How to boost SEO with tidy urls and custom sitemaps
How to tell Google you have multiple content specific sub sections of your site, even if you have only one page.
My app FindNoCode.info is a curated database of Bubble.io answers and as such, it has many entries in the database. However, it only has one main page which changes its content based on search/dropdown selections, much like any Single Page App.
What I wanted to do was present Google a sitemap which contained all of the nuance of the different types of data that my app contained.
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I have informed Google there are actually 219 unique urls with content in my app.
Here is how I set this up.
Bubble actually has a built in ability to generate a sitemap but in my case since I have most of the content within a single page, I didn’t want to settle for just having this once page submitted to google: https://findnocode.info/bubble
Although this page does include most content, I actually have many more urls that categorise this content up into sub topics. This is visible if you browse to the main page https://findnocode.info/bubble then select one of the dropdown options:
which will redirect you to https://findnocode.info/bubble/browse/api%20connector and display items related to the API Connector.
This navigation logic is trigged by a ‘Page is Loaded’ Action, which gets the 3rd item from the url, and passes it to a Custom Event, which manages the navigation:
Note: There is also Search field based nav, which I’ll discuss in another article.
This Nav setup it true of all 60 Categories I’ve set up within an Option Set.
In addition to this, you can actually pass any value you like to the url path, and it will be used to filter the repeating group results. For example:
And… of course, each individual item in the db can be referenced by the same url path method
The reason I’m mentioning all of this, is because each of these content specific urls is valuable context that Google can use to index your site. In my case I have added 220 unique urls to a sitemap and submitted it to google.
Sitemap files are commonly in .xml format, and that is the format that Bubble will generate for you. However, I noticed that the Google Search Console also supports txt format, and since that is simpler to create, it was the method I choose.
I set up a page in my new bubble app which would do the work of querying my database for all of the Options & individual Item Titles, and place them in two Repeating Groups. The results of this data would be a bunch of urls I can then copy into the sitemap file.
replacing spaces, with %20 as a url encoding step:
ps I also have another group included which has some ‘related searches’ data from Google, which I may put in another article.
Run your app, and you’ll see a pageful of urls, to copy and save into a file called. sitemap.txt.
Browse to Settings | SEO / metatage | Hosting files in the root directory and upload the file.
Note: In the future I’ll automate this file upload, but for now it’s fine.
Submit to Google
Sign up to the Google Search Console at https://search.google.com/search-console
Navigate to the Index | Sitemaps section in the left nav menu, and upload your sitemap.
SEO is a game of patience. Think months, not days. However in my case I found that within a week Google had noticed the sitemap, read it, started indexing some of the pages, and was delivering impressions based on the content.
This issue of BubbleBuilder has been sponsored by Interactive Mathematics
I went through this process on 23 July 2022, and as of 1 October here are the results:
Google also reports the Search Queries that have generated these impressions. FindNoCode is currently being referenced in Google Search results for 78 unique Search Queries.
That’ll all for now. There is plenty more to cover in other articles, such as how to actually generate these tidy path based urls , how to add internal linking, how page load times impact SEO, the importance of back links etc etc. :)
Thanks for reading,
and ps, don’t forget to sign up to FindNoCode.info, it’s currently free and will help you get answers quicker.