International SEO vs Multilingual
Same thing, different intent. International SEO assumes that customers using a different language are from another country. However, many countries have residents that speak a language that isn’t the main language. In the US, Spanish is the example. You don’t need to set up different country settings for the page – no switching of currencies or measurements – so it’s not international SEO per se.
You do still have to be concerned about localization of content vs translation vs transcreation, as well as href lang tags.
Hold Up – Href lang tags?Localization?
We should rewind a little. Let’s start with localization vs translation vs transcreation, as that’s the bigger topic. This question is how closely you want the target language to resemble the original content. For some things, like technical specifications, you’ll want the target language content to be as close to the original as possible. Here, you want a close translation.
For other items, like marketing material, you want to adapt your content to your target audience as much as possible. In this case, asking for localization instead of translation gives your language professional permission to be looser with their interpretation and better match the tone and direction of the original.
Finally, transcreation allows content creators the most flexibility. You give the writer a prompt or brief, just as you would a writer in your own language, and the same freedom to create as someone in your own language. This can be great for blog posts that tackle local topics, sports-related content, or differences between countries or cultures.
Href lang tags are tags that tell search engines what language the content on the page is in. Hreflang tags consist of two components: a two-letter language code and a two-letter country code. Content created for English speakers in the US should be coded en-US. Content created for Spanish speakers in the US should be coded es-US.
Multilingual SEO Sounds Confusing.
It’s confusing when you don’t have experience in it. Fortunately, Manzanita Marketing has years of experience setting up and managing multilingual websites. We’ll walk you through everything:
- Language selection
- Language organization: subdomain or folder
- Translation, localization, or native content creation
- Keywords and content planning