The Impact of iFrames on SEO

It’s easy (well, pretty easy) to wrap your head around some aspects of SEO, like keywords, headers and linking.

But then there are some parts of SEO that are a little harder for those without a big tech background to understand. One of the issues that has both intrigued and confounded SEO professionals is the iFrame, a tool for embedding external content into web pages. iframe and seo

An example of an iFrame is this – if you make a piece of content on Canva, an increasingly popular tool for content creation, you may want to post it on your site. There are a bunch of ways to do this – from downloading what you create as a jpeg, movie, png and more. But another option is to embed it into your website as an iFrame. 

In this post, we explain the impact of iFrames on SEO, exploring the challenges they pose and the opportunities they present for website owners.


What’s an iFrame? 

An inline frame, or iFrame, is an HTML element used to embed content from a third party tool or website within a webpage. This content could be anything from videos to timelines to presentations to maps to social media feeds to cool features like typewriter font that backspaces and replaces letters.

With Canva, almost everything you create can be downloaded as an iFrame. Some don’t need to be, but some, like interactive maps that a user can click within, look best if downloaded in iFrame format. 

 iFrames offer a seamless integration of external sources, providing a more visually stunning and interactive user experience. However, this versatility comes with its own set of problems

when it comes to SEO.


The Problems with iFrames and SEO


Content isolation

One of the primary challenges with iFrames is called “content  isolation.” This means that iFrame code stands out from the main web page code when search engine bots crawl through a webpage. That means, search engines have problems figuring out what the content is, and they make the page rank lower in search engine results pages (SERP) than the page should be.  


Indexing Issues

Search engines, like Bing, have issues properly indexing the content within iFrames. This can lead to incomplete or wrong indexing, impacting the overall SEO performance of the webpage. If crucial content, like a company’s tagline, is housed within an iFrame, search engines might miss it during the crawling process. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use iFrame content. It means you should use keywords and taglines elsewhere too. 


Duplicate Content 

iFrames, if used too much on a website, can repeat content across multiple web pages within a website. Search engines look for unique and valuable content, and when the same content appears in multiple locations due to iFrame usage, it may lower search rankings. So don’t use iFrames too much. 


The Benefits of iFrames


Cool Features

While iFrames present challenges for SEO, they offer unparalleled opportunities to enhance user experience. For example, there’s a third party site that allows a person to create writing that appears, then disappears as if someone is backspacing and deleting. Then new content appears in its place. 

You can create interactive maps, interactive images and interactive infographics on Genialy.  These tools are so cool! They captivate and engage visitors, potentially increasing the time users spend on the site. They certainly help users remember your brand. 

 Search engines also consider user engagement as a factor in ranking, so it is good for SEO the longer a person stays on your site.  iframe benefits


Third-Party Content Tools

Websites often rely on third-party services for specialized functionalities, like payment gateways, social media integration, or interactive widgets. Canva, Genially and various plugins all utilize iFrame codes. Your website builder may not have tools that these other websites offer right now. This allows businesses to make use of the latest cutting edge technologies while maintaining a user-friendly interface.


The Downsides of iFrames

iFrames are cool, but can be annoying. 


Difficult to Center

Codes with iFrame can be annoying to add to a web page. It often won’t display how you hope it would. Those familiar with HTML likely understand this struggle, as well as the desire to include iFrames in the first place. We know how to tinker with the code so that it’s the right size. If you look closely at the code, you’ll see sizes. We know how to tamper with the sizes so that they are responsive to various devices.

When an iFrame appears too far to the right or left of a screen, you add “align=center” to the code. Now you can have more control over how your web page displays its content. The content displayed in iFrames can be a huge improvement to your web page’s overall look and functionality. 


The Widget Could be Even Cooler

Sometimes, content created on third party sites with iFrames are perfect. But they could be even cooler. 

Editing the HTML code of a website changes its appearance and function. Editing HTML may involve an HTML editor like NotePad or KompoZer. In these editing programs, you can make changes to your HTML by editing its code directly. This is a great way to build or develop your website if you’re particularly tech-savvy. Editing your HTML yourself gives you the ability to include images, change text, and incorporate iFrames. 


Best Practices for SEO-Friendly iFrame Usage

Want to make iFrames work for you and not against you? Follow these tips. 


Implement Responsive iFrames

Ensure that iFrames are responsive and adapt well to various screen sizes. This means that the iFrame shows the content whether a person is on an iPhone, Android phone, desktop or tablet.  Search engines check for this. And when websites are responsive, they give businesses extra “points” to boost them to the top of SERP. 


Use Schema Markup

To help search engines see and recognize iFrame embedded content, use schema markup. Schema what, you may wonder? Schema markup is structured code that helps search engines understand what a piece of data is. It includes metadata, which helps search engines accurately index and see a page. You can enter metadata in most CMS if you know where to do it. If you don’t know how, that’s why you can hire a third party digital marketing agency like SEO Design Chicago.iframe usage pictures


Prioritize Unique Content

While embedding third-party content can be beneficial, it’s essential to keep your use of it to a minimum. So if some widget or tool is super, duper cool, then use it. But it’s just “meh,” don’t use it.  Just find another way that doesn’t require iFrames. 


Implement and Monitor Analytics

Regularly monitor where your pages are ranking in SERP with Google Analytics 4 or other analytics tools. If you don’t want to embed, or monitor, analytics, we can do it for you at SEO Design Chicago.  Keep a close eye on metrics for pages with iFrames. Make sure you see how they are affecting your page views, bounce rates, and time on site. If it’s hurting you in these areas, then we can help you redesign the page, or provide you with new content. 

The use of iFrames on websites presents both challenges and opportunities for website owners. iFrames can do really cool stuff. But too much iFrame code can hurt you in terms of SEO. It’s all about finding the right balance.

At SEO Design Chicago, we can handle website design, content creation (using iFrame code or not), analytics and more. We can also train you and your staff to handle these issues on your own. 

What sets us apart from other digital marketing agencies is our decades of experience and nearly perfect customer satisfaction rate. Reach out  to us for a free SEO page audit. If it has an iFrame in it, we’ll detect it and explain how it’s affecting your SERP. 

If we, and you, are determined to get rid of the iFrame content, we can help you come up with alternative content. Our Content Creation Packages are renowned for:

  • Fast turnaround times
  • High quality content
  • Saving time and money with our scalable writing plans
  • Highly researched articles
  • Keyword optimized structure
  • Specific industry expertise
  • Team of professional writers from content organizations and have years of professional writing experience
  • Adding a professional writer to your team
  • Helping you get better search engine keyword rankings
  • Content researched and developed using professional tools

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