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Using WordPress SEO with WPML

WordPress SEO plugin makes it easy to optimize your site for search engines. Together with WPML, you can use it to tune multilingual WordPress sites.

We use WordPress SEO on all our sites, to quickly and easily optimize for search engines. It lets us control the meta attributes that Google reads and add vital SEO information to all pages.

WPML and WordPress SEO teams work together to ensure complete compatibility, letting you optimize your multilingual sites in a simple way.

To translate everything that WordPress SEO produces, you will need to install WPML and WPML String Translation, which are part of the Multilingual SEO package.

If you are new to SEO, you might be interested in our introduction article on multilingual SEO.

Translating Global SEO Texts

WordPress SEO lets you enter texts that apply to the homepage and as templates for the entire site. Go to SEO->Titles and Metas to see them.

The ‘Home’ tab includes the title and description for your homepage (applicable when the site’s home is not a static page).

SEO attributes for the homepage

SEO attributes for the homepage

After you enter the title and meta description, go to WPML->String Translation to translate them.

The String Translation screen includes all texts that don’t belong to a specific post or page. Since these texts are global, you will find them here. All of WordPress SEO admin texts are under the context ‘admin_texts_plugin_wordpress-seo‘.

String Translation for WordPress SEO texts

String Translation for WordPress SEO texts

Click on the ‘Translation‘ link next to the texts that you want to translate, enter the translation and mark ‘Translation is complete‘. Then, click Save.

You will find translatable strings for the rest of the SEO attribute templates, allowing you to optimize the title templates for each language.

Translation for Page SEO Attributes

WordPress SEO adds a meta box to the content editor. There, you can control the page title, meta description and focus keywords for each page separately.

Since WPML uses different pages for each language, they naturally receive their SEO attributes. Let’s create a page, optimize it for SEO and translate.

Page in English, with SEO attributes

Page in English, with SEO attributes

As you can see, we’ve entered the SEO title, meta description and focus keywords for this page. This is an English page, so we’ve entered the SEO attributes in English.

To translate this page, we click on the + (add translation) icon in the language box.

Add translation

Add translation

The newly added Spanish translation is actually its own page. As a new page, it has its own title, content and custom fields. The SEO attributes as ‘just another set of custom fields’, as far as WPML is concerned.

As the WordPress SEO plugin is fully compatible with WPML and comes complete with a language configuration file, WPML knows how to handle the different SEO attributes (custom fields) when you translate content.

To save you work, WPML will automatically synchronize the ‘non text’ fields and let you translate the textual fields. Here is the content editor when we translate into Spanish:

Page in Spanish

Page in Spanish

The Spanish page lets us enter the SEO title, meta description and focus keywords independently of the English content.

If you dig deeper, you will notice that the non-textual settings are synchronized between the translations.

Non-textual SEO controls

Non-textual SEO controls

This means that if you change these settings in the default language, they are immediately applied to all translations. You don’t nee to bother going through various languages and make the same changes.

Translating your Sitemaps for SEO

A Sitemap is a an XML file that lists all the pages of your site for search engines like Google. The expected behaviour is to have a Sitemap for each domain, and this is exactly what will happen when using WPML ‘A different domain per language’ option located in WPML->Languages together with WP SEO by Yoast. For example when you have es.mydomain.com for the Spanish site’s versions and de.mydomain.com for the German site’s version, you’ll end up with two different XML files for each language version listing the correct pages per language. We can find your Sitemaps links per language in the SEO -> XML Sitemap -> WPML, see below:

Sitemaps WPML SEO

Sitemaps WPML SEO


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