Webflow SEO – Designing a website isn’t a task you execute by waving your magic wand. On the contrary, it takes a lot of effort, especially when you have little to no web design skills and experience. Webflow is regarded as a friendly web designing platform for website designers who don’t have advanced-level of coding skills.
So, can you create an effective SEO strategy around a website built using Webflow? Well, that’s what you are about to find out.
What is Webflow?
Webflow remains one of the most popular drag-and-drop website builders out there. Not only is it capable of letting you design a website, but you could also launch and grow that website from scratch and, more importantly, with no codes.
The platform has a drag-and-drop approach to its web design environment. It has a visual canvas that makes it easy to design a functional and stunning website based on your preference. It is a CMS/hosting platform. The editor capabilities make it possible for web designers to get the perks of using a visual web editor and the flexibility in creating a custom website from scratch – you get the best of both worlds.
What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial to attracting the right customers to your products and/or services via your website. It could be a personal website or one you designed for a client; SEO is essential for the site’s overall growth.
Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other popular search engine sites have bots that crawl around each webpage to put them in what is known as an “index.” A page that is not indexed can’t rank on SERPs. Once the web pages have been indexed, the algorithms consider lots of factors to rank the different pages for commonly searched terms so that when you surf the internet for such popular phrases, you find the result that relates to it.
Search engines will help you find the ideal answer for your search query, so when a user stays glued to your webpage for a long time, that particular webpage will have a higher chance of ranking for that searched term.
A good SEO strategy equals free marketing for your website. Creating an effective SEO from the start means you need not worry about driving traffic to your website, the SEO you’ve put in place will do that for you organically.
Why opt for Webflow?
Are you wondering why you’ll choose Webflow for your project? First, let’s talk about the great templates you’ll get to pick from, all without writing a code. First, however, you’ll need to invest your time playing around with the web design canvas and get used to the different features and functionalities. Interestingly, there are comprehensive tutorials for you to study once you’re about to get started with the design process. As a result, you’ll find it easier to design a helpful site, even as a newbie.
For the past ten years, responsive websites have evolved astonishingly in how we create the sites for the web. Meanwhile, the things we can don a site are becoming more complicated even though there are tools designed for these purposes. Meanwhile, Webflow uses data-driven designs to make it easy to integrate the processes, thus making it less complicated to create listings, design blogs, and showcase your products to prospective customers.
Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty – The Webflow SEO
The Importance of SEO for Webflow
Improving the overall aesthetics of your website is crucial, but it isn’t as important as making a conscious effort to ensure that it ranks well on Google and other search engine platforms. Now, making it rank is where SEO comes in. There are a few steps to follow when creating an SEO strategy for your business. The steps include:
- Getting recognized by Google
- Gaining rewards from Google – this could be in the form of rankings
. Designing an appealing website and making it rank well on search engines are two different things.
How to Win with Webflow SEO?
Some SEO strategies are designed to help improve the backend or behind the scenes. Meanwhile, some systems also aim to help optimize the published content on the website, and others just explore the options of elements outside the web pages.
Also known as On-page and off-page SEO, these SEO sections are targeted toward similar goals – creating a web flow website that ranks on SERPs.
1. Include Meta Titles and Descriptions
Meta titles and meta descriptions show up on the users’ search results. Take time to add and edit the meta title and meta description for the web pages. Webflow also offers you a preview of the search results enabling you to see how the pages appear in SERPs.
If you are new to the Webdlow space, you need to understand that Webflow has built-in SEO functionalities like title tags and meta description creation, sitemap updates, robots.txt, and 301 redirects, just to name a few.
You need to write an SEO-friendly meta title and meta descriptions in simple terms. They both have to be compelling as well. The meta title and description you come up with will define the impression that users have when they view your website. They have to accurately convey the web pages’ values.
It has to be less than or equal to 60 characters. A quality meta title has to accurately summarize your page’s main topic. You should also include information that users need to view on your site.
2. Create a Sitemap
Remember, always check the box to automatically generate a sitemap for your site. And if you wish, you can create the sitemap manually. However, once you’ve written or generated the sitemap, you need to send it to Google. So how do you do this?
- By adding the sitemap, you generated in your site’s robots.txt file
- Send the sitemap using Google’s search consoles.
Creating a sitemap will give crawlers the directions to your content. Sitemaps function like digital maps for crawlers.
