February 13, 2016
The hreflang tag (it can also represent as rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”) indicates the Google and other search engines about the language you are using on the web page. So that, search engine serves the results for users query asked in the same language.
<link rel="alternate" href="http://domainname.com" hreflang="en-uk" />
More about rel=”alternate” hreflang=“x”
Google introduced the Hreflang tag in the year 2011. This attribute is also one of the parts of SEO practices. It is used to showcase the relationship between the web pages and their alternate languages. It is believed to be a useful characteristic if your website serves the local audiences. By adding the hreflang tag, the web page tells the search engine, that the page is the result of the user query, which is asked in the same language. Further, the search engine returns the page to the user instead of showing the results which are in different language. This tag can help in decreasing the website’s bounce rate while increasing the conversions.
There are three cases, where you can use rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x”:
When you are using the local language only in the template parts such as footer, navigation, and using English for the content. In this case, you should use this tag for your web page.
If your website encloses minor regional variations, and most of the text are same, then implement the Hreflang tag.
And the last case, when the entire site is translated into the different language, then is will be beneficial for your website to add Hreflang tag.
Where can we apply hreflang tag?
With hreflang attribute, there are a couple of ways to tell Google about the existing language variations on your website.
Put the HTML code into the header and add a language alternative like follows:
<link rel= “alternate” hreflang= “n1” href= “http://n1.domainname.com/” />
Place the following link in HTTP header:
<http://n1.domainname.com/>; rel="alternate"; hreflang="nl"
You can include the language sitemap into the XML sitemap. This process is a bit technical, so you can take help from any technical resource.
Examples of Hreflang tag
Nowadays, creating hreflang codes is much easier, the credit goes to the available tools such as Hreflang generator by Aleyda. These tools allow you to add all the countries and languages you target, and it will generate the hreflang code for you.
Below, we have presented some examples which are generated with the help of tools in the form of HTML codes for UK, German, Canadian and French versions and subdirectories. Have a look:
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.domainname.com/” hreflang=”en-gb” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.domainname.com/de” hreflang=”de-de” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.domainname.com/ca” hreflang=”en-ca” />
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.domainname.com/ca-fr” hreflang=”fr-ca” />
Additionally, the default code can also be included with hreflang tag:
<link rel=”alternate” href=”http://www.mysite.com/” hreflang=”x-default” />
This code indicates the Google that this version should be displayed to the user if no other version is suitable as per the user’s query.
Relation between Hreflang and SEO
How does hreflang tag help in SEO? Have you ever thought about this question? Well, these tags may not help with the increment of traffic, but using them properly would serve the right users with right content. They tell the search engines about the suitable version of a page to show into the SERP, based on the user’s language and location preferences.
We hope that our article has provided you some more knowledge on hreflang tag. If you are having a website with various languages, then this tag would help Google to understand your site.
In case you seek for deep technical information on hreflang tag, then you can easily connect with SEO experts in your city. To contact these experts, just explore the internet with a term as SEO Bristol (If you are living in Bristol) or SEO Cambridge (If you are residing in Cambridge).
We, at 10seos, are very much looking forward to your thoughts on this topic. So, feel free to discuss with us on hreflang tag in the comments below.