How to register in Switzerland in French, German and Italian?The job of positioning web pages at the top of search engine results like Google is a constant challenge for businesses. For those who wish to position themselves in Switzerland, the challenge is even greater, due to the complexity of the Swiss market. In a country with four national languages, multilingual referencing is essential. How to properly reference a Swiss site in each of these geographical areas? Some answers in this article.
SEO in Switzerland: what is the importance?Currently, SEO (search engine optimization) is an essential marketing tool to ensure the reputation of your company and develop your brand image, regardless of where you are located. In Switzerland, like everywhere in Europe, SEO is essential. Statistics on internet consumption habits in Switzerland confirm the importance of relying on SEO as a marketing tool.
A connected populationAccording to figures released by the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) in 2019, around 9 out of 10 people use the internet in Switzerland. Almost the entire population under 55 will surf the net. Even seniors use the internet since figures show that more than half of people aged 75 and over also surf the internet. These figures, slightly above the European average, testify to the importance that the Internet is taking in the lives of the Swiss. The study carried out by the OFS also showed that the Swiss are more likely to resort to purchasing on the internet, compared to other European countries.
A unique linguistic landscapeThe particularity of Switzerland is not limited to the propensity to use the Internet among the entire population. Its uniqueness also lies in its linguistic landscape. This confederation has four official languages. German, used by 62.6% of the population, French, used by 22.9% of Swiss, Italian, spoken by 8.2% of the population, and finally Romansh, which is not spoken than 0.5% of the population. In addition to these official languages, other national languages are added, but also on the rise, such as English, Portuguese, Serbian, Croatian, Albanian, Spanish, and other various languages. These different specificities make positioning on Swiss soil even more complex. In addition to being multiple, the languages used in Switzerland display regional specificities which have a significant impact on the semantic approach to SEO. When working on SEO, these differentiations must be taken into account. With regard to French, for example, Swiss French differs from French in France on certain terms, such as the use of native language instead of cell phone…). As far as German is concerned, words are often borrowed from French such as sidewalk instead of gehsteig, bicycle instead of Fahrrad or even hairdresser instead of Frisör. By the way, there is no ß in German Switzerland.
Techniques for natural referencing in SwitzerlandIn this complex linguistic universe, SEO work is not easy. With good practices, however, it is possible to achieve a good positioning of the site on the different you are targeting.
Domain name extension and site hostingAs in all natural referencing work, referencing in Switzerland begins with the choice of the extension. You have the choice between a national .ch extension, with a reference for the target language, or a basic .com type extension. The choice basically depends on the target you want to aim at. Do you want to aim for a national or international target? If you want to do a specific job per language, using a .ch extension for a subdomain or subdirectory is recommended. You will have more to facilitate to demarcate the different versions of your site. This way, you will know straight away that the domain unsite.ch/fr refers to the site destined for French Switzerland, for example. This solution also allows to have fast results because it facilitates the indexing of your pages by Google.ch. The implementation of this strategy does not always require hosting on a server located in Switzerland. However, to facilitate your indexing, hosting in a server with a Swiss IP is a preferred solution. It even becomes essential if you opt for a domain with a generic extension such as .org, .com or even .biz. The domains with these extensions have an international aim and do not immediately include an indication on the country to be targeted. By hosting the site on a Swiss server, you facilitate the indexing work of Google's crawlers.
The translationFor a multilingual site to be well referenced, special attention must be paid to the translation. All content on the site must be translated into the target language. This translation work should not be entrusted to a robot. Even translated, the content of the pages must remain relevant to Internet users. This content translation can be entrusted to people who have a perfect command of the target language. All the technical elements of the pages must also be translated into the target language. Thus, the metadescriptions, the alt tags of the images, the URLs must be translated. Indeed, if the metadata is not in the corresponding language, the robots of the Google engine will be in complete confusion. Your pages may be badly or not at all indexed.
