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Why ReactJS is the best framework to build high-performing SEO-friendly web apps

ReactJS

SEO is important because it keeps the search results of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo fair. Eliminates or reduces the possibility of manipulating search results. Without SEO, it would be very easy to manipulate search results.

 

Simply put, SEO is how Google determines the ranking of pages for a query entered into the search engine. To get a higher SEO ranking, a website must appeal to its visitors while meeting all other criteria.

 

Another thing that makes SEO so special is its cost-effectiveness. Many companies spend a fortune on paid advertising for better reach; however, not all companies have that luxury as they run on a very tight schedule. SEO is beneficial for these companies.

 

Here is an image highlighting all the benefits of SEO.

SEO in Single Page Applications (SPA)

Apps like Google Maps, Facebook, Gmail, Google Drive, Twitter, and GitHub are examples of single-page apps.

 

The main benefit of a well-configured SPA is the user experience (UX). This is because the user can experience the native experience of the app without waiting for the page to reload or anything else.

 

Responsive single-page applications (SPAs) are becoming popular among tech giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and many others.

 

This is mainly because ReactJS enables the creation of responsive, fast, and animation-rich web applications that can offer a smooth and rich user experience.

 

However, it is only one part of the big picture. Web applications that are developed with ReactJS have limited options for SEO. This causes problems for web applications that get most of their traffic and visitors only through SEO marketing.

Why ReactJS is best for building SPAs

Developers can use any of the prominent JavaScript frameworks, which are Angular, ReactJS, and Vue, to build SPAs. Of these three frameworks, ReactJS is the most popular among developers.

 

This was confirmed again when the 2019 State of JavaScript survey named ReactJS the most popular JavaScript framework.

 

 

ReactJS is a developer’s first choice when it comes to SPA development because it has a component-based architecture that makes it easy to reuse code and break a large application into smaller fragments.

 

Also, maintenance and debugging of large SPA projects are much easier than large multi-page applications. In addition, the virtual DOM ensures high application performance. Not only this, but the ReactJS library supports every modern browser, including older versions.

 

This is one of the reasons hiring ReactJS developers is a crucial investment for such companies to outperform their competitors.

Challenges associated with SPA search engine optimization

As we mentioned above, in SPA, the page is first loaded on the client side, which acts as an empty container. This empty container is then filled with content integrated using JavaScript.

 

Now, when search engine bots visit any SPA website, they will not be able to crawl the page. They can only browse it if all the content is already updated in the user’s browsers.

 

If the robots do not find any relevant content, they will consider your website empty and poorly designed. If this happens, the search engine will not index your website or web application.

 

These are not the only reasons that make it difficult to develop ReactJS with SEO in mind.

 

Let’s look at some other reasons one by one.

Delay in loading content

Web crawlers visit the web regularly; however, the frequency is not daily. This is why search engines miss out on indexing if the page content is updated with every query.

Limited browsing time

Search engine bots have a limited window of time in which to crawl different pages of a website. It analyzes as many pages as possible in this limited period.

 

However, once the time is up, it will simply leave your site no matter what. This also means that if your site takes a long time to load, parse and run the code, it will simply leave the site because its crawl period has already expired.

One URL for all pages

This is one of the biggest disadvantages of SPA. If there is only one web page on the site, this does not create a big problem. However, in the case of a multi-page website, if this one URL is not updated, it becomes almost impossible for search engines to index the page.

Meta tags

To help Google recognize the content of your website, you will require unique page titles and descriptions for each page. If you don’t do this, Google will use the same description for all pages.

How to overcome the above issues with ReactJS

As you saw above, there are many challenges when it comes to SPA SEO optimization. However, there are several ways to overcome these issues and create an SEO-friendly ReactJS app. These ways are:

Pre-rendering

Pre-rendering is one common approach used to create SEO-friendly single-page and multi-page web applications.

 

It is generally used when search engines are unable to render pages correctly. In such cases, you can use pre-renderers, which are special programs that capture web requests. So there are two cases as shown in the figure.

 

 

Advantages:

  • It supports all the latest web news
  • Simpler and easier to implement
  • It requires minimal or no modifications to the codebase
  • Runs every type of modern JavaScript by transforming it into static HTML

 

Disadvantages:

  • Not suitable for pages that display frequently changing data
  • These services are paid
  • Pre-rendering can be quite time-consuming if the site is large and consists of many pages
  • You must recreate the prerendered page each time you modify its content

Server-side rendering

If you want to build a ReactJS web application, you need to know the difference between server-side and client-side rendering.

 

Client-side rendering means that the Google bot and the browser get HTML files or files that have very little content. The JavaScript code then downloads the content from the server, allowing users to display it on their screens.

 

If we see it from an SEO point of view, then rendering the client presents several problems. This is because Google bots get very little or no content and are therefore unable to index it properly.

 

Server-side rendering is one of the easiest ways to create SEO-friendly ReactJS web apps. However, if you need to create a single-page application that can render on the server, you will need to add Next.js.

Isomorphic ReactJS application

An isomorphic application determines whether the client can run scripts or not. The code is rendered on the server when JavaScript is disabled. This allows bots and browsers to get all the required meta content and tags in CSS and HTML.

 

When JavaScript is enabled, the first page is rendered on the server, which allows the browser to retrieve the CSS, HTML, and JavaScript files. JavaScript is then executed to load the rest of the content dynamically.

 

This is why the first screen appears faster. Not only that, but it also makes the app more compatible with older browsers. Even user interactions are smoother compared to client-side web page rendering.

Summing up

SEO is one of the most crucial elements that determine how successful a web application will become. To build fast, lightweight, and intuitive web applications that perform well in the market, ReactJS is the best solution for all the properties we discussed above.

 

We hope that this post will help you make the right choice while picking a framework for your next web application.

 

Thanks For Reading
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