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Setting Hreflang for Success #Pubcon

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How to set hreflang correctly in multi-lingual or multi-country projects? Checkout the process, criteria and tools to successfully configure it.

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Setting Hreflang for Success #Pubcon

  1. 1. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Setting Hreflang For Success #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON
  2. 2. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Targeting international search audiences can be a great way to grow and diversify your business…
  3. 3. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON However, it’s critical to rank with the relevant international Web version in search results… which can be challenging when you have many of them
  4. 4. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON These misaligned pages will have worse rankings, 
 CTR and conversions than the correct ones GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE
  5. 5. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON This is when Hreflang comes to the rescue HTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/189077?HL=EN
  6. 6. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON hreflang is one of many signals that Google take into consideration to determine a target locale, and one that we can directly set HTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/189077?HL=EN
  7. 7. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Hreflang allows to specify each of your pages 
 language & alternatively country targeting English for the UK brand.com brand.co.uk brand.com/es/ English for the US Spanish for the US
  8. 8. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON <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/“ /> English for the UK While also mapping each page to their alternate 
 languages or countries versions brand.com brand.co.uk brand.com/es/ English for the US Spanish for the US <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=“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/“ />
  9. 9. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Nonetheless, Hreflang is usually found to be hard to implement…
  10. 10. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON For real
  11. 11. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Sigh. Even when you think you had set it right already!
  12. 12. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON * SEO Consultant & Founder at Orainti * SEO Speaker at +100 Events in +20 countries * Author “SEO. Las Claves Esenciales.” *Blogger in Search Engine Land & Search Engine Journal *Featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Huffington Post *European Search Personality of the Year in 2018 I’m Aleyda Solis, International SEO Consultant ORAINTI.COM
  13. 13. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON I’ve had the chance to help some great brands…
  14. 14. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON … today I’m excited to share with you how to set hreflang for success #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON
  15. 15. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON It’s about following an implementation process ASSESS THE LANGUAGES AND COUNTRIES HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION SCOPE CHOOSE THE HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION METHOD SPECIFY THE HREFLANG CODE PATTERN MONITOR AND TROUBLESHOOT THE HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION AFTER LAUNCH VALIDATE THE HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION IN A TEST ENVIRONMENT ESTABLISH HREFLANG BEST PRACTICES GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW WHEN A NEW PAGE IS PUBLISHED HTTP://BIT.LY/HREFLANGPROCESS 1 2 3 6 5 4
  16. 16. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON 1ASSESS THE LANGUAGES AND COUNTRIES HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION SCOPE
  17. 17. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Although you might want to tag all of your international Web versions, if you have many it’s critical to prioritize
  18. 18. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Check for which of your site versions you’re attracting rankings from countries that you’re already targeting with others GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE AND GOOGLE ANALYTICS
  19. 19. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Start with those countries generating more organic traffic to the wrong site version SEMRUSH, AHREFS, SISTRIX
  20. 20. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCONSEMRUSH, AHREFS, SISTRIX Identify for which queries the site version ranks in the wrong market
  21. 21. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Check if these queries are also targeted w/ pages in the relevant country version that should be ranking instead
  22. 22. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Create a priority hreflang list with those pages shown in the wrong search results and their alternate versions
  23. 23. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON 2CHOOSE THE HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION METHOD
  24. 24. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON You can implement hreflang annotations through the HTML head, using XML sitemaps, or HTTP headers HTML Head XML Sitemap HTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/189077?HL=EN
  25. 25. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Choose the method that will better comply w/ your needs and potential platform restrictions BETTER FOR SMALL NUMBER OF VERSIONS TO TAG AND WHEN USING A PLATFORM THAT ALLOWS TO EASILY EDIT THE HTML HEAD HTML Head BETTER FOR BIGGER SITES WITH A HIGH NUMBER OF VERSIONS TO TAG AND/OR WHEN YOU CAN’T EDIT YOUR HTML HEAD XML Sitemap WHEN SPECIFYING HREFLANG FOR NON- HTML DOCUMENTS LIKE PDFS, DOCS, ETC. HTTP Header
  26. 26. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON 3SPECIFY THE HREFLANG CODE PATTERN
  27. 27. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCONHTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/189077?HL=EN Hreflang annotations use ISO 639-1 values for 
 languages and ISO 3166-1 Alpha 2 for countries
  28. 28. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON This is incorrect since the ISO 3166-1 code for the UK is “GB”
  29. 29. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Languages can be specified by themselves but when specifying countries they should also include a language HTTPS://SUPPORT.GOOGLE.COM/WEBMASTERS/ANSWER/189077?HL=EN
  30. 30. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Like this! Note the usage of a dash (not underscore) 
 to separate the language and country values <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
  31. 31. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON And there’s no official support yet for regions or continents
  32. 32. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Sorry, but this is not officially supported
