What is Hreflang and How do I use it for SEO?

What is hreflang?

Hreflang tags play a crucial role in indicating the language and regional focus of a website or webpage. Embedded in the HTML code, these tags assist search engines in presenting the appropriate version of a site or page, heightening its relevance for users in specific countries or regions.

These tags hold particular significance for websites providing content in multiple languages and prove valuable for those targeting audiences across various geographical locations. When applied correctly, hreflang tags contribute to enhancing a website’s position in search engine results pages (SERPs), consequently elevating its traffic and revenue.

In this article, we will delve into the definition of these tags, their functionality, and the proper utilization techniques for your website.

Table of Contents

What are hreflang tags?

Hreflang tags, abbreviated from “hyperlink rel=alternate hreflang=,” constitute HTML tags designed to convey to search engines the language in which a website or webpage is composed. Essentially, these tags communicate the targeted country or region to search engines, directing them on which version of a website or webpage to display to users in diverse countries and regions.

Integral to international SEO, hreflang tags prevent users in various countries and regions from seeing the same version of a website or webpage, even if it lacks relevance to them. Consider a scenario where a website provides content in both English and Spanish. Implementing hreflang tags would enable search engines to discern the intended audience for each version of the site. Similarly, for a website catering to users in both the United States and Canada, these tags would be employed to specify the intended version for each country.

How do they work?

When a user conducts a search on a search engine, the engine references the hreflang tags on a website to determine the appropriate version of the site to present to the user. For instance, if the user is located in the United States and searches in English, the search engine will display the version of the site intended for users in the United States. Conversely, if a user is in Canada and conducts a search in French, the search engine will showcase the version of the site tailored for users in Canada.

The significance of hreflang tags lies in their ability to ensure that users encounter the version of a website or webpage most pertinent to their needs.

How to use hreflang tags

Now that we’ve covered the essence and functionality of hreflang tags, let’s delve into the correct implementation on your website.

When incorporating these tags into your website, several considerations come into play:

  1. Specify the language and region for each iteration of your website or webpage.
  2. Integrate hreflang tags across all versions of your website or webpage.
  3. Validate the accuracy of your hreflang tags; errors could potentially have adverse effects.

Let’s closely examine each of these aspects.

1. You need to specify the language and region for each version of your website or web page

Incorporating hreflang tags into your website necessitates detailing the language and region for each rendition of your site. For instance, if your website is available in both English and Spanish, distinct tags are essential for each language version.

2. You need to add hreflang tags to all versions of your website or web page

Ensure the incorporation of hreflang tags across all iterations of your website or webpage. Even if you believe a particular version may not attract users from a specific region, it’s crucial to uphold best practices. This is because search engines rely on hreflang tags to decide which version of your site to present to users. Therefore, accurate tagging for all versions of your site is paramount.

3. You need to ensure that your hreflang tags are correct. If they are not, they could do more harm than good

Equally crucial is the verification of the accuracy of your tags. Inaccurate tags have the potential to yield more harm than good. The reason being that erroneous tags can prompt search engines to display an incorrect version of your site to users, resulting in a subpar user experience.

How can you ensure that your hreflang tags are correct?

Opting for a hreflang tag verification tool is the most effective approach. Various options exist online, including SEOmator‘s hreflang Tags Generator. Employing such a tool aids in ensuring the accuracy of your hreflang tags, validating that they correctly direct to the intended version of your website or webpage.


To sum up, hreflang tags play a pivotal role in international SEO, ensuring that users view the version of your website or webpage most pertinent to them. If your website caters to users in various countries or regions, it’s imperative to include these tags across all versions of your site.

Lastly, it’s crucial to verify the accuracy of your hreflang tags. Employing a hreflang tag checker tool facilitates this verification process.



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