Working as a technical SEO can be exhausting.
You know what changes you need, but the development team is swamped and you can’t fit in.
After you’ve given them your recommendations, you believe it won’t be long before they’re put into action. It will only take a few hours to complete the task. And you sit back and watch as technical SEO changes lose priority.
The company is dealing with other pressing issues, and you watch as your task falls further down the to-do list.
We need a way to implement the changes without requiring development input.
This is the issue that Edge SEO is attempting to address.
Allowing the SEO to make changes to the live site immediately.
We’ll look at what Edge SEO is and how you can use it on your website.
What Exactly Is Edge SEO?
Edge SEO does not only solve the problem of task prioritization. It can also be useful when making changes to a legacy technology stack.
The pace of change within a legacy tech stack can be extremely slow. Already, the development team is struggling to make changes without causing the site to crash. How will they find time to improve their SEO?
Wouldn’t you like to deploy a fix as soon as you discover a problem with a website?
Dan Taylor coined the term “edge SEO” to describe how an SEO can use serverless technology to change a live website.
The changes take place on a layer that sits in front of the website rather than itself. Typically, this occurs in Content Delivery Networks (CDNs).
Traditionally, CDNs have been used to cache files close to the end-user. They have begun to evolve in recent years.
They not only cache content, but they also now allow you to run code within the CDN.
This is known as Edge Computing.
This code can then manipulate the web server’s request/response.
There are a few CDNs that provide this service:
- Cloudflare Workers
- AWS Cloudfront lambda @edge
- Fastly Edge compute
They all serve the same purpose.
You can intercept a request and alter it in some way.
Because these CDNs send files worldwide, the code you write is also distributed. This means it is very fast and helps to improve website performance.
Let’s look at some of the changes you can make with this technology.
What Can Edge SEO Do for You?
We can manipulate the web server’s HTML response because the code is on Edge.
This means we can modify the HTML response in real-time.
Any changes to the page we make are then sent back to the user who requested them.
The user sees the same site as before, but with improvements.
At this point, the possibilities are nearly limitless.
Here is a list of some possible modifications:
- 301 and 302 redirects
- HREFLang tags or HTTP header responses
- Compress / re-size images
- Adding Schema or Structured Data
- Modify the robots.txt
- Modify the sitemap
- Change any HTTP header response (Cache)
- Pre-render a SPA
- Inject any content into the page
- Change meta tags (title, description)
- Perform Multivariate, A/B tests
- Site security (CSP, HSTS, X-XSS, X-Frame-Options)
As you can see, there is a lot of power in this.
When you have a lot of power, you also have a lot of responsibility.
SEO Advantage And Website Performance
When using Edge SEO, it is critical to measure the effects of your changes to the site.
Any changes can cause the page’s performance to suffer.
Keep this in mind as you make changes. Use tools like Google Lighthouse to measure before and after.
Use any CDN caching available services.
For example, save the resized image to the cache if you resize an image. This will make future requests to that image faster.
Edge SEO CMS
Sloth is a code generator and manager for Edge SEO. It has a web interface that makes making and installing changes easier.
This tool can currently perform the following tasks:
- 301 and 302 redirects
- Hreflang into the HTML head
- AB testing
- Modifying/overriding your robots.txt file
- Security headers
The beauty of tools like this is that you don’t need any coding knowledge to use them. Thanks to the user interface, you can manage the changes with a few clicks.
Spark, which also works with Cloudflare Workers, is a similar tool to consider.
Collaboration With Development Teams
With this solution, there is one word of caution. Because of changes on the Edge, the development team may see unexpected results. Changes on the outskirts can be perplexing if not managed properly.
As a result, any changes should be added to the developer’s backlog.
As a result, the rule can be removed from the Edge once they have finished the work.
This is not a method of avoiding the development process.
It enables immediate changes to the site to be made and then permanently added to the site later.
Otherwise, the Edge’s changes could become complicated and out of control.
It is always preferable to collaborate on the final implementation.
Edge SEO Development teams can be a bottleneck.
Changes in the development pipeline are difficult to implement due to competing business priorities.
One solution to making changes as an SEO is to use the new serverless edge computing.
Edge SEO enables you to make changes to the site in real time.
Don’t forget to update the underlying codebase as well.
Collaborate with the development team to ensure that best practices are learned. Why not give it a shot? Cloudflare has a free tier to test it out for yourself.