Welcome to the magic of the progressive web app (PWA). This web experience appears to be a native application like you’d find on your iOS or Android device, but it’s an illusion. Although it has the same look and feel as a regular app, a PWA is coded differently. It functions as a bridge between a native app and website with features like push notifications, offline connectivity, a URL for loading, and seamless functionality on any device or browser.
Three Benefits Of Using PWAs vs. Native Apps
There are many advantages of using PWAs over native apps including:
- Better User Experience: PWAs run smoothly and are extremely fast. It’s also simple to launch them with the click of a link and re-engage users with push notifications. Fast page loading times are a major factor in keeping visitors on the site. According to NetElixir tests, lightweight PWA pages load 1 to 2 seconds faster than non-PWA pages, while heavy PWA pages load 2-3 seconds faster than heavy native apps.
- SEO Friendly: Because it’s a website at the core, search engines can crawl progressive web apps. This makes it important to focus on optimization efforts. Since PWAs cannot be found in popular application stores, good search result rankings are crucial. There’s also progress in creating a place for these apps like Appscope, but it still is not as well-trafficked as Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Quick Tips For Optimizing PWAs
If you decide to go with a PWA over a native app, there are some steps you can take to make sure it follows SEO best practices. Check out some tips below:
- Make Your Content Crawlable: Be sure to use real URLs and not hash fragments. Follow SEO URL best practices by including related keywords in the URL and keeping them short.
- Be Secure: Make visitors feel safe by securing your PWA. In fact, 80% of the web uses HTTPS today. If your site doesn’t support HTTPS yet, it’s a good idea to migrate.
- Measure Page Speed: Page speed is a direct ranking factor in Google. It also indirectly affects SEO by impacting bounce rates and dwell time. Use WebPageTest and Lighthouse to determine your First CPU Idle, originally called the Time to First Interactive, the key page speed metric Google measures.
- Provide a Sitemap: Add a sitemap to your site and make sure you register it in the Google Search Console. This is the first thing Google uses to know what pages are on your site.
PWAs continue to be a great web solution for those who want an app-like feel for less effort and cost. Plus, there’s the benefit of high engagement if done right. If you’re interested in the magic of highly optimized PWAs or having one created from scratch, please reach out to us to learn more!