If you have a website that targets multiple languages and regions, it’s important to optimize it for international SEO. One of the most important tools for doing this is the Href Lang Tag, also known as the hreflang attribute.
The Href Lang Tag is an HTML code that tells search engines which language you are using on a specific page, and helps them serve the correct version to users in that language or region. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of the Href Lang Tag for multilingual SEO, and provide best practices for implementing it on your website.
Best Practices for Hreflang Implementation:
- Use the correct format: The Href Lang Tag should be added to the head section of your HTML code, and the format should be like: <link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x” href=”http://example.com/page-url” />
- Specify the language and region: Use the ISO 639-1 code for the language and the ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 code for the region, like: hreflang=”en-us”
- Use self-referencing on the homepage: For your homepage, use the hreflang attribute to self-reference the page in the same language and region, like: hreflang=”x” href=”http://example.com“
- Use rel=”alternate”: This tells the search engines that the hreflang attribute is being used for alternate versions of the same page.
- Monitor and update: Keep an eye on your hreflang implementation and update it if there are any changes to the languages or regions you target.
Common Hreflang Implementation Mistakes to Avoid:
- Not using the correct format
- Not specifying the language and region
- Not using self-referencing on the homepage
- Not using the rel=”alternate” attribute
- Not monitoring and updating your hreflang implementation
How to use the Hreflang Attribute to Target Specific Languages and Regions:
- Identify the languages and regions you want to target: Determine which languages and regions are most important for your business and create content for those specific audiences.
- Create unique URLs for each language and region: Use subdirectories, subdomains, or ccTLDs to create unique URLs for each language and region. For example, “example.com/fr” for French or “fr.example.com” for French.
- Use the Hreflang Tag to specify the language and region: Use the ISO 639-1 code for the language and the ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 code for the region, like: hreflang=”fr-fr”
- Verify your implementation: Use tools like the Hreflang Tag Generator or Google Search Console to verify that your hreflang implementation is correct.
What did we Learn?
The Href Lang Tag is an important tool for optimizing your website for international audiences. By following best practices for hreflang implementation and avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure that your website is properly indexed and served to users in the correct language and region.
To take the next step in optimizing your website for international audiences, consider creating content for specific languages and regions, and using unique URLs for each. And always monitor and update your hreflang implementation as needed.
By implementing the above steps you can ensure that your website is properly indexed and served to users in the correct language and region, and thus improve your website’s multilingual SEO.