Get a Free Audit
  • 1300 852 340

React and SEO: Addressing Common Challenges

Click Here - Free 30-Minute Strategy Session

Be quick! FREE spots are almost gone for this Month. Free Quote

React and SEO: Addressing Common Challenges

Blog / React and SEO: Addressing Common Challenges

React and SEO: Addressing Common Challenges

The growing adoption of React SEO and similar libraries, such as Vue.js, highlights their significance in modern web development. Larger businesses seeking sophisticated solutions beyond traditional approaches, like using WordPress themes, are increasingly turning to these libraries.

Initially, SEO professionals were hesitant to embrace React due to search engines facing difficulties in rendering JavaScript effectively. They preferred content available directly in the HTML source. However, advancements in Google’s rendering of JavaScript and React have simplified the complexities, eliminating SEO as a hindrance to using React.

Click Here – Free 30-Minute Strategy Session

Be quick! FREE spots are almost gone for this Month

Free Quote

Nevertheless, certain complexities persist, which we will explore in this guide. The following topics will be covered:

  • Insights into how Google handles and processes pages with React.
  • Identifying and addressing the typical SEO issues associated with using React.
  • By addressing these challenges, developers and SEO professionals can optimise the use of React while ensuring the visibility and performance of their websites with SEO Strategies.

Maximise with React SEO Guide

React is a powerful JavaScript library that offers numerous benefits in terms of performance, interactivity, and code reusability. By combining React’s Google SEO advantages with effective SEO practices, you can fully leverage the capabilities of React while ensuring your websites are optimised for search engines. Read this blog further to get an overview of React and its role in web development.

Angular VS React SEO:

Angular and React have widely used JavaScript frameworks for creating web applications, and they have distinct differences when it comes to React SEO friendly:

  • Server-Side Rendering (SSR): Angular has built-in server-side rendering capabilities, which means that the server sends fully rendered HTML to the browser. This aids search engine crawlers in effectively indexing your website, leading to better SEO. React, however, lacks native server-side rendering, although it can be achieved using additional libraries like Next.js.
  • Dynamic Content: Both Angular and React support dynamic content updates. Angular’s two-way data binding approach directly updates the HTML when the underlying data changes, making it more SEO-friendly. React, on the other hand, uses a virtual DOM and requires extra effort to ensure proper server-side rendering and optimise SEO.
  • React SEO Meta Tags and Title Handling: Both frameworks enable the dynamic updating of React SEO meta tags and titles, which play a crucial role in SEO. React has libraries such as React Helmet that simplify this process. In contrast, Angular has built-in support for managing meta tags and titles.
  • Third-Party Libraries: React boasts an extensive ecosystem of third-party libraries and tools that can enhance SEO capabilities. For instance, Next.js enables server-side rendering, and React Router aids in managing SEO-friendly URLs. Angular also offers similar libraries like Angular Universal for server-side rendering and Angular Router for URL management.

To summarise, Angular’s built-in server-side rendering and two-way data binding make it more SEO-friendly out of the box. However, React can achieve similar results through additional configurations and libraries.

Learn More: The Ultimate Guide to Javascript SEO

Understanding React: A Brief Introduction

Before delving into React SEO best practices, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what React is and its fundamental features.

React is a widely used open-source JavaScript library developed by Meta (formerly Facebook) that empowers developers to build robust web and mobile applications. It offers several key features that make it popular in the development community.

  • One notable feature of React is its declarative nature, which means developers can describe how the user interface should look based on the application’s state
  • Another significant aspect of React is its component-based architecture. React allows developers to create reusable components that encapsulate specific functionality and can be composed together to build complex user interfaces. This component-based approach promotes code reusability, modularity and maintainability.
  • Additionally, React simplifies DOM manipulation by introducing a virtual representation of the DOM, enabling efficient updates to the user interface without directly manipulating the actual HTML elements.
  • To further streamline development, React provides access to various component libraries like MUI or Tailwind UI, offering pre-built components that developers can leverage to enhance the design and functionality of their applications.

What To Do?

  • By leveraging React’s declarative and component-based approach, developers can efficiently build rich user interfaces and create dynamic, interactive web and mobile applications.
  • Now that we have a foundational understanding of React, we can explore specific best practices for optimising React applications for search engine visibility.

A Brief History of Rendering with React

React follows an App Shell Model, where the majority, if not all, of the content, is rendered on the client side by default. This approach is known as Client-side Rendering (CSR).

In CSR, the initial HTML response from the server primarily contains the React JS library, with additional JavaScript containing JSON data or links to JS files containing React components. You can identify a client-side rendered site by examining the HTML source using the “View Page Source” option.

What To Do?

