The most widely used websites in the world are made with the help of React (Instagram, Facebook, Netflix, etc.). And, while these websites are SEO-friendly, there are still some difficulties in React SEO combination.
So, what’s the trouble with React and SEO interaction? Our article will inform you about the main obstacles that prevent React from being SEO-friendly and will guide you on how to create a successful SEO-friendly website with React.
The Importance of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of structuring and organizing a website to expand the volume of traffic by increasing its position and frequency of appearance in search engines, focusing on keywords that reveal the specifics of the site. It helps bring as many people to your web service as possible and helps create organic traffic on your website, turning your visitors into customers.
Search engines are getting smarter every day, and their search algorithms are constantly fine-tuned. Now they can understand what your blog is about or what types of products your website is selling. And, since, according to statistics, about 4 billion people use Google to search for information, naturally, everyone wants their website to be adapted to Google algorithms. SEO is one of the most reliable instruments to bring your website to the first five results in Google search.
Of course, Google doesn’t disclose the exact algorithms of Google. However, there are main points that influence Google ranking:
- What other websites link to your website.
- How fast the pages load.
- How easy-to-read the content on the page is for Google crawlers.
So, most developers agree that it’s impossible to deny the importance of SEO. It’s critical for any online business.
How Google Crawlers Work
- Google uses bots to crawl the pages of websites and detect new ones. The developer chooses which pages need to be crawled and which ones to hide from Google bots.
- Next, these bots analyze content on the website to index it. That is why it’s important to structure content on a website in an understandable manner and use relevant keywords.
- The final step is ranking the position of a website in the Google results.
What is React?
React is very popular among front-end developers. According to BuiltWith, React is used to create user interfaces by more than 9 million people.
React is the most wanted framework, but its SEO-friendliness is questionable.
React and SEO: What’s The Problem?
React is used to build static, dynamic, and single-page apps. These three types of apps aren’t level in terms of SEO-friendliness. So, how do they differ?
- Static web apps — SEO-friendly
Such apps contain information that doesn’t often change (that is why they are called static). For example, landing pages, corporate websites, and blogs. Static web apps are transferred to the user’s browser without any server-side changes. The information is kept in the form of HTML files.
This type of web app is totally compliant with SEO since it quickly gives all the essential content an HTML file so that Google can index and rank pages easily.
- Dynamic web apps — SEO-friendly
Such websites contain content that constantly changes. They generate data/pages in real-time. For example, user-specific data, like a shopping cart in online shops or when you click “follow” on Twitter.
Per request, a respective response triggers from the server end and then reaches the client end. That is why Google has no problems with understanding and ranking dynamic pages.
- Single-page apps (SPAs) — not SEO-friendly
How to Build an SEO Friendly React App? Solving the Problem
React helps build a very user-friendly UI that is also valuable by SEO, so you definitely shouldn’t avoid it while creating a user interface for your app/website. However, you should use some tricks to ensure that your React-site is understandable for Google crawlers and, therefore, good for SEO.
Nonetheless, it may be tricky for newbies to set up SSR in React, but don’t worry: it’s possible to find a JS framework that is easy-to-set-up.
Gatsby.js is a great framework for pages that don’t change in real-time. It works great with static pages (great examples are corporate pages and blogs) and can help your website rank and perform better, making it more efficient for Google bot and other search engines. The best advantage you’re getting when working with Gatsby.js is speed boost. However, it won’t do best for websites and pages with lots of user-generated content.
Next.js can generate static pages just as Gatsby.js, but it uses another approach. While Gatsby.js sends the pre-generated pages to a server storage service, Next.js pre-renders the page before it sends files to the user. Thanks to that, the content constantly updates in real-time which makes it an excellent choice for pages with lots of user-generated content.
- Create static or dynamic web apps
As it was already mentioned, static and dynamic apps make it easier for Google bot to access the pages as they use server-side rendering. Luckily, single-app pages aren’t essential for most online businesses, and you don’t always have to use them. Most marketplaces are dynamic websites, and landing pages of the websites are static. Single-page web apps are suitable for building dynamic platforms with small data volumes like, for example, Google-like services.
- Use pre-renders
Pre-readers are paid tools that turn JS code into static HTML files, making your SPA visible for Google bot. They are easy to implement as they don’t require changes in code at all, or only minimal ones. However, they are not the best choice for websites that contain often changing data, or for pages that contain personal data of users.
Why is React SEO Friendly and Why You Should Use It for Your SEO projects?
Each project requires different technologies depending on what goals you want to achieve. Nowadays, React SEO optimization is a widely used practice. And, as you can see, there are not many reasons to worry about the SEO-friendliness of React. Nowadays, using SEO for React app is not such a big problem as it was years ago.
React is frequently used for building SEO-friendly websites, but it must be set upright.
Of course, you will face a lot of challenges when trying to build an SEO-friendly React app. That is why it’s important to have well-skilled React developers in your team to ensure correct optimization.