Killer SEO Tricks For Your Multilingual Shopify Store

Photo by Vasco Solutions on Flickr

Now that you’ve localized your Shopify eCommerce store by going multilingual, how will your new clients find you? These great digital marketing SEO tricks will send them right to your online business to find the awesome deals you offer on those amazing pleated skirts.

Because of course, if they’re Spanish speakers they’ll Google on faldas plisadas rather than pleated skirts. If you don’t translate your SEO keywords and several other elements to match your newly-localized content, Google won’t know where to send your new traffic.

One Spanish-specific search tip you’ll want to know: Bilingual Hispanic Millennials are more thorough and enthusiastic web searchers than all other Hispanic and non-Hispanic White demographic groups. They also dive deeper into the search results than anyone else.

Related: Qué Pasa? Ambicultural Hispanics & Other Multiculturals

Related: Five Ways English-Only Is Hurting Your Business

We’ve compiled this list of killer SEO tricks to connect your visitors’ searches with your online business.


1. Rel=”alternate” hreflang

Hreflang is a signal to Google and other search engines on how your global site is configured for other languages or country-oriented language variations like British, American or Australian English. You create one for each website and you can choose to have just a value of ‘en’ for English or you can have ‘en-GB’, ‘en-AU’, ‘en-US’ etc. to better target localized content to specific countries, but you want to include a general ‘en’ for anyone not from any of those regions, otherwise, Google will attempt to find the most relevant content for that search request and there’s no guarantee it will include your website.

Other search engines may not handle hreflang in the same way. It doesn’t hurt to optimize for three or four of the most popular engines in North America, which leads us to the next of our killer SEO tricks:


2. Which search engine should you use?

Speaking of popularity, a go-to search tool in the US or Canada is not necessarily what the rest of the world goes to. Popular search engines in other parts of the world include Yahoo in certain parts of Asia, Yandex in Turkey, Seznam in the Czech Republic and 360 Search in China. Other popular search engines include Baidu, Naver and Daum. Yeah, who? Your new BFFs – best foreign friends. This is one of the lesser-known digital marketing SEO tricks for eCommerce providers who think like foreign visitors, not monolingual native eCommerce owners.


3. Where to put your keywords?

Faldas plisadas, like ‘pleated skirts’, needs to appear in your title, your URL, your meta snippet and the first paragraph of the article, if it’s in content.

Your keywords should appear in your titles, URLs and your meta snippets (the blurbs in Google SERP [Search Engine Result Pages] that tell you what the link is about).

SEO tricks - keywords in the meta snippet


If it’s content like a blog post or website article, it should be in the first paragraph too. Don’t forget the all-important meta data, hidden data so heavily relied upon by search engines.


4. Geo-targeting may better direct your new traffic than language targeting.

The French language may be spoken in both France and Canada but one will shop with euros and the other with dollars, to name one of several geographical differences. Geo-targeting can differentiate between geographical areas and language differences and direct traffic to the URL or domain that best serves them.


5. Use different ccTLDs (Country code top-level domains), domains, subdirectories or subdomains.

A more consistent URL structure between languages helps Google better crawl and index your site. Which structure you use depends on your requirements. Which choice you make depends on various circumstances explained at length in Moz’s excellent blog post.


6. Promote your new-language pages in the same way and in their languages, as you did with your original language page.

Another of the less-considered SEO tricks is translating social media ads, blog posts, Google ads, etc. for each new language to achieve greater brand awareness. When prospective customers type your online business name into their search engine of choice, it’s far more effective when they know who to look for.



Yappn Google search results - SEO tricks

There’s too much competition for the ‘language translation’ keyword but if a would-be localizer saw us somewhere and included our name, we’re on Page 1 of Google’s SERP.


7. Pay attention to page speed especially when serving up pages from a greater network geographical difference.

Make sure the translation effort doesn’t decrease your website load speed in this increasingly attention-deficit world. Translation software can slow down page load time and conversion rates decrease greatly when users get frustrated, particularly when they’re mobile users. A one-second delay can result in 7% less conversions, which means potentially $2.5M loss per year if your eCommerce website pulls in $100,000 a day.


8. Make it easy for customers to switch their language in case the one their IP detects is not their preferred language.

Your customers may live in and visit your website from Texas but they still may rather surf in Spanish or Vietnamese. A language choice button is much appreciated, or cross-link your pages so people can choose the right language if they wind up with English when they want Spanish.


cross-linked languages example from Wikipedia


9. Rewrite product descriptions when they’re for different versions of the same language.

Duplicate content is a bad thing, so don’t just copy and paste the British English descriptions into other countries’ English-language pages. Make each a little different from the others and not just spelling differences like draft and draught. Google penalizes websites that contain duplicate content with lower rankings and if you’re a gross abuser of the copy ‘n’ paste school of product descriptions, it can even get you banned.


10. Include keywords in alt-image descriptions

Shoppers are searching more via image, so it’s important to have a language’s keywords in them. Include them in the graphics images too. Faldas plisadas.jpg versus Pleated skirts.jpg or even worse, x98djfh72lg6.jpg.


11. Append the URL with a language code when a language is selected.

Services like render JavaScript so that your single website can be registered to Google search engines of other languages.

For example: can be first registered to

Then registered to the Spanish –

This process enables the Spanish on your site to be searched.

These digital marketing SEO tricks should help raise your multilingual Shopify online business higher up in the Google SERP and keep your inventory delivery lady busy all year long.


Good luck!

Bonne chance!

¡Buena suerte!

Maayo nga swerte!

Ngā manaakitanga!




Yappn Corp is an enhanced machine translation company offering translations in over 100 languages and a stiff determination to find the best deal on Pocky no matter where it is in the world and which language we have to use to buy some. It’s what powers our crack delivery team when the Tim Hortons are closed! For more information please contact or call us at +1.905.763.3510 x246. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn!


Never miss out on another Yappn blog post!  Sign up for our new post email notifications today! We update the blog once a week. You might also get the occasional press release. We respect your Inbox!


Written by Nicole Chardenet, Sales Development Rep at Yappn

Share This Post