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SEO For React Website: Best Practices in 2021

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SEO For React Website: Best Practices in 2021

SEO-Friendly

It is a fact that Google gets about 90 percent of all the search requests and is known to be the most vital searched app for results. However, have you noticed there are about 4-5 topmost links that appear automatically when you search? How do they make it there? Paid? No! These results of sites that end up having the most traffic due to its search engine optimization. This is the reason why startups think about SEO even before their development begins. 

React is an important framework that helps create the most interactive web apps connecting to being SEO-friendliness. This article will help you understand how React helps you build SEO-friendly software, learn of the main obstacles, and get familiar with best practices in making your web app attractive on Google. 

But before that, we need to understand how Google works and some common issues React solutions face.

Google bots: How do they work?

Googlebot

1. Crawling through the website:

The ranks of the websites are made through the Google bots that crawl the pages of your website. However, while creating a website, you can choose what pages you’d like to be crawled by simply listing them in the robots.txt file. And, if you are bothered about the overloading of the site with requests from bots, you can hide a few pages too.

2. Indexing:

In this next step, the google bot analyzes the content on your web page and stores it in the Google index. This is a huge database and is automated in nature. Therefore it is very important to structure and format the content making it readable not only for the audience but the machine too.

3. Serving and ranking process:

This is the final step where the user searches for any topic. Here Google visits the index and finds the most relevant result depending on the SEO (search engine optimization). 

Isn’t this a quite simple and structured format? Then what causes problems with React to web apps?

Indexing issues with JavaScript pages

Indexing issues with JavaScript pages

For a better understanding, listed below are the most common problems in regards to the JavaScript pages influencing their ranking and indexing on Google:

1. Serving and ranking process:

Google bots scan the HTML pages faster by first extracting all links from all the pages through the code. Then the bot downloads the CSS files and sends them to the caffeine indexing system where they index the page of the websites. 

These operations are quickly performed, on the other hand, the indexing of the JavaScript code is rather more complex. In JavaScript, the bot first downloads the HTML file and loads the CSS as well as the JavaScript files together. These files are then web rendered through the Web Rendering Service (WRS) compiling and executing the code. Once the WRS fetches the data from the external APIs it is assembled and processed from indexing. 

Once these are fulfilled, can the google bot find new links and add them to the crawling queue.

2. Errors in JavaScript code

While comparing the two, both HTML and JavaScripts have different approaches to process errors. While a single error on the code of JavaScript could make the indexing impossible as they are intolerant of errors. For instance, if the parser happens to meet a character out of place, they immediately stop parsing the script and show a SyntaxError. This makes it difficult to process even if there is a typo, leading to complete inoperability of the script. In this case, when a google bot indexes the page, it only views empty pages.

3. Exhausted crawling budget

The maximum number of pages a search engine bots can crawl in a time is known as a crawling budget. This is why a JavaScript website that is much longer than Google then waits too long (more than five seconds) just for the scripts to load, parse, and execute. This results in the bot running out of its crawling budget, leaving the page even before indexing.

4. Challenges of indexing SPAs

Single-page applications or SPAs are the apps created with React that loads one page at a time. Unlike the traditional multi-page app, they load information dynamically in nature. SPAs are faster, responsive, and provide users with a smooth experience. Irrespective of this, the SPAs have limitations in terms of SEO, giving content only when loaded. Hence, while crawling if the information has not loaded, it views an empty page, resulting in a much lower rank in the search results.

SEO for React website: How can we then make the React websites SEO-friendly?

React websites SEO-friendly

Good news! The limitations mentioned above could be bypassed. Listed here are the best two practices to help solve React websites and make them SEO friendly, Pre-rendering, and server-side rendering:

Pre-rendering

This is a common approach that makes both, single- and multi-page web apps SEO-friendly. It is used when google bots fail to render the pages correctly by using their special programs to intercept the requests of the website. If it is a bot request, it sends a cached static HTML version of the website, and if from a user, it loads the usual page.

Advantages of pre-rendering:

  • They execute all types of modern JavaScript into static HTML files.
  • Supports latest web novelties.
  • It requires minimal codebase modifications or none at all.
  • It is simple to implement.

Downsides of pre-rendering:

  • It isn’t suitable for pages that display frequently changing data.
  • Pre-rendering can take too long if the website is large and contains a lot of pages.
  • Pre-rendering services aren’t free.
  • You need to rebuild your pre-rendered page every time you change its content.

Server-side rendering

Server-side rendering

It is important to know the difference between client-side and server-side rendering if you plan to only create a React web app.

1. Client-side rendering

The Client-side is a browser. When Google bots receive empty HTML files or files with some content, the JavaScript code then downloads the content from the server itself. Here, the users get to see it on their screens directly. However, it is a problem in terms of SEO, as google bots don’t receive any content to index.

2. Server-side rendering

In this, the browsers and google bots receive HTML files with content making it easier to index the page properly and rank higher. The server-side rendering is the easiest way to create an SEO-friendly React website. But, remember when creating SPAs, you’ll need to add additional layers of Next.js.

Next.js for SPA: SEO

Next.js for SPA

After working on numerous React projects and their SEO optimization, the RubyGarage team has now concluded Next.js to be a powerful tool for helping solve the SEO problems on SPAs. 

It is a framework for JavaScript that creates a static server-rendered app. These apps can load heavy SPAs for the server without a hitch. Some of the Next.js frameworks are PlayStation Competition Center, Invision, and Uber Marketplace, Hilton, Trip.com, with simple yet powerful features.

To conclude:

One could indeed find the React app to be quite challenging while building it to be SEO-friendly. However, it is all surmountable and it is not worth avoiding React and its fantastic capabilities.

FAQs on SEO for React Website

1. How to make React JS SEO friendly?

Google bots help by indexing the page and rank it higher. However, server-side rendering is the easiest way of creating an SEO-friendly React website. And, if you wish to create a SPA, simply add a layer of Next. js.

2. Do Google crawlers react?

Yes! Google can even crawl “heavy” sites effectively. You need to build an application for Googlebot to crawl as it loads. To make your server load immediately, remember to render the page.

3. What do Google crawler view?

They view publicly available web pages and follow links on them. These crawlers crawl from link to link, accumulating data to Google’s servers.

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