The difficulty of optimizing dynamic pages for SEO
Dynamic websites are known to be the demons of SEO. Static sites are far easier to get indexed and rank in search results. Dynamic pages don’t show up easily in search results because they often need input from the user to generate content. In contrast, search engines are on the lookout for already available content. Also, dynamic webpages usually contain alphanumeric characters which are truncated by the search engine, and multiple dynamic web pages show up to the crawler as containing the same content. This is a no-no for search engines which de-ranks all of the pages involved.
Due to the difficulties mentioned above, a rule of thumb is to use static web pages instead of dynamic when optimizing for SEO. However, there are circumstances in which using dynamic web pages become unavoidable. Websites containing financial news or information on constantly changing stock prices need to have dynamic page structures. Ecommerce websites are another application that requires dynamic web pages. In cases like this, you need to figure out how to make the dynamic pages rank high in searches.
Not to worry, you’ll find seven tricks to help you pull it off below:
7 Ways to Optimize Dynamic Pages
- The URL:Since the URL is your dynamic webpage’s unique identifier, there’s a lot of work you can do on it to optimize your website
- Balanced Keywords: Keywords are a big deal in SEO, and it starts right from the URL. Having one (or at most, 2) of your keywords in the URL will make you show up more in searches. Be sure to avoid stuffing your site’s URL with too many keywords though, it will only appear less intuitive, longer, and even rank lower.
- Consistency: For the various sections of your dynamic web page, be sure to keep a consistent naming system for titles and links. For example, if you sell phones on your ecommerce website and the Android page is titled “Best Android Phone deals”, you shouldn’t switch to “Amazing Phone deals for Apple”. Keep your naming consistent. Crawlers are algorithms that feed on patterns, and they are more likely to rank consistent sites higher than random ones.
- Simplicity: Your URL name should be as simple as possible for two reasons. The first is that simple URLs are easier to locate for web crawlers, and your website will easily rank high. Another reason, which is perhaps the most important is that simpler URLs are intuitive for humans and people are more likely to click on a simple URL than a complex one. This will organically grow the number of visits to your website and increase SEO ranking.
- Keep Parameters in the URL at a minimum: Alphanumeric characters like &, =, ? are often a problem for search engine site crawlers, the crawler truncates the web page at the punctuation sign, and the complete URL does not get ranked as it should. If you have to use punctuation, the hyphen – is the most preferred, especially for Google Search Engine. The Google webmaster tool helps you identify unimportant parameters that can impede a crawler from going through your dynamic site.
- Security: This is one of the basics, but it’s still worth a mention. Cybersecurity is a big deal, and users are more likely to click on links with https as opposed to ordinary HTTP links. If you are still at the website building stage, using https will get you more organic visits.
- Site Submission: For new dynamic websites, it may take up to a day before googles web crawlers search the site for ranking or indexing. This also applies to new webpages added to dynamic sites. You can speed up this process by submitting your dynamic website’s sitemap to google. Keep in mind that you have to be the owner of a website before you can submit it for crawling or recrawling. Also, Google’s crawlers will eventually get round to crawling your site on their own, so if you don’t particularly need to optimize the site yet, you don’t have to submit it to Google.
- Listing on Directories: Another way to get your dynamic website to rank high on searches is through getting listed in directories. This is particularly applicable if you have a business website. People searching for a product or service online tend to visit directories, and when you have your website listed there, you get more visits and will show up in more searches.
- Use Static Pages: Remember that it is easier for Google and other search engine bots to crawl static pages? A useful trick is to place the link to your dynamic website’s dynamic pages on a static page and submit it to Google as part of an updated sitemap. This will lead the crawlers to index a good number of the pages on your dynamic site.
- Not all links are good: It might seem like a good idea to include many links to other websites, but this can be counterproductive in the long run. Quality is preferable over quantity. It is better to link to a few high-ranking pages and benefit from their rank. Having lots of links to low ranking pages can even get your page considered as spam by the search engine crawlers, thereby lowering your ranking.
- Robot.TXT: A robot.txt file is a website feature that shows the crawler which pages to crawl and which to ignore. There are often lots of pages on your dynamic website, and robot.txt allows you to choose which ones are most important for SEO. The crawler spends less computational power on your site, and you stand a better chance of being well ranked.
Carrying out SEO on dynamic websites can be a bit challenging. Hopefully, the tips above will help you navigate this complex space and get your website to show up more frequently in internet searches. Know any other tricks we missed out? You can point them out in the comments section below.