The importance of HreFlangs for international SEO

It is normal nowadays to wonder what HreFlangs are and what they are for.

And, if we want to get a better positioning, we already know that we must take care of every aspect of our website.

Read on to find out, apart from what they are, what is the importance of HreFlangs for international SEO.

The importance of HreFlangs for international SEO
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What are the HreFlangs?

In case you do not know what the HreFlangs are, we tell you that it is an attribute that was introduced by Google specifically in December 2011, and allows to show search engines the relationship that exists between web pages in different languages.

It is an extremely useful attribute when we create specific content for a local audience, this tag manages to send a signal to search engines at the time when the user performs the query in a particular language and intends to find results in the same language.

Let’s take as an example a website that you have created in English from your home page, which is originally in Spanish, what you will have to do to mark it as English will be to use the hreflang = “en”.

What this will do is that those people who have an IP address whose search mechanism has the reasons to believe that it is in a country where this language is spoken, will be able to discover your website in English and not as originally designed, that is to say, in Spanish. 

The impact of HreFlangs for international SEO can be seen directly in the rejection rate, and increased conversions. It will help ensure that your target audience can easily reach the version of the site that best suits their characteristics.

alphabet blocks with SEO word on blue background
cropped shot of successful seo using computer at workplace

Why are HreFlangs important for international SEO?

In order to improve the user’s browsing experience, we must also ensure that the user does not arrive at a version of our website that is in a language that is impossible to understand.

The importance of HreFlangs for international SEO falls clearly on the dreaded bounce rate.

When we manage to reduce the previous one to the minimum we have a positive consequence, which translates into obtaining a better positioning within the Google search results, which is the goal of every website.

Similarly, when we implement this type of tags we will also be solving the problem that is created when there is what is called duplicate content.

The main reason for this is that, on many occasions, the content between two versions can become almost identical, changing only certain expressions or parts of the vocabulary.

In case you do not want any of the above to negatively affect your website, you should start implementing HreFlangs.

Otherwise, any solution you think you will find will be just a superficial workaround compared to the use of these tags.

WordPress Plugins to set up HreFlangs

Weglot

Weglot

Weglot is one of the best plugins on the market to make a multilingual site, the reason for this is because its interface is easy to use and all its functions are very useful.

Although you can only choose a target language when it is free and all the additional target languages are only available when you pay for the plugin.

After we activate it, the Weglot machine translation will do all the work, doing the translations of all the words into the language of preference of the reader.

One of the best advantages that Weglot has is that it allows you to generate a URL structure that is designed for SEO.

Weglot sets the Canonical tags automatically to define the language, so yo don’t have to really worry about it.

This will allow your website to appear in all the search engines of the different languages.

To learn more how Weglot work, you can read our Weglot Review.

WPML

what is wpml

WPML is one of the best Weglot alternatives if you want a translation plugin for WordPress. In principle, it means exactly what it is.

Well, it is an acronym for WordPress Multi Language, where it is characterized as “the most complete translator plugin” according to many SEO experts.

WPML is a paid plugin, that many claim that it is worth every penny of its cost.

Since, the WPML interface is one of the easiest to use, it allows you many options, whether it’s an E commerce web or more. 

WPML now is focusing more into be an automatic WordPress translation plugin.

WPML Deepl integration has improved their translations, although it still has some words that you will still have to adjust.

But WPML already has an easy to use advanced translation manager.

WPML does support many SEO aspects such as Meta Data translation, URL Slug Translation, Media Alt Text translation, and of course it does set up the Hreflangs automatically, so that you don’t have to do extra configuration.

So, if you are looking for speed and accuracy go for Weglot, if you are looking for translation control and no limit on the word count and number of languages go for WPML.

If you want to read more about this multilingual plugin, check out the WPML Review.

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