IFrame tags are frequently used by companies to embed various types of material on their websites, especially for media purposes. From Youtube videos, 3D viewers, Google maps to social media widgets, any HTML document can be embedded in seconds.
Naturally, the marketing team or management will recognize the benefit of incorporating this technology into their website; however, may an iFrame affect the company’s overall SEO strategy? If so, how so, whether positively or negatively?
Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) change 500-600 times each year on average. When it comes to SEO, this makes it tough for marketers to understand what works and what doesn’t.
In this article you will find:
- What is an iFrame
- The impact of an iFrame on SEO
- Is an iFrame crawlable and indexable?
- Integrating 3D content in an iFrame
What is an iFrame?
An iFrame is a piece of code that embeds an HTML page within another page. An iframe’s basic format is: iframe src=”url height=”height” width=”width” title=”description”>/iframe>. To enable this technology, simply paste the code into an HTML block.
In the example below, an iFrame is used to embed a YouTube video in this blog post.
Does an iFrame affect SEO?
At this point, Google’s bots are smart enough to understand that what is inside the iFrame is not associated with the website itself and instead belongs to another website. In fact, they consider the content to belong to the owner of the HTML content and not the host’s regular website content. For example, Google’s search engine robots recognize the above Youtube video embedded on this page as belonging to Youtube.com and not to our website.
What does this mean? Having an iFrame has, in theory, no direct impact on your search ranking factor.
However, this blog does not stop there! Indeed, an iFrame can have an indirect impact on your SEO strategy.
The positive effect of an iFrame on SEO
The goal of search engines is to provide its users with the most relevant and useful information possible to visitors who make a search. A good search result is one that makes it possible for the visitor to locate what they are searching for in a prompt and effective manner.
An increase in time spent on your site
The possibilities are endless for embedding third-party content with an iFrame. Here are some examples: social media content, SlideShare, 3D viewers, audio content, Youtube video.
All of these content elements are great ways to make your web page more interesting to potential customers looking to learn more about your company.
Decrease your bounce rate
In conjunction, using an iFrame with valuable information may help lower your bounce rate too. Bounce rate is the proportion of visitors that leave your site without visiting another page (so the lower the better).
And of course, longer engagement time on a page, according to Google and other search engines, signifies more helpful and relevant material, and hence a higher future rating. By including gripping content, you can make sure that your visitors spend more time on that page.
Higher purchase rate on your website
When a product is displayed to clients using an interactive 3D model (in an iFrame), the likelihood that the buyer would make a purchase increases by 11 times, according to the findings of a research study.
Clearly, a visitor who has the intention of making a purchase is someone who will go through numerous pages of a website, either to get further information on the company or simply because the website provides a suitable funnel. According to Google, if a website has a large number of page views, it suggests that the material on the website is relevant to people and that the website should be ranked higher.
While this statistic is probably not as high for all types of iFramed content, it is still an important factor to consider.
How to avoid any negative impact from your iFrame content
As was just discussed, the use of an iFrame will not have a direct negative effect on the SEO because Google search engine crawlers will perceive it as an external website.
However, there is two things to keep an eye on to assure your iFrame does not have any detrimental impact on your technical SEO.
Using iFrames only for high value-added content
Some websites still use iFrames to host or even duplicate a whole webpage. However, this technique is very detrimental for technical SEO. Why? As the HTML content does not belong to the domain owner’s website, the keyword content in it does not apply to the page’s SEO. That’s why it’s best to avoid using iFrames for full page content. Only use iframes for high-quality content and make sure to add keywords around it for the best user experience.
Watch out the weight of the iFrame
One thing to keep an eye on is the weight of the iFrame, which can slow down the loading time of the page if it’s too heavy. Indeed, a loading time that is too long can have a detrimental impact not only on the user experience but also on the technical SEO and, as a consequence, on the overall SEO.
Including the property loading=”lazy” directly within the iFrame code is one technique to prevent a web page from being unnecessarily slow due to the presence of an embedded iFrame and making your webpage search engine friendly.
With this property, the iFrame will not load until the visitor scrolls down the page section where it is positioned and thus give a faster server load time to the web page. The loading of the iFrame (no matter its content) will have no negative impact on the website since it will only load when a user arrives at its exact location.
Are iFrames crawlable?
For long, because of its inability to be indexed, iFrame content was formerly thought to be damaging to SEO. In fact, some crawlers were unable to crawl iFrame content, while others were able to crawl it but were unable to return to the main page, implying that the main page was not crawled.
However, the subject has now been demystified and it is now clearly known that Google crawls iFrames. However, as mentioned previously, your page rank will not be influenced.
Webmasters still recommend adding a robots.txt protocol to your webpage, allowing search engine robots to investigate the page.
Is an iFrame indexable?
Google’s Search Central’s documentation describes that “content via iFrames may not be indexed and available to appear in Google’s search results.” However, Google Web Trends Analyst John Mueller clarified in an Q&A that the only way to index an iFrame on the host URL link is to use “a canonical relationship on that page pointing to the actual version of the content you want.” This means that you must be the domain owner of the iFrame source URL link. So, the short answer is no.
What you need to remember
Experts believe that the use of iFrames is technically neutral. However, the indirect effect of iFramed material on total SEO is far more good than detrimental ( if used correctly).
Integrating 3D content in an iFrame
Adding an interactive 3D model viewer to your website is one way to utilize the iFrame technology and allows users to experience your product from any angle. Annotations, animations, and exploded views are all components that will entice visitors to spend more time engaging with your 3D viewer. Here is an online 3D viewer embedded in an iFrame using Visao’s web-based platform.
On average, customers interact with a 3D model for at least 20 seconds, while 34% of them interact for more than 30 seconds. And that’s not it, greater interactivity not only increases the time spent on the model, but also the time spent on the website by up to 270%.
Looking to integrate a 3D viewer in an iFrame?
Visao provides a web-based platform that allows manufacturers to use their CAD files to create interactive visualizations of their products for marketing, sales processes, trade shows and production. We also provide services to accompany you in the process of creating your 3D product viewer.
If you think your company could benefit from an embedded 3D viewer, don’t hesitate to contact Visao. Many different companies in the manufacturing industry trust us and our 3D specialists have years of experience in the field. In fact, our 3D specialists will take your basic CAD drawings and transform them into impressive 3D product viewers. Once we have created your 3D product visuals, we can help you integrate them on your website or in any marketing/sales materials.
Ready to create your own online 3D viewer? Request a live demonstration of Visao’s 3D and augmented reality solutions.