web-app

The app developing world are faced with a problem when it comes to app visibility in the marketplace. Luckily, Progressive Web Applications have come to save the day, and there are hidden SEO benefits by adopting this method as well. Let’s take a look at PWA’s and how they can boost your search engine optimization.

With the rise of mobile applications, developers now face a major issue of being noticed in the current app marketplace for both iOS and Android devices. Research has shown that most users don’t install new apps regularly and there has been a decline in app installs.

Only about one-third of smartphone owners download any apps in an average month, with the bulk of those downloading one to three apps. The top 7% of smartphone owners account for “nearly half of all download activity in a given month. - comScore

Although these statistics aren’t positive, you can rely on developers to find a way to find a solution. Developers have always had the ability to build mobile applications that are easily accessible via a URL. Enter the Progressive Web App…

What Is A Progressive Web Application?

Progressive Web Apps can be seen as the bridge between mobile applications and websites. They bridge the gap by offering the functionality of both website and mobile apps while featuring offline capabilities, improved speed, and performance. The apps can be accessed both offline and online and developers don’t need to submit PWA’s to app stores for approval, which speeds up the entire process.

The Pwa Benefits For Search Engine Optimization

  • Speed Up Your Indexability

A major benefit of Progressive Web Apps is the fact that it speeds up the process of your application being indexed. By integrating them with your marketing strategy you’ll be indexed in Google much quicker and because it’s optimized for mobile adds to the user experience.

Optimized content that leverages the same URL structure as the desktop site, eliminating the need for deep-linking into apps as endorsed by Google. - The Future of Commerce

  • Increase Engagement and Performance

Due to the underlying technology, these apps work much faster than traditional websites. Service worker scripts work separately from websites which enable the pages to only request raw data and not styling or layout information.

From a sales perspective, the increase in speed also leads to increased performance and conversion rates. The search engines will reward you when you have a smooth, fast app with limited retention.

Progressive Web Applications also allow you to implement push notifications to increase your user engagement and conversion. With the icon already installed on the device, you’ll be able to stay in touch with your users every time they use their device. Research the best practices for push notifications to boost your marketing strategy.

  • Less Friction

One of the major benefits of a Progressive Web App is the fact that it reduces the steps the user needs to take to engage with your app. Unlike with mobile applications where you are routed to Google Play or the App Store, PWA’s don’t have long download times. With a PWA you’ll still have an icon on your device without having to go through the tedious submission process.

Progressive Web Apps make use of the flexibility of JavaScript, which means Google sees the single published page as a JavaScript site. A new URL may be created for the PWA, so the Googlebot will go ahead and crawl the page just like it would for any other page published on the web. - Search Engine Land

Since there is no app to be downloaded, your application updates will happen without any effort from the user’s side. They will gain access to the latest features, functionality and security updates without lifting a finger. With this, the support problem of software fragmentation as soon in native mobile applications are avoided.

The Future Of Progressive Web Applications, And How To Get One:

If you are interested in creating a PWA you can work through this informative tutorial to construct and implement a Progress Web App by using the ‘App Shell’ method. The whole idea is to make your web app more app-like. For this, your web app manifest file must be valid, served over HTTPS and have a service worker registered.

To ensure that you’ll get all the SEO benefits from creating a PWA, it is advised that you follow these guidelines for visibility:

  • Use a traditional SEO structure as you would for your website.
  • Implement testing to see whether Google is crawling your page and how it is rendered by using the Fetch and Render Tool
  • Make sure your sitemap is setup correctly so that the pages are crawled.
  • Don’t forget to adhere to the normal SEO rules for content.
  • Don’t cloak to Googlebot, it’s not ideal to redirect to an unsupported browser page.
  • Make use of rel=canonical for multiple URLs to avoid duplicate content violations
  • Be wary of URLs with a ‘#’ featured in them, Googlebot won’t index anything after the symbol.
  • Take note that some search engines maybe not support JavaScript when accessing content.

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* Adapted lead image: Public Domain Dedication (CC0) Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com