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Angular August 24, 2023

Angular Universal: Beginner Guide How to Make Angular SEO-Friendly Websites

Written by Dharmesh Patel

2K

Angular Universal SEO

Creating highly interactive single-page applications (SPAs) using frameworks like Angular is increasingly popular. However, a significant challenge with SPAs is their SEO performance and initial loading time.

Angular Universal emerges as a solution to these challenges, aiming to optimize Angular applications for search engine crawlers and enhance their performance. This beginner’s guide provides a comprehensive introduction to Angular Universal, offering step-by-step instructions on making your Angular apps SEO-friendly. Whether you’re an SEO enthusiast or an Angular developer focused on optimization, this guide promises to be invaluable.

What is Angular Universal?

Angular Universal is an innovation inside the Angular ecosystem that takes into consideration the server-side rendering (SSR) of Angular applications. By rendering Angular applications on the server, it answers a portion of the difficulties related to traditional client-side rendering, like further developing beginning load performance and empowering better search engine optimization (SEO).

With SSR, the server sends a fully rendered page to the browser, allowing for a faster first contentful paint and ensuring that web crawlers can parse and index content more effectively. This makes Angular applications more accessible to users and search engines alike, especially when JavaScript performance on the client side is a concern or when bots have difficulty processing JavaScript-heavy applications.

Why is SEO important for Angular Apps?

  • SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is crucial for Angular Apps for a myriad of reasons.
  • First and foremost, Angular, a popular web application framework, is primarily built for creating dynamic, single-page applications (SPAs) that frequently modify content without reloading the entire page.
  • While this makes for a seamless user experience, search engines can sometimes struggle to effectively index and rank content from SPAs, which might lead to reduced visibility in search results.
  • SEO practices aim to bridge this gap, ensuring that content is accessible and understandable to search engines.
  • This is vital because the majority of online experiences begin with a search engine, and higher visibility equates to more organic traffic, user engagement, and potential conversions.
  • Moreover, since user experience is a ranking factor, the fast and fluid nature of Angular Apps when combined with Best SEO Services, can further enhance a website’s search rankings.
  • Implementing SEO ensures that Angular-powered websites reach their intended audience, maximizing the framework’s potential for creating compelling web experiences.

Problems With Angular SEO

Angular is a potent framework for developing dynamic web applications. However, when it comes to SEO, Angular faces certain challenges.

  • Since Angular is primarily built for single-page applications (SPAs), the content is loaded dynamically through AJAX.
  • Traditional web crawlers, designed to index static HTML content, may struggle to recognize content loaded this way, leading to potential indexing issues.
  • Moreover, the reliance on JavaScript means that if a search engine doesn’t execute JavaScript or does so inefficiently, the content might not be rendered and indexed.
  • The use of # in URLs, common in Angular apps, can also pose issues as search engines might treat them as the same page.
  • Lastly, Angular apps can be heavier than static sites, potentially leading to slower loading times, which can negatively impact SEO rankings.

How to Make Angular SEO-Friendly Websites

Making Angular websites SEO-friendly requires some extra steps compared to traditional static websites. Search engines sometimes struggle to index and rank Angular sites due to their single-page nature. However, with the right tools and techniques, you can ensure that your Angular application is properly indexed by search engines.

Understand the Challenge

Angular applications load content dynamically through AJAX. Traditional web crawlers, which expect static HTML content, can miss out on content loaded this way.

Use Angular Universal

Server-side rendering (SSR): Angular Universal renders your application on the server side, providing a static version of your application. This ensures crawlers can see your content.

Installation: Add Angular Universal to your project using the Angular CLI command `ng add @nguniversal/express-engine`.

Implement Meta Tags and Titles

Use the `Title` and `Meta` services provided by the `@angular/platform-browser` package to set the title and meta tags for each route.

These tags are crucial for SEO and social sharing.

Create a Dynamic XML Sitemap

Generate a sitemap that lists all the URLs in your Angular app.

Use tools like `@nguniversal/express-engine` to generate dynamic sitemaps that get updated whenever your content changes.

Submit this sitemap to search engine consoles (like Google Search Console).

Use Prerendering

For sites with a limited number of routes, prerendering might be an option. This means generating static HTML for each route beforehand.

Tools like `angular-prerender` can help with this.

Optimize Performance

Use lazy loading to split your app into smaller chunks and only load them when needed.

Minimize the use of external libraries and reduce the size of images and other assets.

Use Angular’s built-in `async` pipe to handle data fetching efficiently.

Use Canonical Tags

If you have duplicate content or serve content on multiple URLs, use canonical tags to indicate the preferred version to search engines. This helps to prevent issues with duplicate content in search engine indexes.

Avoid `#` in URLs

Using the `#` (hash) in URLs can cause issues with SEO. Ensure you’re using the HTML5 pushState with `RouterModule` to avoid this.

Robot.txt

Ensure you have a `robots.txt` file that instructs web crawlers on which pages or files they can request from your site. This helps in guiding search engine bots about the structure of your website.

Test Your Site

Use tools like Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools, and third-party tools like Screaming Frog to crawl your site and find any SEO issues.

Check for broken links, missing meta tags, and other SEO issues.

Stay Updated

SEO best practices and Google algorithm updates evolve. Make sure to stay updated on the latest SEO techniques and trends, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Incorporating these practices into your Angular development workflow will ensure that your website is optimized for search engines and can be indexed correctly.

Ensuring that your website is not only functional but also discoverable by search engines is crucial. Angular, with all its strengths in building single-page applications, faced challenges with search engine optimization until Angular Universal came into the picture. Through this beginner’s guide, we have journeyed from understanding the need for SEO-friendly Angular applications to implementing practical solutions using Angular Universal.

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