Webflow makes it possible to generate sitemaps. You can find the settings under the “SEO” link. Once you’re on that page, you have to click on “Yes,” and the sitemap will come to life. A sitemap consists of the site’s URLs with information about them. The metadata in sitemaps tells Google how your pages are related and when they were published and updated. Google has access to the content on the site, and it also understands how the content is organized.
By generating or writing a sitemap, you’ll be able to gain access to Google Search Console and request for the Google bot to crawl your website.
3. Create a 404 Page
Creating a 404 page on Webflow is as easy as pie. First, you must create a 404 page, give it a URL that ends in “/404,” and add a simple design. But you aren’t done yet because the page offers exceptional opportunities to help users ease the pain of hitting a nonexistent webpage.
When users run into the 404 page, they’ll most likely be frustrated. After all, they clicked the link because you made them think it was functional or wanted to do something there.
Interestingly, many websites try to mitigate the frustration by adding a bit of humor – you have to hit the bull’s eyes if you choose to opt for this humor option. But if you aren’t sure of yourself, steer clear of this approach. So, how do you mitigate the frustration?
- Provide users with a feedback mechanism: If users are hitting your site’s 404 page, it means something is wrong. A simple yet effective call-to-action such as “let us know” embedded in the prefilled tweet or mailto link will let your site’s users share their interaction experience with you. You can then take it from there.
- Guide them out: You’ve led them there; now it’s time to offer them a way out. You can do this by adding a search box to the 404 page so they can manually search what they came for. Another option is adding a link to the top pages of your website or any other area of your website.
- Be clear about what just happened: Let them know what went wrong. A vast 404 centered on the web page is clear to all savvy internet users. However, not every user that visits your site is tech-savvy. This is why it is crucial to let them know what went wrong.
4. Create a Google Search Console Account
Google Search Console is a free tool, so why aren’t you using it? As we’ve stated earlier, you will need the Google Search Console to request its bot to crawl it. Once your website goes live, set up a Google Search Console account as soon as possible. Once you have an account, click on the “Sitemaps” tab and input the “sitemap.xml.” Now, click on the ‘submit’ button. Google will be notified of your request.
With Google Search Console, you can track the overall performance of your newly designed website. Once the search engine bot has crawled the website, you’ll automatically be informed if there are problems on your site that Google is highlighting or if your site activities might attract Google’s penalty. The important thing here is that you’ll request your website to be crawled.
5. Change Your Webflow Settings
Webflow’s settings make it possible to tweak your site’s SEO. First, under the “settings” tab, a page labelled “Hosting.” Next, scroll down to the bottom of the hosting page and click on the ‘advanced publishing options.’ Finally, 3ensure the first four settings as toggled ‘On.’
This Webflow setting helps to increase your site’s performance. It instantly drops the bandwidth usage and the load time – these two actions translate to faster site accessibility and speed, thus, creating a positive user experience for your site’s visitors. Internet users hate sites with slow load time, and anything above the 3 seconds load time isn’t optimum, and people will give up on your site. That would translate to a high bounce rate.
6. Optimize your site’s structure
Site structure refers to how your site’s page and other information are organized. It is an essential part of any site’s SEO because it defines the usability and overall user experience. Therefore, you should always start with a fully optimized site structure so that your visitors find your website navigable via the different pagers and find the information they need.
So, this is how it works – you start with your website’s core pages like the homepage, about page, contact page, and the services page. Then, these different pages can have sub-pages.
If you own an ecommerce website, your site structure would typically start with the core pages, followed by the category pages. Then, you can add all your product pages under these different category pages.
Based on your website structure, you should prioritize the navigation. Then, add pages to the Webflow site based on the system you’ve designed. The easiest way to do this is by heading to the designer section of your Web flow site and clicking on the pages option. This option lets you add new parent pages or folders to your website.
7. Disable your site’s Webflow.io Subdomain
This tip is essential to your website. When you create a site on Webflow, the platform automatically creates a staging domain for your newly designed site. This ensures that you can develop and get the website ready before hitting the publish button. But once you’ve published the site, it means there’s a duplicate on the internet – you don’t want that as it is wrong for Google. So, how do you avoid this? It’s simple: check the ‘Disable Subdomain Indexing’ box, and the webflow.io subdomain will be disabled.
8. Utilise Backlinks
Always learn to include backlinks to your site. Just as we’ve highly recommended in the past, Google’s bot highly regards backlinks. So make sure to link back to other pages on your website and another reputable website online. Doing this will help Google easily categorize your site with similar websites, thus, improving SEO.