Le link buildingReferencing a multilingual site also involves building a network of links that converge on the site. This link building concerns both internet networking and netlinking. The internal mesh of a site concerns the organization of your links internally. In other words, internal linking consists of putting a hypertext link to another page of your site on a page of your site. The link must refer to a page dealing with the same domain as the source page. The internet network allows Google to better understand the different subjects of the other pages of your site. These internal links not only facilitate information, they also improve the quality of your visitors' experience. Just like the search engines, the Internet user will be guided to the most relevant pages of your site. The internal mesh is interesting, but it should not however be used in an abusive way. In a multilingual site, the challenge is to avoid that the mesh refers to a page in a different language. This can be confusing for both robots and Internet users. A good SEO cannot ignore netlinking. Netlinking consists in multiplying the links from other sites, which point to your site. For effective netlinking, it is preferable to favor authority sites, yes, but especially authority sites using the targeted languages. Thus, a link from a site with content in French will be interesting for the French version of your site. Likewise, a link from a site with German content will be more relevant to the German version of your site.
Duplicate content, to avoid for referencing a multilingual siteFor the SEO success of a multilingual site, it is imperative to avoid duplicate content. Everything must be done to prevent Google from thinking that the content of the different versions of your site is duplicate content, this will penalize you in terms of positioning. The HTML ahreflang attribute, placed at the header of a page, helps to avoid any confusion. This attribute makes it possible to specify the language used by the page and to avoid duplicate content. Using this attribute is relatively straightforward. We give you below some examples of its application. : This line of code tells search engine crawlers that the target language is German. : This line of code indicates that the target language here is Italian. : here the target language is French : this code indicates that the target language is Romansh. You will place each of these lines in the code of a web page corresponding to its language, and search engines will no longer confuse them and will mistake each content of the versions of your site for unique content.
In short, how to properly reference a multilingual website in Switzerland?You must work on the geographical location of your site to allow Google to offer the site in the results of searches on Google.ch. It is also necessary to translate the content of the site as well as the various metadata to promote indexing. Internet networking and netlinking should be favored to improve the popularity of your sites and improve your positioning. At all times, duplicate content should be avoided. If all this seems tedious to you, an agency specializing in natural referencing will do everything possible to ensure the referencing of your multilingual site in Switzerland.
Clientele Typology and Navigation Scenarios
At the heart of this strategy, the type or types of customer (s) that we target. What are their habits, their purchasing journey, the media and channels used ... We will have you fill out a persona sheet , we will work on scenarios in order to optimize the customer experience on your site and thus achieve your various objectives of conquest and loyalty.
SEO Basque Country
Tools & training
The use of nomadic terminals has generated significant changes in the technical aspect of natural referencing of internet sites. For this reason, it is important to continually learn and use professional and precise tools.
SEO trainingWhat is Google SEO in 2018? Why is this a central skill in digital communication? How to become a good SEO consultant ... see here for a definition of SEO. The SEO Bootcamp is a training course provided by Laurent Bourrelly, SEO & SEA consultant since 2004, its mission is to bring visibility, traffic and performance to my clients. Voted 3rd best SEO in France (Journal du Net ranking), he is also a certified Google Adwords Partner. http://www.bootcampseo.net/
SEO and web marketing tool
Yooda is much more than a tool to measure its positions in google in France and internationally. It makes it possible to measure the positions of its competitors and to evaluate its performance in relation to them. Yooda's "Insight - Market Explorer" module allows you to estimate the volume of demand for keywords and themes.
Popularity analysis tool (offsite)Once the fundamentals are in place, you may discover that it is not easy to take positions on very competitive keywords. You will then need netlinking campaigns to develop your popularity. In order to dominate google and your competitors, we use SEObserver, a very complete tool that combines many features but also data from Majectic SEO and SEM Rush. For a link profile analysis we will use CognitiveSEO or equivalent.
Semantic analysis tool (onsite)
How to have optimized, relevant and intelligent content? Your Text Guru covers the expectations of search engines such as adopting a hierarchical and organizational structure. Clearly the engines want to find certain elements in your texts, but also want to find a logical organization of your content pages between them.
We can also use other tools:
Keyword and content density analysis: Alyze.info
Content duplication rate analysis: Copyscape.com
Structuring the content into layers of information relating to the intentions of Internet users increases your visibility as well as your sales potential:
Example: a catalog of real estate (=> level 1 buyers) to which we add a blog "expert advice" which is aimed at people looking for information ... but information prior to the act of purchase!
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Le SEO de Merka-TIC nous a permis de monter dans les 1ères positions de Google sur les mots clés centraux relatifs à notre activité de transactionnaire en officines de pharmacies. Mais aussi sur un très grand nombre de requêtes connexes. Les retombées sont excellentes !” - voir nos études de cas SEO