If your business has multiple websites due to operating in multiple regions and/or languages, it is best practice to have unique, relevant content on each website. However, as this isn’t always possible, we recommend only rewording parts of your content that has a different context for audiences in different countries or regions.

If the content and context are the same for both audiences, you don’t have to reword the content, however, we do advise adding an ‘hreflang tag’.

Adding an hreflang tag on both websites will send a signal to Google that the sites are not duplicates, but are country-specific websites intended for different audiences. This ensures you won’t be penalised for duplicate website content, plus it makes sure that the Australian audience will go to the .au site and the New Zealand audience will go to the .nz site.

Here is a detailed guide on how to add an hreflang tag: Yoast Hreflang Ultimate Guide

There are 3 ways to add the tag:

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”es” href=”http://es.example.com/” />

  • HTTP header. If you publish non-HTML files (like PDFs), you can use an HTTP header to indicate a different language version of a URL:

Link: <http://es.example.com/>; rel=”alternate”; hreflang=”es”

To specify multiple hreflang values in a Link HTTP header, separate the values with commas like so:

Link: <http://es.example.com/>; rel=”alternate”; hreflang=”es”,<http://de.example.com/>; rel=”alternate”; hreflang=”de”

  • Sitemap. Instead of using markup, you can submit language version information in a Sitemap.

The first method is more straightforward. For example, the Australian version of the site should have a code on the <head> that looks like the below. Every version should also have a rel=canonical tag pointing to itself:

<link rel=”canonical” href=”http://example.com.au/“>

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-au” href=”http://example.com.au/” />

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”en-nz” href=”http://example.com.nz/” />

Your developer should be able to implement these codes for you. If you have any questions, please contact your account manager.

Image Credit — Slava Bowman