Article

Antonio Catanese
Antonio Catanese 4 November 2015
Categories Search Marketing

15 Tools To Manage On-Page SEO For International Websites

Here's some tools used daily at our translation agency to launch and maintain multi-lingual websites for thousands of indexed pages.

If you are aiming to increase your global presence online, a localised website that is technically sound, fast, and optimised is a must.

However, this becomes more challenging as you add languages and localised content. For big international websites, keeping on top of on-page SEO can be a daunting task.

The following are some tools we use daily at our international translation agency to launch and maintain multi-lingual websites with thousands of indexed pages.

Monitoring 404s and 301s

When working on large websites, keeping track of indexed pages, redirects and internal links is crucial.

It is a good idea to use the following tools regularly, especially after making big changes to the site’s architecture or internal linking structure to make sure you’re not presenting errors to users or losing link juice with internal redirects or broken links.

Google Search Console

Under Crawl > Crawl Errors, choose Desktop, Smartphone or Feature phone, then select the Not Found tab.

From here you can export your list in CSV format, fix your errors, then use one of the following tools to audit your internal links.

Redirect path by Ayima

After installing it, click on this Chrome extension to view the referral path of a webpage. Useful for uncovering redirect chains on single pages to make sure link juice doesn’t get diluted.

Screaming frog

Screaming Frog is a well-known SEO tool, valued for its versatility above all.

Paid users can enter regular expressions in the configuration menu to exclude or include parts of the website from the crawl. This is helpful if you have a multilingual site, since you can decide to audit one language at the time.

Depending on your multilingual site structure, this could be an example of the regular expression you would use to crawl the French pages of your site:

http://www.translatemedia.com/.fr/*

You can audit your site for nearly anything you can think of: broken links, slow loading pages, meta data, Schema markup, lengthy page titles and much, much more.

Resource: For a great guide on how to use Screaming from, head here: Screaming Frog Guide to Doing Almost Anything.

Xenu

This free software crawls a domain to report on pages that return 404 errors or HTTP redirects and produces a list of the pages linking to them, giving you the chance to fix broken links at the source.

By checking the option “Treat redirections as errors”, it also will highlight all your internal redirects for you to keep an eye on. The bigger your site, the more useful this tools is.

If you work on Mac, you can check out Integrity for similar functionality.

International Targeting And hreflang Tag Implementation

The Hreflang tag is one of the signals that search engines use to determine which version of your website they should serve to users based on geographical location and language.

You can check out your own or a competitor’s implementation with the following tools.

Flang

Validates the hreflang tags, highlighting errors. Simply enter your URL and let this tool work its magic.

Hreflang tags Generator

Makes it easy and quick to create hreflang tags.

Search console international targeting

If your site has a generic top-level domain, such as .com or .org, you can help Google determine which countries are most important to you from this page.

Resource: What is the Hreflang tag and why is it important

Testing Website Speed From Other Countries

The effects of loading times on both rankings and user experience are well documented.

Even if your website is fast in your own country, when going international you need to keep in mind the extra distance between users and your web server, which could be causing significant issues with latency depending on the distance between them.

Use these tools to diagnose your website’s speed as accessed from various different regions.

Webpage test

The great value for your international SEO is the ability to select and test a great number locations and browser versions. If your website is slow in regions located far from your server, you might want to consider using a Content Delivery Network (see below).

Pingdom

Tracks the uptime, downtime, and performance of websites. In the Website Speed Test tool, you are limited to one of four locations to test from: Texas, California, Netherlands or Australia. Select the closest to your target region from the Settings menu.

Resource: Techniques for improving page speed

Content Delivery Networks

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers geographically distributed with the specific purpose of delivering static website content.

When a user tries to access your site, the server closest in proximity to them will deliver the static content, ensuring the shortest distance for the data to travel, therefore providing the fastest online experience.

Some of the most popular CDNs are:

Translating Your Content

In order to earn links, drive traffic and build your brand abroad, you will inevitably need to create content in different languages.

As a translation agency that puts quality above all, we won’t recommend any automated translation tools here. Because the quality of automated translation is nowhere near that of a professional human translator, it could damage your brand, your conversion rate and even your organic rankings.

However, there are tools that integrate with your CMS to make the exporting of content, quoting, translation and re-importing as smooth as possible.

Disclaimer: we built or are affiliated with the following tools

WPML (WordPress plugin)

Simply the best plugin for your multi-lingual WordPress site. With WPML you can translate pages, posts, custom types, taxonomy, menus and even the theme’s texts. Compatible with all the major plugins.

Resource: Wordpress Localisation Made Easy

The Language Cartridge (Demandware)

The Language Cartridge is TranslateMedia’s Demandware add-on that lets you select, export, get quotes and re-import translated content into your Demandware store.

The plugins listed above are out-of-the-box solutions, however if you have a different or a custom CMS, we can integrate via our API for a personalised solution.

Conclusion

When creating a multi-lingual website, a lot of thought should go to the technicalities of getting on-page SEO right. Since you are targeting multiple keywords and optimizing for multiple search engines and countries, the whole process can become complex.

You can use the tools provided to keep on top of website errors, optimise pages for speed and implement the right on-page markup to improve your rankings in international search engines.

Related Article: 15+ Tools And Resources For International Off-Page SEO Success

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