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SEO: How do I optimize SPA websites?

Posted by: mike on June 27, 2013

Single-page apps (SPA) are websites that run JavaScript which load all the code on top of the page. They allow users to navigate between pages faster. When a page is opened, every static page on the page is displayed on the browser. Only dynamic content is downloaded by the web server. Customers can pay for items, add them to carts, return to the catalogue, browse the site and look for items much faster than traditional multi-page sites. SPA-sites are a great option to turn online stores into. However, the SEO optimization for SPA websites might have specific features. Remember that you can also always use a backlink checker

What is the exact nature of SEO on SPA sites?

Working with SPA websites can be difficult because they might not adhere to the principles of indexing which are crucial for SEO. Meaning that:

  • search engines other that Google cannot process the JavaScript the website is written in;
  • Single-page applications don’t contain information that can be scanned;
  • SPA websites only have one URL. There aren’t any page reloads. This isn’t a great idea.

There are numerous options for SEO optimization for SPA projects.

  • If Google is the sole search engine that is required to be used, there are no changes. Google has its own WRS technology to process JavaScript files and convert these files into HTML.
  • You can make use of third-party solutions likeprerender.ioto handle JavaScript processing and provide the search engines with the HTML page you require for smaller international projects.
  • SSR (Server Side Rendering) also known as server-side rendering is used for major international projects. The scripts are processed using specific libraries on the client server side.

Project experience

Experts shared their experiences with SPA websites by presenting two cases. They explained why each of the cases was successful, and how to avoid the same mistakes.

Successful case

What was the project we were working on? The desktop and mobile versions, along with the apps, were of an obsolete design. Also, the layout was outdated and there were issues with synchronization of versions. The process of creating a new layout on top of the layout is costly However, you cannot abandon it as is.

What strategy did we decide to go with? We decided to change the layout and design of the site, but without loss of organic traffic. The Redux app development tool was employed as well as the React JavaScript library was used to create the new website.

We compiled the most important SEO components in the initial stage.

  • We divided up the project and created checklists consisting of sections that SEO specialists and testers could browse through. This meant separating pages and meta tags from sub-titles. We also highlighted micro-markup.
  • The team needs to be able to select the method of rendering beforehand and explain its advantages and cons.
  • The parties must agree on the ideal SEO structure and a list of additional elements of design (e.g. new blocks, screens or additional functionality).

We tested the new mobile version with live users in close-to-real-world conditions. We also opened the technical subdomain to be indexed by Google. Having a test domain helped to analyze product metrics SEO metrics, script execution and solve bugs prior to launching.

The stages of the successful case

  1. SEO preparation of development requirements
  2. Website development on ReactJS. Launch using a technical subdomain testing
  3. Real users test A/B testing
  4. New engine release. Indexing, ranking, and identifying bugs.
  5. Website release at the domain that is the primary
  6. Monitoring, support, and control


The current framework was not without limitations and required localization for entry into the international market. And it was not just about the interface being translated but also the range of products and conditions for working using the service.

Which one was the best option? The NextJS framework was chosen.

Asynchrony between the product team and the development team disrupted the process of the testing phase. We were in a hurry, so there were several technical errors, including the disappearance of counters micro-markup, meta tags, as well changing the algorithm to process 404 pages.

Anti-case stages:

  1. We skipped the testing stage.
  2. Change the Stack
  3. Counter loss
  4. Bug fixes, traffic drop and project failure

What can you do to avoid making mistakes in an anti-case

These are some things to consider:

  • Make use of SEO-aware monitoring
  • use test domains with the full version of the product range
  • invite SEO experts when selecting the tools and creating a worklist;
  • identify and record the testing procedures, participants, and their areas of responsibility;

When you are launching your website ensure that the rendering templates and meta tags function effectively for all blocks. Also, ensure that robots.txt doesn’t block resources or scripts. The number of pages included in the index should also coincide with the number of pages required.

Following the launch, you need to keep in mind that anything can fail at any moment, so you must be constantly monitoring the accessibility of pages and content on the page.


  • When you are creating or moving the SPA website, it is recommended to always invite SEO specialists at the stage of planning and perform tests for technical mistakes as well as scripts and SEO metrics.
  • There is a possibility of having a tough working on SPA websites as it may be in violation of the indexing rules. It is crucial to decide the best way to work with single-page apps and also monitor the information that search engines receive.
  • Before starting, you should make a list of all components. After that, you must choose a rendering method and then agree with SEO’s structure.
  • SPA websites can increase organic traffic and order from online stores. However, the complexities of SEO need to be resolved in the initial design phase in order to avoid the possibility that the company could lose lots of time fixing later flaws in the working website.
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