International SEO Manual

If you operate a website that has an audience in more than one language or country, you’ll want to make sure you use the Hreflang attribute (rel="alternate" hreflang="x") properly on your website.

The attribute can be applied to a website’s HTML, XML sitemap, or HTTP to specify the language and regional URL of a web document. At this time, SEMrush checks the HTML of your site to look for these tags.

Correct usage of this tag ensures that web visitors from around the globe will be able to access a website in their preferred language and geographic tone (for example, English language in Ireland vs. the English language in the United States).

If you’ve previously tried checking your website’s use of Hreflang before, it was probably a time consuming manual process. With this new feature of Site Audit, you can analyze your website’s usage of the tag in a matter of moments.

With this report, users get:

  • A list of their pages with hreflang tags
  • Analysis of improper hreflang codes and why they’re wrong
  • Analysis of potentially missing hreflang tagsInternational SEO image 1

1. The circle chart on the left shows your site’s implementation of hreflang.  The number in the middle of the circle represents how many pages your Site Audit crawled, the colored parts show how many pages have hreflang tags in their coding.

The gray section indicates how many pages from the crawl do not use hreflang, the green section indicates how many pages use hreflang correctly, and the red section indicates how many pages use hreflang but have issues. Click on a bar in the circle graph to open the Crawled Pages tab showing the specific pages with or without issues.

2. To the right, the hreflang issues are broken down into Errors and Notices. Click on the button that says the number of issues to see them listed in the Issues tab of your Site Audit.

3. At the bottom  you’ll notice a bar saying “___ pages may be missing hreflang attributes.” Click on this bar to open up an analysis of the pages on your site that are missing.’’

The table will show you the Hreflang codes used on each page from the crawl. If there’s a missing language or geographic area on a page, it will be shown by the gray boxes. If a language or region is in a gray box, it means that we found this language or region’s hreflang elsewhere on the site. See in the GIF above how the pages are all missing the en-ca (English-Canada) Hreflang attribute.

If you work for an agency with global clients, or run a website with a global audience, this report will be a valuable resource for managing the international health of your SEO.

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