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11 top tips for SEO with Sanity & Next.js

Reading Time

5 min read

Published on

February 3, 2023

Author

Jono

Jono

1. Static/server-side rendering

Use Next.js's SSR or SSG feature to speed up page rendering. If you're pulling from an API make sure you're not pulling too much data down onto the page. Make sure it's specific rather than pulling a whole bunch of junk that you never actually use.

Bad time

This is bad, you're going to pull basically everything and only actually use like: title, categories, portable text

*[_type == "article"] | order(_updatedAt desc){
...
categories[]->{...}
}

Good job

Much better, now you're actually specifying what you want and not taking a truckload of data onto the page.

*[_type == "article"] | order(_updatedAt desc){
title,
portableText,
categories[]->{title}
}

2. Get your schema right

You've spent those late nights searching for junk that you want to fill your house with. Well, that only appears because of Structured Data

Guess what? It's even easier with Next SEO. You can essentially nest this within your actual components to ensure you're getting the most out of your SEO. So if you add a product to your page, such as "Henry", make sure you're including the Product structured data within there so Google understands.

image-ddf86e7fa2c9c941a0950cbc1ae36313163df59a-1754x712-png

3. Use Sanity's image URLs

Do you know what takes up the largest amount of data on nearly every website? Images

That's why it's important that you either use Sanity's image url resolver or Next/Image. If you're like us, we use both.

What that means is when somebody visits your website, they're not spending ages looking at a screen loading and blurring images in. If you're looking at doing this yourself. Here's our typical go-to Next/Image component.

<Image
src={urlFor(image).url()}
alt={alt}
width={getImageDimensions(image).width}
height={getImageDimensions(image).height}
placeholder="blur"
blurDataURL={urlFor(image)
.width(24)
.height(24)
.blur(10)
.url()}
sizes="
(max-width: 768px) 100vw,
(max-width: 1200px) 50vw,
40vw"
/>

4. Use "getImageDimensions" to size the image

You might have noticed the width and height of the image above. Not many people even know this exists as a function within Sanity.

But it does

If you use the above, it ensures you're sizing the image to the same aspect ratio as the original. So you're not going to get any stretched images or wonky looking pixels.

5. Make sure you're only using one <h1>

This is an interesting topic that focuses far more on how you design your structured content rather than the page itself. Essentially make sure you're only using one <h1> on the page, which can easily be duplicated with Portable Text.

Do you know how we resolve it?

Completely remove "Heading 1" from portable text and force your <h1> to be populated by a title string. It always ensures you only have a single <h1> on the page, and a content editor doesn't accidentally duplicate it.

image-88227e3e8d68d29a1816184f761741c0d163a9d0-1278x278-png

6. Get your keyword targets spot on

So, remember how we suggested to only use one <h1>. Well now you've got to ensure that the <h1> is populated to keywords that you want to make sure your page ranks for.

So for example if you're going to rank for Sanity Enterprise Agency, you might want to make sure the <h1> is set as:

<h1>Sanity Enterprise Agency</h1>

Pretty simple right...

7. Actually pay for Vercel analytics

We reckon Vercel analytics is probably one of the most overlooked essentials when optimising your SEO. Here's the skinny, it does a lot of what Google analytics does, it can bypass adblocks and from the get-go it can tell you where you're getting most of your traffic from. It's extremely useful and a snip at $10 a month.

8. Vercel analytics part 2

Okay we've talked about actual analytics so far, however, something that has become more and more of a focus with larger sites is actual on-device performance.

Vercel analytics can tell you all about what is causing issues on your site performance wise. Take the image below, we've managed to smash Cumulative Layout Shift, however, our First Contentful Paint and Largest Contentful Paint sucks, so we know exactly what we need to do to improve our performance.

image-84047a99da179eb1c3285f3bec6d23ea72a748f7-2448x1618-png

9. Use the Sanity SEO pane

What's a better way of understanding a pages SEO than getting a specific pane that tells you exactly what can be improved SEO-wise.

If you're looking for some top-level tips, there's nothing better than configuring the SEO pane to help you out when building out your pages.

10. Bundlephobia

No, this isn't the fear of being packed away inside of a cardboard box... It's a tool to analyse package sizes with libraries you might be using.

I'll give you an example. If you use FontAwesome and import a library, you're going to end up with about a 3Mb bundle, before you even start on a website.

10 (and a half). Next.js + Webpack Bundle Analyzer

Carrying on from the bundlephobia above, you can use this tool to see what makes up each package on your final website. This is exactly how we found out that a good chunk of our initial load was spent on a couple thousand icons...

Now we've got a solution using Next/Image with fontawesome, that we'll probably talk about at some point... But there's no blog post yet... Watch this space.

11. Speed up your content flow

We are probably a shining example of churning out content that we hope is actually useful. Yes, it's barely coherent a lot of the time and is littered with cat pictures, but the reason for doing so is "because it's more fun".

If you can find pain points of your content team such as "Can I source my imagery directly from Unsplash inside of Sanity" - solve those problems. Or if you're like us, just use Open Ai to generate your images for you

Naturally, the more your content editors like using your editor, the more they will write, the faster they will write it, and to quote "Field of dreams":

If You Build It, He Will Come

Kevin Costner - That Film

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