What is Hreflang?
Hreflang is an HTML attribute that allows you to specify which language and target country you are targeting for a specific content. It is used to help search engines understand what language the content is written in and which country it should be shown to in the search results.
The hreflang attribute signals to search engine crawlers that a page has translations and informs them which language and country is targeted, so they will serve the appropriate content to the right audience. This helps to improve the page’s visibility and SEO ranking by providing a more relevant experience to users.
Hreflang is most often used on webpages with editions targeting different countries, or with multiple language versions of the same page. Utilizing hreflang tags on your website can make sure the right pages are presented to the right readers with the best possible results.
Why is Hreflang Important?
Hreflang is important for international SEO and for targeting different countries and languages. Some countries, such as China and Japan, have search engines that are specific to their area. For these countries, the hreflang attributes can come in very handy in ensuring that the right content appears in the right place, leading to better SEO rankings and improved SEO rankings in general.
Heading to the larger global markets is an important part of a successful SEO campaign and hreflang helps to ensure that the appropriate content is delivered to the right audience. Even within the same language, there can be regional content differences, which is taken into consideration by hreflang.
In addition, hreflang helps search engines identify the original content to prevent content duplication. Duplicate content can be a major issue for SEO and hreflang tags help alert search engines of potential copycats, so the original content can have a better chance of ranking.
Beginners’ Guide to Implementing Hreflang
Hreflang tags can be a bit intimidating at first, but with these tips you can easily implement them into your website.
First, you need to decide which language and target countries your page should be targeting. Then, you will need to create a language and country list. Each language and country combination should be listed on the list.
If your website has multiple language versions, you will need to specify which language each page points to. Then, you need to add the hreflang tags to the HTML source code of all the pages.
About the Hreflang Tag Format
The hreflang tags need to be inserted into the HTML of all of your pages in the following format:
Where “language-country” is the language and country combination from your list.
You can use a single tag for content targeting more than one region, for example if your page is targeting the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
Alternatively, you can set up a separate tag for every language and country combination.
Using the Hreflang Tag Generator Tool
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of having to write out your own hreflang tags, a great alternative is to utilize a tool. The Hreflang Tag Generator in Search Console is a great option, as it helps to make sure the right tags are being used for the right content.
To use the tag generator, simply input the URL for the content and the country/language combinations you are targeting, and the tool will generate a code that you can simply copy and paste into your HTML source code.
Though hreflang tags may seem intimidating at first, implementing them with the help of the Hreflang Tag Generator tool can be easily done. Not only does this help you to make sure your website’s content is being served to the right audience, but it also helps to avoid potential SEO issues, such as duplicate content.
An added bonus is that Google alerted websites greatly appreciate being provided with the tags, as it helps them to properly crawl and index your pages in the correct language and country.
Ultimately, implementing hreflang tags can help to ensure that your website is being seen by the right audience, in the right place.