Choosing the Right Keywords for Multilingual Websites

Every company that has a website simply cannot ignore strategies for search engine optimizations (SEO). It is in almost everyone’s lips, because it is a very important aspect in making a website attract visitors. And playing a huge part in SEO is using the right keywords. This is a complex process that requires expert guidance. First, websites have to contend with the regular change in the algorithms of many search engines such as Google. Now throw in a foreign language or two into the process and the idea of making the keywords work becomes almost insurmountable.

When there is an absolute need to create a multilingual website, then there are many things to be considered to ensure that multilingual keywords will work and will guarantee good results.

Get to know multilingual keywords

It does not matter what the main language in your website is. What matters are the keywords used for the site to achieve high search engine ranking, as these keywords are the crucial link between your website content and what people look for on the Internet. Relevance of your website to the search also depends on the right keywords. In short, if you do not have the right keywords in your website, it will not be found by search engines. Keywords should be worked into your website’s copy and using the right keywords is instrumental in increasing your online presence immensely.


Finding the multilingual keywords is not difficult. It you have an English-language website, then you already have a bunch of good keywords. What you need is to have a good translation company do the translation of these keywords. A professional translator will have the language skills and the cultural insight that will ensure that the keywords to be translated will match searches done locally. If your international website is to be used as a money-making tool, you should also consider the dialects, instead of just the official foreign language. This means treating your target audiences as separate groups. As an example, lunch in French, Swiss/Belgian French and Canadian French is déjeuner.  However, in Belgium and Switzerland, it is called dîner, which in France is the term for the meal you eat in the evening.

What is important to remember is that people use day to day phrases instead of technical or corporate language when they do their searches. This means you have to carefully pick those keywords that have little competition and good search volumes.

You do not need an expensive app to make your website multilingual-friendly. Using Unicode for the text removes the need for encoding the website pages into different languages, as it can be used for more than 90 scripts and have more than 100,000 characters already built in. This means that symbols and special characters used in different languages are already available. Unicode works across any language, program or platform.

Optimizing for international market

Your website should be fully translated and localized before you launch it. However, do remember that it is not a good idea to translate your English website word for word as well as your keywords and phrases. Research plays a major part in the success of your multilingual website. You should know what terms the consumers actually use when searching for items in their own language, including, synonyms, acronyms and abbreviations.

It is also a good idea to make your website bilingual, and leave some English elements in it. You have to keep in mind that more people around the globe are now bilingual and most people know at least some simple English terms. Still you have to do your research as this should also be based on your target clients’ demographics. It is also a good idea to involve your local country teams in the development stage of the website. Their local knowledge and input will be very beneficial in creating a multilingual website that have keywords that are already localized.


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This post was written by Mariana Sarceda from Day Translations.

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