Setting Hreflang for International SERP Success #SMXeast

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The best practices & most common issues when implementing hreflang annotations... and how to spot & fix them easily!

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  • Hi, Is "hreflang" tag increase our ranking to related country language if we are from india and want to rank higher in USA.
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  • @Keith Goode Hi Keith! Thanks for your comment, there are always pros & cons on the way that it can be implemented - let's definitely talk at Pubcon :D
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  • I hate that I missed seeing you at SMX East. I would love to hear your take on sitemap vs. on-page HREFLANG as it relates to increased page weight and overall effectiveness. My experience seems to suggest that sitemap HREFLANG is far more effective and that on-page HREFLANG (especially for large international sites with TONS of international varients) could actually be detrimental from a page-load perspective. Thoughts? (Or we can just talk at Pubcon.:-) )
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Setting Hreflang for International SERP Success #SMXeast

  1. 1. #SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda INTERNATIONALIZING YOUR SEO Setting Hreflang for International SERP Success
  2. 2. I’m Aleyda Solis ORAINTI.COM @ALEYDA FB.COM/ALEYDASEOTIPS/ I do SEO I Tweet I Share @aleyda#SMX #22A3
  3. 3. I’m Aleyda Solis @aleyda#SMX #22A3 I Write I Speak I’m Featured
  4. 4. #SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda It’s time to take your search visibility abroad….
  5. 5. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Targeting international search audiences 
 can be an important growth driver emarketer.com
  6. 6. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Targeting international search audiences 
 can be an important growth driver emarketer.com Probably you should too ;) Some markets are still unserved
  7. 7. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Like this! The US can become one 
 of many profitable markets to target
  8. 8. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 It’s critical to connect with the audience through 
 the relevant Web presence though Search Results for “Cape Town Holiday Rentals” in google.co.uk: What are .co.za ccTLDs doing here? co.uk co.za co.uk co.uk co.za com net
  9. 9. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 “Car Hire Sydney” in google.co.uk full of Australian ccTLDs and only gTLD that is UK targeted Definitely not like this com.au com.au com.au com.au com Hertz is ranking with its Australian ccTLD despite having a UK one targeting that query
  10. 10. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 These misaligned search results will have worse rankings, CTR and conversions This happens with a UK ccTLD
  11. 11. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Check out this other example at a more granular level comparing the same keywords performance US positions for the UK subdirectory are similar but with much lower CTR
  12. 12. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 And not only with different country versions, but also language ones, cannibalizing themselves Searching from Google Spain
  13. 13. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Verify if you’re suffering from this issue!
  14. 14. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Hreflang can help you solve them! https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077
  15. 15. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 The goal is to specify each of your URLs 
 language & alternatively country targeting brand.com brand.co.uk brand.com/es/ English for the US Default Spanish for the US English for the UK
  16. 16. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Hreflang should use ISO 639-1 values 
 for languages and ISO 3166-1 for countries
  17. 17. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Requiring always a language to be specified 
 and alternatively a country, no continent support <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en" href=“http://www.brand.com/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/“ /> English English in the US OR
  18. 18. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 English for the US Default Spanish for the US English for the UK <link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href=“http://www.brand.com/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href=“http://www.brand.com/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href=“http://www.brand.com/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/“ /> Mapping each URL to their alternate 
 languages or countries versions brand.com brand.co.uk brand.com/es/
  19. 19. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 For every page on the sites English for the US Default Spanish for the US English for the UK <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> brand.com/dogs/ brand.co.uk/dogs/ brand.com/es/perros/
  20. 20. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Without changing the logic of canonical tags English for the US Default Spanish for the US English for the UK <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> <link rel="canonical" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> <link rel="canonical" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> brand.com/dogs/ brand.co.uk/dogs/ brand.com/es/perros/
  21. 21. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Because of this! English for the US Default Spanish for the US English for the UK <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> <link rel="canonical" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> <link rel="canonical" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/dogs/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/perros/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/dogs/“ /> brand.com/dogs/ brand.co.uk/dogs/ brand.com/es/perros/
  22. 22. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 You can include them in the HTMLs head, 
 HTTP headers & XML Sitemaps
  23. 23. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Depending on the site characteristics, it might be better to use one or the other Add them in HTML in sites with lower number of versions & coding flexibility Add them in XML Sitemaps in non- flexible sites with a high number of versions
  24. 24. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 … or avoid completely Only if you want to invest a lot of time validating the HTTP headers
  25. 25. @aleyda#SMX #22A3#SMX #22A3 @aleyda A (yummy) piece of cake?
  26. 26. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 BEWARETHE ROAD CAN BE TRICKY… @aleyda#SMX #22A3
  27. 27. @aleyda#SMX #22A3#SMX #22A3 @aleyda Start by making sure that the hreflang annotations are accesible and recognized in the code http://searchengineland.com/case-study-javascript- blocking-googles-view-hreflang-259312 https://www.seroundtable.com/google-head- section-break-hreflang-unrecognizable-22340.html
  28. 28. @aleyda#SMX #22A3#SMX #22A3 @aleyda Non-existing hreflang values