  33. 33. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON So if you need to use the same version across a region, you should assign each of the countries to the pages <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“es-es” href=“http://www.brand.com/es/“ /> <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“es-mx” href=“http://www.brand.com/latam/“ /> <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“es-ar” href=“http://www.brand.com/latam/“ /> <link rel=“alternate” hreflang=“es-co” href=“http://www.brand.com/latam/“ />
  34. 34. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON There’s no limit on assigning the same URL to many targeted countries
  35. 35. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON You can also use the “x-default” value to specify the fallback version for unmatched languages/countries Default and English for the US <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/“ /> brand.com
  36. 36. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON <link rel="canonical" 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/“ /> English for the UK Note that is critical that each alternate page refer to each other, while not changing their canonicalization brand.com brand.co.uk brand.com/es/ English for the US Spanish for the US <link rel="canonical" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/" /> <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="canonical" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/“ /> <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/“ />
  37. 37. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Don’t do this if you want the Mexican home page to actually be the one that ranks in Mexico
  38. 38. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON With the Mobile First Index if you have independent mobile URLs you’ll need to annotate them too <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.brand.com/" /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://m.brand.com/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://m.brand.com/es/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://m.brand.co.uk/“ /> English Mobile for the UK m.brand.com m.brand.co.uk m.brand.com/es/ English Mobile for the US Spanish Mobile for the US <link rel="canonical" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/" /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://m.brand.com/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://m.brand.com/es/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://m.brand.co.uk/“ /> <link rel="canonical" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://m.brand.com/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://m.brand.com/es/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://m.brand.co.uk/“ />
  39. 39. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Which should be the same when you’re using 
 non-canonical AMP <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.brand.com/" /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/amp/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/amp/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/amp/“ /> English AMP for the UK brand.com/amp/ brand.co.uk/amp/ brand.com/es/amp/ English AMP for the US Spanish AMP for the US <link rel="canonical" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/" /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/amp/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/amp/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/amp/“ /> <link rel="canonical" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/amp/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“es-us" href=“http://www.brand.com/es/amp/“ /> <link rel="alternate" hreflang=“en-gb" href=“http://www.brand.co.uk/amp/“ />
  40. 40. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCONHTTPS://WWW.ALEYDASOLIS.COM/ENGLISH/INTERNATIONAL-SEO-TOOLS/HREFLANG-TAGS-GENERATOR/ Minimize errors by using the hreflang generator to obtain the HTML or XML sitemap code pattern for your different versions
  41. 41. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON You can use these values as patterns to use across the different pages you identified as relevant to tag
  42. 42. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON When adding the hreflang in the HTML head, be careful that there isn’t any code that breaks it, making the hreflang not recognizable HTTPS://WWW.ILOVESEO.NET/HOW-TO-USE-HREFLANG-CORRECTLY/
  43. 43. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCONHTTPS://WWW.HREFLANGBUILDER.COM/ If you work in an enterprise environment, check out the hreflang builder to generate hreflang in XML sitemaps and facilitate the mapping process
  44. 44. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON 4VALIDATE THE HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION IN TEST ENVIRONMENT
  45. 45. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Verify that the relevant pages have been effectively tagged by crawling the site in a test environment SITEBULB, DEEPCRAWL, SCREAMING FROG, RYTE, BOTIFY, ONCRAWL
  46. 46. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Besides using the right values in the desired pages, check for pages that might trigger no-return tags issues SITEBULB, DEEPCRAWL, SCREAMING FROG, RYTE, BOTIFY, ONCRAWL
  47. 47. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Like tagging URLs that are blocked, no-indexed, canonicalized to others, redirected or with an error status code
  48. 48. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON 5MONITOR AND TROUBLESHOOT HREFLANG AFTER LAUNCH
  49. 49. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCONGOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE After launching, look for remaining hreflang errors in the Search Console International Targeting Report
  50. 50. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Which are the type of issues found? How many URLs are affected? Of which language/country versions?
  51. 51. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Start fixing those with a higher number of affected URLs for your most important markets
  52. 52. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCONHTTPS://HREFLANGCHECKER.COM/, HTTPS://TECHNICALSEO.COM/SEO-TOOLS/HREFLANG/ Once you’re done you can validate the specific URLs with issues with free hreflang checkers
  53. 53. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Until you have no errors
  54. 54. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Check the remaining traffic from non-relevant markets to your international versions to expand the process
  55. 55. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON 6ESTABLISH HREFLANG BEST PRACTICES & GUIDELINES
  56. 56. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON WHICH INTERNATIONAL VERSIONS WERE INCLUDED/EXCLUDED AND WHY? WHICH PAGES OF THOSE INTERNATIONAL VERSIONS WERE INCLUDED/EXCLUDED AND WHY? WHICH IMPLEMENTATION METHOD WAS CHOSEN AND WHY? WHICH TOOLS WERE SELECTED TO GENERATE, TEST AND MONITOR HREFLANG? WHEN AND WHERE THE HREFLANG IMPLEMENTATION SHOULD BE TESTED BEFORE ANY RELEASE? HOW OFTEN THE HREFLANG ANNOTATIONS SHOULD BE CHECKED AND WHO WILL DO IT? HTTP://BIT.LY/HREFLANGPROCESS Document the process, establishing the steps to follow to tag any page that is published, changed or removed
  57. 57. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON It’s time to grow internationally, with the right page versions ranking!
  58. 58. #HREFLANGSUCCESS BY @ALEYDA FROM #ORAINTI AT @PUBCON Thanks

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