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I'm setting up 2 regional shopify sites. Should I consider canonical tags or/and use hreflang to ensure that search engines will send my users towards the right site.

The first store covers the Europe region. The second (and default) covers the remainder of the world.

Both stores are in English (UK), but their content will differ slightly (i.e they are not duplicate stores as such, and have different stock levels for example).

Currently Shopify includes the following tags:

<link rel="canonical" href="{{ canonical_url }}">

Which translates to:

EU Store:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.eu.example.me" />

Default Store:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.me" />

Should I alter these to include hreflang & canonical tags as well, and in which order should the hreflang tags be placed?

EU Store:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.eu.example.me" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="http://www.example.me" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-EU" href="http://www.eu.example.me" />

Default Store:

<link rel="canonical" href="http://www.example.me" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en-EU" href="http://www.eu.example.me" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="http://www.example.me" />
  • If they are different stores... you use canonical to each page, to its self. You only ever use a canonical to a different page if the content is the same, also it sounds like you should be targetting just countries, so no need to use en, use lang="en" and Google/Bing understand your site is English by just crawling it. – Simon Hayter Nov 21 '18 at 18:48
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You should definitely make use of canonical to avoid duplication issues. All pages should serve a canonical link with a 200 status code.

Now on the hreflang you will have to list all individual European countries:

en-DE
en-FR
en-GB
en-GR
...

There isn't any country code to cover the whole Europe so this would be your only solution, and for the rest of the world you will ahve to use:

<link rel="alternate" hreflang="en" href="http://www.example.me" />
<link rel="alternate" hreflang="x-default" href="http://www.example.me" />

Serving correct content to the users is shown to improve conversions and overall ranking since users getting what they are looking for.

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