Our client’s site was initially in Chinese before they decided to add an English language version.
Good thinking in terms of capturing the non-Chinese speaking customers and expanding the business but did it work as planned?
Check out the drop here:
And the reason?
The hreflang wasn’t set properly. The original URL that was in Chinese started to suddenly show up in English content vehicles while the Chinese content changed to a different URL pattern with “/cn”.
The content on the site was now a mismatch to the URL and Google naturally started to derank the pages.
And we couldn’t really blame Google because the original Chinese keywords were no longer on the page which was now in English.
Here’s what we did:
- Set up the hreflang properly.
- Fix all technical SEO issues which had come up after adding the new language.
- Improved site speed.
Check out what happened (comparison of the site before and after fixing these issues)
We also noticed content cannibalization and duplication issues because the same page could now be accessed using two different URLs.
We moved on to set up the proper redirection and canonical to fix this issue.
Plus we layered & optimized different pages with proper keywords (Chinese keywords for Chinese pages and English keywords for English version).
Here are the results:
Small steps, big results- but remember to take those steps in the right direction!
Expanding your business and adding another language version isn’t as risky as it sounds with SEO that’s done right!