Hreflang tag

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Hreflang tag

What is the hreflang tag?

The hreflang tag is a type of HTML tag that aids search engines in providing region-specific and language-specific content for users. This can significantly enhance a website’s visibility and international reach, ensuring that users can easily find the relevant content in the appropriate language for their geographical location.

How does it work?

If, for instance, you’ve developed a Russian version of your website, you’d apply hreflang=ru on your pages. This lets Google understand that it should display this version to a user in a Russian-speaking region.

You can further specify regional content using this tag. For example, you might have Spanish content tailored for Spain, for which you’d use hreflang=es-es, and for Mexico, you’d use hreflang=es-mx.

Additionally, you can utilize multiple hreflang tags on one page for multi-language content.

How important is hreflang?

For websites catering to an international audience or offering multilingual content, hreflang is highly critical. Without it, you might face translation errors, traffic loss, or conversion issues. By employing hreflang, websites can guide web crawlers to the correct version of the site for each region or language. This ensures a quality user experience, as users receive the right content for their language and region.

How do I add hreflang tags to my website?

To generate an hreflang tag, use the language code from the ISO 639-1 and add it to on the the following places:

  • Your site map
  • The HTTP header
  • The on-page markup

The hreflang tag does not automatically translate your website content. You need to have your website content already translated into the language specified by the hreflang tag. The Hreflang tag allows website developers to effectively manage their site’s international localization, making it a vital tool in catering to customers from various countries.

Related: SEO: International
Related: Understanding Search Engines