How to optimize SPAs successfully


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A Single Page Application (SPA) is a web application that completely loads all the required HTML, JavaScript and CSS content on a single website in one go. What sounds good at first, however, can affect SEO performance. The SEO experts at diva-e explain the background and present measures you can take to solve the problem.

Structural differences between SPAs and regular websites

Unlike traditional websites, which require the HTML and other page content to be loaded each time the user views a new page, SPAs load the page only once. SPAs dynamically update the page based on user interactions, rather than loading new page content for each user action. This shortens the time it takes for the user to interact with the application. You can think of SPAs as a large workout room where all the equipment is at the same time and you can move from one piece of exercise equipment to

Regular websites, on the other hand, have a more strict separation and subdivision of their content depending on the pages. All training equipment of sport A is in room A (page A), all equipment of sport B is in room B (page B) and so on.

SPAs are dependent on JavaScript

SPAs are always based on JavaScript and are supported by a variety of JavaScript frameworks, such as React, Angular, and Vue, some of which were designed specifically for building SPAs. Single Page Applications can conflict with Google crawling due to their nature and technology. All SPA page content is dynamically generated using JavaScript. If a regular Google crawler that does not run JavaScript calls an SPA, its content is not evaluable by that crawler. In general, crawling and rendering of SPA content is more complex than for regular websites.

Technical measures to reconcile Single Page Application and SEO

In addition, as a developer of SPAs, it is sometimes necessary to create artificial URLs and artificial pages (rooms) within the Single Page Application so that Google can perceive and index the content (in the above example, training equipment) separately from one another. If all content is accessible under a single URL or page, this makes it more difficult for Google to index the content, which can have a negative impact on search engine optimization.

In addition, SEOs and developers should ensure that all pages within the website architecture are linked and accessible with their defined URLs. Furthermore, it must be ensured that each individual page uses appropriate meta tags. On the one hand to be able to control the indexing of the page. On the other hand, to give it more context by maintaining the title and meta description and to be able to control the presentation in the search results.

Loading performance can suffer with SPAs

Also, because all resources are loaded in advance, SPAs can be more resource intensive than traditional web applications. Not only can this lead to performance issues on slower devices. Core Web Vital values, which are important for SEO, can also suffer if SPAs are not optimized. To make SPAs more suitable for Google and SEO, developers should consider implementing server-side rendering. JavaScript content is rendered in advance on the server and only then sent to the browser. This makes the content available to Google's crawlers as HTML and easier to index.

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