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Hreflang: How To Use Them

Hreflang: How To Use Them

When your company reaches a size when it can start branching out across the world, it will need to be able to offer additional languages on its website. To make sure your site is adapting to different locations, Hreflang tags are a must. You need to get these right from an SEO perspective, otherwise you wont rank well with your target audience.

What Are Hreflangs?

A Hreflang tells search engines where your various language specific versions of your website are. This helps your language/regionally targeted context rank but also helps reduce the likelihood of having issues with duplicate content.

A Hreflang is a tag defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as an HTML meta element that specifies language and regional targeting for documents. Certain search engines use these tags in order to better understand the regional and language targeting for a webpage and rank those webpages more appropriately.

Your basic hreflang tag looks as follows:

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-GB” href=”http://example.com/page.html” />

The most important part of this tag is the “en-GB” code. This is the instruction that lets Google know the language and region being targeted. This example shows the language being specified is English which is designated by the “en” and the geographic region shown by “GB”.

How To Use Hreflang Tags

There are three destination for you to include your hreflang tags:

  1. In on-page markup
  2. In the HTTP header of your documents
  3. In an XML sitemap

It is advisable not to mix implementations and instead to choose just one of these locations.

Common Mistakes in Hreflang Use

Always be mindful of your targeting. If you are targeting content to Spanish speakers in the US, in Mexico or in Spain, your hreflangs will be different.

Always be sure that your content is fully translated, you aren’t using machine translations, your translated content is also targeted and that you pay attention to the details such as local currency symbols, systems of measurements etc.

For more information on hreflang and SEO in Manchester, visit SEO Enterprise today.

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