Everyone knows that voice search is the future of search, and that it’s essential for companies to have a proper strategy in place for the world of voice search. However, it’s not always easy to know how to reach out to users in a way that is tailored to their needs.

If you are using Google Voice Search to search for products and services in your target market, then all the languages you use will impact your voice search ranking. This is why you should use the most optimal language combination for your search campaign. The key is to start with the most popular languages and then use the lesser known languages to target a specific country or region.

Since the beginning of time, people have been searching the web for answers to their problems. These searches started out as voice searches but now they are moving towards text. There are some tools helping with voice searches, but there is room for improvement. This guide will help you to get the most out of your voice search efforts.

30-second summary:

  • As search engines strive to improve the user experience, voice search plays an increasingly important role.
  • Since there are more than 100 languages in the world, people tend to search in their native language.
  • How can you optimize your website for multilingual searches while maintaining a natural and understandable tone?
  • Atul Jindal will certainly guide you through the process.

Google now recognizes 119 different languages in voice search. It’s very important for fun. But this makes ranking a little more difficult for site owners, especially those who accept multilingual traffic. Website owners need to respond to the needs of these people, who have a different linguistic approach to search. This is where multilingual SEO comes in, developed with voice search in mind.

But before we discuss multilingual SEO for voice search, let’s first introduce the search of the future, also known as multilingual voice search.

As technology advances, search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex and others are working to improve the user experience and make searching easier than ever.

As if that wasn’t enough, people can now speak to them in their own language, understand them and get the results they want.

In addition, more than 23% of American households use digital assistants and nearly 27% of people perform voice searches on smartphones. By 2022 alone, this number is expected to increase by more than nine percent.

This means that more and more people will communicate with Google in languages other than English. For example, a German speaker is likely to look for something by speaking German. An Indian can use any of the more than 100 languages spoken in India, while an American citizen can use English, Spanish or any other language.

This rise in popularity of voice assistants and multilingual voice search unintentionally leads to an increase in demand for multilingual SEO for voice search.

But should you optimize your website for multilingual search? Yes. How can your website reach an audience that searches in their native language?

So far, there are only guides to multilingual SEO or voice search. But because we appreciate the growing importance of this relatively new search, we offer a guide that combines voice search and multilingual SEO.

What is multilingual SEO?

Multilingual SEO is a practice that uses multilingual search to tailor your website to the needs of your target audience. This involves translating the website, using the right keywords and optimizing the site accordingly. We will discuss this in more detail below.

Note that if you search in Urdu/Hindi, Google will display the results in Hindi. That’s because these results are optimized for multilingual voice search.

Voice search: Future research

Voice search is very different from normal text search. When you type, you want to put in minimal physical effort, i.e. typing, and get results. In any case, when you speak, don’t make a physical effort and just speak. Speech-driven searches are therefore longer and have a more conversational style and tone.

Consider example

Someone searching for a Chinese restaurant will do so in two different ways: through voice search and through normal search.

As I type, this person will type something like The best Chinese restaurant near me.

With voice search, however, he or she will simply say: Hey Google, tell me what are the best Chinese restaurants to go to right now.

See the difference? To optimize for voice assistants, you need to be aware of this difference in SEO.

Add the multilingual button and you have multilingual voice search.

In the example above, I looked up the weather in my town.

If I had to type, I would just type the weather for [name of my city].

However, when using voice output, I used the full sentence in my native language and Google gave me results in that language. These results showed that they were optimized for multilingual voice search.

Now, if you want to serve a global audience and expand your reach. If you want your website to rank high when your target audience searches for what you have to offer in their native language, you need multilingual SEO.

Below we will look at some steps to optimize your website for multilingual search:

Search by keyword

No SEO strategy can begin without keyword research. So before you start multilingual referencing of your website, you need to do a thorough keyword research.

When you translate a website, you can’t just translate keywords or phrases. After all, a keyword with a high search volume in one language may not be as viable in another.

Let’s look at a case study from Ahrefs to understand this point.

Ahrefs examined the search volume for the keyword last minute holidays. They found that in one month it received 117,000 searches from the UK.

In French, however, the same expression means Vacances dernière minute. The total volume of searches was 8.4 thousand.

