Ensuring the Right Page is Ranking for the Right Country

I recently had an interesting project that helps illustrate the power of the HREFLang Element. A Fortune 50 company had significant traffic from organic search to English language markets Australia, India and UK as well as Spanish Markets of Colombia and Mexico. While traffic was high, conversions were not and most had 80 to 90 percent bounce rates. They hired a CRO expert that tuned the pages but still received few to no conversions.

I was already working with one of their business units and this came up in a global planning meeting. Upon hearing the symptoms I did a quick check in those markets with a couple of the products and immediately found the problem. In every case for the English countries, the global or US versions of pages were ranking and not the local market versions. In the Spanish Markets it was the pages from Argentina

Note: Why Argentina and not another Spanish country? In 99% of the cases where I have worked with this it is because Argentina is the first Spanish language site that is listed on the Country List of the site and the Site Map. Since it is the first, any often a duplicate of other Spanish Google gives it a dominate position.

When a user came into the page in Australia or UK all pricing, product availability and offers for the US or there were no offers as it was the global site. In addition, all the contact information was for the US. Not seeing the ability to buy in their currency or country they simply left the page.


HREFLang Builder was used to develop HREF XML site maps for the countries. Within 10 days of the new HREFLang XML site maps submission the bounces rates were reduced, conversion rates increased and company enjoyed a 300% increase in sales to these pages.

Root Causes:

    1. Most of the link equity was to these other pages so Google felt they were more relevant
    2. The SEO agency simply checked ranks and not Preferred Landing Pages (PLP's). Had they had a process of checking to ensure the right page was ranking they would have tried to fix this long before.
    3. The CRO expert was focused only on making the landing pages better and being from the US and using IP detection most likely did not ever see the local pages.

The local markets did not even notice or necessarily care or they would have seen that it was not their page ranking.

Your Performance?

How are you performing in your key markets? Do you ahve a similar problem? If you do contact us to help you solve it.



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