A hreflang tag is a method that allows you to mark up your website pages that have the same content, but are aimed towards different languages or regions. Usually, hreflang tags are used for content that might have variations within the same language, e.g. Biritsh or American English. Alternatively, it is used for content that is written in multiple different languages, or a combination of them.
By using a hreflang tag, you give the search engines information that the content of the page is the same, just written in a different language.
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Why Should You Use Hreflang Tags?
From SEO’s point of view, hreflang tags accomplish two main things:
- If your site has a page that is optimized for the user’s language/current location, you will want them to access that page. Having the correct language and location-dependent information is crucial to user experience. This leads to a lot fewer people swiping of your site and consequently improves your SEO ranking.
- Duplicate content can present a large issue to your ranking. Thankfully, hreflang tags help you make different URLs that can be aimed towards the same language group but in different locales (e.g. Britain and Australia). The main difference here can be very small, for example, it might just be whether your price is in USD or GBP. If you do not use a hreflang tag, this could mean your whole page gets flagged as a duplicate content.
What Does a Hreflang Tag Do?
Bing does not support hreflang tags, however, both Google and Yandex do. This means that it is a worthwhile practice as it will affect most of your users.
When using a hreflang and a user searches for you, Google will go through these steps:
- Determine whether it wants to rank a given URL.
- Check whether it has got hreflang tags within it.
- Based on the previous steps, offer its users the results that are most appropriate for them.
The most appropriate URL to go to is determined based on the user’s language settings. In case you have multiple languages in your language settings, then Google will rank them based on the order they appear in there.
Should You Use Hreflang Tags?
If you are on the fence about whether you need a hreflang tag or not, then you can try it out on your homepage.
You should use hreflang tags if you fulfill one of the following:
- You have got the same exact content in more than 1 language.
- You have got content that is aimed towards a multitude of regions in the same language.
If you do not, hreflang tags might still be a benefit, but you should try them out first before making a decision.
Is There WordPress Plugin for Hreflang Tags?
We recommend using Hreflang plugin. All the main functionalities can be used in free plugin, for more demanding users there is a paid version of plugin and if you need support, the developers will be happy to help.
Also, if you will need to translate your website into multiple languages, you can contact our team and they will give you an offer. We are a proud partner of WPML plugin for website translation and have developed our own plugin, so you can use our translation services with Polylang plugin as well.
In case you need help with translation of WordPress or html website or e-shop, we will gladly help you. You can click here for more information.