However, the complexities have been reduced in both React with SEO, and surprisingly there are many ready-made solutions are available to overcome these issues.
So, Today with this article, we are going to discuss the reasons to choose React, the challenges with SEO and React and the practices and strategies to make React SEO-friendly websites.
Before diving into the deep conversions, we will first understand some basic concepts about React and SEO, and how a search engine like Google works.
What is React? Why should we use it?
If you want to know more about ReactJS – React.js introduction.
Benefits of Using React
Below are the best reasons, why you should go with React JS for developing a website
React js is Flexible
React js is tremendously flexible. It can be used in varieties of platforms to build quality user interfaces. It was designed with one single approach, that is to create components for web applications.
The main benefit of using this library is that its libraries are lightweight which offers you the freedom to choose different tools. This framework contains everything, that is needed for building web applications.
React js is Declarative
In React js, the DOM is declarative. It allows you to create interactive DOM components along with changing the state. React js updates the DOM automatically. That means you don’t need to interact with DOM.
It creates an interactive UI and makes their debugging quite simple and easier. You can change the component without worrying about the DOM.
React Offers Code Stability
React delivers the best code stability. Because whenever you make changes in the code, it only changes the specific component without affecting its parent component. This way the code stability is maintained in React applications.
React Speed ups the development process
React allows its developers to utilize every element of an application on both client-side and server side, which leads the developers to spend less time on code.
Different developers can work on different aspects. The changes which will occur, wouldn’t affect the entire application. This way, the development process becomes faster.
React js is Easy to Test
While testing in traditional UI browsers can be challenging to set up, in React no configuration is required for testing. You can easily test the React components with Node command line tools.
What is SEO? How it can affect the Websites?
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It is a process of improving quality and quality traffic to websites by ranking your site in search engines(Google, Bing, Yahoo). It increases visibility when people search for something related to your products and services. It focuses on generating organic traffic rather than paid traffic.
SEO can help you tremendously to gain profit through websites. It can even aid you to acquire your own brand and can hold your business presence in the virtual market.
Let’s see a few reasons, how SEO can affect your websites
It enhances your Credibility
The Sites that rank higher in the search engines are generally considered trustworthy and reliable. The search engine only ranks high-quality and relevant sites in its top-rank list. Therefore, it helps you to gain credibility for your business and acquire reliable customers by ranking your site on the top list.
It Does not cost you anything
The search engine does not cost anything like other marketing techniques like Pay per click, affiliated, etc. Search engines organically crawl your site 24/7, promotes relevant content, and help you to acquire new customers.
It can help you to Reach more people
While many marketing strategies focus on gathering a targeted audience, SEO helps you to acquire more people by targeting the relevant keywords of your websites.
It Improves your Brand Awareness
When you improve your ranking, search engine converts your users into customers. Even, if they don’t click on your site, the customers will begin to associate with your brand.
Before applying SEO to your site, you should be aware of the technologies you are using for your site. Because some technologies might work very well with SEO, but some do not. So, you should have knowledge about the challenges with these technologies. Just like we are going to discuss, the challenges while using React with SEO.
How Search Engine Processes the Pages?
Here, we will look at how search engine crawlers work to rank the page on the search engines.
The main aim of SEO is to rank your site on search engines. Google receives 90% of all online searches when it comes to SEO. Once you have decided to develop a web application, you surely need it to be discovered on Google. Therefore before moving towards SEO, you must know the working process of a search engine and how it ranks your site.
The search engine process is basically divided into three steps, Crawling, Indexing and Ranking.
Google Bots are called crawlers, which determine the website’s ranking in search engines. Web crawlers search the internet for new and updated websites in order to identify their content. They explore pages link by link and gather the information and send it to the web server. They also crawl sitemaps offered by web managers.
After the Google bot finds the new pages, Google tries to understand the page content. Understand the contents of images and videos. It takes the benefits of meaningful titles, headings, and meta-description so that Google sees what it wants you to see on a particular web page.
The last step that Google implements is Ranking. Here, it takes the information of the pages or content from the Google bot and determines how relevant they are to users’ requests. When a user types their search on a search engine, it provides the relevant content that is appropriate to the user’s search.
So, it’s important to include websites with quality content, that the user wants to look for. With higher quality content, your site’s position will be better in the search engine.
