February 23, 2023

React SEO: How to Create SEO-Friendly Web Applications

February 23, 2023

React SEO: How to Create SEO-Friendly Web Applications

The increasing dominance of React in this modern web development technology cannot be ignored. React is rapidly becoming the top choice for big enterprises where websites built on a WordPress theme don't satisfy their requirements.

Despite the fact that SEOs did not embrace JavaScript libraries like React initially because search engines find it difficult to render JavaScript properly and prefer content available with HTML sources. However, enhancements in both Google's and React's rendering of JavaScript have made these complexities simpler, so using React is no longer constrained by SEO.

However, there are still some challenges, which we will go over in this blog.

But first, How does Google process pages?

1. Crawling :

Google bots send the GET request to a server for URLs available in the crawl queue. It saves the response contents for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, image files, and more.

2. Processing:

This step involves the addition of URLs to the crawl queue within <a href> links within the HTML, images within <img src> tags, or URLs of CSS/JS pages within <link> tags. At this stage, if the bot finds a noindex tag, the process stops with immediate effect and the Google bot won't render the content and Google's indexer (Caffeine) would not index it.

3. Rendering:

In order to discover more content within the DOM but not the HTML source, Googlebot executes JavaScript code with a headless Chromium browser. This applies to all HTML URLs.

4. Indexing :

Caffeine normalizes the data it receives from Googlebot (fixing any broken HTML), then attempts to make sense of it all by precalculating some ranking signals that will be displayed in a search result.

What is React? A quick Overview

React is a free and open-source JavaScript library developed by Facebook for developing web and mobile applications. React enables faster development and stability in code. The main features of react are that it is component-based, declarative, and allows easier manipulation of the DOM.

You can understand components by thinking of them as plugins, like WordPress. Using component libraries like MUI or Tailwind UI, developers can quickly create a design and add functionality to a page.

Common indexing issues generally faced with JavaScript Pages:

Let's dive deep into the most common complexities that occur while indexing JavaScript pages.

1. The complex indexing process

​​JavaScript pages face many complexities while indexing. Let's see how Google bots work with JavaScript indexing.

  1. Google bots download the HTML file.
  2. Google bots load CSS and JavaScript files.
  3. Google's WRS ( Web Rendering Services) analyzes, organizes, and presents JavaScript Code.
  4. After the process of execution, the indexing system can process it.
  5. WRS collects data from external APIs and databases.

​​This is how indexing of JavaScript pages works, which generally is more challenging and takes more time than HTML page indexing.

2. Indexing SPAs is a challenging task

Single-page applications work in a browser and do not require page reloading during use. You can explore the SPAs (Single Page Applications) on a single tab. Examples are Gmail, Google Map, GitHub, Facebook, etc.
The concept of Single Page Application is just opposite the conventional multi-page apps. They are faster, more responsive, and provide a seamless user experience to visitors.

But when we talk about SEO for single-page applications, it comes with a lot of complexities. SPAs generally take more time to reflect the content of Google bots. When the bot doesn't get to see the content during crawling, it will be considered as empty. It will have a negative effect on the ranking of your web pages.

3. Errors in the coding of JavaScript

The way HTML and Javascript pages are crawled are absolutely different. As talked earlier, just a single error in the Javascript code can make the crawling of a page impossible. JavaScript parse doesn't accept any code error. If both parser and character unite at an unexpected point, it stops parsing the current script at the moment and considers SyntaxError. So, a little error turns the whole script useless. If there is some error in the script, then the content won't be visible to the bot and it will not index the empty page.

Best Practices to Make Your React Website SEO-friendly

Finally, here is the segment where you will find all the solutions for React SEO, let’s get started:

1. Building static or dynamic web applications

When it comes to SEO, single-page -applications (SPAs) are challenging to be fetched by Google. Building a static or dynamic web app is a rescue here. They use server-side rendering that helps Google bots in crawling your website smoothly.

Well, it is not necessary to choose the Single Page Application always. It depends on your marketplace and target audience.

If every page of your website is valuable for the user, then you should choose a dynamic website. Or if your plan is to promote your landing pages, then go for a static website.

2. URL case

Google bots always treat some pages separate when a page's URL has capital or lowercase letters ( For example: /Education and /education),

These two URLs will now be considered different due to the distinction in their circumstances. Always strive to create your URL in lowercase to prevent these frequent mistakes.

3. Avoid using Hashed URLs

Although it is not a big issue, Google bots do not see anything after the hash in URLs.

Let's see through an example.


Google bots usually do not see anything after the hash, all they need is https:/domain.com/ to crawl it.

4. Use <a href> only if relevant

One of the most common mistakes with single-page applications is using a <div> or a <button> to change the URL. This issue is generally created by the way the library is used. Doing this leads to an issue with search engines as Google looks for more URLs to crawl within <a href> elements.

If the <a href> element is not found, Google bots won’t crawl the URLs and hence don't pass PageRank. What we can do is include <a href> links to URLs for the Google bot to fetch the other pages.

5. 404 code

Any page that has a data issue generates a 404 code. Thus, try to configure the server.js and route.js files as soon as possible. The traffic to your web app or website might be somewhat increased by updating the files with server.js or route.js.

6. Don’t forget the fundamentals

Although React apps require additional SEO considerations, this does not mean ignoring the other SEO fundamentals to apply.

You must ensure that your React applications follow best practices for:

  • Structured data
  • Canonicalization
  • Website structure
  • XML sitemaps
  • Mobile-first
  • Title tags
  • Semantic HTML

Best React SEO Optimization Tools

Let's have a look at the best React SEO optimization tools, that make the process of SEO and development much easier:

1. React Helmet

With the help of the library React Helmet, you can easily interact with Google bots and social media crawlers. It adds meta tags to your React pages so that your web app can provide the crawlers with additional important information.

2. React Router

The issue to optimize the react web apps is the React SPAs. Applications with only one page are a great source of user convenience. But, by incorporating specific SEO guidelines and aspects into your pages, you may really leverage the SPA architecture.

So, we should use React Router hooks to generate URLs that open in separate pages.

How Tecorb Technologies can help you with an SEO-friendly React website?

Many developers and techies out there don't really understand the concept of React SEO. Creating an SEO-friendly React website is a tricky and tough process. Yet, logical strategies and practical solutions to problems can make React SEO an exciting task.

However, having a team of technically skilled React Developers on your side can help you avoid all the fussy tasks because they can take care of your technical needs and boost the ranking of your website on search engines.

If you're concerned about the ranking of your React JS-built website, let us handle it for you to boost your rankings.

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