If you have an e-commerce site that reaches an international audience, it’s important to properly utilize hreflang tags. Hreflang tags tell search engines which version of your site to show to visitors in different locations where people speak different languages. There are many common mistakes with hreflang tags that could have a serious impact on how successful your e-commerce site is with international customers. Experts at Saba SEO, a leading San Diego web design company, discuss some of the most common hreflang tag issues to avoid.
Incorrect Codes or Coding
Hreflang tags include separate codes for language and country, and they both need to be correct. If the name of the language reflects the name of the country, you might think the two codes would be the same. However, the codes are usually different. For example, the code for Japan is ja-jp, not jp-jp. You can find a list of the codes for every country online, so you should always double-check you’re using the right codes.
The coding itself is another common issue. The language code comes before the country code, and the two codes must be separated with a hyphen. It’s generally best to add the hreflang tags to your sitemap, which will make it easier to update the international versions of your site when your stock or products change.
URLs for pages that are no longer live or URLs that redirect will either be indexed incorrectly or not indexed at all. Having more than one URL for the same hreflang tags is likely to confuse search engines. Google may ignore all of the URLs because it doesn’t know which particular page should be indexed.
Incompatibility with the Canonical Tags
You need to include a self-referencing hreflang tag on your original site. The self-referencing tag should have the same URL as the canonical tag, or you’ll run into some issues with search engines.
Hreflang tags are an important feature of international e-commerce sites, but it’s easy to make mistakes. To make sure you’re reaching your international audience with the correct version of your sites, review all of your hreflang tags and codes regularly.
If you need help with any aspect of search engine optimization, turn to Saba SEO. We are a reputed SEO company San Diego businesses and organizations all over the world trust. Our team can create a comprehensive digital marketing plan for your business that includes hreflag tag writing and placement, web design, and content development. We have over ten years of experience in search engine optimization and an A+ ranking on BBB. To learn about our high-quality digital marketing services, give us a call at 858-951-1717 today.