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How to perform an SEO audit of a multilingual website?

6 minutes of reading
How to perform an SEO audit of a multilingual website?
Category SEO

It’s hard enough to create an effective and quality multilingual website, but when it comes to content marketing and search engine optimization, it can get even more challenging. It’s imperative to keep in mind that your site needs to be optimized in different ways depending on the language you’re using, so understanding how SEO works in different languages is crucial. Perform an audit of a multilingual website and make your content marketing easier, check out this helpful resource.


What is multilanguage SEO?

Multilanguage Search Engine Optimization is the practice of optimizing your website and content for one or more languages other than the one you are primarily targeting. When done well, it can help attract a lot of new visitors who speak different languages and countries than those most likely to visit your site in the original language. The benefits don’t stop there either, it can also help increase rankings in Google search results, lead to more accurate translations, improved ranking in multiple markets as well as reduced translation costs.

Differences between multilingual and multiregional websites

Multilingual website is one that may be accessible by speakers of more than one language, while a multiregional website is a website that is designed for users who speak the same language. A multilingual website can accommodate different regional audiences (such as country-specific sites or languages) and these should be designated in the URL, whereas on the other hand, localized pages can be created for each region. It is important to also consider geo-location factors when planning a multilingual website so it can successfully target specific regions.

Create a plan of your multilanguage strategy. Why do you need an audit?

Multilingual websites are popular, but they are not as simple as just translating your website and expecting the same results. Keeping content up-to-date for all languages on your website can take considerable resources. Even if you employ other teams or external translators, you still need someone who is bilingual who understands the nuances and intricacies in order to ensure that you are capturing the right audience, connecting with people around the world, and providing all important information across language barriers.

A multilingual site has the ability to reach more customers, but also create more work for your. However, with proper planning, implementing and executing on a multilingual strategy can be seamless for you and your website visitors. One of the best ways to start is by performing an SEO audit on your current website or starting from scratch with one designed from the ground up as multilingual.

There are many considerations when doing this type of project, but here are some steps that should help.


First, audit your audience. Knowing where your readers are from will help you figure out which languages and which cultures you should cater for. It’ll also inform any decisions on which language is the most important for SEO purposes. The next step in the process is a site crawl. To perform this, make sure to include all subdomains, directories and CMS pages in your search. If possible set up crawlers that can be run against different servers on the domain. Once you have all this information it’s time to start doing some keyword research and comparing the results across languages.

Language and location

If you have a multilingual website, it’s vital that you run through the same steps for each individual language. The steps are fairly straightforward and simple, but take time, so plan accordingly.The first step is to go into your website from the individual location, search in the language being tested, and check to see if Google automatically pulls up the page or offers translation services. If they do, it may indicate that your site isn’t properly translated and needs improvement. If there are no automatic translations, manually enter the URL of your site and change any settings needed to translate into the desired language.

Domain and URL addresses

The domain name and the URL are essential for two reasons: visibility on search engine results pages and mobile-friendliness. For both, it is important to keep the domain name and URL keyword-focused. If you have more than one language on your website, be sure that all of your URLs match the original language from which they came. Also make sure to include the language in the page title so that your content appears in search engines according to its country.


Your website is only as good as the content that you provide. You need to make sure you are speaking the same language on all platforms. As such, it’s essential for multilingual businesses to undergo content audits periodically on all their platforms and languages. There are many factors that go into making your website multilingual-ready including translations, timezones, settings, technicalities, adding localized URLs and more.

Hreflang Tags

Hreflang tags are used in conjunction with other meta tags to indicate that the same content is available in different languages, typically on separate domain names or subdomains. This helps search engines know which pages can be served by which language versions, and they’re also important when using local SEO methods. One thing to look out for while performing your audit is duplicate content, this will make it harder for both users and search engine crawlers to navigate your website.

Multilanguage metadata

If your website is multilingual, you need to make sure the metadata on each page is in the right language. That way, Google can correctly rank and index all pages of your site without any problems. You should also keep track of which versions have been edited and which versions have not yet been translated.


One of the most important steps in planning for any website, as it can help identify where you may need more work. The first thing to do is always crawl or manually go through all sections on your site. If you have language-specific content, be sure to include that too. Create a sitemap for your website – that will help crawlers know what pages are available and which URLs are not indexed yet.

Off-page elements

With multilingual websites, the off-page SEO audit has additional steps in order to analyze all countries and languages. Here you have to get into the specificity of a given country. How is link building, blogging and social media perceived there? What are the most common queries on Google for that country? What topics do they cover in their news portals, blogs or magazines?

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In conclusion

SEO audits are the first step in ensuring that multilingual sites have higher search engine rankings. These steps can help identify and fix problems with content, metadata, links, and crawl errors. It is important for sites to take this audit seriously as it helps them maximize their visibility on Google. It’s important for websites not only make sure their content is localized but also that their site structure has been localized according to user-generated language searches.

Aleksandra Pietrzak
Curator at the National Museum in Poznań, graduate of Art History at the Jagiellonian University and Contemporary Art at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, curator of exhibitions and author of scientific and popular texts. A lover of contemporary art, literature and travel.
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