How to Leverage Multilingual SEO to Reach New Markets

By implementing proper multilingual SEO techniques, brands can ensure that users find content in their native language.


Search engine optimization (SEO) helps people find your content online through search engines like Google. Today, it is no news that SEO is important for a company's marketing success.

Companies looking for a global presence, however, must take a step further and leverage SEO localization. You need to make sure your target audience can discover your product and content in their languages.

Let's dive into what SEO localization is, why it's important, and how to do it well.

What is multilingual SEO / international SEO?

Multilingual SEO involves incorporating localized keywords and search terms in your translated content to ensure it can be found by users in their native language.

Why consider SEO? By implementing proper SEO techniques, brands can amplify traffic to their site by ranking high on popular search results.

Because your content is easier to find, it's easier for your audience to learn who you are, what you do, and what you offer. SEO helps brands stand out among the competition and formulate trust with an audience as a reliable source of information.

To understand how to make SEO work for you, remember these fundamentals:

1. Understand what you want to be known for.

Think about what you want your organization to be known for in the target markets. For example, are you trying to establish yourself as a thought leader? Or do you want to cement your business as an innovative industry staple?

2. Research the demographic you want to pull in.

What words and phrases do your audience search for? What type of content do they consume? Which questions do they want to be answered?

By implementing a few smart tricks, you can help improve and raise your visibility online. You just need to know what to focus on!

So how does this all tie back to translation? You invested in translating your website and other content, but if no one can find it, it would serve no purpose. Imagine French users searching for your app or website and seeing everything in English. Their user experience might be bad, or they might not consider your product at all.

The importance of multilingual SEO

If you are branching out into an international market, you know expansion requires intensely methodical strategies. SEO and localization are essential parts of the puzzle.

Wherever your organization expands into, all the rules of SEO and localization efforts apply. Translations must be finely tuned to everything from cultural beliefs to the nuance of the language to make your content both accessible and searchable in a new language.

In order to roll out a unique international presence that resonates with a new audience, you must first conduct proper and in-depth research:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What are their habits?
  • What do they search for?
  • What do they want to know more about, and what are their intentions for their search?
  • What has been their response to the competition’s efforts to reach them?

Armed with this knowledge, your brand can tailor content to meet users where they already are. The goal is to make it easier for customers to find your content in their native language.

Best practices for multilingual SEO

In order to optimize your translated company site, consider these Smarling-approved tips:


Conduct keyword research to find out what words your target audience tends to search for and include them on your home page and throughout your site.

Pro tip: Make sure your keywords appear early in your content. If you are already a Smartling customer, be sure to translate your Style Guide & Glossary. This will pull in all your pre-approved branded content and preferences.


You may need to change and replace a section of content on a specifically translated site for the best possible results.

If you’re using Smartling’s platform already, head over to our help section, where we break down the easy ways to swap meta tags.


A stale site is a wasted opportunity. Load fresh content, tie your site to your social channels, and get website traffic through promotions, webinars, and free services.


You always want to steer your audience to take action on your website. Encouraging visitors to book a meeting, begin a free trial, subscribe to your newsletters, look around different pages, comment on a blog, share a thought piece to LinkedIn, follow on Twitter, etc. Always tell your audience where to go next and have a strategy in place for this intended journey.

We can’t forget about translation quality

Now, an important rule is to never sacrifice quality for search rankings. Google explains that the best way to rank high in search results is to write informative, high-quality content.

If a prospective customer decides to search for your company to learn more about your services and sees glaring grammatical and linguistic errors, you are likely to lose their trust and their business.

There is a lot on the line when you tap into the potential of international business; accuracy is one vital component.

A cloud translation management system is a scalable and easy way to get the ball rolling in your localization efforts.

When you reach international customers with well-translated content, you are more likely to reap the benefits of your expansion: increased engagement, accelerated conversions, and an unparalleled foundation of trust on which future business can grow.

If you would like to learn more about Smartling or SEO localization, connect with us!