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If your target audience crosses countries and languages, there are a few things you want to do to help position yourself well for the search engines. First, and maybe the most obvious, you'll want to consider having your content translated and regionalized for the markets that you're targeting. This can be a big investment, and you'll need to do this right, which means you're not going to get away with dumping your site into Google Translate and copying and pasting back into your ecommerce platform. But the investment is going to pay off for you, because people from different countries that speak different languages are going to be typing in different keywords, and the search engines are much more likely to return relevant and quality content that matches a user's language.
The next thing to do is to have a unique URL for each of the translated versions of your pages. Many ecommerce solutions don't do this, so you'll want to check and make sure that as you switch between languages, the full URL in the address bar is unique for each. This allows search engines to separate one page from another when determining relevancy for search queries and visitors using different languages. And don't worry about translated pages being considered duplicate content by search engines. Although these pages may be talking about the exact same things, search engines are very good at distinguishing languages, and treat different translations on separate pages as different pieces of content.
From a technical standpoint, we can help search engines identify what language and country the content is targeted to by providing specific metadata on our pages. We do this with what's called the hreflang link element. Say we have one version of a page in English and one version of the page in Spanish. We can use these two link tags on both pages to let the search engines know that these are translations of the same page in specific languages. And we can get even more specific. For example, if we had a special version of the page that was translated into Spanish and regionalized to Mexico, we could instead use a link tag that specifies both the language of Spanish and the country of Mexico.
Crossing borders and languages can be a challenging and rewarding experience, and making sure that your pages are optimized for the regions and languages you're targeting, will help you attract and convert the right audiences.
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