Multilingual SEO

Translating your website and optimizing your search-engine positioning are vital steps to reach new foreign markets. As a language service provider, Atenao translates and localizes your content, and improves your website’s visibility through multilingual SEO.

What is Multilingual SEO, aka Organic Multilingual Referencing?

Multilingual SEO, or in other words, Organic Multilingual Referencing consists of improving your website’s search-engine positioning in each of your target countries or language zones. This optimization process focuses on:

  • Researching relevant keywords capable of attracting visitors to your translated website, leading up to successful web conversions.
  • Analyzing your competition’s positioning, allowing us to determine the most relevant keywords and terminology on the desired foreign market. Naturally, languages and cultures differ from one country to another, hence leading to different mindsets and different web search behaviors. It’s a major error to assume that the German internet user will have the same reasoning and web search behavior as the Spanish one or even the Japanese one. Thus, it may prove insufficient or even useless to settle for translating or localizing keywords used in your original website for its translated versions.

Your website’s technical and editorial auditing to spot and rectify weaknesses which may obstruct your search-engine ranking without you being aware of the underlying issue

Why Hire a Multilingual SEO Agency? Seeing Through the Client’s Eyes

In order to properly reference your website in foreign search-engines, you must think like the target country’s web users. Entrusting your Multilingual SEO strategy to an agency operating in your home-country alone, is not enough if it’s not connected to your target countries as well.

You must keep in mind that your target country’s national companies are at an advantage on the web servers in question compared to you, a foreign company. With similar rates and services, web users will tend to privilege their own national companies. And as the distance and cultural difference grows between “source” and “target” countries, this disadvantage you face increases.

To successfully lead your website’s Multilingual SEO, you not only need to understand the target language but must get acquainted with every target country’s culture, practices and customs, as well as local web users’ mindsets and search behavior.

Let’s take one of Casino’s marketing attempts in 2024 featured on one of their landing pages as an example. Displaying the trivial, western world, web marketing approach of “prioritizing the client” on one’s translated website, would prove tactless in Japan where, in essence, the client is king.


Casino's slogan

With no prior knowledge of the target country’s language or culture, your SEO strategy will be reduced to:

  • Translating your content, keywords, and target queries from their source language. This SEO strategy transfer or transposition, betting on two different countries sharing an identical mindset, is generally of very little productivity and is even counterproductive as it overlooks the relevance of the translated queries.
  • Analyzing and researching keywords using SEO Tools such as Google Search Console, Semrush, Yoast SEO…This mass-market approach may drown your website in the ocean of competitors and may cause you to miss out on the most profitable keywords, particularly long-tail keywords (4+ keywords) requiring minimal writing and syntax.

Thanks to its trilingual and polyglot Project Managers and its offices in Europe (France), Asia (Japan) and the MENA region (Tunisia), Atenao is distinguished by its ability to assign the best SEO specialists from all over the world, notably in your target countries, for your referencing projects.

How to Select the Best Keywords in Foreign Languages? The Linguist’s Eye

Only a native translator, residing or having lived in the target country for an extended period of time, is able to:

  • Filter keywords suggested by SEO Tools.
  • Localize, or create translations matching the target country’s web users’ search behavior, your target queries, and the contents of your meta-descriptions.
  • Utilize human intelligence to suggest relevant keywords which machines wouldn’t be able to “think up”.
  • Create long-tail keywords entailing specific terminology and syntax.

Multilingual SEO Process

Multilingual SEO ProcessYour website has already been translated and you wish to optimize its organic referencing in the target country’s search engines? Check out steps 2 and 5 of our Multilingual SEO Process.

Your website has yet to be translated and you wish to localize its contents for organic referencing? Our Multilingual SEO Process is entirely customized to meet your requirements.

Step 1: Website Translation and multilingual SEO Preliminary Work

Classifying webpages based on their categories and associated translation service (Transcreation, 100% Human Translation, ISO 17100 Certified Translation, Post-Editing).

As the strategic value of each webpages varies, it is best to optimize budgeting and invest allocated resources into the most relevant and profitable ones.

