WPML SEO | 🚀 Improve your International SEO rankings

One important factor to increase international traffic is to optimize your WPML SEO.

There are multiple factors that can help an international SEO strategy, and certainly WPML is one of the best wordpress translation plugin that can support to gain more visitors from the world.

Keep reading to learn some tips about WPML SEO.

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Leveraging WPML SEO for International Traffic Growth

As we have talked in the WPML Review, and WPML vs Weglot article, WPML is one of the best alternatives if you want a translator plugin for WordPress. In principle, it means exactly what it is.

This website uses WPML and we consider it the best WordPress multilingual plugin for content sites.

Well, it is an acronym for WordPress Multi Language, where it is characterized as “the most complete translator plugin” according to many SEO experts.

WPML is a paid plugin, that many claim that it is worth every penny of its cost.

Since, the WPML interface is one of the easiest to use, it allows you many options, whether it’s an E commerce web or more. 

WPML SEO can be easily achieved because it is compatible with the most popular SEO WordPress plugins such as Rank Math and Yoast.

As WPML keeps being developed, it also improved in translation and in other aspects as well for International SEO.

For a business, woocommerce, blogger or web developer who is aiming to gain international visitors, WPML can help with that.

It is already known that international visitors prefer to read on their native language, therefore it is important to have an accurate translation. WPML and DeepL integration has helped to have an automatic translation that it is getting to be close to a native manual translation.

Furthermore, we share some WPML SEO tips that can help you on your work to rank internationally on search engines.


WPML SEO Tip 1: Use Subfolders in your Domain Structure

In this step you should keep in mind that the domain name will be the representative of your brand in general, so it is always recommended to think it through.

Think about what the sites you already know have in common… exactly, a short and unique name that is easy to spell and remember.

In some cases, a domain name that is difficult to remember, or spell, can drive your visitors away. Besides, once you are satisfied with the one you found, you will have to verify that it is available and register it.

On the one hand, we have ccTLD, which is considered to still make some sense for common languages starting from a country where that language is spoken, such as Russia, Israel, and any of the Scandinavian countries. Or in Latin America with Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, among others. This is a country specific approach, therefore it is not highly recommended if the business wants to have a global approach with only one domain name.

Considering a second possibility is Subdomain, which for any purpose is never to have been on the list of what is recommended for SEO since its disadvantages will outweigh its advantages. Their strong point is the creation of instances of specific countries or languages in the direction of users. This approach divides the power of a website according to its subdomain and the languages that are built towards the subdomain that was created.

This is where we find the Subdirectories or Subfolders. From an implementation perspective, they are the easiest to use since they are just another folder on the site. These have the ability to inherit all the branding and ranking value that the root domain has. The subfolder helps to have the content under a domain name that can have the endind as “.com” and the linkjuice of some backlinks will remain under the main international domain name.

With WPML it is simple to set your wordpress website languages in subfolders.

You should only go to the Languages section in the WPML tab.


In the Language URL format it can be selected the different alternatives of the domain url structure.

As mentioned, to keep the link juice obtained from backlinks in the main domain, and not in subdomains, it is recommended for WPML SEO to have it set in subfolders.

The structure will be automatic set up by WPML by selecting the directories option.

The URL slugs will show “/de”, for german, “/fr”, for french, “/ar” for arabic, and so on.


WPML SEO Tip 2: Avanced Translation Editor and Page URL Translation

Another recommended aspect in general of the WPML SEO settings is to have the advanced translation editor.

With the WPML CMS plan, it is really easy to set up the automatic translation integrations with DeepL, Google Translator and Microsoft.

In the installation wizard and in the settings area of the WPML tab, it can be selected the Advanced Translation Editor.


In a further section, in the translated documents options, it is recommended to set the Page URL to Translate. 

This will help to translate the URL Slug on the advanced editor, an also recommendation for WPML SEO.


WPML SEO Tip 3: Install Rank Math WordPress SEO Plugin

To describe Rank Math in a simple way, it support us as a SEO WordPress plugin for OnPage optimization.

By many considered the best because it incorporates features that its competition has not even managed to have, and many other free ones that, to have them, with others you should pay a premium version.

You can go to the Add New Plugin sections from the WordPress Dashboard and search for Rank Math.

It has a free version, but also Rank Math has a paid version that add more features such as the Schema Markup and AI Content analysis.

WPML and Rank Math are compatible, but if you prefer another SEO WordPress plugin, then Yoast is also an alternative.


WPML SEO Tip 4: On Page SEO and Snippet Optimization

Beides of doing an On Page SEO of the content, for a good WPML SEO it is also important to have set up the meta data.

An international SEO strategy will require to also have the keyword on the title and the description of the snippets.

Rank Math, as any other SEO WordPress plugin, can easily have written and modified the desired text to be shown in SERPs.

Rank Math will show you the preview, and if you needed you can modify it to improve your CTR,


WPML SEO Tip 5: Set Keyword on URL

Another ranking factor, but with less impact but mainly for user experience is to have a readable url.

The advantage of optimizng WPML SEO is that the url can be translated.

It is recommended to set the focus keyword in the url and afterwards translate it in the advanced editor.


WPML SEO Tip 6: Image SEO ALT Text

Google and other search engines might not fully understand images, but certainly there is a form to be read by crawlers and it is by the ALT Text.

Therefore for WPML SEO it is suggested to add the proper keyword of the image and that of course the image is related to the content itself.

As well, for the localization of the content, the text can be translated.


WPML SEO Tip 7: Content Translation and Localization

With WPML, the user can take leverage on the automatic translation and mix it up with a manual translation to correct minor details of the translation.

Localization also means to use the correct translated keyword, and not only the direct translation.

WPML SEO also means of having the culture in consideration, and the content translation should also focuse on the phrases and expressions of the target market.


As mentioned, the ALT text of images can be translated in the advanced translation editor of WPML. 

For WPML SEO it is recommended to also have the keyword localized for the international market.

Remember that sometimes even a translated word doesn’t mean that it is the actual keyword that the international reader is searching. 


WPML SEO Tip 8: WPML add the Hreflang automatically

To add Hreflang to your WordPress website is a no brainer.

WPML does the work automatically and this is required for International SEO.

A Hreflang code tag will state that there is an alternative version of the main page, but in other language.

With this code the website owner avoids that the content is marked as duplicated with the Hreflang.

As you can see in the source code of your page, WPML will add the Hreflang for each of the languages that are added to WPML.

And for the respective language content, the Meta Data such as the Title and the Description will appear in the corresponding language and with the asignated Hreflang.

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