It’s time to consolidate your international presence!
When you run a multilingual website, it’s best practice to help search engines index each translated page correctly. This way, you get targeted traffic in all languages. In other words, you should show crawlers the relationship between pages and the languages you translate into.
The hreflang attributes do all the hard work. You can implement them directly through the XML sitemap or place the attribute correctly in the <head> section of every page. It should look like this: <link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-us” href=”example.com” /> (when the page is localized for an American audience).
When you add the hreflang tabs, search engines know what language or dialect you “speak” on every page and display it in relevant searches. The content you write for German speakers in Austria gets displayed in Austria, the page localized for Germany appears in search results to users in Germany, and so on. The goal is to make sure that your content reaches the right audience to deliver the best user experience in all languages.
It makes your website user-friendly and keeps visitors happy with your content, and search engines reward you with better SERPs.
Here are some tips for working with hreflang tags:
- Every translated page should have a hreflang attribute. Don’t expect search engines to match the content with the correct audience without your help.
- Verify all hreflang annotations to eliminate any “Return Tag Errors.”
- Always use the standard country and language codes.
- Only use one method of implementation, not both of them (either sitemap or tags).
- Connect your translated PDF documents by adding the respective hreflang-atribute into the <head> section of your HTML code.
If you work with an agency specialized in international SEO (like us), most probably, your partners have already correctly set the hreflang attributes to all your pages. However, if you have any reasons to believe that you’re not getting enough international traffic, check hreflang tags using online tools. You can try the Hreflang Tag Checker Chrome Extension or Sistrix to see whether Google delivers the right versions of your pages worldwide.
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