  • Strategic and Corporate pages will be processed using Transcreation if justified by the editorial content.
  • Profession, product description and deep indexed pages would be translated using 100% Human Translation or ISO 17100 Certified Translation if the contents are “sensitive”.
  • Product sheets, blogs, latest news, useful information, T&Cs, CSR, Legal Notice or even non-indexed deep pages may be processed using Post-Editing.

New Words and Repetitions Volume Analysis

Your pages typically contain new or “unique” terms and segments, and others that may be found several times. The rate for translating “repetitions” is 60 to 80% lower than for “unique” or new terms and segments.

Selecting Pages Included in the SEO Strategy

Only the content created to attract website traffic through search-engine results requires SEO. Certain pages may not be included in the organic referencing optimization process, such as T&Cs, Legal Notice, or CSR pages.

SEO Dashboard

We create a dashboard dedicated to your website providing a reliable work overview. It includes:

  • All website pages URLs.
  • Page classification.
  • Meta Description content.
  • Image titles/ descriptive names.
  • Webpage titles and headers.
  • Target queries.
  • Main webpage keywords generating successful web conversions in your future SEA campaigns.
  • Your direct clients on the target market, if you know them.

Step 2: Technical audit to Optimize Structure, Editorial and Lexical Audit to Optimize Content

This structural and editorial work aims to identify the website’s strengths and weaknesses that may improve or hinder its performance and provide adequate measures.

  • Building an organized technical base appealing to web crawlers which index your website’s content in order for It to appear in search engine results.
  • Content translation meeting both user and search engine criteria.
  • Focus web crawlers’ attention on your high added-value pages.

Technical audit verifies:

  • URLs and extensions for every target country.
  • Google’s mobile first Indexing and smartphone compatibility.
  • headers, http, robot.txt, canonical tags.
  • Internal linking, broken links, missing alt texts for web images.
  • HTML structure (meta tags, Hn Title tags).
  • Page loading speed
  • Page indexation pertinence.

Editorial EDIT verifies:

  • Wesbite ranking compared to its competitors in the target country.
  • Widely used keywords for web searches related to your business/activity.
  • Content volume and structure.
  • Meta tags content.
  • Target queries pertinence.
  • Every page’s internal and external linking.

Step 3: Localizing SEO Components, Glossary Creation

Although all pages of the website are important, translation and SEO requirements differ based on each page’s strategic value.

Localizing elements such as meta tags, titles, headers, image descriptive names and target queries is prioritized as it allows us to create a glossary used to localize all of the webpages regardless of their individual strategic value. Localizing meta tags offers a reliable translation of the website’s primary keywords appearing on most of its pages.

Technically speaking, this step is not about SEO itself but about building a sound foundation for SEO. Thus, after translating the website, SEO consists of:

  • Enhancing readability by rephrasing certain contents.
  • Integrating keywords listed by SEO tools and approved by the linguist.

Step 4: Website translation and Content Localization

The preliminary localization of meta tags content and the creation of the glossary allow us to localize the content of all the webpages.

If you provide us with one file per page, we can proceed with the multilingual SEO simultaneously with the translation process.

If you provide us with one file per page category, or a file containing the entire website content, the SEO process will only take place after the website translation and content integration.

Step 5: Content Optimization

Our Multilingual SEO process consists of working on a page by page basis. The latter is based on 8 control and enhancement points:

  • The page title that must contain the target query.
  • The page URL that must also contain the target query.
  • Meta descriptions that must also contain the target query and be appealing to the web user.
  • H2, H3, H4 headers.
  • The lead that must also contain the target query.
  • Image captions and “alt” text.
  • Internal linking and backlinks.
  • Contextualizing and integrating long-tail and secondary keywords in the webpages.

Step 6: SEO Report and Quality Control

If you use a CMS, it is most likely that your back-office is linked to a plugin such as Yoast SEO or Semrush. These plugins run real-time SEO quality analysis and highlight problems that may be affecting your organic referencing.

Once the translation and SEO process are finished, we kindly ask you to provide us the final plugin report. This will allow us to verify that all the pages have been optimized.