React SEO Challenges – And Solutions

React’s SEO Problems

React has become the go-to framework for web development and it is frequently cited as being the most popular web UI framework among software developers worldwide (see: Stack Overflow trends and Statista).

React’s popularity is attributed to its flexibility, ease of use, great performance and broad community support. Developers also like React’s componentised model of development, which is appealing for maintainability and for enforcing separation of concerns in UI code.

But despite being massively popular for web development, React fails at one of the core principles of what a good web framework should do. When building a website, it is critically important that it’s indexable by search engines. The problem with React is that, in isolation, it fails at delivering SEO-friendly websites. 

React is a Single Page Application (SPA) framework, which means that it generates content dynamically using JavaScript. It was built by Facebook and one thing most people don’t need or want for their private Facebook feeds is SEO. React makes it impossible for search engines to fully crawl and index the content of a site, as anything beyond the first page served is essentially hidden from the search engine.

How to Fix React’s SEO Problems

Fortunately, there is a solution to React’s SEO problems. Frameworks such as Next.js and Gatsby provide server-side rendering and static site generation for React applications. This means they can generate the HTML for each page on request or at build time, which can then be served to search engines. In other words, they convert a Single Page Application into a static multi-page application.


Which raises the question: Why use React in the first place if you need SEO? The complexity in making it SEO-friendly may outweigh the benefits of developing web applications using React. That balance may tip in favour of React if the UI is complex but for simpler UI’s with minimal interactivity, it probably doesn’t stack up.

React is an excellent tool for building user interfaces, but it is terrible at SEO. Fortunately, tools such as Next.js provide a solution to this problem by providing server-side rendering and static site generation for React applications. By using Next.js, businesses can improve their search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic to their websites, whilst keeping all the benefits of developing with React.

Priocept helps organisations to build business critical applications using web technologies including React, Next.js and Gatsby. Please feel free to get in touch if you need help making your React-based website SEO-friendly.

Leave a Comment