Today, React is one of the widely used frameworks for web development. About 40.58% of developers leverage React for app development. However, when developing websites with this framework, focusing on the SEO aspect is vital. React is often considered to be challenging for SEO. But with certain optimization, it can become SEO-friendly. In this blog, we will explore how to make the React website SEO-friendly.
What is React?
Top Reasons Developers Use React for Web Development
Wondering why React is a top choice among developers for app development? Consider the reasons mentioned below.
The stability of codes is one of the main benefits of using ReactJS. When you want to make any changes to a code, they are done to the specific component only. However, the parent structure remains unchanged.
ReactJS comes with a declarative DOM. So, you can easily create interactive UIs and change the state of the components. Moreover, the DOM gets automatically updated by ReactJS. So, you do not have to worry about interacting with the DOM. Debugging the UIs is also simple and easy with ReactJS.
In the present era, launching your websites and applications early in the market is the key to gaining a competitive edge. ReactJS enables the developers to spend less time coding and speeds up the development process.
Moreover, it also allows several developers to work on various aspects of the applications. The essential changes can be done without affecting the logic of the app.
Common SEO Challenges of React Websites
Load Time and User Experience
Complexity of Indexing
Inability to Change Meta Tags
Meta tags are undoubtedly an important SEO element that allows websites to rank higher on search engines like Google. They are helpful for the users as they show the titles and descriptions of the pages. For better rankings, the websites must have titles and descriptions for individual pages. However, changing the meta tags for each page is not possible in the case of React websites. React usually renders all the content. So, it becomes quite difficult to adapt the metadata for each page.
Sitemap refers to a file that provides information relating to all the pages on a website. Moreover, it also offers an idea about the connection between the pages. The sitemaps make it easier for users to navigate through the websites and find what they are looking for.
Therefore, Google considers the sitemap as a significant ranking factor. It allows the crawling of websites quickly. However, React doesn’t have an in-built system to generate sitemaps. In case you are leveraging React Router, there is a chance that you might find appropriate tools for creating the sitemaps. But it is still time-consuming and challenging.
Ways to Make React Websites SEO-friendly
Now that you are aware of the potential SEO challenges of React websites, you must be wondering about the solution. The good news is that there are several ways to make React websites SEO-friendly. Some of the common ways are listed below.
Isomorphic React Apps
The Isomorphic JS technology makes it possible for the developers to identify whether the JS page is deactivated on the client side or not. In case it is disabled, the technology allows rendering the codes effectively. As a result, the crawling bots can easily find the essential components when the site loads. Ultimately, improving the ranking of the website becomes easy.
Server-side rendering is another way to overcome the SEO challenges of React websites. This rendering will allow the bots or browsers to receive the HTML files along with complete content. It results in proper indexing of the web pages. As a result, the search engine rankings of the websites improve significantly.
Avoid Using Hashed URLs
It isn’t a common issue for React SEO. However, it is always ideal to avoid the hashed URLs. It is mainly because Google will not see anything after the hash is present in the URL.
Overlooking the URL case is a common mistake. However, it can have an impact on the crawling ability of the websites. A point to note here is that the Google bots consider the pages to be separate when the same URL is written in uppercase and lowercase. So, to avoid any confusion and improve your SEO rankings, it is best to generate the URL of your React website in lowercase. It becomes easier for Google bots to find your website and crawl it.
Prerendering helps to enhance the website loading speed of React websites. Whenever there is a request for information, the prerender will provide a cached static version of HTML. As a result, the website loads at normal speed, and the probability of ranking higher increases.
Use <a href> When Required
A common mistake with SPAs is that they make use of a <button> or a <div> to change the URL. Due to the absence of <a href> elements, Google will not process the URLs nor crawl them. Therefore, there is a need to define links with <a href>. It will enable Google bots to fetch the website and rank them for better visibility.
There’s no doubt that making React websites and applications SEO-friendly is challenging and tricky. However, it isn’t impossible. All you need to do is leverage the right strategies and practices to overcome the potential challenges. By now, you must have a complete idea of the best practices to make the React websites SEO-friendly. It is time to implement them. So, hire professional experts with relevant knowledge and experience in the domain. With certified professionals by your side, making React websites SEO-friendly is simple and easy.