Tags: Development

By: Lara Meiojas

JavaScript SEO: What Marketers Should Know

JavaScript is one of the main programming languages a developer uses to build a website. Modern JS frameworks like Angular and React are becoming more popular tools for developers, however, they are not set up for effective SEO by default.

Laptop with code on desk

What Are Server Side Rendering and Client Side Rendering?

In order for modern JavaScript to be effectively read by search engines, it needs to be set up for Server Side Rendering (SSR). However, by default, most developers will set it up for Client Side Rendering (CSR), which will not be effectively crawled by search engines like Google, resulting in poor SEO.

What is SSR?

Server Side Rendering is the ability of a JavaScript application to render on the server rather than in the browser. The browser makes a request to the server that contains all the contents of the website (text, images, videos, etc.). Once the request is done processing, your browser then receives the fully rendered HTML and displays it on your screen. This was the traditional way of doing things before the new JS frameworks came on the scene. SSR wasn't as fast and depended somewhat on internet speed.

What is CSR?

Client Side Rendering is when a user's browser downloads a JS file that contains all of the HTML needed for the page. This means the server doesn't have to deliver all the content all over again, only the new elements, resulting in a faster page load time and therefore, a better user experience. However, CSR is not optimized for SEO.

Why Is It Important?

CSR became the more preferred method by developers in recent years because of faster page load time, and ease of use for developers. New JS frameworks are coming out like React, Angular (mainly used for apps), and Vue, that are all client-side rendered by default. Any of these will bundle the HTML, CSS, and JS into a clean, one-line script that sends off to the server.

Developers started noticing issues with their sites' SEO when building using CSR. The language isn't immediately available to Google when it crawls a website, so Google sees a blank page, doesn't index it, and the site doesn't appear in search results. This means that your potential customers and clients can't find you.

We have yet to see if there are specific requirements or actions brands need to take for their content to be best optimized for this new feature. We suggest that brands ensure they have high quality product photography featuring products in real-life scenarios, as well as solid product images.

What's the Solution?

The Prove Method:

  • Before building a website with a modern JS framework, we research the SSR implementation of the framework, so that the content can be crawled by Google.
  • If a site is already built on CSR, and SEO isn't being indexed, we may opt to rebuild the site using the SSR implementation of the JS framework of choice.
  • We never build a website without thinking of downstream consequences. Our developers think as marketers when building a site, and take SEO best practices into consideration.
  • Is your site built correctly for SEO? Get a FREE audit by an expert!


There are many things to take into consideration long before building a website. Make sure the team of developers you're working with are also solid marketers and follow follow SEO best practices.