How to make a multilanguage WordPress site SEO-friendly?

How to make an SEO friendly Multilingual Wordpress Site?
A multilingual website is a game changer in today’s business scenario. It helps you expand the brand awareness and reach a wider audience. But, creating a multilanguage WordPress website and making it SEO-friendly is a challenging task. SEO is the process of optimizing a website to improve visibility on search engines. When it comes to multilingual websites, SEO is more crucial because you’re dealing with different search engines, languages, and user behaviors.

Find the best multilingual solution for your WordPress site

While designing a multilingual WordPress website, you have to choose the right solution.WordPress provides a lot of options to create a multilingual website. Additionally, you can use options like WordPress multisite or specialized translation services.
Multilingual plugins
The two popular plugins are Polylang and WPML or WordPress Multilingual plugin. These two plugins are highly recommended to create a multilingual website. The plugins have a large user base because of their solid features and well-maintained development teams.

WPML or WordPress Multilingual plugin is a premium plugin with advanced features like string translation, translation management, and quick compatibility with WordPress themes and plugins. It includes technical SEO features like hreflang tags, canonical tags, and language-specific XML sitemaps. However, it’s quite expensive for larger websites or websites with multiple languages.

Polylang is a free plugin with several features like taxonomies, support for RTL languages, custom post types, and language switcher widgets. It also supports some technical SEO features like hreflang tags, but not all features of WPML.
Some of the other plugins include Translate Press, Weglot, and MultilingualPress.
WordPress Multisite
WordPress Multisite is used to create multilingual websites in WordPress. It allows you to create multiple websites on a single installation, each site with its content and language settings. WordPress multisite is a good approach to having more control over each language version. Moreover, it avoids potential compatibility issues and plugin conflicts. However, it’s more complex to set up than a plugin-based solution.

How to implement the navigation and site structure for SEO?

After choosing the multilingual solution for the WordPress site, it’s essential to implement site structure and navigation to ensure better SEO performance. Well-organized and easy-to-navigate websites help search engines understand the difference between language versions and help users in identifying their content.
Language subdomains or subdirectories
While implementing a multilingual site structure, it’s significant to use language subdomains or subdirectories. To set up language subdirectories, you can use WPML or a polylang multilingual plugin. This automatically creates language-specific versions for web pages. You can use WordPress multisite to develop separate sites according to each language version.
Language switcher
It’s essential to include a language switcher in your website to navigate between different language versions. Language switcher can be a dropdown menu, list of links, or flags, that allow users to switch between different versions.
A multilingual plugin automatically generates a language switcher. Additionally, you can create a custom language switcher with a WordPress menu or custom code.
Hreflang tag
Hreflan tags allow search engines to understand the relation between different language versions. These are HTML tags that indicate search engines show users the specific language version based on their language preferences. Polylang or WPML automatically generates hreflang tags or you can create custom tags.
By using the above factors, you can implement site structure and navigation that ensure better SEO performance. So, users find it easy to access content in their preferred language.

How to optimize technical SEO for multilingual WordPress sites?

For an SEO-friendly multilingual website, it’s significant to optimize technical aspects.

Create language-specific XML sitemaps

Search engines use XML sitemaps to crawl and index your website. So, you have to create language-specific sitemaps according to the website versions. This allows search engines to understand the pages relevant to the language versions.
Google XML sitemaps or Yoast SEO are the common plugins to create language-specific sitemaps. Once you install it, the plugin automatically generates sitemaps according to the language version.

Duplicate content using canonical tags

Using duplicate content may have a negative impact on your SEO performance. If you have multiple language versions, it’s essential to use canonical tags that represent the original version of a web page.
A canonical tag is an HTML code that indicates a search engine regarding the original version of your website. By using these tags, you can avoid duplicate content and search engines properly index your page.

User experience

The server-side language redirection and detection improve the user experience for visitors. By analyzing the user’s language preference and redirecting them to the accurate website version. This reduces the risk of people moving away from your website and ensures an increased user experience.
WPML or Polylang are the common plugins used to configure server-side language. The plugins naturally detect the preferred language and redirect them to the relevant language version.
Solve common technical SEO issues
Some of the common issues that arise with multilingual websites are,

Use SEMrush or Yoast SEO to solve these issues and audit the technical SEO performance. The plugins identify necessary areas for improvement and recommend actions for optimization. By optimizing the technical SEO, it’s easy to provide an amazing user experience for visitors who reach your multilingual WordPress website.

What are the tools to measure your multilingual website’s SEO performance?

After implementing the technical aspects, you have to measure the performance. Below given are the key tools used to measure SEO performance,

Google Analytics

It’s a powerful tool to analyze website performance and traffic. To track the multilingual website performance, use different profiles for each language version and track the metrics.

Google Console

To track the multilingual site performance, use the international targeting feature in Goole Console and specify the language or country for each version.

Some of the common tools include,

The tools can provide more insights into metrics like keyword ranking, website search engine visibility, and backlink profile.
Summary
Building a multilingual WordPress website requires good planning and execution. Moreover, to make it SEO-friendly, we have to follow the best SEO techniques. Consult the best WordPress firm to improve your website visibility and ensure a better user experience in different languages.
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