Jekyll is one of the most popular static site generators available today. It takes a set of HTML and Markdown files and creates a static website ready for free hosting with Gitlab, GitHub Pages, etc. SEO, today is inevitable for all as it helps your site stand a chance to appear in search engine results and get targeted audience discover your service.
Jekyll being blog-aware, posts, permalinks and categories are already present, making it easier and straightforward creating a blog with it. Jekyll is about static files so there is no database or security patches and your site is always fast and secure. Unlike other blogging platforms, Jekyll provides complete control over the SEO.
Those who are using Jekyll to build a blog or static site and care about its SEO would find this guide really useful as it shows some of the most important tips and tricks to improve the SEO of websites and blogs when using Jekyll.
Jekyll SEO – UPDATED 2019`- How it Works?
SEO is the only way to get organic traffic which is better than paid traffic as the user is actually interested in what you are offering. Google takes into consideration more than 200 parameters to rank a webpage. Here are some of the most important of these that your Jekyll blog should have for better ranking on Google.
Title and Description – Your title should match the content and its description. Every post should have a unique title and description. Google uses the first paragraph of your blog as the description if you do not add one. You should always create a custom, unique description with the main keyword and describe the article briefly. It should compel the viewers to click on it. Make sure you add your keyword in the title.
URL Structure – Capable of conveying a lot of information about the content, URL structure should be in sync with the topic. Get a clean and relevant URL structure to get a better click-through rate. You can include date but avoid stop words like ‘and’ and ‘but’. Try to stuff the keyword but make it short as well as precise.
Sitemap – Sitemap helps bots crawl through the site with ease and hence they are important. You should consider submitting sitemaps to search bots so that they can find it easily. You should submit sitemap and track how much is indexed. This is a critical step in Jekyll SEO.
Image alt tags – Alt tags give you an opportunity to include the keywords as they are read by bots. Use a relevant image alt tag so that the search engine knows what the image is about.
Social Media Connections – Including share options at the bottom of your Jekyll page lets you connect to social media. Use some tools to check how your page looks when shared with social media.
Responsiveness – Google has recently made this an important parameter for ranking. When you search on your mobile phone, you may come across the term ‘mobile-friendly’. Most Jekyll themes are responsive but when you use new layouts, ensure that you use the right tools to adjust the layout to small screen sizes.
Though Jekyll SEO requires some tools and plugins, users have complete control as Jekyll does what you tell.
Jekyll SEO Optimization – Getting Started
The most effective way to optimize Jekyll website for search engines and social media networks is using the Jekyll-seo-tag plugin. It sets the title and meta description tags to index and display the site’s content.
Jekyll-seo-tag plugin adds the metadata tags like
- Page title
- Page description
- Canonical URL
- JSON-LD site and post metadata for better indexing
- Previous and next URLs
- Open Graph site title, title, description, URL
- Metadata for Twitter Summary Card
Working with Jekyll-seo-tag plugin is pretty straightforward. When included in the config.yml of your site, it includes the website title, description, author, logo and URL. You can also use it to add the site’s Twitter handle and adjust the Facebook properties.
Jekyll SEO Plugins
The most important Jekyll SEO Plugin is the Jekyll-SEO-Tag which renders the meta tags to help search engines better describe a webpage. It also adds tags to social networks to make your pages highly accessible.
Another important plugin for Jekyll SEO is Jekyll-Sitemap which is a white-listed method to generate sitemaps for your Jekyll site. Sitemaps help search engines find content on your site, particularly if it is big.
Jekyll-Redirect-From is another Jekyll plugin that allows performing redirects for the pages. It is white listed by GitHub and can be used with GibHub pages as well.
Jekyll SEO Override Title
When you have created a website with Jekyll and try to post links to social networks, you may not see the summary under your links. This is where the service requires metadata for the page. Sharing on social networks is just one example of metadata use. It helps in numerous ways.
HTML Meta Tags ‘Description ‘ and ‘Keywords’ can be generated from the post YAML matter. Set the summary and tags fields for the page to see them appearing in the meta data of the HTML.
Jekyll Sitemap Generator Plugin is another way to use sitemap to make it easier getting your site indexed. Don’t forget to register your sitemap with search engines.
Open Graph Metadata enables integrating the page to social graph. It is used for a variety of services and adding these metadata in the web pages is beneficial.
With Google inclining towards the optimization of user experience, you should focus on ensuring that your Jekyll website surfing is smooth even on low bandwidth. Create content keeping the user’s needs and interests in mind. If you deliver useful, engaging, unique content, your website is sure to rank better. We hope this guide gives you a good idea of how you can improve the SEO of your Jekyll blog and site. Do share your thoughts and experiences with us!