SvelteKit SEO: Search Engine Optimisation Metadata SvelteKit SEO: Search Engine Optimisation Metadata
Why write a post on SvelteKit SEO? We'll start by answering that question, before looking at some different types of SEO and then see how you can add Twitter SEO metadata as well as other metadata to your blog posts and other website pages. The aim will be to have our SvelteKit page shares on Twitter appear something like this:
We specify to Twitter which image we want to use as well as the title and description which appear below it.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about getting your website pages to appear at the top of search engine results pages. Would you still write content if no-one would ever read it? Probably not. If your page does not appear in the top few search results, there is a risk that very few people will visit your page. This is because up to 90% of search engine users will not go beyond the first page of search results . Around a third of users will click the first result and 17%, the second. In short, Google needs to rank your post well for users to click on it.
We will look at some optimisations you can easily work into you SvelteKit site you get your posts and pages ranking higher. As well as that we look at how you can ensure your posts look good whenever visitors share them on social media and messaging apps.
Although it is a new discipline, SEO is already has many aspects. All branches, however, boil down to providing a good user experience. Google want to connect their users to what they are looking for. A bad user experience translates into users leaving your page without interacting with it (bouncing). If you have a high bounce rate, why would Google want to put your site at the top of a search result list?
Some factors important for good user experience and SEO are:
- good content: writing about what people are interested in (good keyword research can help here ),
- good site structure: essentially this is about sufficient and relevant internal links, be they in breadcrumbs, navigation menus or post tags and categories. You need to optimise your site's structure so users can get to what they want in few clicks. On top more contextual links (links in the main text of a blog post, for example), help search engines determine what the post is all about. Knowing what a post is about gives the search engine more confidence in placing it higher in the results. Linking to (internal and external) related posts is important here.
- technical SEO: fast loading pages (SvelteKit makes fast sites so you already have a head start here), security, accessibility are important for user experience and so improve search ranking. Technical SEO also encompasses getting rich results — we'll look at these in a bit more detail.
It is worth stressing that all of these aspects are important for ranking well. You should take a holistic approach for successful SEO. We will focus on the the more technical aspects though in this post as this is what is more specific to SvelteKit. In particular we'll look at what metadata you should include on your website's pages.
On Google, rich results will make your page stand out from others on a search results page. This might be through a HowTo or a Rich Snippet (including a thumbnail for a video as well as the usual result data). For these the most important metadata to include is SchemaOrg. Google and other search engines developed SchemaOrg. By including JSON objects matching the official schema, the search engine has a better idea of what is on the page and can be more confident in producing a rich snippet. Below is an example of a featured snippet , it appears above all other search results and Google give it prominence, with larger text:
We will return to SchemaOrg in more detail. To start though, let's take a look at more general SEO metadata and then Twitter metadata. If you are starting a new site clone the SvelteKit MDsveX starter and follow along. Alternatively you can follow along and paste the code snippets into your own project.
As a minimum, you should aim to include these four pieces of SEO metadata on your sites pages. Lighthouse will give you a warning if some of them are missing.
- Title: If your post has a short on-page title, augment the SEO title to include extra search terms. Although there is no character limit, Google sets a maximum display width of 600 px .
- Meta Description: This is a longer description of the post. Google might not show it in search results (they might instead decide to show an extract from the page). When they do show it, they typically cut it to around 155 characters, though Google do not officially confirm this . Try to keep it within that limit.
Robots Tag: The robots tag tells search engines you are happy for them to index
your page. They need to index the page to include it in their search results. A
followdirective tells search engines they can follow links on the page to discover new content. The
max-snippetdirective specifies the limit on the meta description length (in number of characters), a value of
-1indicates no limit.
- Site Language: This is important for site visitors using screen readers. It helps with pronunciation, especially when there are dialects or regional variations (Brazilian Portuguese vs. European Portuguese for example).
