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SEO Preparation for Multilanguage and Multiregional Websites

Last updated: Jun 30, 2022

Disclaimer: Our team is constantly compiling and adding new terms that are known throughout the SEO community and Google terminology. You may be sent through SEO Terms in from third parties or links. Such external links are not investigated, or checked for accuracy and reliability by us. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy or reliability of any information offered by third-party websites.

Figure 1: The image shows a map snippet from a globe. There are regional names and their locations as an illustration of the multiregional view. Multiregional websites are websites that explicitly target users in different countries.

Not all multilingual websites are offered to large scale businesses. The main goal of owning a multilingual and multiregional website is to localize either the service or product according to the target countries which have access to the web.

When you read this page, it is highly possible that you are in the step of doing research on multilingual websites. Another possibility will be that you are planning to prepare your site for the additional multilingual and multiregional features.

This multilingual SEO guidance is relevant for those of you who work as:

  1. SEO Specialist
  2. Webmaster dan Website Owner
  3. Web Developer
  4. Marketers
  5. Product Manager (dalam istilah Startup)
  6. Content/Copy Writer

Within this page, you will find a lot of help from guidance in terms of identifying significant aspects related to the implementation of multilingual and multiregional websites.

When is the right time for your website to have a multilingual feature?

Let’s pretend that you’re a product manager on a startup. Right now, the place you work in is operated in Jakarta, Indonesia. The target markets for your product and service are also in Indonesia. With the growing profit your business gain, the management decides to enter the Southeast Asian market. Although it is only a small part of the region, all the executives and stakeholders in the company observe the bigger potential for Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

SERP Indonesia
SERP Malaysia

The startup only centralizes on e-commerce, therefore as a Product Manager you need to prepare a multilingual website considering the target markets you aim for.

There are several phases you need to be prepared for:

  1. First, you need to ensure what products and services you want to market in each country;
  2. Second, prepare corresponding “copy” and contents of the products and services for the markets in each country;
  3. Third, prepare to get in the web development phase to make sure that the implementation standard has gone through the quality checking for migrating to a multilingual or multiregional web.

We suppose that you have finished phase one and two, but right now you need another help from a web developer to make a plan as well as a timeline for the implementation to the company web.

  • Then, what is the next step?
  • Are there any standards or rules for multilingual websites?
  • Who are the stakeholders responsible for the implementation phase?

What is the relation between SEO and multilingual websites?

In this chapter, we are going to dive deep into everything-PHASE THREE-related as mentioned previously.

It has to be noted that in phase three, you need to involve another team. You must have a further discussion to pay attention to anything related to multilingual and multiregional websites. Therefore, all stakeholders should attend the meeting to answer the question “what is the next step” as stated earlier.


You need UI/UX team to prepare a user-friendly page for users in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

You should also make notes to your UI/UX team “to prepare a user-friendly web page for search engine” to do further discussion with the Marketing team, especially those in the SEO team, or is generally known as the Organic-Marketing team.


From a business perspective, of course this step should be a central focus. Note: Originally, the most appropriate practice to be done is a discussion with your marketing team before entering any other phase. Why is marketing so significant, then?

  • Revenue ProjectionMarketing needs to prepare market projection as far as estimating future revenue in a certain period of time.
  • Traffic ProjectionBecause our sole focus is on the website, then you need to figure out clearly how many potential visits you will gather in a certain period of time.
  • Standard & Search Engine GuidelinesIn this section, you should corroborate to your marketing team (especially the SEO team) to prepare for technical issues related to the enablement precess of the multilingual website.


We advise you to focus on the third section (Standard & Search Engine Guidelines) because the Marketing SEO team has a quite significant role in it. They are in charge of the Revenue and Traffic Projection created earlier.

When the implementation goes down the hill (the SEO practice) and is inadequate for the Search Engine Guidelines, then not only are the revenue projection and online visit for the new countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand) far from expectation but the online traffic in the Indonesian market is slowly degrading as well.

Even worse, there will be a decrease in the company’s revenue wholly in the end.

The Preparation and Planning of Multilingual and Multiregional Websites

Blank SEO CHecklist, the preparation before implementing SEO
Figure 2: A small note with a few checkboxes with a pen on the left side. As an illustration of the SEO preparations that web owners and SEO experts must do to start a website optimization project. Making a preparatory list will simplify the optimization process and make optimization more organized because the steps to be carried out have been defined beforehand.

As have been stated in the previous topic regarding the planning of your company to widen its market to other countries, SEO team needs to make a technical list to improve your site.