  • When you inspect the elements using the browser’s developer tools, you can see the dynamically generated Document Object Model (DOM) where the browser has rendered the JavaScript. Take note of the appMountPoint ID in the first element, which indicates where React should inject the HTML. Technology detection tools, like Wappalyzer, can also detect the presence of the React library.
  • React-based websites differ from the traditional server-side rendering (SSR) approach, where the server handles the heavy lifting of rendering content using languages like PHP. Instead, React applications are moving towards a static approach known as Static Site Generation (SSG) or Static Rendering.
  • In SSG, JavaScript is pre-rendered into HTML before a browser requests the URL. This process occurs during build time or when developers deploy new code or update the site’s content. While SSR can offer more dynamism, it can be slower due to the additional latency involved in server-side rendering.
  • On the other hand, SSG is faster because the pre-rendered content can be served to the user immediately, resulting in a quicker Time to First Byte (TTFB).

Understanding How Google Processes Pages

To comprehend the challenges faced by React’s default client-side rendering approach in terms of SEO, it is important to understand how Google crawls, processes, and indexes web pages.

Some react SEO tips:

In the past, there were challenges related to JavaScript rendering and compatibility with Googlebot. Google started rendering JavaScript to some extent in 2008, but it was limited.

Additionally, the rendering engine (Chromium) used by Googlebot may have been outdated, lacking support for the latest browser and JavaScript features. This meant that certain JavaScript features used on web pages may not render correctly, potentially affecting indexing.

Furthermore, there were delays in rendering updates, which could result in a lag of several weeks before changes to content were reflected in the indexing stage. This made it unreliable to rely solely on Google for content rendering.

Learn More: Discover the Power of Dynamic Rendering

Understanding React SEO Issues

In recent years, Google has made significant advancements in handling JavaScript content. However, websites built entirely with client-side renderings, such as those using React, can introduce specific SEO React SEO Issues that require careful consideration.

It’s crucial to understand that these challenges can be overcome and React can be effectively optimised for SEO.

React JS is a powerful development tool, like other components within a development stack, such as WordPress plugins or chosen CDNs. The way React is configured and implemented determines whether it positively contributes to SEO or poses obstacles.

It’s important to note that React can benefit SEO by enhancing user experience. However, it’s necessary to address the following common issues to ensure optimal SEO performance.

Choosing the Optimal Rendering Strategy

One of the most critical considerations when working with React is deciding on the best rendering strategy for your content.

While Google has significantly improved its JavaScript rendering capabilities, it’s important to note that not all search engines have the same level of support. Bing has limited support for JavaScript rendering, while others like Baidu and Yandex offer even less. This limitation extends beyond search engines, affecting SEO tools and site auditors that rely on JavaScript rendering to provide accurate data.

React SEO tips

To ensure your site’s content is accessible to all crawlers and tools, opting for a server-side rendered (SSR) solution is advisable.

Additionally, rendering content on the server offers a significant benefit in terms of load times. JavaScript rendering can be resource-intensive, especially for larger libraries like React, resulting in slower load times and delayed interactivity. Core Web Vitals, such as Time to Interactive (TTI), tend to be higher for single-page applications (SPAs), particularly on mobile devices.

However, subsequent load times can be improved due to the following factors:

  • Client-side rendering avoids full-page refreshes, resulting in the library loading only once.
  • React’s “diffing” algorithm selectively updates the HTML in the DOM that has changed, reducing the need for extensive re-rendering.
  • Considering the advantages mentioned above, opting for SSR or static site generation (SSG) is the recommended approach. SSR or SSG provides faster initial renders, eliminates the reliance on search engine crawlers for rendering, and improves TTI by reducing the amount of JavaScript code the browser needs to parse and render.

What To Do?

  • When implementing SSR with React, the use of a framework like Next.js is highly recommended. Next.js offers both SSR and SSG options, allowing you to mix and match the rendering strategy based on your specific needs.
  • The framework also includes additional optimisation features for React applications, such as image optimisation, font optimisation, script optimisation, and dynamic imports, all of which contribute to improved speed and positive Core Web Vitals.
  • Considering that speed and Core Web Vitals play a role in rankings, Next.js and its optimisation features provide a competitive advantage in creating exceptional web experiences.

Proper Usage of Status Codes

One common issue observed in many single-page applications (SPAs) is the incorrect reporting of status codes. Since the server is not responsible for loading the page in SPAs, but rather the browser, certain issues arise, such as:

Absence of 3xx redirects, with JavaScript redirects being used instead.

Failure to report 4xx status codes for “not found” URLs.

To illustrate this, I ran a test on a React site using Despite the page being expected to return a 404-status code, it instead returns a 200-status code, which is known as a soft 404.

This poses a risk, as Google might choose to index the page based on its content. Consequently, it could be served to users or used during site evaluation.