The results of this study show how important independent keyword research is for multilingual SEO. Because simply translating keywords doesn’t produce good results.

What you can do is take the phrases from your original website, which we assume is written in English and optimized for voice search. Translate it. Think of other relevant keywords and enter them into one of the keyword research tools to see search volume and competition.

Speech-driven keywords are also different from regular keywords because you need to take an intuitive approach by getting into the head of your target audience to understand what they are thinking and saying during the search. And how they do it. Then use these phrases to further research keywords and build a list based on high search volume and low competition.

Translation

Once you have a list of keywords to optimize for, the next step is to translate the content you already have on your site and optimize it for those keywords.

When translating a website, it is best to hire a human translator whose native language is the target language.

You may be tempted to use Google Translate or other machine translation tools. But even if Google supports its translators, the recommendation to use human translators remains thin. Because robots are not yet competitive and beat humans. At least when it comes to transfers.

Also, make sure that the translator adapts the content to the tone of your original page.

Label Hreflang

And here’s the technical part. Did you really think you could do without multilingual SEO without dealing with the technical aspects?

The Hreflang annotation is very important for websites that have different versions in different languages for different search queries.

This allows Google to determine which web page should be shown to which visitor. For example, you don’t want your English-speaking visitors to go to the French version of your site. By using Hreflang, you can direct English speaking visitors to the English site and French speaking visitors to the French site.

Another important attribute to include in your website code when doing multilingual SEO is the alternate attribute. This tells the search engine that the translated page is another version in another language of an existing page, not a duplicate. This is because Google removes duplicate pages and may penalize your page if you have not used the alternate tag.

URL structure

It’s impossible to talk about multilingual SEO without talking about URL structure.

When you do multilingual SEO, you often keep different versions of your website under the same domain. This means that you need to create a URL structure for each version so that the search engine can direct the visitor to the right page.

When it comes to URLs for multilingual websites, you have many options, and each option has its pros and cons. In the image below, you can see how Google lists these pros and cons.

Source: Google Search Center

Don’t know what URL structure to use?

You can choose any option that suits your preference. According to Google, the URL structure does not have much influence on SEO, except for the use of parameters in the URL. Personally, I think using a subdomain, like Wikipedia, or a subfolder/directory, like Apple, are the easiest options to create a multilingual site. But if you use WordPress, you can use a plugin like Polylang for multilingualism.

Content style

Content writing style is very important when optimizing your website for multilingual SEO. Your content should be more conversational than academic or complex sentence structures. As mentioned earlier, spoken questions are mainly in the form of questions. Faqs, short paragraphs with more emphasis on answers to questions, are therefore better suited to voice searches.

Now that you know how to set up your website for multilingual SEO, you may wonder if it’s worth it.

If you have a lot of multilingual traffic on your website, you have no choice but to switch to multilingual SEO for voice search because..,

  1.   Voice search is the future of search 51% of people already use it to search for products before they buy. If you start using multilingual voice search now, you’ll be prepared for the search and SEO challenges of the future.
  2.   Your business can’t grow much if it doesn’t personalize its offerings for visitors. In this case, communicating with them in their native language contributes to a good user experience.
  3. Multilingual SEO increases the reach of your website by addressing the needs of users who speak different languages. If your business is global or spans multiple countries with different languages and your website is only in English, you’re probably missing out on a lot of easy traffic. This would be difficult for English keywords where the competition and complexity of keywords are higher globally.

Final thoughts

Multilingual SEO for voice search is what all website owners (who receive multilingual traffic) will be doing in the future. So it’s best to start now and stay ahead of the competition.

The key points in optimizing a website for multilingual voice search are keyword research in the target language, human translation, hreflang tags and proper URL structure.

Good keyword research, interpretive translation, careful technical SEO, and using the URL structure best suited to your unique web needs will allow you to ride the wave of multilingual voice search when it arrives, which is soon.

Atul Jindal is a senior web engineer at Adobe Research.Voice search, also known as “speech recognition,” is a form of computer-based search that allows users to find information by speaking to their devices or computers. The information they want is typically found by searching the Web, and the voice search then directs them to the desired site.. Read more about translatepress and let us know what you think.

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