The Secret to Progressive Web Apps: Improve Google Rankings Through Better Customer Experiences
At its heart, a Progressive Web App (PWA) is a website that works like a native app on a buyer’s device. While simple in concept, PWAs have the potential to dramatically improve a retailer’s operations, from reducing website load times to improving organic Google search rankings, according to the progressedve Web Apps: Retail’s best-kept technology “secret” session at the Retail Innovation Conference 2020.
On average, PWAs are 43% faster than traditional websites, according to data from Salesforce. This acceleration is achieved by decoupling the commercial backend from what buyers see on the frontend. While a traditional website has to calculate a response every time a page loads, a PWA sends its first response as a PWA, which is then available on the user’s device, making it much easier the following answers.
However, while the speed boost is a significant benefit, the biggest secret of PWAs may be their marketing potential. PWAs affect some of the most important metrics Google considers when determining who to rank for in its organic search listings. There are three particular metrics that PWAs can improve:
- The largest content painting: This measures the loading performance of the site; retailers should strive to ensure that the LCP 2.5 seconds the page that begins to load;
- First Entry Delay: The length of the first input delay before a user can do something, like swipe or click, should be kept under 100 milliseconds; and
- Cumulative layout change: a measure of the amount of elements on the page that move as it loads. Ideally, the CLS should be less than 0.1.
“My argument for PWAs has less to do with user experience,” said RMG Media founding partner Ryan Gellis. “That’s very important, but where I think web apps really help businesses grow in retail is by allowing you to gain ranks within Google for very little cost. effort when it comes to developing technology.”
PWAs can enhance development with customizable and easily shared workflows
While there are several frameworks for creating PWAs, the preferred framework for US-based companies is React, according to Gellis. The software is built and maintained by Facebook, which means updates are available quickly, and the framework is both highly customizable and has a low barrier to entry.
“When we were looking for the right technology to use to start a project, [one] thankfully it was virgin ground, we also looked at Vue, Angular and React,” said Brandon Elliott, VP of Technology at Leafly. “It’s worth noting that we found some support from a large public company in the US behind React. It goes a long way, and there are lots of frameworks and lots of tutorials.
PWAs can also improve the workflow of development teams. The process is divided into components, which can be constructed in isolation. This greatly reduces the chance of errors, as each team member is able to see the different states and functions of each component separately from the application itself, allowing them to test each component in unison. with the other components.