Fortunately, there are a few solutions available. If you are implementing client-side rendering:

  • Create a 404 component that is displayed when a route is not recognised.
  • Add a noindex tag to “not found” pages.
  • Include an <h1> element with a message like “404: Page Not Found.” Although this does not report a 404-status code, it prevents Google from indexing the page and assists in identifying it as a soft 404.
  • Use JavaScript redirects when necessary to modify a URL. While not ideal, Google does follow JavaScript redirects and passes ranking signals accordingly.

For those implementing server-side rendering (SSR), Next.js simplifies the process with response helpers, allowing you to set the desired status code, including 3xx redirects or 4xx status codes.

The React Router approach outlined earlier can also be applied when using Next.js. However, since Next.js commonly incorporates SSR or static site generation (SSG) features, this solution aligns well with the overall architecture.

Learn More: URL Redirect – The Complete Guide to Everything You Need to Know

Steer Clear of Hashed URLs

While not as prevalent in React, it is crucial to avoid using hashed URLs, as exemplified by the following examples:

In most cases, Google will not perceive anything beyond the hash symbol. Consequently, all these pages will be treated as

React SEO Tips:

For single-page applications (SPAs) employing client-side routing, it is recommended to utilise the History API to navigate between pages.

A common error found in SPAs is the use of <div> or <button> elements to modify the URL. This issue is not inherent to React itself but rather how the library is employed.

However, this practice can cause problems with search engines. As mentioned earlier, when Google processes a URL, it seeks out additional URLs to crawl within <a href> elements.

If the <a href>element is absent, Google will not crawl the URLs and pass PageRank.

React SEO Tips:

  • The solution is to incorporate <a href> links for the desired URLs to ensure Google can discover them.
  • Verifying whether you have correctly linked to a URL is straightforward. Inspect the element containing the internal link and examine the HTML to confirm that <a href>links have been included.
  • It is crucial to understand that the absence of <a href>links is not always problematic. One advantage of CSR is the ability to modify content client-side, excluding the need for <a href> links when the content is intended solely for users and not search engines.

In the example, the website utilises faceted navigation that links to potentially millions of filter combinations that are not valuable for search engine crawling or indexing.

React SEO Tips:

  • In this case, loading these filters client-side is sensible, as it allows the site to conserve the crawl budget by omitting <a href> links for Google to crawl.
  • Next.js facilitates this with its link component, which can be configured to enable client-side navigation.
  • If you have opted for a fully CSR application, you can modify URLs using React Router with the onClick event and the History API.

Learn More: How to Fix Crawl Errors in Google Search Console

Remember the Core Principles

Although there are specific SEO considerations for React applications, it is essential not to overlook the fundamental aspects of SEO.

Here are some key best practices that still apply to React applications:

  • Canonicalisation: Ensure proper canonical tags are implemented to indicate the preferred version of a webpage, especially for duplicate or similar content.
  • Structured data: Implement structured data markup using schemas such as JSON-LD to provide search engines with more context and enhance the visibility of your content in rich snippets.
  • XML sitemaps: Create and submit an XML sitemap to help search engines discover and crawl your website’s pages more efficiently.
  • Mobile-first: Optimise your React application for mobile devices, as mobile-friendliness is a crucial ranking factor. Ensure responsive design and smooth user experience across different screen sizes.
  • Website structure: Develop a clear and logical website structure, with a hierarchical organisation of pages and user-friendly navigation menus. This helps search engines understand the content and improves user experience.
  • HTTPS: Implement secure HTTPS encryption for your website to ensure data privacy and security. It also provides a positive signal to search engines.
  • Title tags: Craft unique and descriptive title tags for each page, incorporating relevant keywords to help search engines understand the content and improve click-through rates.
  • Semantic HTML: Use proper HTML markup, including heading tags (H1, H2, etc.), paragraphs, lists and other semantic elements. This helps search engines comprehend the structure and meaning of your content.

By adhering to these fundamental SEO practices, you can optimise your React applications for search engines and provide a solid foundation for better visibility and rankings.


Optimising React applications for SEO requires a careful balance between technical considerations specific to React and adherence to fundamental SEO principles.

By implementing React-specific best practices such as selecting the appropriate rendering strategy, avoiding hashed URLs, using relevant links and resolving common SEO issues, you can enhance the visibility and performance of your React applications.

What To Do?

  • It is equally important to not neglect the core principles of SEO, including canonicalisation, structured data, XML sitemaps, mobile-friendliness, website structure, HTTPS implementation, title tags and semantic HTML.
  • Stay updated with the latest developments and recommendations in SEO, particularly those tailored to React applications.
  • Regular monitoring, testing and optimisation are crucial to ensure that your React applications remain optimised for higher rankings.
  • Combining the strengths of React with strategic SEO techniques, you can create websites and applications.

Click Here - Free 30-Minute Strategy Session

Be quick! FREE spots are almost gone for this Month

Free Quote


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

      If you want to get more traffic, Contact Us

      BOOK A CALL Protection Status