SEO has become extremely popular in the last 5-10 years. In its most basic form, it's "that thing that helps you rank high on Google." And while, yes, that is accurate, it takes a lot of work and time to acquire backlinks, optimize content, and maintain the technical side.
SEO is most often applied to multi-page websites with a significant amount of content (insert "content is king" cliche) - however, what if you simply don't have much content to offer? What if you're not building a website but instead a web app that doesn't include opportunities to inject valuable keywords? How do you enhance your SEO in that scenario?
Often, we receive opportunities to create Single Page Applications, or SPAs. Single Page Applications (SPA) are web apps that initially load a single HTML page and subsequent data is pulled directly from the server.
Single Page Applications have become popular over the last five years. They reduce the time and complexity of developing, testing, and deploying websites - which makes it easier for budding developers to create their own sites. They are also extremely fast and provide a great user experience.
However, due to the nature of Single Page Applications, it can be difficult and even confusing to optimize your site for search engines.
Special care must be taken to ensure search engines can crawl and index your site quickly and completely, or else your website might not show up on search engines at all. In this post, we will examine issues with SEO for single-page applications, as well as talk about how to implement SEO for them to enhance your business.
SEO Marketing for Small Web Apps
We all know Google is one of the most popular search engines on the internet. If you want your content – whether it be the services you offer, a blog post, etc. – to reach your target audience, you should understand the indexing and crawling process Google employs.
Crawling is defined by Google as "the process of looking for new or updated web pages". Following the crawling process, new and updated pages are indexed, which means the information of the pages, including location and content, are stored.
One problem that can arise in this process involves content loading. When new content is presented, it has to be retrieved and downloaded. So, only new content is being reloaded rather than the entire page.
Sometimes the Googlebot does not catch internal links. Those links can help search engines understand which pages are more important than others. Search engine optimization exists to present users with relevant content, so if the Googlebot is not registering your website’s internal links, the site might not perform as well.
Lastly, not mapping an entire site is an issue with SEO and single-page applications. Crawlers can overlook the links placed throughout your site pages, making it difficult for users to get to the content they’re searching for. The crawlers may not ‘see’ the website in the same way a human does, as some content may only be seen after a search has been made
Implementing SEO Services to Web Apps
You should perform SEO on Single Page Applications for a variety of reasons. The main goal of SEO is to increase your site’s visibility, so if you value increased site traffic and potential leads, then it’s vital to implement best SEO practices. After all, you want to entice people to invest in what you offer. One of the best ways to get your product, service, or offering in front of millions of people is through search engines.
Server-side rendering puts the burden of HTML generation on the server instead of the client. This allows crawling bots to view the full content of an HTML page rather than wait for the content to generate dynamically. While the process is time consuming to implement, it will make your page crawler-friendly.
Furthermore, pre-rendering is the process of pre-generating results to common requests with a static response and then filling in the dynamic content after the static content has loaded. Pre-rendering can also be a time-consuming operation, but it’s another useful option when working with the SPA architecture.
Whether you choose server-side rendering or pre-rendering is up to you. Personal preference reigns in this matter, so you get to decide which process to engage in.
Now we can jump into meta tag fulfillment. To correctly implement meta tags, you tell the search engine what to do with your page. Ensure your title tag, as well as descriptive tags, represent the content within the page. This will help your SEO and entice viewers to click on your content.
Another way to enhance SEO for single-page applications is through the use of clean URLs.
Have you ever tried retyping a URL with a random mixture of letters? It’s no fun, and it doesn’t explain where the user is at on the web.
The use of human-readable URLs assists users in understanding the page. Clean URLs are beneficial aspects of your website, as the unique markers let both the user and bots know where they are on the web.
Lastly, generating sitemaps can be a critical step in ensuring the crawlers reach all of the content on your site. A well-linked website is more manageable for small sites, so sitemaps are there to aid the way content is reached as opposed to being overlooked.
Best Practices for SEO Marketing
Single-page web applications are great for creating platforms with a low amount of data involved. Although some people argue that it’s difficult to implement SEO for SPAs, there are ways to get the most out of search engine optimization for websites of all sizes. However, developers looking to design complex sites with many pages should stick to using a multi-page application.
Search engine optimization is a great way to organically reach your target audience. By improving the rank of your website through SEO, your business has potential to benefit.
At Code Authority, our SEO analysts and developers work with you to rank higher on search engines like Google. We can also assist you with comprehensive marketing services and plans to give you the edge you need over your competition by developing posts, content schedules and more to improve your SEO approach.
To request your free SEO marketing consultation, contact us today.