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Building SEO-Friendly Website with React – Facts & Features 

Want to rank higher on the search engine and drive more traffic? If yes, you need to focus on building SEO-friendly websites. It can help increase the visibility of your website and boost your conversion rates.  When it comes to developing SEO-friendly websites, React JS is a popular choice among developers. However, many developers have a misconception that React is not ideal, in terms of SEO. But it isn’t true!

react seo friendly

Wondering how to improve SEO for React websites? In this article, you will explore the vital facts and figures that will convince you to build SEO-friendly websites with React JS. Let’s first understand some of the React SEO Challenges 

React Comes with Some SEO Challenges 

Search engines indeed experience different challenges while crawling and indexing React pages. Read on to find out why React SEO is challenging. 

User Experience and Loading Time 

Parsing, fetching, and executing JavaScript can take up a lot of time. Moreover, JavaScript may require making network calls to fetch content. As a result, the user has to wait longer to get the requested information.  

However, to enhance the user experience, Google has a set of core web vitals. It is considered to be a major ranking criterion for websites. As React websites may take a longer time to load, it can affect the overall experience of the users. So, there are chances that Google may assign lower rankings to such sites. 

Empty First-Pass Content 

React websites and applications heavily depend on JavaScript. As a result, they often have issues with search engines. Wondering why? It is because, by default, React employs an app shell model. Therefore, the initial HTML will not consist of any meaningful information.  

A bot or a user is required to execute JavaScript to get a view of the original content of the web page. So, Googlebot is likely to detect an empty page in the first pass. Only after rendering the pages, can the actual content be seen by Google.  

It takes a significant amount of time. Ultimately, it can result in content indexing delays. 

Sitemap 

In simple words, a sitemap refers to a file providing information about the different pages and files available on a site. It also helps in understanding the relationship between the various pages. Google reads the sitemap of websites to intelligently crawl and index the sites. 

However, React does not have built-in capabilities to generate sitemaps. So, ranking on search engines can be a little challenging for React websites. But in case you leverage React Router to effectively handle routing, you may find tools for sitemap generation.  

Page Metadata 

Meta tags or metadata allow Google and other search engines to get a quick view of what the content of a page is all about. As a result, the search engines evaluate the relevancy of the content and crawl the sites. 

However, React renders all content, even the meta tags. It employs the app shell model for the entire web application. So, adapting metadata for individual pages can be tough in the case of React websites. 

Potential React Features

This makes it an ideal choice for building SEO-friendly websites.

React is a Popular Framework 

React JS is the second most popular framework of JavaScript. About 40.58% of developers extensively use React for web development. Moreover, there are nearly 12 million sites that have been built using this framework. 

React JS is an open-source library of JavaScript that helps in building highly responsive UIs. It comes with several reusable components. Therefore, creating complex UIs is simple, quick, and accessible.  

The short development cycles make React JS a top choice among professional developers. Moreover, the framework is easier to learn in comparison to Angular. The availability of extensive guides and documentation helps reduce the learning curve and allows developers to build websites faster. 

React Development and SEO Go Together 

Most people assume that React development and SEO are mutually exclusive. Single-page applications come with specific SEO challenges. Moreover, search engines may find it difficult to execute JavaScript codes.  

However, there are several ways to overcome the potential challenges of building SEO-Friendly websites with React. As a result, improving the ranking of your React websites becomes easy. Using SEO-friendly templates and making the best use of React libraries & UI Frameworks can help you achieve SEO-Friendly websites with efficiency. 

Server-Side Rendering Can Make React Websites SEO-friendly 

Now that you are aware of the potential challenges, you must be wondering how to improve SEO for React websites. An excellent way to make React sites SEO-friendly is to ensure that Google doesn’t require using JavaScript for content rendering. That is where server-side rendering comes into the picture. 

Normally, React runs on the web browser only after all the files from the website you visit are downloaded. It is client-side rendering. However, in server-side rendering, the JavaScript code is run on the server before sending the files to the user.  

As a result, the users can instantly get a view of the content. There is no need to wait for React to run. Therefore, the speed of the React websites improves. It ultimately enhances the search engine rankings of the website.  

However, a point to note here is that setting up server-side rendering can be complex in React. But the good news is that there are several React frameworks to simplify the set-up process. The most popular frameworks include Next.js and Gatsby.js.  

Isomorphic React Apps Can Improve Search Engine Rankings 

Another effective way to boost React Website’s SEO is to leverage the isomorphic React apps. Wondering what they are? Well, the isomorphic React apps are the applications that can work both on client-side and server-side applications.  

Isomorphic JavaScript allows you to work with React apps and fetch the rendered HTML file. This file is rendered by the browser. Whenever a user or a bot searches for a specific app, the HTML file will be executed. 

In client-side scripting, the app can leverage the HTML file and operate smoothly on the same browser. The isomorphic app remains dynamic. It helps in effectively improving the search engine rankings of React websites. 

However, building real-time isomorphic applications can be a challenging and complex task. Several frameworks can simplify the process and facilitate easy and quick development. The two prominent frameworks you can leverage include Next.js and Gatsby.js.  

React has a Vast Community 

React has a vast, strong community of users and developers. The official website of React can provide you with a complete list of several thriving React communities. Each of these communities consists of thousands of users. 

So, developing SEO-friendly websites with React will be simple and easy. You can easily gain access to a lot of resources. Moreover, experienced developers can provide you with useful tips to allow efficient development of React apps. In case you come across any issues during the development process, you can always reach out to experienced, professional developers in the React community. 

Conclusion 

React SEO is often misunderstood by the techies and developers out there. SEO for React websites may be a little complicated and challenging task. However, it is not impossible. 

There are plenty of ways to make React websites SEO-friendly. All you need to do is hire proficient developers and leverage the React best practices. So, why wait? Get started with React SEO and improve your website’s ranking on popular search engines.  

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