Below we will evaluate the many ways in which you can increase SEO and utilize the Creator platform to achieve peak SEO performance.
SEO in Creator
Creator has several ways to increase SEO capabilities of an Experience purely within the Creator platform:
- Crawlable Text: using the Text Widget tool in Creator not only lets you bring in your Custom Fonts, but it also is a great way to increase traffic to your site via crawlable, or searchable, text. All of the text in an experience's scenes, as well as the Overlay and Background layers, will be crawled and indexed by Google for SEO.
- Use H1-H6 Tags: the Text Widget tool also allows for the use of heading tags to be applied to specific text elements. This functionality allows you to apply H1-H6 to each Text Widget in your experience to give varying levels of importance to each text block. H tags are used by Google on their results pages where often times the headline tag text will be used within the text blurbs underneath the result title. These tags are also counting towards the relevancy measurement of the page, so the Google search engine will place higher importance in search query matches within headline tags than within the rest of the page text.
- Alt Text: like the Text Widget, images within Creator can also be set to have specific Alt Text or Alt Tags identifying the specific image(s) on the Creator experience.
- Publishing: to ensure the most out of Creator from SEO, make sure that content is being published via the Enhanced Code option as this will deliver the best SEO results.
- Autoplay (in an Experience): avoid using the autoplay feature within Creator for any autoplay time amount under 5 seconds, as this can result in Google not crawling the first scene or two.
Now that we understand the various ways Creator works with SEO, lets look at several factors to consider when creating content in Creator:
- Content Quality: creating content that has the depth to meet a users intent as well as content readability impacts SEO positively. With Creator, the sky is the limit with creating different experiences with different functionality, with anything ranging from Buying Guides to interactive quizzes.
- Content Freshness: traditional methods of creating content and coding said-content to your live site can take weeks if not months. With the Creator tool, your team can get content live quicker and more often, by shortening the content creation lifecycle, allowing Google to rank this content being up-to-date and current.
- User Engagement: how users engage with content on your site can impact SEO, which can be seen directly from click through rate and bounce rate analytics. Rich Creator Experiences will decrease bounce rate and increase the time spent on page, both of which positively impact SEO.
- Content Relevancy: Google rewards websites that anticipate further questions about the given keyword or phrase. The more questions content can answer on the page, the higher relevancy will be given by Google. For example, when users look for style ideas the highly visual content created in Creator (such as lookbooks) will score very high in relevancy. This helps users discover new content and answers relevant questions that help improve site relevancy.
SEO on Your site
While Creator has an impact on SEO performance, there are additional considerations to take into account that can help SEO from your web page directly:
- Use Metadata: there are numerous meta types, which all defined in the <head> of your HTML page. The most useful today are:
- Title Tag – this is the tag that displays within the tab in your browser telling you the title of the page you are on.
- Meta Description – this tag allows you to give a description of the page so Google can display in search results.
- Meta Keywords – this tag allows you to input a series of keywords to accurately tag the page.
Using these options above will allow Google to more accurately index and determine how to search your page. All of the tags above can be added into the HTML on a page or from within your CMS directly. Examples of each option above, in HTML format, can be found below:
- Title Tag = <title>Website Name</title>
- Meta Description = <meta name=”description” content=”This article is about using SEO. We hope you find it valuable!” />
- Meta Keywords = <meta name=”keywords” content=”seo creator zmag experience google knowledge” />
- Crawl Budget Optimization: the Crawl Budget refers to the number of a site’s pages that a search engine crawls during a specific period of time. The Google Search Console can give you an idea of what your overall crawl budget is, but finding the specific number per page can be trickier. However, to ensure your crawl budget is not being maxed-out, you can check the following:
- Remove Duplicate Pages: any duplicate pages will eat through a crawl budget unnecessarily, so if a duplicate page can be removed it is best practice to remove the page.
- Prevent Indexation of pages with no SEO value: specific pages on your site may not require SEO, such as Privacy Policies, Terms and Conditions and expired promotion pages. You can update your Disallow rules in the robots.txt file on your site to remove certain pages from being crawled.
- Fix/Remove Broken Links: if a page is crawled and the result is a 4xx/5xx error, this still counts as a unit of your crawl budget and gives no SEO value (more information on Linking in the next section).
- Keep your Sitemap Up-to-Date: the sitemap is an important aspect of SEO, where it tells a search engine about your site structure and allows them to discover content faster. Ways to improve sitemap performance include updating the XML sitemap whenever new content is added and removing unnecessary pages on your site (e.g. 4xx error pages and redirected URLs). You can check your sitemaps health and any errors associated with it by going into the Google Search Console then selecting Crawl > Sitemaps.
- Internal Linking: linking internally from one page on your site to another can help improve SEO, particularly PageRank or ranking power. Things to keep in mind when adjusting internal linking include:
- Click Depth: keeping site structure simple and “shallow” can help prevent Google from penalizing your pages. Best practice is to keep important pages no more than 3 clicks away from the homepage.
- Broken Links: broken links not only confuse visitors, but can also negatively impact your Crawl Budget (i.e. the number of a site’s pages that a search engine crawls in a specific time frame). As a result, pages that result in 4xx and 5xx errors can waste the budget, so it is best to remove these pages.
- Redirected Links: similar to above, redirecting links can waste crawl budget and can negatively impact load speed.
- Ensure you are Mobile-Friendly: More recently Google has started “mobile-first indexing” of web pages. This means the mobile version of a website is crawled instead of the desktop version. This can largely impact the ranking of a page if it is not optimized for mobile.
When evaluating mobile-friendliness of your site Google will take several aspects into consideration such as:
- What is the text size on mobile version? If it is too small the ranking will be penalized.
- What is the size of interactive elements? Make sure your buttons are not too small and not too close together, as users have to be able to tap on a button easily without accidentally clicking on a button next to it.
- Google will give harsh penalties to sites that have mobile popups on their landing page, avoid these at all costs!
- Make sure site is responsive and doesn’t require horizontal scrolling to view content
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