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Building Effective Systems for Websites in Many Languages and Countries

Make Effective Systems for Many Languages and Countries in Websites

Making SEO work well on websites that speak different languages and cater to diverse audiences is a big challenge. But, we can turn these challenges into chances for success with teamwork.

In my last article, I talked about the problems faced by teams dealing with multilingual websites. Now, I'll share ideas on how teams speaking different languages can work together better. These tips can make collaboration easier and lead to more successful outcomes.

In Shorts:

  • Effective Team Collaboration: Creating a shared space for different language teams to collaborate, such as a Slack channel or intranet folder, can facilitate knowledge sharing and feedback exchange, improving teamwork and outcomes.
  • Sharing Best Practices: Sharing SEO best practices, especially in markets lacking documented guidelines, helps standardize processes and ensures everyone understands the details better, fostering a unified approach across the organization.
  • Centralized Management: Establishing a Search Center of Excellence (SCOE) with cross-functional representation helps coordinate efforts, set common goals, and maintain consistency across markets, contributing to the success of global search programs.
  • Monitoring and Reporting: Tailoring performance reports to each market's needs and streamlining report formats can save time and provide valuable insights into global search efforts, facilitating better decision-making and action-taking.
  • Standardization and Optimization: Implementing standardized page layouts and centralizing tasks like XML sitemap management and language detection scripts helps optimize website performance, improve indexing, and enhance user experience on a global scale.

Blue Modern How to be Successful in Business Infographic (6)Building Effective Systems for Websites in Many Languages and Countries Infographic

Simple Tips for Successful Team Collaboration

To work better together, start by creating a shared space, like a Slack channel or intranet folder, for sharing useful tips and insights. Invite people from different roles and markets to join in and give feedback.

Guides for Doing Things Right

Share your best practices for SEO if there aren't any documented ones. Put links to these guides in your email signature and explain them in web meetings. This helps everyone understand the details better.

Experienced team members and other markets will likely appreciate this knowledge sharing. Even if there's some resistance initially due to different processes, use it as a starting point for discussion. Work together to find common ground and create a unified approach for the whole organization.

Word Lists for Better Searches

Sharing your list of keywords can be super helpful, especially for teams without many tools or time. This is particularly useful for markets that share a common language and can save them a bunch of time.

A smart move is to find the most important words for products or services available everywhere. Begin building a central list of these words and use reports to figure out where content is lacking, where there might be issues with competing content, and where localization might need some attention. This helps keep things organized and efficient.

Making SEO Work Well: Smart Management Tips

Building a good structure for managing SEO is like creating a strong global search team. In a perfect world, this team would be well-organized and working together towards common goals.

To start building a solid structure, follow the tips mentioned earlier about working together and forming good relationships with market teams.

Successful global search programs often have something called a Search Center of Excellence (SCOE). This could look different in various organizations, but its main job is to encourage teamwork, use a consistent process, and have shared goals across all markets.

A really important part of a COE is having people from different teams like Search, DevOps/IT, Marketing, Content, and Product teams. This helps understand the important things for the success of the search program, like priorities, challenges, and resources.

In some organizations, especially those where management is not so centralized, you might not have direct control over what people do. But you can try to get everyone to agree on the things that are important for everyone to do. This way, you can build a more cooperative and effective SEO management structure.

Monitoring and Reporting for Better Performance

Keeping track of performance is crucial, and each market needs its own set of reports.

A smart move is to start by sharing the existing reports and figuring out what metrics and indicators can show how well local and global search efforts are doing.

In one case, a client was using many tools and twenty different formats for the same information. Through collaboration, they created a single report format that everyone had to use. This not only saved a lot of time but also made it clear where there were gaps and challenges across all markets.

This approach made it easier for managers to understand the problems and see the benefits of taking action on a global scale.

Managing Searches with Helpful Tools

SEO tools can be pricey, and not every market has a big budget for them. It's important to talk about which tools are the most useful and if there are any that are doing the same job. Instead of getting the full suite of tools at once, consider adding resources gradually to manage costs better. This approach works well, especially with crawling and keyword research tools.

Central Control for Site Maps and Language Management

Bringing all XML sitemaps together might seem simple, but it can be quite a challenge, especially when dealing with different agencies across markets.

We all agree that keeping track of indexing is crucial for SEO success.

By centralizing the control and management of XML sitemaps, you make sure that the best and most extensive set of URLs are visible globally. This also helps identify markets with outdated CMS that can't create XML sitemaps.

When you have multiple content management systems, different domain structures, and markets can't decide on deploying hreflang consistently, you can use XML sitemaps and cross-domain verification to handle it on a global scale.

Centralizing these tasks makes sure that indexing is maximized, and issues like cannibalization are minimized.

Standard Page Layouts for Better Website Performance

Boosting performance significantly is possible by using a shared template with integrated SEO elements, especially in key markets and for essential pages, depending on the site structure and how decisions are made.

Big websites have been doing this for a while, urging different markets to use common page templates. With this setup, you make a single optimization, and it affects all markets when they update their pages.

As collaboration grows in your Search Center of Excellence (SCOE), developers and content creators will follow SEO-friendly best practices and hopefully stick to these guidelines, allowing for a global impact.

In one case, a client adopting core page templates found they ranked well for crucial phrases in all markets. They also saved over $100k each year by cutting redundant development costs, allowing them to invest in a full-time global search manager.

Checking How Sites Detect Location and Language

Many websites now use detection scripts to control content access or direct users to the right market based on their location or language preferences.

It's crucial to regularly review and manage this technology for all markets, even if your website isn't specifically designed for a particular market.

Both the web and marketing teams need to be on the same page, understanding and agreeing on how the routing logic works. This ensures that users and search engines don't face unnecessary challenges or frustrations. Regular checks on the setup and functioning of these detection scripts are essential for a smooth user experience and effective search engine optimization.


Dealing with the complexities of multinational SEO can be challenging, but with strong communication and collaboration among stakeholders, these challenges can be tackled effectively.

Even if achieving a world-class Search Center of Excellence seems out of reach, you can still boost the search capabilities of the entire organization. Sharing knowledge and refining processes contribute to increased visibility, organic traffic, and a more satisfying user experience across all digital channels.


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