Creating the widest possible catchment area for your website? One of the options you have is to add hreflang. What is hreflang and to what extent is it advisable to apply it to your website? You can read it here!

What is hreflang?

Hreflang is a tag that allows you to specify the language and language area of a website. This makes it possible for a search engine to display a website correctly in the results.

The possibilities with hreflang

The Internet knows no geographical boundaries: it is therefore possible for a website to have global reach. To make this happen, it is smart to add multiple languages so that it is easy for people to read the information in their own language.

With the hreflang, you choose to add to the rel-alternate attribute, a piece of code on a Web site. A link element with hreflang looks like this:

By entering the language code and country code, it is possible to offer your website in various languages.

Hreflang _ Glossary of terms

The impact of hreflang on SEO

The hreflang may have a positive impact on the SEO of a website or page. Implementing a hreflang tag potentially increases organic website traffic. There are also plenty of examples of increases in revenue from organic traffic after implementing this tag. Applying a hreflang tag does not always determine the search algorithm, but it may be indicative and informative.

My advice

We recommend making a good plan for your website first: it is not always necessary to appeal to a global audience. In this case, it is smart to enable x-default. Do appeal to a large audience in other countries, then it may be interesting to implement hreflang. It defines a website’s catchment area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is hreflang?

Hreflang should be thought of as a particular tag used to indicate the language and language area of a website. It ensures that a search engine can display the website correctly in search results.

What is the impact of Hreflang on SEO?

If you apply hreflang, it need not directly affect the search result. However, it can be informative. It will contribute to, increase organic traffic to your website.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
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I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 15 September 2023. The last update of this article was on 10 January 2024. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.

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