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Hreflang Tags - Brighton SEO April 2018 - Emily Mace


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Diagnosing issues with Hreflang tags in sitemaps and on-page by Emily Mace (@IAmTheLaserHawk)

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Hreflang Tags - Brighton SEO April 2018 - Emily Mace

  1. 1. Emily Mace OBAN INTERNATIONAL Diagnosing issues with Hreflang tags in sitemaps and on page @IAmTheLaserHawk @ObanIntl
  2. 2. Hreflang tags – when it all goes terribly wrong! 2
  3. 3. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com3 Targeting content by country
  4. 4. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com4 You aren’t the only one’s asking Rand Fishkin @randfish
  5. 5. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com5 Or finding it hard… John Mueller @johnmu
  6. 6. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com6 And we’ve all seen it go wrong… Your UK site ranks EVERYWHERE But…. Your German site ranks in Norway…
  7. 7. What could possibly go wrong? 7
  8. 8. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com8 So what might go wrong? There’s really only a few things to get wrong But they can go wrong quickly…
  9. 9. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com9 Conflicts in your tags Canonicals must match And messages on each language site must be the same too
  10. 10. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com10 Return to sender… URLs must reciprocally link for fear of No Return errors from Google
  11. 11. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com11 Broken, redirecting, wrong Links in Hreflang tags should be live Avoid redirects on translated URLS
  12. 12. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com12 Having communication issues There’s so many ways this can happen Incorrect combinations of languages and countries and made up codes are the most common….
  13. 13. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com13 The Star Wars error * Targeting Austria with the combination AT-AT Austrian being a language *It’s the Emily LEGO slide!
  14. 14. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com14 Same, same but different… Japan has different language and country codes (JA-JP) So does Sweden (SV-SE)….
  15. 15. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com15 I’m not sure so I’ll make it up… I don’t know how to target my Global English site I know: EN-WW Worldwide is a country, right?
  16. 16. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com16 The EU issue
  17. 17. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com17 The EU issue No, not that one!
  18. 18. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com18 The EU issue Targeting your EU site in English to EVERY EU country individually….
  19. 19. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com19 Remember! Each individual URL can only be targeted to ONE language and country – multiple targets for the same page look fake!
  20. 20. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com20 The other EU issue
  21. 21. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com21 Code reminder: on page <link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="en-ie" /> <link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="en-ca" /> <link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="en-au" /> <link rel="alternate" href="" hreflang="en" />
  22. 22. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com22 Code reminder: sitemap <url> <loc> </loc> <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="de" href=" /" /> <xhtml:link rel="alternate" hreflang="de-ch" href=" weiz-deutsch/" />
  23. 23. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com23 One final place errors occur The Emily rant:
  24. 24. @IAmTheLaserHawk | The Emily rant: IP SERVING: JUST SAY NO!!! 24 One final place errors occur
  25. 25. Sitemaps or on page? How do I choose? 25
  26. 26. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com26 Simple guideline… Sitemap •Ecommerce •Large sites •Regularly updated sites On page •Everyone else
  27. 27. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com27 But this is SEO…. There’s no silver bullet here… Consider how your site set up works and talk to your devs
  28. 28. How the hell do I diagnose the issues though? 28
  29. 29. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com29 But wait… do I even need to do this? Google says it fixes things for me, so why bother?
  30. 30. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com30 Where are issues occurring? Use ranking information to see which site is competing against which is awesome for this
  31. 31. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com31 Check domains in each country
  32. 32. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com32 Where are issues occurring? Traffic from the wrong country in Analytics
  33. 33. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com33 Let’s spot check code Sense check those language and country codes – ensure there’s no made up combinations… Make sure the self referencing link is there too
  34. 34. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com34 Let’s spot check code, again… Does the link agree with the canonical tag? Are the Hreflang tags in the right place?
  35. 35. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com35 Let’s spot check our sitemap Does every page have Hreflang tags In all sitemaps Including self referencing tag? Check all the same elements here too
  36. 36. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com36 Sitemap 101 – the refresh I don’t need to say this but…. Live pages? No redirects? Nothing blocked by robots.txt You know the drill…
  37. 37. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com37 What do your tools show? Errors from Google Search Console Download data…we’ll need it later…
  38. 38. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com38 Don’t forget Screaming Frog… Easily pull off data about missing, non canonical, incorrect language codes etc… Missing Non Canonical Wrong Country
  39. 39. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com39 We’re SEOs – let’s Excel!!! Because data Vlookup or Match are your friends, cross checking what works and what doesn’t…
  40. 40. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com40 Setting up your Excel playground Crawl all the sites and set up a tab for each crawl – copy internal All for each site here Download Hreflang tag tab from Screaming Frog and create a new tag for the hreflangs for each country Add data from GSC and Hreflang tag errors in SF
  41. 41. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com41 Excel playground fun
  42. 42. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com42 Let data comparison commence Check to see if all pages have a Hreflang tag – highlight what’s missing Are all Hreflang tags the same? Highlight what’s different
  43. 43. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com43 Correcting issues Easiest fix is one which gets your devs on board We find simple code examples work best Take our your datacrunching… Just show the result!
  44. 44. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com44 Simple mapping If you are ecommerce, mapping can be simple – URLs with SKUs in are your friend
  45. 45. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com45 Less simple mapping Sadly, it’s manual!
  46. 46. @IAmTheLaserHawk | obaninternational.com46 Get it right for great things
  47. 47. Thanks! @IAmTheLaserHawk 47