  29. 29. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Like using “en-UK” instead of “en-GB” 
 for pages in English targeted to the UK
  30. 30. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Including a country without a language, 
 which is mandatory to add hreflang="pt-br" hreflang="en-ca" Not supported hreflang="es-mx" hreflang="en-us"
  31. 31. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 hreflang=“fr-ca” Using underscores instead of dashes or 
 switching the language & countries values order
  32. 32. @aleyda#SMX #22A3#SMX #22A3 @aleyda Mistakes with the URLs added in the hreflangs
  33. 33. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Not including the correct URLs in the hreflang annotation Better use absolute URLs and make sure to add the right one for the specified language-country
  34. 34. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Forgetting to self-refer by specifying 
 the current URL in the hreflangs
  35. 35. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Not referring back at all from one language or country version to another
  36. 36. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Adding non-indexable, canonicalized, error, redirected or blocked URLs in hreflangs
  37. 37. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 It’s critical to avoid this!
  38. 38. @aleyda#SMX #22A3#SMX #22A3 @aleyda Non-relevant hreflang values for the target market
  39. 39. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Specifying unnecessary country codes 
 for language targeted pages
  40. 40. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Or adding a language or country value to a 
 URL that is in another one Better use absolute URLs and make sure to add the right one for the specified language-country
  41. 41. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Trying to “override” a ccTLD country targeting 
 by specifying another one in hreflangs
  42. 42. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Hreflang won’t change the geolocation of a ccTLD or of geotargeted sub-directories or subdomains
  43. 43. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Ugh! So many different types of hreflang errors :/ Incorrect hreflang country or language Values Mistaken, non-indexable or non-existing URLs Non-relevant target market values Not including the hreflang tags to every version to point back
  44. 44. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 STOP
  45. 45. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Let’s use the hreflang kit to avoid & spot these issues @aleyda#SMX #22A3
  46. 46. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Adding non-original URLs, such as redirected or canonicalized ones in hreflang annotations @aleyda#SMX #22A3 For the Generation HREFLANG Tags Generation 1
  47. 47. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Adding non-original URLs, such as redirected or canonicalized ones in hreflang annotations @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Obtain the right hreflang tag pattern to use in your HTMLs with the Hreflang Generator Tool bit.ly/generatorhreflang
  48. 48. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Adding non-original URLs, such as redirected or canonicalized ones in hreflang annotations @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Like this! Ready to update every page URL
  49. 49. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Adding non-original URLs, such as redirected or canonicalized ones in hreflang annotations @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Do you Prefer to use an XML sitemap? Include your hreflang in them with the hrefbuilder hrefbuilder.com
  50. 50. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Adding non-original URLs, such as redirected or canonicalized ones in hreflang annotations @aleyda#SMX #22A3 It allows to import URLs from many sources, 
 specify its international structure & edit values
  51. 51. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Adding non-original URLs, such as redirected or canonicalized ones in hreflang annotations @aleyda#SMX #22A3 As well as to validate them before their generation
  52. 52. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Adding non-original URLs, such as redirected or canonicalized ones in hreflang annotations @aleyda#SMX #22A3 For the Validation HREFLANG Tags Validation 2
  53. 53. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 There are page specific hreflang validators but these are painful to use with big sites https://technicalseo.com/seo-tools/hreflang/
  54. 54. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 These Enterprise-level SEO Crawlers spot issues at a larger scale, whether in HTMLs or XML sitemaps
  55. 55. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Botify has an “internationalization” section directly segmenting each major hreflang error type botify.com
  56. 56. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 And you can generate any report directly by combining them…
  57. 57. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Like this one with URLs pointing to not compliant (not found, non-indexable, etc.) alternates
  58. 58. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 OnPage.org has a multilingual settings report showing URLs mapping to a translated version onpage.org Shows each language and country version pointing out and in for each URL
  59. 59. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Allowing to specifically verify the alternate 
 URLs pointed from each page
  60. 60. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 As well as segmenting the URLs per country & Language, and the type of issues they have
  61. 61. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Deepcrawl lists URLs with hreflangs & alternate versions, specifying where they have been found deepcrawl.com
  62. 62. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Allowing to generate reports of those URLs 
 with errors too
  63. 63. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Adding non-original URLs, such as redirected or canonicalized ones in hreflang annotations @aleyda#SMX #22A3 For the On-going Monitoring HREFLANG Tags Monitoring 3
  64. 64. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 It’s a must to check for any change or issue with the Search Console International Targeting report If you have multiple sitemaps you don’t know in which one these issues are, but you can identify their location with the crawlers
  65. 65. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 It directly specifies the type of identified error and the number of pages affected
  66. 66. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 As well as the URLs where these issues 
 have been found, that you can export in CSV
  67. 67. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 If you follow these principles, generation & validation steps, this should be your hreflang status
  68. 68. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 And your organic search visibility & traffic 
 growth in international markets
  69. 69. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 It’s time to grow abroad @aleyda#SMX #22A3
  70. 70. @aleyda#SMX #22A3 Thanks! @aleyda#SMX #22A3

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