SEO for Single Page Applications
If something goes wrong during the rendering process, or if the page does not render at all, then Google cannot index your page with the content that is supposed to be on that page. If your webpage, in the eyes of Google, doesn’t have the content that you want to be ranked for, you cannot rank for that content. It seems like an obvious statement, but it is important to keep in mind as you look to implement search engine optimization on your website. Jamie Alberico writes, “If you can’t identify what a page is about and what type of search intent it matches based on the initial HTML, neither can a search engine.” This isn’t the exact truth – Googlebot can see content outside of the initial HTML as it renders – but adopting this line of thinking can help ensure that the content you want visible, to robots and to humans, will be available when necessary.
Because the HTML of the single page application/website is only requested once, the skeleton of the website is always the same before rendering. When the user first enters, the site loads all at once and then renders relevant web elements as the user interacts with the site. This leads to challenges when trying to track actions on the site or attribution.
When one of our clients first made the switch from a traditional site to a single page application model, misattribution of incoming web traffic led to an extra bump in organic traffic, as shown in the graph below. The first half of the graph shows the traffic before the site relaunch, and the dip in the middle is the day that the site launched. Due to the nature of single page apps, the site traffic became hard to follow.
It amounts to trying to track behavior across the site without any server calls or responses after the first. After site entrance, the web server was no longer needed, because the entire website was already loaded on the user-side. This made it tougher to see how visitors behaved on the site when navigating across pages. When you don’t know how users behave on your site, it can be hard to implement an SEO strategy or recommend any search engine optimization changes.
Special thanks to Martin Splitt, developer at Google, for his assistance in writing this piece.
To discuss site analytics (behavior tracking) and SEO for your brand’s website, including the location pages for the businesses that make your franchise or multi-location system, contact Location3 today!