Optimize multiple sites and languages

  • Updated

Because search optimization is often language-specific, Optimizely Search & Navigation supports multiple languages and websites.

Filter on websites and languages

At the top of the most Optimizely Search & Navigation screens, drop-down lists choose a website and a language analyzer to filter the screen information before performing actions, such as viewing statistics and fine-tuning search optimization.

Optimizely Search & Navigation indexes

Optimizely Search & Navigation needs only one main index. Multiple websites often share a single index. Optimizely Search & Navigation adds content to the existing index if you add a website.

In addition to the main index, your Optimizely Search & Navigation administrator can set up any number of language-specific indexes to increase search precision by employing strategies like word stemming. When content in a language with its index is saved, Optimizely Search & Navigation uses an analyzer to interpret and index the content. For example, the English analyzer uses word stemming to identify fish as the root word for fishing and fisher. So, if a user submits a search query that includes fish, fishing, or fisher, the search returns content with any word variation.

In contrast, if a search term matches the content in the main index only, it must exactly match an indexed term to return search results; word variations are ignored.

The number of supported language analyzers in Optimizely Search & Navigation is determined when your organization orders an index and multi-language index support from Optimizely. Your site administrator enables the analyzers during site set up.

If site visitors search a multi-language website, each language version of content displays separately in search results.

Language analyzers versus CMS content language

Your site administrator can enable one group of languages in Optimizely Content Management System (CMS) and a different group of language analyzers in Optimizely Search & Navigation. This may confuse users because, while the language selector on Optimizely Search & Navigation screens might look like you are choosing a content language, you are selecting an Optimizely Search & Navigation analyzer.

The language analyzer is used for search optimization. Your site content can exist in several languages – they all do not need a language analyzer. However, a search that uses an analyzer is smarter.

A developer installs Optimizely Search & Navigation language analyzers during implementation at a cost. An administrator can add content languages at any time.

Example: Enable languages and optimizing search

You create a Fall Fashion page in the master language, such as English (see image). You can activate Danish and Swedish on the website and translate the page into those languages. You also apply search optimization techniques to promote the translated content. (It is assumed you activated Swedish and Danish in the website's index.)


  • Translate the page into Swedish and Danish.
  • Because you enabled Swedish and Danish in the index, the Fall Fashion page displays in results when searching for tröjor and trøjer, the Swedish and Danish words for cardigans, even though the page contains the singular form cardigan (tröja and trøje).
  • Create a best bet for the Fall Fashion page to promote it when someone searches for cardigans or jeans. You do not have to create best bets for the Swedish and Danish versions — Optimizely Search & Navigation automatically displays the translated versions. If a best bet's content is not translated, Optimizely Search & Navigation displays the master language version as a fallback language.
  • Add jeans as a one-way synonym for trousers in English. If a site visitor searches for trousers, the Fall Fashion page displays at the top of search results.
    Because it is a one-way synonym, a search for jeans does not return pages containing trousers.
  • Create the corresponding language-specific synonym pair for jeans in Swedish (byxor) and Danish (bukser).
  • Assume the new style brand replaces the old XX brand in the new collection. Add style as a synonym for XX, applying to all languages. Visitors searching for the XX brand also see results for the style brand, regardless of language.

Example: Add websites and optimizing search

This example continues the previous one by creating two campaign websites with targeted content: one for fashion and one for traveling, in addition to the default website. All three websites share an index and have the same languages activated.

Image: Adding websites and optimizing search

  • Enable the desired languages in each website so editors can create and translate content.
  • Because the campaign websites are new and have their URL, the statistics views are empty until visitors generate traffic and queries.
  • All websites share an index, so best bets, related queries, or autocomplete suggestions are already defined on the campaign websites.
  • Similarly, any language-specific search optimization for all websites also applies to the campaign websites.
  • By definition, synonyms apply to all websites. Synonyms can be language-specific, as explained in the style brand example above.
  • You can add website-specific related queries because the campaign websites have different content (fashion and traveling). For example, searching for warm (English) on a travel website might suggest tropical destinations, like Jamaica. Searching for warm on the fashion website might suggest cardigans or sweaters.

    Image: Related queries

  • Add website-specific autocompletion of search phrases. For example, if a visitor enters car on the fashion website, an autocomplete suggestion might be cardigans. On the travel website, the suggestion might be car rental.