How to Build a Top-Ranking Multilingual Website in 2020

How to Build a Top-Ranking Multilingual Website in 2020
Lucy Xu
November 25, 2019
4 min read

Building a successful global presence requires more than just a translation budget and a localization team. Beyond this, it’s important to understand the more technical aspects of making sure your localized website and properties are making their way up the global ranks. Everything from the style, consistency, and slang or jargon you use – to understanding the search engines and keyword environment that this translated text lives in — will impact the success of your global website.

As you prepare to continue building and expanding your global presence, here are some must-knows to keep in mind for building a top-ranking global website in the new year and beyond.

Step 1. Select Your Target Market(s) & Language(s)

Of course, before you start translating content, you must identify exactly into which markets you want to enter and what languages they speak there. While some businesses have a clear idea of exactly where their next localization expansion efforts will be, it’s always good to brush up on the fundamental steps of selecting which international markets to localize into first.

At this stage, you will want to make sure to do the following:

  • Analyze your traffic analytics to understand which international markets are top-performing (indicating where you should go),
  • Familiarize yourself with your international audiences, the languages they speak, and the common phrases that are used in your industry, and
  • Understand where your industry and competitors are — especially if you are in a larger industry, this is useful to get a lay of the global landscape.

 Step 2. Build Your Multilingual Website

Once you have identified your target markets and respective target languages for localization, the next major step is building your multilingual website. To build this in such a way that will set you up for top-ranking success, make sure you keep in mind all of the research that you’ve done in the previous stage (especially the part where you get familiarized with common phrases used in the industry of the respective market) and use this to guide your future efforts.

To establish your top-ranking website as you are localizing and building, make sure to:

Step 3. Optimize for International SEO

Finally, after you have completed the foundational steps of selecting a target language (or languages) and building your multilingual website, you are ready for the step that brings the ‘top-ranking’ magic: international SEO. At this step, it may sound like things get a bit more technical (because they do) but do not fear — follow the guidelines below and your multilingual website(s) will be on their way to global success.

At this step, make sure to:

  • Research which search engines are dominant in your selected target market (because oftentimes it is not only Google),
  • Perform SEO keyword research for your target locales to understand which keywords are trending internationally in your industry, and
  • Put the right technical SEO elements in place to support your international objectives (for a more in-depth look at how to do this, watch our Best Practices for International SEO webinar.

The Complete Checklist to Take Your Website Global

After you have built your multilingual website and refined your international presence, you are well on your way to going global! To start building your top-ranking global website today, or make sure that your current localized websites are properly set up, download our Complete 2020 Website Translation Checklist today for everything you need to know.

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Lucy Xu
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