There is no denying the fact that English dominate when it comes to websites. But there are also lots of people who prefer website in their own language. Promoting a multilingual website is little tough because promoting your website you have to search for an English alternative for optimizing a website. For reaching your global audience it is good practice to provide the website content in the local language where English is not an official language. This not only provide more exposure to your business but also boost the sales.
Keyword Research: The first step is to do keyword research with the translation tools like Google Translate and Yahoos Babelfish which can be used to translate keywords. Also, you can check the translation dictionary for checking the accuracy of keywords. It is highly recommended to use a native translator of the country to make your keyword target the terms which are appropriate in the market.
Competitor Analysis: You can also check the competitor keywords who highly ranked for general terns which are to be targeted in a specific area.If you are looking to promote multilingual website then you need to analyse your competition. It becomes critical to check the backlinks of competitor and start targeting those sites for creating back links.
Social Media Promotion: It is harder to promote It’s harder to promote multilingual websites unlike English websites which are quite easy to promote on Facebook, twitter and other social media platforms. You need to target country specific social media platform. There are also issues related to culture. For example, if you want to reach Chinese speakers in social media then you have to , will you be active on Fotolog to communicate with Brazilian people, or live journal to promote website in Russia.
URL Structure: The url structure of the multilingual website needs to be simpler and avoid any sort of complicated structures. A common practice is to use a structure like this: http://www.abc.com/en/ for English and http://www.abc.com/fr/ for French. Keep the content of the one language limited to its own url. Avoid using any other language in a particular language page. for example if you are using French keep all the content in French.
Understand the local market: For making your off page optimization work you need to understand the marketing trends of that particular country and build a strategy based on it. Focus on search engines and for English web pages Google is the ultimate search engine and every promotional strategy revolve around Google to get better ranking. But for non-English pages every country has their own preference of search engines and they have their quality guidelines for indexing and ranking the website. In Russia, Yandex is the most popular search engine where as in China Baidu dominates the most.