But the question here arises is about the problem between the library React and SEO, so today we will look on, at the problem that arises between SEO with React and see how we can overcome this.
React Plus SEO? What’s the Problem?
React is used to create fast and responsive user interfaces. The technology is best suitable for building static, dynamic, and single-page web apps. But it is surprising to know that, the same technology offers different levels of SEO-friendliness with each level.
So, let’s see what are different levels of apps, are and how they differ in SEO
React Dynamic Apps
Dynamic applications are some kind of customizable applications, which are mainly created for a specific vendor and specific device or system. You can’t predict the changes in dynamic apps. For instance, if you want to build an E-commerce site, you won’t know how your site will look for individual buyers. In an E-commerce site, the user’s request is sent to the server then the server collects the information from the database and generates the HTML file. That HTML file with the user’s output is then delivered to the client browsers. Due to this, crawlers can understand and ranks the dynamic app fast.
React Static Apps
Unlike dynamic applications, static apps do not change frequently. It is delivered to the user, exactly the way it is stored. side Examples of static websites can be landing pages and blogs. The information is kept in the form of an HTML file, which is generated on the server during the development process. Whenever the user makes any request, the server brings the ready file and displays it to the user.
Static web apps of React js are considered best in terms of SEO because quickly provides the necessary content with HTML file, which helps Google efficiently index and rank the pages.
React SPA (Single Page Applications)
Single-page applications are those applications, whose content is served on a single HTML page. They contain all the contents on one page. This page is dynamically updated but doesn’t fully load each time when the user interacts.
This is possible because SPA’s are rendered on the client side browser and don’t send the request to the server side, with each user interaction, unlike other traditional multi-page websites. It increases the loading time, but at the same during further interactions, it instantly loads the content.
Even the client-side rendering is the major advantage of React Spa, but it is a drawback for SEO because rendering on the client side can affect the search engine optimizations. Examples of single-page applications are Facebook, Netflix, Gmail, Slack, etc.
SPA’s separate the presentation layer and the data layer. So, two individual teams can develop these parts parallelly. Moreover, single-page applications are easier to maintain and scale. SPA’s can offer seamless interactions to the users, by loading fastly.
In spite of being the best choice for developing single-page applications, it fails in terms of SEO-friendliness, which is the major drawback of React Spa. But Thanks to its component-based structure, there are a couple of ways you can solve this problem. But first, let see, what’s the problem in SEO with React Spa.
Problem with React SPA and SEO
But no matter, there are some ways to overcome this issue, which we will read about in this blog later on.
Core Challenges to make React – Seo Friendly Websites
There are various SEO-related challenges, you need to know while making React web applications. Let’s see.
Rendering Empty First-Pass Content
This means Google renders empty content during the first pass. The content will be seen, when the page will fully be rendered. This approach will delay the content indexing while working with thousands of pages.
If the content updates frequently, then the crawler has to revisit the page again and again. It can cause problems in re-indexing because re-indexing must be done only a week after the content is updated.
Loading time and User Experience
Thus, the longer loading time is very likely to affect the user experience score, which can rank the site lower.
Limited Crawling Budget
The Crawling budget is the maximum number of pages, that the crawler can process in a specific period of time. Once the time is up, the bot will leave the site, no matter how many pages are downloaded, the bot leaves the page once the time expires. If each page takes a longer time to load, then the bot will simply leave the page. Therefore, a Limited crawling budget could be an issue while implementing SEO in React apps.
Page Metadata provides essential information of the pages. They are very much useful because they allow Google to show the appropriate title, thumbnails, and descriptions of the pages.
Reactjs renders all the contents on the client side, including meta tags. As the app shell is similar for every page, it may be hard to maintain the metadata for individual pages.
The sitemap is the file, where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files of your site and mentions the relationships between them. Therefore search engines read this file to smartly crawl your site.
Therefore React does not have any built-in tools to generate sitemaps. If you are using React Router, then you can find the tools, but it will be time-consuming.
How can you make your React application SEO – Friendly?
With this option, you can make your React app rank higher on search engines
Isomorphic React Apps
Isomorphic Reactjs apps contain code, which can run both on the server side and the client side. It gets the benefit of SEO friendliness and performance.