The SvelteKit blog starter includes those four pieces of metadata, just mentioned, in the SEO component. You can either use the SvelteKit MDsveX blog starter or just copy the component from below and adapt it to your own project. Here is the code for the component:
There are two more robots directives included here (not mentioned previously):
max-video-preview. We set image preview to large and put no
limit on video preview, which is the number of seconds of video to play as a preview in search
You will see we need to pass in a
title as props when we use the component. Here is an example (from the
In this case when we create a new post and add
seoMetaDescription to the frontmatter, these will automatically feed through to the html head section and be included
in the post's metadata. We can check SvelteKit has included the metadata by cracking open the post
in a browser and opening Developer Tools Inspector if you use Firefox or Elements
In this screenshot we can see SvelteKit included the title and meta description as well as robots and language. General metadata is important but it will only get you so far. Next we take a look at Twitter metadata.
You might not know that Slack uses some Twitter meta tags when users share your pages on the app. It's not just Twitter that uses it. If you didn't know that keep reading to learn even more about Twitter metadata!
We mentioned before it is important to tell social networks which image to use for each page. Not only will you avoid random, unrelated images from your page being picked, but also by providing an image with the right dimensions, you can avoid a poor crop, which can reflect badly on your brand.
I should point out because we include metadata in the pages, it won't matter whether the post is shared from someone clicking a link on your site or just by pasting the link into one of their tweets. Either way, Twitter will use your chosen image and description.
When someone shares your page, Twitter generates a Card to show it. There are different types, but the Summary Card with Large Image serves many purposes so we will use that. To discover the other types of Twitter sharing card, see the Twitter Developer Docs .
For our chosen type of card we should provide an image which is 800 px × 418 px. The specification changes with time, so if you are reading this some point well into my future, check the latest specs!
Anyway, here is a component which we can use to add the Twitter metadata to our page:
Twitter metadata is based on the OpenGraph standard though they don't follow the standard to the letter. While in OpenGraph we would use:
for Twitter we use:
Twitter meta falls back to OpenGraph meta where the equivalent OpenGraph tag is present. So this
means if we want to use the same title for sharing on Twitter as other apps, we can drop the
twitter:title meta and just include the OpenGraph equivalent (
which Twitter will pick up.
It's the last two tags (lines
30) which generate metadata that appears when your post is shared on Slack:
So now you know how automatically to include a reading time whenever your post is shared on Slack. The other tags as used mostly for Twitter.
We need to update the SEO component to include Twitter metadata now:
We specify a fallback image, with alt text in lines
18. This is used if we don't specify the
twitterImage prop when the component is consumed. The next piece in the chain is making sure metadata needed
for Twitter SEO is passed through from the blog posts:
twitterImage in line
17 will be a url
for the image we want to be shared on Twitter (remember this should be the dimensions we mentioned
above). This value feeds from the individual post frontmatter. We give it a default value here, for
the case it is undefined. We assume the Twitter shared image has similar appearance to the main featured
image of the post, so we can recycle the alt text. Remember that alt text should describe the image
for the benefit of visually impaired users.
Finally we need to install the
The Twitter logo watermark is something I added to the image file itself, just so you could see
Twitter is picking up the specified image (which doesn't even appear on the shared page). The
Twitter meta is used by the Telegram messaging app too. To request the Telegram server to cache
the image for your page, just start a new conversation in Telegram with
@webpagebot and paste, then send, up to 10 URLs at a time as a message:
Is this post, we have looked at:
- why SEO is important and an introduction to the broader topic,
- general SEO metadata,
- Twitter metadata.
You might have guessed this is not the end of the story. As mentioned earlier, SEO is a detailed topic and there is too much detail to be able to summarise in a single post. In an upcoming post we will look at SchemaOrg metadata. This can be used to help your page appear, for example, in HowTo in Google search results.
In this followup post, we look at Open Graph SEO in SvelteKit . Although this is used by Facebook, it is also used in other apps, especially messaging apps (like Telegram and Signal). We will also see how the order in which the meta tags are arranged affects whether WhatsApp shows your Card whenever a link for your site is shared.
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