Expanding your website to international markets is no less than a dream come true. The journey will be tough and overwhelming, as you must implement SEO strategies internationally. And this is where hreflang comes at your service. Unlike humans, Google uses HTML attributes to understand user language, index it and rank on the SERP when a search query is entered.

Why so much hype about hreflang? If your website has multiple languages, implementing hreflang is important for search engine optimization. This attribute helps search engines understand which version of the content to display to users based on their language and location settings.

Using hreflang, you can ensure that your website appears in the search results of users who speak different languages, which can significantly increase your online visibility. While implementing hreflang may require effort, the benefits are well worth it.

What are Hreflang Tags?

Hreflanf tags are HTML attributes with the same content but in different languages to target different locations worldwide. Google introduced the Hreflang tags a decade ago to break the language barrier for international websites with multiple languages.

For example, a French customer is surfing the web searching for a product you sell. Your product page was listed in the search result, but the page is in English, even though you have a French version of the product page.

Now, you aim to ensure that the customer reaches the French version of the website or a specific page. Hreflang tags can indicate which pages are intended for which users. Familiarizing yourself with Google’s official instructions before proceeding further is recommended.

The hreflang tag improves user experience and search rankings by delivering results based on country and language preference.

Why Does Your Magento 2 Store Need Hreflang Tags?

In today’s globalized economy, providing a seamless, multilingual shopping experience is crucial for e-commerce stores looking to expand their reach. However, creating multiple versions of the same website in different languages can lead to duplicate content issues that can harm your website’s search engine rankings.

Fortunately, the Magento 2 Alternate Hreflang Tags extension offers a reliable solution for Magento store owners who want to avoid such issues. By implementing these tags, you can help Google understand the language of your website pages and ensure that users are presented with the most relevant search results. This valuable tool can help your business reach a wider audience while maintaining a strong online presence.

Why Are Hreflang Tags An Important SEO Factor?

Answer #1: Provides Accurate Webpage Version

Hreflang tags provide the customers with the most accurate webpage version (language) of a store they were looking for based on their geographic location. Implementing hreflang tags to your website benefits your SEO in many ways, including improved user experience, reduced bounce rates, better rankings on the search results, and much more.

Don’t run for store traffic; instead, focus on providing actual and accurate content to your visitors and improving their first experience with your website. This practice will surely yield fruitful results for your business.

Answer #2: Eliminates Duplicate Content

By using hreflang, you can eliminate the problem of having duplicate content. Let’s say your company provides the same content in English on various URLs intended for the US and Canada. The minor differences mainly involve currency details (USD vs. CAD) and language (imperial vs. metric system).

An hreflang tag helps search engines identify and comprehend the connection between multiple pages and their target audience. If an hreflang tag is absent, Google may perceive the pages as identical content and display only one in search results. However, with an hreflang tag, it is explicitly communicated to the search engine that while the content is mostly alike, it caters to different demographics.

What are The Methods to Set Hreflang Tags?

1. XML Sitemap Files

Google faces specific hurdles while processing data in Sitemap files. If you choose this method for implementing the hreflang tags, you might face certain issues with the Google Search Console. Although developers highly prefer this method for hreflang tags implementation in the HTML code on every web page for a particular global website. With this, it is also believed that the hreflang annotations tend to create more problems with this XML sitemap method than implementing them in the code of a page’s header section.

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2. HTTP Header of Each Web Page

As noted in the previous point, implementing hreflang tags in the HTTP header section is more advantageous than any other method. Google constantly receives data from the HTTP header instead of XML Sitemap files, which has some benefits.

It is possible to set custom HTTP headers for any URL, including ones that don’t have a source code. This can also be done for non-HTML files such as PDFs. However, it can be a complex process and may lead to more complications than benefits.

3. HTML Code Header Section of Each Web Page

This simple method is available but has some drawbacks, particularly when using the x-default value. Therefore, if the objective of the home page is to redirect customers based on their browser’s language and location, consider utilizing the first two methods or an additional one.

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How to Use Magento 2 Hreflang Tag Attribute?

Which Blunders Must Be Avoided?

As we stated at the start of this guide, hreflang tags implementation is a difficult process that must be carried out with utmost accuracy. Here, we have listed down some common mistakes to watch out for and must be avoided:

  • Use of wrong hreflang links and values
  • The discrepancies in hreflang attributes found in the page source code.,
  • Web pages with no hreflang tags/attributes,
  • Setting hreflang tags for a non-multilingual website that targets only one geographic location.

Final Say

For any online entity that wants to expand internationally, having the correct configuration for hreflang tags is crucial. It is now a requirement for SEO and essential to understand, utilize, and troubleshoot hreflang. At MageComp, we delve into local cultural tendencies and buying patterns that affect search to create the best strategy for your international SEO campaign.

If you’re looking to boost your site’s visibility worldwide, sign up for a Free SEO audit for your SEO website.

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If you need any further help for your Magento store, contact us and connect with our Magento experts today and let us guide you through the process.

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