As the internet continues to evolve, so do the strategies for optimizing a website or web application’s visibility in search. Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are no exception – now more than ever, PWA developers must think critically about how to best employ SEO technical practices to ensure their app stands out from competitors and ranks favorably on popular search engine websites.
In this blog post, we’ll explore what exactly PWAs are as well as offer key tips when it comes to utilizing PWA SEO tools and tactics across your application’s overall design architecture. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Progressive Web Apps and SEO: Why is PWA SEO a concern?
- Progressive Web Apps SEO: How do PWAs work with SEO?
- Are Progressive Web Apps bad for SEO?
- Things that make PWA SEO great
- PWA SEO: Content Rendering
- Best SEO Technical Practices for a Progressive Web App
Progressive Web Apps and SEO: Why is PWA SEO a concern?
Progressive Web Apps provide a plethora of advantages, but in order to stay competitive, you still need to make sure that your website is set up technically.
Why then do we observe a large number of companies who are interested in Progressive Web Apps putting off using the technology? The cause is a combination of uncertainty about how SEO for Progressive Web Apps functions is important and concern about altering what has previously been shown to be effective.
The field of SEO optimization is one of ongoing evolution and reality adaptation. Even if your website now has a flawless SEO score, the status quo might alter at any time due to rapid changes in search engine algorithms or emerging trends like the advent of mobile-first indexing.
The setting of technical SEO is a difficult operation that frequently causes website owners problems. However, the process is the same for any website, PWA or not, and ultimately doesn’t sound that tough at all when it comes to the fundamentals of technical PWA SEO.
You must ensure that all the content you wish to present in SERPs is appropriately formatted, labeled, and accessible to search engines in order for your website to appear correctly in SERPs. At the same time, you must prevent search engines from accessing any aspects that shouldn’t be shown.
Progressive Web Apps SEO: How do PWAs work with SEO?
Progressive Web Apps are different from “conventional” HTML-based web pages. This gave rise to the misconception that search engines can’t index PWAs. But that’s not the case.
Progressive Web Apps may be indexed just like any other web page, but different strategies will need to be employed to make sure the search engines can see and interpret the content of your website.
Client-Side vs. Server-Side Rendering
The majority of websites typically “pre-boot” everything on the server side using Server-Side Rendering, or SSR. You transmit a rendered version of the page from the server to the user’s browser whenever they request it.
Although it is simple, this strategy has several drawbacks. Yes, you will load your first meaningful paint quickly, but every time a user switches pages, the complete HTML will need to be loaded. This might be uncomfortable, especially if you have a poor internet connection.
There is considerable doubt as a result of all of this. Merchants must strike a balance between enhancing the user experience for their visitors and ensuring that search engines can effectively carry out their duties.
Are Progressive Web Apps bad for SEO?
Things that make PWA SEO great
Google produced a Progressive Web Apps checklist. It outlines the characteristics a PWA needs to have, including:
- Stay quick and load quickly
- Operate in all browsers
- Be responsive
- Apply HTTPS
These guidelines don’t only apply to PWA. To be at the top of the SEO game, every website should adhere to these guidelines. Consider it recommended practice to incorporate the aforementioned characteristics into your project while creating a PWA. After putting them into practice, you may concentrate more on producing excellent content, using HTML tags correctly, using keywords, and other crucial elements that affect your Google ranking.
When you develop a PWA, you are enhancing the user experience. That will encourage customers to stay on your website longer and return more frequently, which is important for SEO.
PWA SEO: Content Rendering
One of the most critical SEO components is content. Google gives better rankings to results that are more important to consumers’ searches. Making a decision on how to present content to users is essential when creating a Progressive Web App (and bots).
We will examine several rendering strategies in this section and see how they impact indexing.
Server-Side Rendering (SSR)
The website’s content is rendered on the servers in SSR, as the name implies. As a result, every time a request is sent, a fully-rendered page containing text, graphics, and other elements is returned. Users and search engines will both see the same version as a result. As a result, a bot will index the page during the initial step of indexing.
Client-Side Rendering (CSR)
There are some drawbacks even if it could appear amazing. On older or less powerful workstations or mobile devices, client-side rendered websites could load more slowly. CSR also brings up issues with SEO. The same webpage won’t appear to real people and bots.
Hybrid rendering has a quick loading time and gives users a quick surfing experience. It combines the benefits of SSR and CSR in one process. Google also suggests it as a possible option.
It does have some negatives, though. Hydration ranks among them. Without getting too technical, hydration is the process that transforms a static HTML web page into a dynamic one. Have you ever come across a page that appears to be loaded but doesn’t respond to clicks? That was most likely due to dehydration. However, it will need some effort and the use of cutting-edge hydration techniques to accomplish the Hybrid Rendering successfully.
Best SEO Technical Practices for a Progressive Web App
- Make your content crawlable by using authentic URLs rather than hash fragments and according to PWA SEO URL best practices, such as including keywords and keeping URLs brief.
- Employ Mobile First Responsive design: Since Google and everyone else prioritizes mobile devices, you ought to do the same. PWAs should excel on mobile first before focusing on desktop since that is where they were built to shine.
- Be safe: 80% of the web currently utilizes HTTPS. If your website doesn’t already support HTTPS, move right away.
- Use Progressive Enhancement: While service personnel is excellent, PWAs make use of this technique. This indicates that they ought to perform well even if the browser does not support cutting-edge features, such as a search engine spider.
- Test using Search Console: Use the Fetch as Google function to test how Google understands your sites.
- Offer a sitemap: Make sure to add a sitemap to your website and register it in Google Search Console. This is the first method Google employs to determine the number of pages on your website.
- Check Page Speed: Google tracks the loading times of all pages. You ought to. To determine your time to first interaction—the important page performance statistic used by Google to gauge page speed—use WebPageTest and Lighthouse.
A Progressive Web Application (PWA) is an effective way to ensure SEO best practices are applied to your website. Mobilizing your content and making it available offline positions you better in search engine rankings. Additionally, taking advantage of PWA features like implementing Service Workers, defining meta tags and URLs, and providing rich media can help improve your chances of earning higher visibility online.
Whenever you develop a PWA-enabled website or require optimizing assistance for one, our team is here to help. Contact us with any inquiries or assistance needs for PWA and SEO best practices today.