  • Your users may find it difficult to recognize geo-targeting.

The best method is to show links on all pages and let your users select the page and language/region of their choice.

Let Your Users know

Page traffic increases exponentially when users know what to do on your site. It could be any element on your page that retains them and serves as lead generation points and ultimately leads to conversions.

URL Structure plays a huge role in the above statement. Your users should be kept aware of the page they are clicking or have landed on. For example, an English page should have tiny details that indicate the language. Take a look at the below example.

http://example.lo /en/ multilingual-seo.html

In contrast, the URL below shows that the site is in French.

http://example.ca/ fr /multilingual-seo.html

I have given the above example just to explain the difference an URL structure could make when it comes to Multilingual SEO.

Keep the below points in mind when determining URL structure and website content:

  • There is no need to create unique URLs for a multilingual website. You can use such country specifics to imply the difference.
  • URL Structure is helpful in analyzing indexing.
  • If you want actual language spellings, you should use UTF-8 encoding, which is the standard while using languages other than English. The encoding ensures that the characters are supported.
  • It is not mandatory to provide unique content for different language websites, but do understand the cultural and linguistic differences that countries/regions have. So, unique content for multilingual websites is always a welcome option.

Now you should understand the difference between Multilingual SEO and Multiregional SEO. This is something that will help you perform all the above-mentioned steps in the right way.

Multilingual SEOMultiregional SEO
You offer optimized content in multiple languages.You offer content optimized for different regions and is tailor-made to suit them.

Harmful Practices to be Aware Of

While there are many things that could harm your site, the below practices are to be taken seriously.

  • Do not have all your languages on the same page.

If you consider Meta Titles and Meta descriptions, they are unique to pages. So having all your languages on the same page is harmful and affects the way Google interacts and indexes your page. Moreover, it affects user experience.

  • Depending on cookies for controlling language differentiation.

You are not doing any justice if you seek help from cookies to differentiate your pages. Google does not follow cookies. All other pages will remain unindexed, except for one.

  • Using Hashtags to lead to languages.

This is simply the practice of placing anchors in your site to direct users to languages. This can cause the same confusion as mentioned above.

Wrapping up

While it is essential to rank your site internationally, you should take care not to follow unethical Link Building practices to prevent Google from penalizing your website. 

It is important that you follow such practices in Multilingual SEO since the global stage is harsh and unforgiving. LinkDoctor offers White Hat Ethical Link Building services that have shown exemplary results when it comes to Multilingual Link Building. 

Such ethical Multilingual Link Building practices can help you stay in the race for a long time and can ensure great success in the long run.

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