AngularJS is an excellent solution for powering your website.
It helps you build modular, user-friendly web apps, which is something that your visitors will appreciate and reward with their loyalty.
However, things are a bit different when it comes to SEO; namely, this framework isn’t exactly a match made in heaven for optimising your website for search engines.
And SEO is a crucial factor when it comes to your website rankings as well as targeting the right kind of audience that will benefit from your content, products, and services. Unless your website isn’t properly optimised, you can miss out on a huge amount of traffic, that is a great number of potential visitors.
So, let’s see how to make Angular SEO friendly and overcome all these obstacles.
Hint – Angular Universal.
Why Is Angular Hostile to SEO?
There are two factors responsible for this:
- This framework heavily relies on script when it comes to delivering content, which can be a problem for certain search engine bots to crawl and index it. In other words, they can’t see, that is, read the content accessible to users. You can check this by right-clicking a page rendered with Angular and selecting “View page source.” The result? You’ll only be able to see approximately 100 lines of code and no content that you are able to see when you view the page regularly. And that’s exactly what search engine crawlers “see” – lines of code and no content. Naturally, it’s impossible for them to make any sense of it and index such a page. This basically means that your web page won’t be indexed and it won’t be able to rank properly.
- Angular takes time to load. And as you probably know, people have become increasingly impatient and demanding when it comes to page load times – if your page takes more than 3 seconds to load, it will be considered sluggish, and your visitors will bounce off dissatisfied. This is particularly the case with browsing on mobile devices, and let’s not forget that speed plays an essential role here as it’s a ranking factor. So, you need to move things into a higher gear and accelerate your website.
What Google Says
According to the search engine giant, its crawlers can index script-driven websites too.
Although this is true, you shouldn’t take it for granted and fail to optimise your website powered by Angular.
First of all, Google isn’t the only search engine. If you want to appear in searches on Bing, DuckDuckGo, or Yandex, then you’ll have to tweak your Angular app a bit.
Another thing to bear in mind is that while Google can index certain Angular apps, your site might be an exception, as not all Angular apps are of the same making and structure.
So, instead of taking chances, you can, for example, resort to so-called dynamic rendering. This process will help you generate static HTML files which are much easier for bots to crawl, figure out, and index.
The next step is configuring your web server so that it directs search bots to these pre-rendered pages, while human searchers will be able to navigate your regular Angular app.
This tweak solves the crawling issue, but it still leaves the speed problem unaddressed.
Enter Angular Universal
What is Angular Universal?
In layman’s terms, a straightforward answer would be that unlike other Angular apps which are client-side, Angular Universal runs your app on the server and not in the browser.
This distinction is important, as search bots can’t always process client-side code, which is why the problem we already described appears.
Angular Universal pre-renders the HTML and CSS content that will be displayed to the user in advance. In other words, instead of client-side code, your users will actually load a static HTML which will significantly speed up load time.
Besides, speed, the fact that your HTML is static will enable search bots to easily crawl and index the content.
How to Run an Angular App on Angular Universal
In order to deploy a server-side app yourself, you need to have some experience with coding, but unless you’re only a coding enthusiast, it’s much better to leave this to seasoned developers.
What you need to be familiar with in case you want to take a DIY approach is the command-line interface, TypeScript, and web servers. At least a basic understanding of Angular is a must.
Here are the basic steps that you’ll have to follow:
- The necessary dependencies installation
- Updating the Angular pp
- Using the CLI to build a Universal bundle
- Setting up and fine-tuning the server so that it can run a Universal bundle
- Running your app on the server.
So, it’s clear that using Angular Universal can help you create an SEO friendly website which will be easy for search engine bots to crawl and index, thus boosting your rankings. Although there are other options that you can leverage, using this server-side framework for improving your SEO will solve both major issues that client-side Angular has when it comes to search engine optimisation.