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SEO Meta Tags and Static Site Generation

Web Apps need to list detailed meta information about content in order to maximize SEO and provide good social media embed experiences.

One of the benefits to Stencil's prerendering is that most DOM apis are available in the NodeJS environment too. For example, to set the document title, simply run document.title = "Page Title". Or meta tags can be added and updated no differently than using the usual DOM APIs found in the browser, such as document.head and document.createElement('meta'). This mean your components runtime may already be able to do much of the custom work throughout prerendering.

That said, the Prerender Config also comes with many options that allows individual pages to be modified. For example, the afterHydrate(doument, url) hook can be used to update the parsed document, before it is serialized into an HTML string. The document argument can be used no different than the document found in a webpage, and the url argument is a URL location of the page being rendered.

In the example below, the afterHydrate(doument, url) hook is setting the document title from url's pathname.

import { PrerenderConfig } from '@stencil/core';

export const config: PrerenderConfig = {
  afterHydrate(document, url) {
    document.title = url.pathname;
  }
};

@stencil/helmet

When building a static site with Stencil, managing meta tags dynamically can be made easier by using the @stencil/helmet package.

To start, install the package:

npm install --save-dev @stencil/helmet

Then, to update meta tags in the <head> of the document, use the <Helmet> function component:

import Helmet from '@stencil/helmet';

const MyComponent = ({ title, description }: Props) => (
  <Helmet>
    <title>{title}</title>
    <meta name="description" content={description} />
    <meta name="twitter:card" content="summary_large_image" />
    <meta name="twitter:site" content="..." />
    <meta name="twitter:creator" content="..." />
    <meta name="twitter:title" content={title} />
    <meta name="twitter:description" content={description} />
    <meta name="twitter:image" content="..." />

    <meta property="fb:page_id" content="..." />
    <meta property="og:url" content="..." />
    <meta property="og:type" content="..." />
    <meta property="og:title" content="..." />

    <meta property="og:image" content="..." />
    <meta property="og:description" content="..." />
    <meta property="og:site_name" content="..." />
    <meta property="article:publisher" content="..." />
    <meta property="og:locale" content="..." />
  </Helmet>
)

Use this on any component that is visible and the meta tags in <head> will be updated.

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