Make sure that you already checked the available terms, conditions, law, and administrative issues. As a product manager, those terms will determine your sprint and project timeline.

Thus, you need to pay attention to the technical terms below:

SEO practice for multilingual website

It needs to be noted that the main element which a user utilized knowing that specific web domain originated from a country is the website domain type, or precisely ccTLDs (Country-Code Top Level Domain Names). With domain types such as *.id for Indonesia and *.my for Malaysia, users identification in each country can be a lot more convenient.

It’s different from the level of search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others that need specific identity from ccTLDs users and Server.

  • What is ccTLDs?
  • What is the variation of other type domain
  • Why can server help Google to identify multilingual website?


Country-Code Top Level Domain Names, abbreviated ccTLDs, is a domain code referring to a specific country, in this case, specific to Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

Examples of ccTLDs are:

  • www [*] for Indonesia;
  • www [*] for Malaysia;
  • www [*] for Singapura;
  • www [*] for Thailand;

Here are some explanations of why ccTLDs is very significant:

  • Users utilizes ccTLDs ( *.id / *.my ) to figure out if the website is available in Indonesian and Malay, which facilitates the users to obtain necessary information.
  • Search Engines use ccTLDs (* .id / *.my) to provide relevant search results to the country of the code, namely Indonesia and Malaysia. This is inline with the purpose of the Search Engine, to show the relevant answers according to the question or keyword written in the search engine box.


Generic Top Level Domain Names abbreviated gTLDs is a domain code not related to a specific country and is more general. Commonly, this domain is popular and widely known by people.

Examples of gTLDs includes

  • www [*]
  • www [*]
  • www [*];


Using a very simple simulation, a web from Indonesia along with its server, which is also in Indonesia, is a lot easier to access. It should be noted that the quick access to pages can become a significant factor for search engine according to Google Algorithm Update

In addition, server location can be one of the main factors which make it easier for Bot or Crawler to recognize the language used by the website, resulting in a more relevant result given by the search engine.

HTML for multilingual target *

From its official blog. Google has introduced the terms and conditions which should be followed by webmasters so that the developing websites can be recognized fully by Bot and Crawler.

Therefore, the following is an HTML code you should attach to your web page to facilitate search engines to index your page.


As an important note, the following syntax is not the only factor or condition either. Should you not follow these guidelines, you would not lose anything regarding the corresponding content making to the GEO target.


person pinning a map in a geographical target market
Figure 3: The illustration above shows a person marking an area on a geographic map with a red pin. As an illustration the target market is determined based on geographic location. The behavior and interest of the audience in each target geography certainly shows different results. This is important to know, so you can optimize the performance of your content in your target market.

Through HTML, crawlter can identify the use of specific tags as information that a specific page is specially targeted to a certain country. Please refer to the following example:

<html lang="en"> <link rel="alternate" hrefLang="en-id" href=""/> <link rel="alternate" hrefLang="id-id" href=""/> <link rel="alternate" hrefLang="en-sg" href=""/> <link rel="alternate" hrefLang="my-my" href=""/> <link rel="alternate" hrefLang="en-my" href=""/> <link rel="alternate" hrefLang="th-th" href=""/> <link rel="alternate" hrefLang="en-th" href=""/>

Important note: using this syntax, search engines will recognize if has five versions of web page targeted to four different countries and languages.


However if your website does not target certain geography, then the previous syntax can be ignored. You only need to inform what languages you use with this short syntax below:

<html lang="id">

SEO and multilingual website on a global scale

One SEO activity can be considered small or big according to how many web pages it owns and how big the additional revenue from one web page only.

At the enterprise level, the implementation of multilingual and multi regional websites results in a workload. There are so many procedures you should go through before finally implementing the plan. 

Now your SEO team’s workload is a lot easier to handle with cmlabs guideline. With our SEO specialization, any SEO activity within the enterprise level can be totally finished in a certain amount of time, not to mention that we can minimalize failures on the implementation as well. Therefore you can always maintain your website’s performance efficiently, and even better in the future.

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We cooperate with agencies to support the need of their client’s content and copywriting.


Writing description of products/brands, webpage, and the category page using the SEO approach.


Developing ideas, creating content in the enterprise-scale to effectively attract consumers.


Supporting the digital publisher and content marketing targeted to the right readers.



Note: We have attached some of the most common questions asked by users below, along with their answers. To use the cmlabs Keyword Ranking Tracker application, you don't need to request for a quote from marketing. Please click login to the application.

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