The Oban Blog

Need help with your hreflang tags? Come to BrightonSEO!

April 11, 2018 Multilingual SEO

One of the most common questions I get asked is about the implementation of hreflang tags, and it’s the most common cause of pain for marketers running international websites. At April’s BrightonSEO conference, I will be giving a talk covering some of the most common issues and how to spot them.

Why are hreflang tags important?

Hreflang tags are used by Google and Yandex to work out which piece of content on your website is targeted to which set of users. An important task when you are running a site in more than one language and country.

Making sure you have the right content in the right location will help you to gain visibility for ‘in language’ keywords, which is where most of the search interest will lie. It will also help to ensure potential customers in each country see your translated content and know that you have products and services for them.

What are the most common issues?

Although it sounds relatively easy to implement hreflang tags, they contain the most common problems we find on international websites. There are various things which can go wrong with hreflang tags and impact your site visibility. The most frequent mistakes we see include:

  • Incorrect country codes
  • Incorrectly formatted code
  • Missing return links
  • Missing self-referencing tags

Other problems, such as the location of the tag, can also arise, stopping the code from working correctly.

Help with diagnosing what’s wrong

At BrightonSEO, I’ll be discussing hreflang tags and how to diagnose the common problems. Working out which errors are impacting your site’s performance is an essential SEO task but can be time-consuming. Oban has been helping work out what’s wrong with hreflang tags on a wide range of websites, across multiple territories and industries. We’ve put together some of our top tips for spotting issues with the hreflang tag into a presentation for BrightonSEO on 27 April called: “Diagnosing common hreflang tag issues on page and in sitemaps”. The talk, part of the Tech SEO stream, will take place at 10:00 am in Auditorium 2, and I will be around afterwards to answer any questions you may have. If you are having issues with your hreflang tags, come to the see the session, and I’ll see if I can help.

If you aren’t already signed up to come to the event, tickets for BrightonSEO are available here.

We are also running International SEO training on the day before BrightonSEO which covers the full range of considerations you need to consider when taking a site international – whether you’ve already done this or are planning to do so. A few places are still available for this which you can sign up for here.

Look forward to seeing you there!