How to Make Yoast SEO Multilingual with TranslatePress

Yoast SEO Multilingual tutorial

Looking to make Yoast SEO multilingual?

Yoast SEO is an excellent tool for optimizing your site’s SEO in its native language, but Yoast SEO is monolingual, so you’ll need some help to apply it to multiple languages.

In this post, you’ll learn how to use the TranslatePress plugin to make Yoast SEO multilingual by:

  • Translating all of your Yoast SEO metadata including SEO titles, meta descriptions, Facebook and Twitter tags, and more.
  • Creating a multilingual XML sitemap with Yoast SEO.

The TranslatePress plugin can also help you translate the rest of your site’s content, including all the content from your theme and plugins.

Let’s dig in…

What You Need to Make Yoast SEO Multilingual

In order to make translate content from Yoast SEO, you’ll need two things (beyond Yoast SEO itself):

  • TranslatePress – the free core plugin lets you translate your entire WordPress site with an easy-to-use visual interface.
  • SEO Pack addon – this premium add-on for TranslatePress lets you apply the TranslatePress interface to Yoast SEO metadata, image alt text, Facebook and Twitter tags, and more. You’ll also be able to create a multilingual XML sitemap with Yoast SEO.

You can download the core TranslatePress plugin for free from WordPress.org and the SEO Pack addon is available in all premium versions.

How to Translate Yoast SEO Content

Below, we’ll show you how to translate all of the important Yoast SEO metadata on your multi language website.

1. Set Up Yoast SEO in English (Or Your Native Language)

Before you can start translating Yoast SEO, the first step is to set up all of the Yoast SEO details in your site’s native language.

If you haven’t already, you can use the regular Yoast SEO meta box just as you usually would.

First, click the Edit snippet button to add your SEO title and meta description:

Yoast SEO meta box

By default, Yoast SEO will use the SEO title and meta description to control how your content looks when someone shares it on Facebook or Twitter.

If you want to manually edit your Facebook and Twitter information, you can go to the Social tab of the Yoast SEO meta box:

Yoast SEO social tags

You’ll be able to translate all of this information in the next steps.

2. Install and Configure TranslatePress

Once you’ve set up Yoast SEO, it’s time to make everything multilingual.

If you haven’t already translated your site with TranslatePress, you’ll need to install the free core TranslatePress plugin, as well as the premium SEO Pack add-on.

Once you’ve activated both plugins, go to Settings → TranslatePress to choose the languages that you want to use on your site.

For example, here’s what it looks like to offer Yoast SEO metadata (and the rest of your site’s content) in both English and Spanish:

Choose languages in TranslatePress

If you want, you can also enable automatic translation, which will let you use machine translation from Google Translate or DeepL to translate your Yoast SEO content (and the rest of your site).

Even if you use automatic translation, you’ll still be able to manually edit all of your site’s translations.

If you want to set up automatic translation, you can do that from the Automatic Translation tab:

TranslatePress automatic translation

For a more detailed look at how to translate your site in general, you can read our guides on how to translate WordPress or how to automatically translate WordPress.

3. Translate Yoast SEO Content

Now, you’re ready to start translating your Yoast SEO content as well as every text that appears on your site.

To begin, go to the front-end of your site and open the page that you want to translate. Then, click on the Translate Page button on the WordPress toolbar to open the visual TranslatePress editor:

Open translation editor

Now, you should see something that looks a lot like the native WordPress Customizer. You’ll see a live view of your site on the right and a sidebar on the left where you can manage your translations.

If you want to translate regular content on your site, all you have to do is hover over it and click the pencil icon. Then, you’ll be able to edit its translation in the sidebar:

How to translate regular content

Of course, Yoast SEO details aren’t visible on the front-end, so you won’t be able to hover over them. Instead, you can use the “Select string to translate…” drop-down in the sidebar. Here’s how it works to add your Yoast SEO multilingual translations…

Translate SEO Title and Meta Description

To access your SEO title and meta description, open the drop-down and look for the Meta Information section, which should be near the top of the drop-down options.

There, you’ll see two entries for:

  • Page Title
  • Description

The original native language content for these two fields is pulled straight from Yoast SEO for this specific page.

To start translating, select the content that you want to translate:

Make Yoast SEO title multilingual

Then, you can edit the translation in the sidebar:

Translating the SEO title

Translate Facebook and Twitter Information

To translate your Open Graph information to control Facebook and Twitter descriptions, the process is identical.

When you open the drop-down, you’ll also find content for “OG…” (Facebook) and “Twitter…”:

Translating social graph tags

Again, this information is pulled directly from the Social tab in Yoast SEO.

Translate Image Alt Tags

Image alt tags aren’t technically a Yoast SEO feature, but they’re an important part of multilingual SEO so we think it’s worth covering them as well.

To translate image alt text, hover over the image that you want to work with and click the blue pencil icon. Then, you can edit the alt text in the sidebar. You’ll also be able to change the image file itself based on a visitor’s language.

Translating image alt text

Note – you’ll only be able to translate the alt text if you already set the alt text in your original language. If you didn’t specify image alt text in your site’s native language, you won’t see the field to translate it.

Translate URL Slug

Your URL slug is another element that doesn’t come directly from Yoast SEO, but will still play an important role in how optimized your site is for multilingual SEO.

To translate a piece of content’s URL slug, use the drop-down to select the Post Slug from the Slugs section:

translating URL slug

Then, you can edit your URL slug in the sidebar.

What Your Translated Yoast SEO Content Looks Like

To show you how Yoast SEO is now multilingual, we need to take a peek at the code, which is where Yoast SEO controls your SEO details and social media descriptions.

When you view the English-language version of the page, here’s how Yoast SEO’s content looks in the source code:

Yoast SEO metadata in native language

And when you switch to the Spanish-language version, you can see how Yoast SEO serves up the translated content instead:

translated yoast seo metadata

And voila! You just made Yoast SEO multilingual.

Bonus: Multilingual Sitemap With Yoast SEO

In addition to translating the metadata for individual pieces of content, TranslatePress and the SEO Pack Addon can also help you turn your monolingual Yoast SEO sitemap into a multilingual XML sitemap.

A multilingual sitemap is just like a regular sitemap, but it also divides your site up by language.

With a multilingual sitemap, you can help Google and other search engines fully discover your site in every language that you offer, rather than just your native language.

TranslatePress has a built-in integration with Yoast SEO (as well as other popular SEO plugins). You don’t need to perform any manual action – your multilingual sitemap will start working right away.

If you open your sitemap (yoursite.com/sitemap.xml), you’ll see that TranslatePress automatically includes all of your multilingual content in your Yoast SEO sitemap:

Yoast SEO multilingual sitemap

Make Yoast SEO Multilingual Today

Yoast SEO is one of the best tools to help you optimize your WordPress site for search engines. However, it only works in your site’s native language.

If you want to make Yoast SEO work for any multilingual WordPress site, you can pair it with TranslatePress and its SEO Pack addon.

You’ll be able to translate all of your Yoast SEO content into unlimited new languages using the intuitive visual interface that you saw above. Translating your SEO metadata will make sure your translated content will rank in multiple languages.

TranslatePress Multilingual

TranslatePress is the easiest way to translate your WordPress site. It's fast, won't slow down your website, works with ANY theme or plugin and it's SEO friendly.

Get the plugin

You can also use machine translation from Google Translate or DeepL to automatically translate all of your Yoast SEO metadata, even down to your URL slugs and image alt text.

Start ranking in multiple languages today!

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