Next JS

Next.JS or React? Which is Better in SEO Optimization?

April 12, 2024
8 min
Next.JS or React for Better SEO

In the modern digital era, having a strong online presence is synonymous with success. However, this journey begins with choosing the right framework for your website. While React has been a strong contender in this realm, the advent of Next.JS has left developers and SEO strategists in a delightful conundrum. Is transitioning to Next.JS a wise move for better SEO? Well, let’s navigate through this together.

React is just not enough. Why?

It's not a scenario where React is the unpopular kid in the playground, but more about Next.JS being the new kid with a bag full of goodies. React is incredibly powerful and flexible, but when it comes to server-side rendering (SSR), it takes a back seat. This is where Next.JS shines brightly, offering SSR out of the box, which is a significant SEO booster.

React’s primary focus was never about SEO; it was designed to be a robust library for building user interfaces. While it does this job exceedingly well, when it comes to SEO, it leaves much to be desired. The lack of server-side rendering in React makes it less SEO-friendly as search engine bots find it harder to crawl and index the content rendered on the client side.

On the other hand, Next.JS was crafted with SEO in mind. It provides a seamless server-side rendering feature that ensures your website’s content is fully rendered before it reaches the user, making it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index your site, thereby improving your site’s SEO rankings. This is a game changer in the modern web development landscape where SEO is the linchpin of online visibility and traffic.

Next.JS vs React: Key Differences For Better SEO

The discourse between Next.JS and React goes beyond a mere comparison. It’s about understanding the SEO-centric features that Next.JS brings to the table. The rendering capabilities of Next.JS, which include client-side rendering (CSR), server-side rendering (SSR), and static site generation (SSG) are the core distinctions that make it a preferable choice for SEO enthusiasts.

For instance, an e-commerce website developed using React might face challenges in getting indexed swiftly by search engines due to client-side rendering. This is because the product listings on the pages are rendered on the client side, making it difficult for search engine bots to crawl the site effectively.

On the flip side, if the same website were developed using Next.JS with server-side rendering, the product listings would be rendered on the server, making it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index the site swiftly. This would inevitably lead to better SEO rankings, more organic traffic, and potentially higher sales and conversions.

Search Engine Optimization made better with Next.JS

Ever Growing Organic Traffic

Next.JS is like that meticulous gardener ensuring that the plants (read: your website) get the right amount of sunlight (read: visibility) to flourish and attract the bees (read: your target audience). By providing the tools necessary for effective SEO, Next.JS helps in growing organic traffic steadily over time. The server-side rendering feature ensures that the content is indexed quickly by search engines, thus improving the site’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Build Best Performing Websites

With Next.JS, your website is not just a pretty face, but a robust performer on the digital stage, ensuring lower bounce rates and higher engagement. The optimized page load speed, thanks to features like automatic code splitting and image optimization, contributes to a better user experience, which in turn, results in lower bounce rates. A well-performing website is a magnet for more traffic and better engagement rates, which are critical factors for SEO success.

Scannability / Being Search Engine Scannable

Next.JS takes scannability seriously. It ensures that search engines can easily crawl and index your website, paving the path for better rankings. The static site generation feature of Next.JS allows for creating static pages that are easily scannable by search engines. This, coupled with server-side rendering, ensures that your website’s content is always accessible to search engine bots, making it a favorable environment for improving your SEO rankings.

SEO Friendly UX

A seamless user experience is the cherry on top of the SEO cake. Next.JS focuses on delivering an intuitive user journey, which is a big thumbs up from SEO’s perspective. The framework provides features like route prefetching, which makes navigating through your site a breeze for the users. A happy user is likely to spend more time on your site, which is a positive signal to search engines about the quality and relevance of your site, thus contributing to better SEO rankings.

Skyrocketing Sales and Conversions

When your website speaks the SEO language fluently, higher rankings and increased traffic are the natural outcomes. And with more eyeballs, the chances of conversions multiply. The improved user experience and faster page load times contribute to a higher conversion rate as visitors are more likely to take the desired action on a site that is fast, accessible, and easy to navigate.

Added Advantages of Using Next.JS SEO

Next.JS doesn’t stop at just being SEO-friendly. It packs in features that make it a darling of the SEO world. The framework offers numerous features like font optimization, which helps in reducing the load time, image optimization that serves crisp images without compromising on speed, and a custom head component that allows for better control over the head section of each page, to name a few. These features contribute significantly to better SEO rankings, providing an edge over other frameworks that lack such SEO-centric features.

  • Font Optimization: No more fretting over fonts slowing down your site.
  • Image Optimization: Serve up crisp images without compromising on speed.
  • Custom Head Component: Tailor the head component to meet your SEO needs.

Get the Best out of Next.JS SEO with CodeWalnut

Choosing CodeWalnut for your Next.JS SEO needs is like opting for the first-class ticket to the SEO-success express. With expert guidance, watch your website soar high on search engine rankings, drawing in a steady stream of organic traffic and conversions. The seasoned experts at CodeWalnut are adept at leveraging the SEO benefits of Next.JS to the fullest. By meticulously optimizing every aspect of your website, from the code structure to the user experience, CodeWalnut ensures that your website is not just SEO-friendly but is primed for achieving your business goals. With a proven track record of success, choosing CodeWalnut for your Next.JS SEO needs is a decision you won't regret.