Isomorphic applications assure that the client is able to operate the scripts or not. When the JS is inactive, the browser can render all the code and can fetch the images, meta tags, and text in HTML and CSS files.
Developing Isomorphic applications can be a challenging task, but thanks to these two frameworks Gatsby.js and Next js can make the process quicker and easier.
Gatsby is an open-source compiler, which is used to create robust and scalable web applications. It does not offer any server-side rendering. It generates an HTML file and then stored it in the cloud.
Also, Read the article for Nextjs vs Reactjs
Best Practices to make your website SEO-Friendly
Build Static and Dynamic Web Applications
As we have already mentioned above, performing SEO with single-page applications could put you in trouble. Therefore it’s better to develop static and dynamic web apps, as they use server-side rendering, which makes Google crawl your website smoothly.
The best thing is, you don’t need to choose SPA always, as it all depends upon your business site.
For example, if you want to build a site for the marketplace, then you will need dynamic web apps. If you want a simple landing page, then a static site will be good. On the other hand SPA’s are good for developing social networking sites, task management apps as well as services like Google.
Implement Server-Side Rendering
If you are thinking to build single-page applications, then the better option is to use server-side rendering. Because search engines better index the pages that render on the server. For implementing SSR in React, you can use the Next js framework.
Achieving SEO-friendliness with Reactjs Spa could be difficult, you can use the other option to get Seo-friendliness.
Another option to make SPA visible, you can use crawlers called pre-renders. They can detect the Google Bot’s request. Once the pre-renders know the bot is indexing your site, it offers the bot, a static HTML version of your SPA from the server, so that the bot can index it. But the question is how the HTML page can appear on the server.
Actually, in pre-rendering, all the HTML files are loaded and cached in advance with headless Chrome (It’s an environment that helps the developers to work easily with the server)
One thing you should keep in mind, Pre that renders are paid tools, so they might not work well with the site whose data changes frequently.
Google bot always considers some pages separate, whey they have differences in their cases like (/Marketing and /marketing).
These two URLs are different because of their difference in use cases. So to avoid these, always try to generate use cases in lower cases.
Avoid 404 Code
If any page consisting an error, they all will show the 404 error. So, try to set up the files in server.js and router.js Updating these files, can significantly increase the traffic to your site.
Use only if required
The basic errors occur while SPA’s are using
and for redirecting. This is not the problem with React, but the library itself.
Therefore Google bots process URLs and search for more URLs to process within elements.
Best React SEO Optimizations Tools
Thankfully, there are various SEO optimization tools are available for React JS, that can make your tasks even more simple and easier.
React helmet is the library of React js, which helps you to deal with the crawlers of search engines and social media. It adds meta tags to your site pages/components, which provides more valuable information to the bots. This Reusable component will manage all your changes in the document head.
The helmet takes plain HTML tags and outputs plain HTML tags. It’s even simple and beginner friendly.
When should you use React Helmet?
- If you want to set the page title in Single page applications
- If you want to specify the language of the HTML document
- For specifying Page Metadata on the Server
React router is used by most developers, it is a library used for handling React Routing. By using it, you can create React router in a way, that it can open in separate pages.
Hopefully, this guide has given you proper guidance on SEO, while working with React-based applications. And the things you should keep in mind while applying SEO with React js. However, challenges can’t stop you to use React library, better you can use the above-mentioned solution to overcome those issues.
However, the way React is progressing, it seems will have no issue regarding SEO with React js
How UPSQODE can help you to create React SEO – Friendly Websites?
React and SEO is a quite tricky and challenging tasks. But thankfully, we are having plenty of solutions which could make our work easier.
Still, if you are worried about your project ranking with React. You can feel free to contact us.
You can hire Reactjs developers from us, they can help you to stay away from all the difficult tasks and can take care of the technical aspects to make your website rank higher on search engines
React SEO FAQS
Is React good for SEO?
Does React have bad SEO?
Reactjs helps you to build user-friendly UIs. So, you should definitely use it for developing interactive user interfaces. But you can use some tricks, to make your site understandable for Google crawlers. However, it’s not bad for SEO.
Is server-side Rendering better than client-side rendering?
Server-side applications load quicker than client-side build applications. As the server manages the heavy lifting, that’s why they load quickly on less performant devices.