I have a website, and it is a single website with a .com TLD which I want ranking in the US and UK. Do I need to create a hreflang tag even though there is only one version of the website and all pages or can I ignore the hreflang altogether?

  • 1
    I'm curious, how were you intending to implement the HREFLANG tag if you only have one version of every page on your (single) website?
    – DocRoot
    Jan 31 '19 at 22:18
  • I had accidentally stumbled upon the hreflang tag. We have a website that ranks well in the UK but I had noticed we were not ranking well in the US. So was trying to understand why hence stumbling upon this tag. Feb 1 '19 at 8:24

Nope, you don't need to implement this for your single website. According to this exhaustive guide by Yoast:

hreflang tags are a method to mark up pages that are similar in meaning but aimed at different languages and/or regions. There are three common ways to implement hreflang:

  • Content with regional variations like en-us and en-gb.
  • Content in different languages like en, de and fr.
  • A combination of different languages and regional variations.

From your description, your site has neither pages in different languages, nor pages that mirror each other but are aimed at different regions.

In terms of what might help you to rank in both countries, there's this article. Specifically, what I think you can do immediately to ensure success, is the following parts:

  • Specify the location you are targeting in Google Search Console.
  • Register your business address with Google My Business.
  • Include the street address of the business on the website.
  • Host the website locally (as much for usability as for SEO).

The first one is obviously very important. The second and third will depend on whether the website is for a business with locations. The fourth one: I'd do some research on CDN's that have data centers in both US and UK, to ensure your site speed is optimal in both countries.

  • "help you to rank in both countries ... you can do immediately to ensure success, is the following" - but the 4 points listed seemingly target a single location/country?
    – DocRoot
    Jan 31 '19 at 22:21
  • Well, for the 1st point, the International Targeting in GSC would have to be set to "unlisted" instead of any single country. The second, you can register more than one location with GMB. The third would be easy to put up on a website. The fourth is basically CDN research. Other bullets in that article are more long-term actions, such as getting backlinks from local entities. Feb 1 '19 at 0:38
  • I had read tht cisco have a single site but use hreflang, "A good example is Cisco, which does not have a dedicated U.S. version of their site. Since these pages do double duty, to make them both the preferred “rest of the world page” and set it for the U.S., they need to add a double entry to your hreflang to set the same page as both x-default and U.S. English" [link]searchenginejournal.com/hreflang-implementation-mistakes/240451/… Feb 1 '19 at 8:29
  • Well I only want to target English speaking countries, and in GSC you can only specify one country, which is not a problem, but for language, it is asking for hreflang. Feb 1 '19 at 11:33
  • @Monkeymagic There's often more than one way in SEO to do something. You should set "unlisted" in GSC; I'd say, do that regardless. You certainly can set your hreflang to x-default; but the whole point of the standard is for the correct language/country version of your site to display in the right country. Either way, make sure that any set you include on your site doesn't accidentally exclude anything. Good luck! Feb 4 '19 at 0:34

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