SEO or Search Engine Optimization could be considered as the “money part” in any programming language. Applications are developed for the use of customers and there are times that profit from the applications comes from the number of users and not on business that uses them. As an application that relies its productivity on the number of users, improving SEO is important to ensure more people will be able to find the application even though they are not familiar with it.
SEO is a technique on improving the “searchability” of the application in different search websites. Certain changes have to be implemented on the way the website is created so that it could improve its changes of being found when potential users goes online and search for the appropriate website for their needs.
Trouble in Ruby on Rails and Web 2.0
Although Rails has many advantages for developers in terms of ease of developing applications, searchability of the application is unfortunately not one of them. Developers have to make some manual changes in their application so that the application would improve significantly in results when they are sought on search engines.
But this is not actually the problem in Rails alone; most Web 2.0 programming languages are facing this challenge. The lack of sufficient HTML pages where the search engine really focuses is the main reason why the application cannot be searched by different search engines.
Fortunately, there are still workarounds in Rails on how to implement SEO. There are some slight changes that should be implemented but would never affect the efficiency of the application.
Starting with URL
Aside from the HTML content, search bots will take a look at URLs. The words included in the URL could have significance and will help improve the popularity of the population. Although it looks really simple, changing URLs in Rails is actually a little bit challenging. Ruby on Rails is highly efficient since it can easily connect data from one source to another. The routing method of Rails could easily suggest a link so that you can easily move your data from area to another.
But the names in URLs have to be changed. Instead of writing on links such as http://sampleblog.com/method/123, change the URL into http://sampleblog.com/biology/frog-dissection. This way, search bots could easily read your site and recommend your site incase someone searches for the terms you added in your URL.
Taking Care of Metadata
Metadata on your website should be changed by developers as soon as the application is being built. Rails will just default into a name that cannot help your application at all. Phrases such as “Your Site” or “Your Name” could be placed on your metadata. Naturally, your website will never be searched. Immediately, make the changes on your metadata to improve your website on search engines.
But the website’s name should not be the only place where you need to add the metadata information. The functions and controllers of the online application can also be integrated with metadata. Before the end of the function or controller, add @title = “Sample Description” so that your website will be more descriptive and readable. You may not have any HTML that could be read by search bots but the application has metadata to back up the information.
Simple Tools Could Help
When designing an online application it is also important to get your website highly accessible and retrievable. Rails provide those functionalities by ease of development and highly efficient functions. But more than that, developers have to make small additions that will enable users to retrieve the website at will.
A bookmark tool looks very simple but it will give the application a boost of accessibility for users. Although they can create a bookmark in different browsers, telling them to bookmark your site is highly recommended so that users can be “pushed” to bookmark the site. For blogs, permalink options to different posts are also a good tool so that specific posts will be marked.