5 Essential SEO Tips for Next.js Developers:

  1. Embrace Server-Side Rendering (SSR) for Enhanced SEO: SSR is your gateway to allowing search engines to render and index your Next.js application akin to a static HTML website, a critical step towards achieving great SEO. By tweaking the target property to server in your next.config.js file, you can activate SSR in Next.js. This function ensures that your JavaScript is run on the server-side, generating the HTML which is then sent to the client, making it a smoother sail for search engine crawlers.
  2. Fine-tune Your Meta Tags and Titles: These tiny snippets of text that pop up in search engine results pages (SERPs) hold immense power when it comes to SEO. They are pivotal as search engines utilize them to rank your website. Ensuring that your meta tags and titles are not only descriptive but also resonate with the content of each page is key. The next-seo package is a handy tool within Next.js that aids in managing your meta tags and titles seamlessly.
  3. Implement Structured Data Markup: Diving a bit into technical SEO, structured data markup lends a helping hand to search engines by providing extra information about your website. This info jazzes up the appearance of your website in SERPs and simplifies the content comprehension for search engines. Utilizing the next-seo package can facilitate the addition of structured data markup to your Next.js application.
  4. Image Optimization is Key: Images are not just worth a thousand words; they are also worth a lot in SEO currency. Optimizing your images for the web by compressing them and attaching descriptive alt text is crucial. Here’s where Next.js shines - the next/image component it offers is tailored to assist in image optimization, ensuring your visuals are not just appealing but also SEO-friendly.
  5. Keep a Tab on Your SEO Performance: SEO is not a one-and-done deal; it’s a continual process. Regular monitoring and analysis of your SEO performance are paramount. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console are your allies in tracking your SEO metrics. By doing so, you can pinpoint areas that need a boost, ensuring your Next.js app remains on the favorable side of search engine algorithms.

By adhering to these tips and leveraging the functionalities that Next.js offers, you're not just optimizing your site for search engines but also enhancing the overall user experience. So, let's take a closer look at how you can integrate these practices in your Next.js project and step up your SEO game. Whether you're working on static websites or dynamic pages, Next.js gives you the tools and flexibility to achieve great SEO while keeping your JavaScript, CSS, and fetch functions in harmony.


1. What makes Next.js a preferred framework for SEO optimization over others?

  • Next.js is designed keeping SEO optimization in mind. Its server-side rendering (SSR) and static site generation (SSG) capabilities ensure that the content is easily crawlable and indexable by search engine crawlers. The framework also supports metadata and meta tags within the HTML head tag, allowing for better SEO management. Features like the image component and native lazy loading help in improving Core Web Vitals, which are a crucial ranking factor. With Next.js 13, the Vercel team has introduced numerous features that help further in SEO optimization, making Next.js a popular framework among developers and leading companies.

2. How does Next.js handle dynamically generated pages in terms of SEO?

  • Next.js provides rendering strategies like Incremental Static Regeneration (ISR) which allows for dynamic pages to be pre-rendered and updated in the background, thus ensuring that the pages are SEO-friendly while still being dynamically generated. This way, the pages' content remains fresh and updated without compromising on SEO.

3. How do Core Web Vitals metrics relate to a Next.js 13 app?

  • Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that Google uses to measure a page’s content user experience. Next.js 13 has been optimized to perform well on these metrics out of the box. For instance, the image component helps in optimizing the loading times, which in turn, positively impacts the First Contentful Paint (FCP) metric. By adhering to the best SEO practices and leveraging Next.js features, developers can build highly performant web pages that score well on Core Web Vitals.

4. How does the Next SEO component offer assistance in managing SEO within a Next.js application?

  • Next SEO is a powerful library for managing SEO in Next.js applications. It provides a React component to handle all the head tags and meta data, making it easier to manage SEO properties like title and description for every page. Additionally, it offers support for structured data, canonical URLs, and default SEO properties, ensuring that the technical side of SEO is well-taken care of within the app.

5. How does Next.js improve the rendering and ranking of web pages on mobile devices?

  • Next.js is built with a mobile-first approach. Its rendering strategies like SSR and SSG ensure that the content is delivered quickly even on slow network connections, which is crucial for mobile devices. The framework also supports viewport meta tags, ensuring that the page’s content is rendered correctly on different screen sizes. Moreover, features like native lazy loading of images contribute to faster page loading, making the web pages highly performant on mobile devices, which in turn, can improve SEO ranking.

6. How can learning Next.js and deploying on Vercel benefit my website’s SEO?

  • Learning Next.js can significantly benefit your website’s SEO as it provides features and best practices out of the box for SEO optimization. Deploying on Vercel, which is built by the same team behind Next.js, ensures that your website is highly performant. Vercel provides a global CDN, edge functions, and other advanced features that help in loading pages in the background, making the navigation feel faster. The combination of Next.js and Vercel provides a robust solution for building and deploying SEO-friendly, fast, and scalable web applications.
Disclaimer: This article outline is created by Humans, content is written by AI and the final article is reviewed & edited by a CodeWalnut engineer.
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