If you are asked, ‘Which language is the most widely used on the internet?’ your answer would probably be ‘English’. But what if I tell you that is the wrong answer. As per a survey conducted, over half of the searches done over the internet are in non English languages. Yes! You heard it right. With the evolution of technology and the increase in internet accessibility and affordability, the searches happening have shifted from the omnipresent English language to the much more exclusive vernacular native languages.
The beginning of a new decade 2021, sparked many discussions around Vernacular SEO. While mainstream SEO has already made a mark in the digital marketing world and helped gain many brands the much valued organic traffic; with the shift in the search language, the need for Multilingual SEO is on the rise. To align themselves with the age of mobiles and adapt to the changing trend, businesses are now shifting their marketing efforts to include Vernacular SEO.
Imagine dealing with a large and complex brand website that serves multiple locations and languages. These types of websites need multilingual SEO to cater to their varied sets of audiences. Multilingual SEO or more commonly known as Vernacular SEO is the practice of offering optimized website content in a variety of languages. In a country, specifically like India, accurately utilized Vernacular SEO will expand the business audience base manifold.
What is Vernacular SEO?
Vernacular SEO i.e., Multilingual SEO is basically a part of Search Engine Optimization which works on making your website content available in every regional language in the world; making it easy for people to access content in their own regional languages.
Why Vernacular SEO Is A Must?
English is a universal language but remember that it is not spoken in every part of the world. Brands targeting only English-speaking consumers are missing out on a huge chunk of non-English speaking customer base.
Majority of the internet users currently use different languages to search. Vernacular SEO is a category of search engine optimization that uses languages and dialects of regions to better target searches. Since these searches are language-specific, they are easier to rank for.
Investing in Multilingual SEO will increase your site rankings on search engines as it would be area and language-focused, thus boosting your local SEO efforts. People are obsessed to see content in their native language. Using the same language on your website as that of your target audience will also help your brand to increase relevancy and connect more with the consumers. This would in turn provide an exceptional user experience and result in more revenue.
Effective Vernacular SEO Strategies
Secure A Country Domain Name – If you are a brand having a global presence or planning to expand in the future try adopting an area-specific in-country domain, subdomain, or subdirectory structure. Web indexes give a lot of weightage to area-specific spaces. Hence, depending upon the geographical area you want to target, finalize, and purchase a secure domain name.
Target The Right Search Engine – While Google is the most widely used search engine worldwide, it does not have a stronghold in all parts of the world. Target the search engine most used in the geographical area you are tapping into. Like Google for India, USA, UK; Yandex for Russia, Baidu for China; etc.
Create Language-Specific Content – Research on the dialects that are commonly used in the area of your focus. Could be Nepali or Maithili in Nepal, Tamil, Telugu, or Malayalam in Southern parts of India, or French or Arabic in France. Create the content on your website in such region-specific languages for a better connection with the audience. Your content could also be culture-specific to add that extra touch. Additionally, use human translation to get your existing website content translated to any given language.
Language-Specific Meta Tags – Meta tags are a website’s first point of contact for users. Make sure the meta tags i.e., the Meta Title and Meta Description are displayed in the same language as the language you are targeting. You would also need to ensure the website when opened maintains the same language throughout.
Build High Quality In Country Links – Work on local language link building by creating high-quality backlinks for your website through local search engine submissions, local citations, local business listings, local forums, communities, and so on. Links are still one of the major ranking factors. Thus, build-in-country links with the intention to build relevance for the website in its targeted locality and language to increase the brand authority.
Create Appropriate Sitemaps – Search engines use sitemaps to find your website and its contents. Ergo, create detailed sitemaps which have language-specific content folders to help search engines identify relevant pages and display them at the right places.
Use hreflang and alternate tags – None of the search engines want to find duplicate content. And while content in different languages may not be identical, it could still raise flags if it has the same structure, layout, and elements. To avoid this, utilize hreflang and alternate tags. These tags will help search engines understand your page is an alternate version of another page, in a different language.
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href=" https://www.example.com/de " />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href=" https://de.example.com/ " />
The Future of Vernacular SEO
The local, national, and international markets for any given brand are huge. To make your brand bigger you need to tap into the massive market available at your perusal. And to do that you need to remember that most of your market doesn’t speak English.
The use of the internet by non English speakers is increasing day by day. There is high competition in the English keyword universe whereas for other languages it is almost negligible. Thus, if you properly use vernacular SEO, not only will your audience increase, but also your search engine rankings will go up.
To take advantage of the gigantic, open, global multilingual marketplace, you need to optimize your website using Vernacular SEO.