Hreflang conflicts within page source code
If your company operates on a global scale, you likely employ an international SEO strategy that uses hreflang to direct traffic to the most relevant pages for each user’s location.
Nevertheless, many webmasters find applying hreflang to be a challenge. This article will explain what hreflang and the related concept of lang attribute mean, their importance and show you how you can fix hreflang conflicts within page source code.
What is Hreflang?
The hreflang HTML property specifies a given web page’s language and geographical focus. This helps search engines like Google and Bing distinguish between and make sense of content published in numerous languages for separate regional audiences.
Some samples of hrefLang HTML codes:
Hreflang Header Tags
Your hreflang annotations should look like this:
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-gb” href=”https://example.com/uk/” />
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-us” href=”https://example.com/us/” />
<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-au” href=”https://example.com/au/” />
Is Hreflang Really that Important?
Shortly put, yes. Using hreflang can help you prevent duplicate content problems while exceeding user expectations and improving conversion rates.
Your well-crafted pages for a specific group of readers may not be shown if Google considers them duplicates because they include similar information, even if they are written in different languages (or the same language for other geographical places). This may cause you to lose out on business opportunities like sales, leads, downloads, etc.
As a user, it’s frustrating when you land on a page for your favorite brand written in a language you don’t understand. Some visitors may take the time to translate it into their native tongue, but many will become disenchanted and visit a different website that provides content in their language of choice.
What Causes the Problem?
The most significant implementation issue occurs when hreflang is appropriately defined but HTML lang is absent. The problem usually occurs when developers or webmasters forget to check if their pages include language and country code in the HTML lang property.
How Do You Check the Issue?
You can quickly determine if your site is having this this problem by using your browser and following these steps:
- First of all, access the page’s source code by right clicking your mouse and selecting “View Page Source” from the context menu.
- After that, see whether any tags appear in the new tab.
- Next, check the language tag to see if it has the lang attribute.
- You can also use a web-based tool that can scan your HTML source code and alert you whether the lang attribute is present.
How Do You Fix This Problem?
Fixing this problem isn’t difficult. Once you have inspected each page to ensure the HTML lang property contains a declaration of the language code (or language and country code), simply add it to the pages that are missing one. Just keep in mind that the language code needs to be formatted in accordance with ISO 639-1.
That’s it, it’s a simple and easy fix that will ensure your site’s international visitors are getting content in their native language, which will help you generate more business.