How to Combine JavaScript & SEO with Isomorphic JS


Like it or not, JavaScript is one of the most used programming languages. So, as web developers or SEO analysts, you need to know how JavaScript-based websites can offer you more benefits, especially if you’re building a new, large application that requires great SEO compatibility.

Google VS. JavaScript

Since last year, Google focuses mostly on supporting user experience and performance. Google even states that they are improving at crawling and indexing JavaScript. But, the results are still unreliable. For example, the user experience also isn’t all that great because it takes some time to load all the JavaScript libraries and bootstrap the application. An alternative is to use pre-rendering services that run your JavaScript application.

The benefit of this approach is that, in theory, you can pretend that the problem doesn’t exist and build your application in JavaScript any way you want.

But, this method is quite complex and resulted in complex debugging to fix. This problem is quite hard to notice. In fact, many cases find aware about it after your rankings are affected.

Fortunately, you can resolve this problem with Isomorphic applications. Isomorphic applications solve the problem of crawling and indexing by performing an initial render on the server and then using that HTML as a base for bootstrapping the JavaScript application in the browser. With Isomorphic approach, you can get the best of two worlds, between HTML and JavaScript.

How Does It Work?

By this technique, you can have the same JavaScript code used by your application run on both the server and the client. Moreover, you can also feed your application with some data coming from the database on the server, run it, and capture the resulting HTML output that would normally require a browser to assemble. This output can then be served as your initial HTML to everyone who requests it (including crawlers, such as the Google Bot).

Benefits of Isomorphic Applications

  • Search Engine Indexability

Executing code on the server to render static pages and then leaving all the JS responsible for user interactions to be run by the browser.

  • Perceived Load Time is Faster

If you wish to reduce wasting your time in waiting for the app/website to bootstrap and perform initial AJAX requests, Isomorphic is the best choice for you. In fact, you will no longer need for the majority of AJAX calls and there is less rendering happening on the client side.

  • Great Technique

As it is stated before, isomorphic is great as it solves the SEO indexing problems, results in faster load times, and simplifies the application stack.  In addition, it gives more benefits for large code bases. But nothing comes for free.

  • You Must Use Certain Technologies

As it’s not a plug-and-play solution, you will need a significant amount of work to implement.

  • You Need Expertise

Isomorphic is not meant for developers who are afraid to experiment. Therefore, you should hire developers with great talent and love doing experiment.