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Progressive Web Apps

Developed by Google in 2015, Progressive Web Apps can be defined as the bridge between native mobile apps and websites. Technically a PWA it’s like a website that offers the same experience of a native app. Even better than a native app, a PWA runs inside of a web browser that customers can reach via organic search, email, paid search ads or any web acquisition channel, giving you the best of both elements: the reach of the web and the experience of a native app. The PWA shell itself consists of the absolute minimum HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that a website needs to work. This is a kind of code bundle, whereby the user interface can be provided on the device and the content can be dynamically loaded via an API. PWAs can be saved to your home screen, have splash loading screens, send push notifications, and possess all the same great features that you would expect from a native app.

Main pros of PWAs:

There are many advantages to implementing a Progressive Web App, ranging from improved performance and better conversion rates, to offline functionality and push notifications. Not only will the enhanced page speed and consequent lower bounce rates positively affect the rankings from an SEO point of view, but it will also increase the user experience and retention.

  • No download! No more hassle!

Native apps require the app to be “packaged” as a file and submitted to an app store. The entire app lives in a offline bundle and require users to go to the app store, search, install, wait for installation and finally launch the app. It’s not surprising that, most customers don’t care enough to go to this much hassle! Instead, PWAs are NOT packaged into an offline file. With a PWA, customers don’t have to download or install anything; that means they can spend 60 to 90 seconds more interacting with your PWA! PWAs can be listed in app stores but this is just for easier discovery and installation. The app store will just point to the web app’s servers.

  • Speed

The rate at which a site responds is key for SEO ranking factors and for customer retention. Progressive Web Apps are really fast and we can say that they react instantly to user touches. How is it possible? PWAs make speedy responses possible thanks to the Service Worker. The caching ability allows the browser to store repetitive elements of the layout that are in the template and inject it into the browser when required, speeding up download times significantly and saving the all-important seconds that will make any e-commerce site more user-friendly. From a sales perspective, the increase in speed also leads to increased performance and conversion rates.

  • Responsiveness

User experience is at the heart of Progressive Web Apps so they are to be built with a responsive layout. With responsive sites, the layout can accommodate screens regardless of size. No matter what device you are looking at, the experience will be tailored correctly both for mobile and desktop devices.

  • Offline functionality

Most of users experience intermittent connectivity on a daily basis as they go in and out of elevetors or as they are in a subway. Fortunately, PWAs provide preloaded content consumers can engage with even when they’re offline. As mentioned, the Service Worker and cache API are key for Progressive Web Apps. The Service Worker is essentially a program that works retrieving and storing site components in the browser cache. PWA can bridge the gap between offline and online by at least offering a basic navigation in the interim. For instance, if a user has visited certain web pages before, he can continue to visit those pages when there is no connection. He won’t be able to actually complete the transaction, but still it will be possible to fill the cart. Then, when connectivity gets back, PWA can send a push notification to let the user know he can complete the transaction.

  • Users retention and engagement

The great thing is that Progressive Web Apps offer the same inbuilt functionality of push notifications that alert users of current site developments. This is invaluable especially for e-commerce sites to alert users of updates, particularly when new products come into stock, or to alert them to sales and discounts. Also, the ‘Add to Home Screen’ function allows users to place a shortcut icon on their home screens for easier access.

apps on a mobile

SEO Benefits of Progressive Web Apps

The benefits of installing and utilizing PWAs as a part of your SEO arsenal are many. As a matter of act, due to their speed, they can exponentially help to increase traffic to your web site and enhance the overall user experience. In addition to that, Google announced that in July 2018 the speed of a site will be considered a factor for determining mobile search ranking and consequently will be pushing the implementation of PWAs for better user’s experience.

Wait a second…Do Search Engines crawl PWA?

Yep! Google and other Search Engines do crawl PWA just like they would crawl a website. Anyway, there are still some issues that can potentially impact crawlability so developers need to be aware of how to optimize the site to ensure the page gets indexed appropriately. Here’s some tips for SEO in PWAs:

If you need help to increase your ranking don’t hesitate to contact us!

[content_box style=”autumn” title=”Kash Data Consulting LLC”] Kash Data Consulting LLC is a Digital and a Search Marketing firm specialized in providing exceptional SEO site and social media marketing services in Dallas, TX. In addition, we also provide IT consulting services for small to medium sized companies in DFW Metroplex area. Our SEO experts have significant years of practical experience in Dallas Search Engine Optimization implementations. [/content_box]

Have you already implemented PWA for your business? Please, let us know about your experience on comments below!

Helpful links on PWAs: