Introduction to SEO
This page gives a general overview of what SEO is and some tips on how to plan your SEO efforts
Bubble is a flexible platform that lets you build a wide range of different applications. As such, each application's need for search engine optimization can vary greatly: for some it can be a crucial source of revenue, while for others it is irrelevant.
In the first part of this article we'll go over three different categories of apps to help you determine whether SEO is relevant for your project.
If your app is designed to be used primarily by a closed group of users, such as a project management tool for your team or an inventory management system for your warehouse, you may not need to focus on SEO at all.
Since your users are already aware of your web app and will likely access it through a direct link or bookmark, you don't need to worry about attracting new users through search engines. In some cases, you may even take active steps to hide the app from search engines.
if your app is designed to be used by a wider audience, such as a social media platform or a marketplace, SEO should be a top priority. When users search for keywords related to your web app on search engines like Google and Bing, you want your web app to appear at the top of the search results. If this describes your app, keep reading this article series to see how to work with Bubble's SEO tools.
A common solution is the mixed app, where some parts are closed (such as a project management dashboard), and others are public (such as the front page that recruits new users to the software). In this case, SEO can also be an important part of your marketing strategy, but one or more your app's pages will still be hidden to search engines (which usually means they require users to be logged in to access them).
in essence, SEO is a way to make sure that your website is visible and accessible to the people who are looking for it. Imagine yourself performing a search in one of the major search engines: in most cases you will find what you're looking for among the first few results. SEO is the effort to try to be one of those pages.
Search algorithms have become incredibly complex since they were first invented. One of the major things to grasp with most modern search engines is that a page's position in the search ranking is not static or even the same for all users. Search engines have increasingly personalized and contextualized the results to increase relevance:
Personalized means that they will build a profile of your search habits and preferences and tailor the results accordingly. For example, if you're an avid Bubbler and Google the term Bubble, you are likely to get results related to Bubble.io, whereas someone else might get a Wikipedia entry for the physics of soap bubbles in the number one spot.
Contextualized means that they will also take into account different kinds of current data about you, such as the device you are using, the operating system, the geographical location of your IP address, etc. This is why if you search for Taxi from your home you could get the iMDb page for Taxi Driver, but if you perform the same search from your phone on a mobile network in New York, you may get the number to a local taxi company.
The reason these two points are important to keep in mind, is that they suggest a key fact in SEO: top rankings are statistical probabilities, not static positions. In other words, your SEO efforts are a mission to increase the likelihood of being the number one result, not a linear race to a top position where everyone will see you. That's why searching for your own pages does not necessarily give you any meaningful indication as to how the page is doing: Google might simply deduce that you have a high interest in it and increase its ranking for you alone, since they likely have a history of you interacting with it in the past.
Top rankings are statistical probabilities, not static positions.
This is why tools like Google Analytics are useful and important, since they can give you an indication as to where the traffic to your pages comes from across potentially thousands of users, normalizing statistical outliers.
Search is based on keywords or search terms. What this means is that any user who searches for something will provide a search term like "How to make pancakes", and the search engine will go through its index looking for pages that are relevant to that term.
In the early days of search engines, they simply looked for a match: "How to make pancakes" would match "How to make pancakes", and the page named "Top 10 pancace recipes" would suffer. Today, search engines are smart enough to process queries linguistically and rephrase the question, take synonyms into account and understand the value of the content on the pages it crawls through.
It used to be important to simply stuff your page with keywords, but now search engines are looking for quality content which gives users what they're looking for.
This doesn't mean you should disregard keywords – they are still the bread and butter of a good SEO strategy – but you should write your content for humans to enjoy, not for bots to index.
Now, let's look at some general advice on how to optimize your app and pages for SEO. Keep in mind that SEO is a wide field that's constantly evolving, so in this article we will only be able to cover the basics: still, adhering to these rules of thumb will set you off to a good start on your SEO journey:
- 1.First and foremost, focus on creating quality content Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, but one thing that remains consistent is the importance of valuable, informative content. Write articles, make videos, and create other content that is interesting and engaging to your target audience.
- 2.Use keywords strategically When choosing them, make sure they are relevant to your content and that you use them in a natural way. Overusing keywords, also known as keyword stuffing, can hurt your rankings.
- 3.Make sure your app is mobile-friendly Make sure that your app is easy to navigate on mobile devices. Google even favors mobile-friendly websites in their rankings. This even includes details like font size, contrast and download size. We recommend getting to know the responsive engine to build pages that work on all screen sizes
- 4.Use meta descriptions and title tags Meta descriptions and title tags are snippets of text that appear in search results. They should accurately describe the content of the page and entice people to click through to your app. You edit meta description and title tags in your page's SEO settings.
- 5.Build high-quality backlinks Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. Google views backlinks as a sign of authority and relevance. However, not all backlinks are created equal. It’s important to focus on building quality backlinks from reputable websites in your industry.
- 6.Monitor your app's analytics Tools like Google Analytics can give you valuable insight into how people are finding and using your website. Google Analytics can be implemented using our dedicated plugin or by adding a tag in your header, and there are many other useful tools that can collect and aggregate data in different ways.
- 7.Make your app easy to navigate Web crawlers do two things: they crawl content, and they follow links. Make sure to link pages to each other when it makes sense, and link to your most important content from your index page – search engines consider those links important. They also use the labels of your links to understand the content it leads to. You can read more about different ways of setting up links in our navigation guide.
Remember, SEO is a long-term game. It takes time to see results, so don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate improvements. The advice above is not a complete roadmap to SEO results, but keeping these points in mind while you develop your app can help you make informed decisions about your pages