This section covers the app-wide SEO features that Bubble offers
The technical side of SEO starts on the app level. Search engines look at your site as a collection of pages under an umbrella: your domain. The settings that you set on the app level are less about the identity of your app (with the exception of social media sharing, which we'll cover further down), and more about providing instructions to the search engines, such as:
- Which pages to crawl and not to crawl
- URLs that have been moved and should be redirected to another URL (301 redirect)
- To read a sitemap file
Some parts of your app's SEO settings can be fairly technical, but if you are not sure if you need them right now, then you most likely don't. We will still cover the basics of each part here.
Your app's SEO settings are found under Settings - SEO/Meta tags:
These settings apply to social media specifically – they do not affect how your page looks in most search engines. This is done on the page level, where the index page is considered the parent of all other pages.
The first part of your app's SEO settings are the social media details. This lets you set an identity for your app that social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook will use when a link to your app is shared.
In the example below from LinkedIn, you can see how as soon as a link is typed into a post, LinkedIn fetches the metadata.
This helps you convey a consistent brand identity across both social media and search. Remember that social media sharing can significantly influence SEO, as search engines index popularity across various platforms as a factor.
The structure of your page plays a role in determining its ranking. A well-structured page involves organizing your text content into distinct sections, each separated by headers at various levels (such as "
By default, the setting to add a tag to a text element is not available, but you can enable it by checking Expose the type of tags for text elements.
Imagine you have a well-researched article in your app, and for some reason, it exists in two different places with slightly different URLs. This situation can create confusion for search engines, as they struggle to determine which version should be displayed in search results.
Canonical URLs are the solution to this problem. They act as a signal to search engines, specifying which version of a webpage should be considered the "primary" or "preferred" one. By using a canonical URL, you help search engines avoid indexing multiple versions of the same content, thereby improving your website's search ranking and overall visibility.
The setting Point URLs to primary domain for better SEO enables a Bubble-defined canonical url tag.
Sometimes, you will want to instruct search engines to not crawl specific pages in your app. For example, if your app has a front-facing index page with other pages like about and privacypolicy you will want those indexed, but you may not want to index backend or admin pages.
Robots.txt (see example) is a small file that Bubble automatically places in the root directory of your app. It contains instructions to search engine crawlers, specifying which parts of the app they are allowed to access and which parts they should avoid.
By default the development version of your app isn't indexed.
Keep in mind that robots.txt is a request to search engines to avoid crawling certain pages. While most search engines will respect this, it doesn't actually stop them from crawling. So this is considered an SEO setting – not a security setting.
Let's say that you want to hide the two pages dashboard and admin from crawlers. You use the Disallow command in robots.txt along with the page name to do so:
Web crawlers work by following links. If they discover your app's domain and its front page, and this page links to a page called about, then the crawler will also index that page.
But what if a page isn't linked to? Or if a page contains dynamic content (such as www.myapp.com/products/running-shoes) – you may link to the product page, but not to every product in your inventory – which is probably the part you want to index.
Keep in mind that for pages with dynamic content, each thing counts as its own separate page, even if they are all loaded on the same page.
Sitemaps are like blueprints for your app that help search engines navigate and understand your app's structure more efficiently. They are essentially XML files that list all the pages within your app even if they are not linked to. Bubble can automatically generate a sitemap for all your pages, and for dynamic pages we will include the things in your database that matches the data type specified on the page.
You can select which pages you want to include in the sitemap. When you check the Expose a sitemap file box, a list of your pages is displayed. Check each page that you want to include.
All the script and meta tags placed in the header will be inserted between the
<head>tags on every page of your app, while the scripts added to the body field will be positioned between the
<body>tags across all pages.
A 301 redirect is a permanent redirection method that helps maintain SEO performance when a page moves to a new location. It simple says:
- The page used to be here
- ... and now it's here
- ... and it's permanent (301)
Bubble offers an easy way to add a before and after URL. The URLs should be the full URL (including the protocol such as https):
From an SEO perspective, this is important for a few reasons:
- It helps the search engine find the new page when the old one is missing
- It tells the search engine that the content on the new page is not duplicated – it has simply moved
- It ensures that any referral traffic still reaches the right content
301 redirects is useful in any case where you need to instruct search engines that a page has moved.
- Whenever you rename a page
- Whenever you change the slug of a thing you are using as dynamic page content
- If you are moving from a non-Bubble framework and your URL structure or domain changes
Bubble lets you upload files to the root directory. There are many use cases for this, but from an SEO perspective the most common use is to upload a custom sitemap .xml file.
Chrome features an integrated SEO audit tool (found in Inspector > Audits). This tool highlights criteria that may impact your search results.
Below is an overview of each criterion and how Bubble apps fare: