- HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. In simple words, it is a content organizer: HTML provides a website’s structure (bullet lists, headlines, subheadlines, paragraphs, etc.) and defines static content.
A modern SEO professional should also have a basic understanding of DOM (Document Object Model). You can think of DOM as a tool used by Google to explore and analyze web pages.
This means that search engines won’t get the full user experience, and Google may interpret such actions as cloaking.
The best approach is to provide web crawlers with all the resources they need to see webpages in the exact same manner as users.
Consider arranging a meeting with developers, and decide together which files should be hidden from search engines, and which of them should be made accessible.
2. Internal Linking
Yes, end URLs are likely to be found and crawled with on-click events, but web crawlers won’t associate them with the global navigation of your site.
Therefore, you would be better off to implement internal linking by using regular anchor tags within the HTML or DOM, to provide users with a better experience.
3. URL Structure
A clean URL is also called a search engine-friendly URL, which consists of a plain text, easily understood by non-expert users.
Consider using pushState for infinite scroll, so the URL updates each time the user hits a new part of the page. In a perfect scenario, the user can refresh the page and still remain at the exact same spot.
Also, explore SEO best URL practices and start using them to improve user experience.
4. Test Your Website
This study helps us to understand when it is time to worry and act proactively.
However, it’s always better to predict possible mistakes and problems and avoid them, so why not conduct some testing?
Follow these two basic steps to detect possible breaks:
- Check whether the content on your webpages appears in the DOM.
- Test a couple of pages to make sure that Google is able to index your content.
Test your website by following this short guide from Google.
Done all your testing and the results look promising? Great!
But what if something isn’t working?
If there is any indication that Google can’t see your content properly, call your development team for help.
Meanwhile, an HTML snapshot may salvage the situation.
5. HTML Snapshots
Google introduced HTML snapshots in 2009 and disapproved them in 2015. That is a long story and an ongoing topic.
The thing you should know is that Google stills support HTML snapshots, although it has determined them to be elements to “avoid.”
HTML snapshots may be necessary for a couple of situations, so you should at least be familiar with them.
In a perfect world, a website would use some kind of user-agent detection on the server side and show the HTML snapshot to bots and users.
Note that Google strives to see the exact same experience as a viewer. Therefore, it is better to return HTML snapshots to search engine crawlers.
6. Site Latency
When a browser creates DOM using a received HTML document, it loads the majority of resources exactly as they are mentioned in the HTML document.
If a massive file exists at the top of an HTML document, a browser will load this huge file first, and all other information will appear only afterward, with a significant delay.
The key idea of Google’s critical rendering path is to first load pieces of information that are crucial for users. In other words, to place the most essential content for users above-the-fold.
Here are a couple of top solutions to resolve it:
For instance, scripts must be arranged in a certain order (order of precedence). If some scripts reference files, they can be used only after the referenced files are loaded.
You should constantly stay in touch with your development team to make sure that any alterations do not interrupt user experience.
For now, make sure your existing content is crawlable and obtainable, with proper site latency. Hopefully this article will help you to optimize your website.
More SEO Resources:
- How Tabbed Content Might Be Hurting Your Search Rankings
- The 9 Most Common SEO Errors That Hurt Your Rankings [DATA]
In-post Photo: Stock Snap