Gabriel Both

SEO Manager

Gabriel Both at Hike SEO

In this video, we’ll discuss hreflang tags and how they can enhance your international SEO. You will learn what hreflang tags are, their benefits, and best practices for using them on your website. You can watch the video or read the text summary below:

What are Hreflang Tags?

Hreflang tags are HTML attributes that specify a webpage’s language and geographical targeting. They guide search engines to display the correct version of a webpage to users based on their language and location, ensuring the right content reaches the right audience.

Example of a Hreflang Tag

Here’s an example of a hreflang tag:

htmlCopy code<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-GB" href="" />

In this example, “en-GB” denotes English for the UK.

Importance of Hreflang Tags

1. Correct Language Display

Ensures users see content in their preferred language, e.g., French users in France will see the French version.

2. Avoiding Duplicate Content

Differentiates content versions to prevent duplicate content issues, which can hurt SEO.

3. Targeted Search Results

Directs users to the relevant regional or language-specific site versions.

4. Increased Visibility

Boosts rankings in international markets by aligning with local preferences.

5. Higher Conversion Rates

Enhances user experience, engagement, and conversion rates by displaying content in the user’s language and cultural context.

Combinations and Configurations

Language Variations

  • A country like the UK may have pages in English, French, and Spanish.
  • A language like English is spoken in the UK, Canada, US, Australia, and New Zealand.

Dialect Differences

  • French Canadian vs. French France.

Canonicalization vs. Hreflang

  • Canonicalization specifies which page to show in search results out of similar pages.
  • Hreflang targets language and region, ensuring the correct content version is shown to the right audience.
  • Use both in tandem to manage duplicate content and language targeting effectively.

How Hreflang Tags Work


  • en-GB: English for the UK
  • fr-CA: French for Canada
  • es-US: Spanish for the US

Best Practices

1. Bidirectionality

Ensure mutual referencing between pages. Each page should reference all its language and regional variants.

2. Self-Referencing

Each page should include a self-referencing hreflang tag.

3. X-Default Tag

Use this to specify a default page version when no specific hreflang tag matches the user’s language or region.

Implementation Methods

1. Manual

Insert hreflang tags in the head section of each page’s HTML.

2. XML Sitemap

Include hreflang tags in your XML sitemap.

3. CMS Plugins

Use plugins for platforms like WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, or Shopify to automate hreflang tag insertion.

Aligning Hreflang Tags and Canonicals

  • Use canonicals to specify the preferred page among duplicates.
  • Ensure accurate language and region codes by referencing ISO standards.


Thank you for watching this video about hreflang tags. For more information, check out our other videos on YouTube or visit our Learn SEO Hub at If you haven’t tried Hike SEO yet, it offers excellent features for beginners and small businesses to enhance their SEO performance.

Have a great day, and see you there!

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