Headless CMS SEO: What is it, and what does it mean for your business?
Organic search has the potential to attract more traffic to a website than any other known marketing source: social media, paid ads, and other channels that we use for this purpose.
We cannot emphasize enough the value of solid optimization conducted on all website pages. When done correctly, SEO will help users discover your website. It will also position you above your competition in the search engine results pages (SERPs), which is what all marketers aim for.
Website platforms should make it easier to manage your SEO strategy; if they don't, you're using the wrong ones, and it's time to try an advanced option - a headless content management system (CMS).
Headless CMS supports and improves all your SEO efforts. Let us introduce you to all of its characteristics and benefits. Let's dive in!
CMS vs. Headless CMS
The unique architectural structure makes the headless content management system so special.
A "regular" CMS has a front-end presentation layer (head) and a back-end content repository (body), which are interconnected and can't function independently.
The front and back end must start working from scratch when a business wants to create a new content-based experience.
The marketing team cannot publish content without a development team, implying an unnecessary waste of time since content and functionality depend on one another. A headless content management system solves this problem.
In the headless version, the head and body work independently - where content is created isn't the same place where content is presented.
When content changes, the presentation doesn't have to, and vice versa. Content creators and marketers can make and store content in a back-end repository.
Application programming interface (API) technology allows each component of headless CMS to work separately, but they can synchronize at any time. Creative and developer teams mutually contribute to creating SEO-friendly content and UX.
The unique architectural structure of headless CMS makes your content pop up.
Earlier, all marketers had to do was stuff as many keywords as possible and thus earned backlinks from their SEO efforts. Keywords would match up with search queries users entered, and naturally, search engines would award a web page with high rankings. Well, not anymore.
Today, thanks to the progress of artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML), search engines can understand the context, quality, and relevancy of given content.
Achieving a high ranking today is more complex than before since marketers must fulfill numerous ranking factors that weren't a thing back then.
Headless CMS can meet the needs of all business niches in terms of quality content creation and performance.
Why should you use a headless CMS?
It is flexible, and it spares valuable time. While marketers had to optimize one piece of content for different devices (desktop view, smartphone view, app), headless CMS can deliver to all mentioned the devices and much more: virtual reality sets, intelligent speakers, and others.
With headless CMS, you won't need to worry about how your content looks on different devices.
This software platform will allow marketers to easily access content when they want to improve or customize it. We all know how often we want to update articles with fresh information since it is vital for SEO and relevancy in the eyes of search engines.
Another convincing reason to go headless might be the additional protection that it offers. Hacker attacks and malware are sadly the new normal, but headless platforms mean more security since the CMS is separated from the user interface.
How does headless CMS improve SEO?
A headless content management system can improve rankings. It determines how your content will be displayed so that you can tailor the perfect presentation for different search engines and devices.
Updating and site management are easier with this software to avoid common SEO problems, such as content duplication.
Headless software also helps with site or app indexing. If you use this system, Google will find your content, index it, and show it in the search results.
How to implement headless CMS?
Implementing a headless software platform without a team of developers could be challenging, but it's not impossible.
The first thing you have to do is choose a back-end content management system. That can be any software that can store your content.
After setting up the back-end, it is time to set up the front-end application. Keep in mind that this is the app that is directly responsible for the content presented to the users. Now all you have left is to set up an API to connect the front and back-end.
Depending on your specific goals and needs, there are many ways to implement headless content management systems.
If you don't have a programming team that could implement headless CMS and you lack technical knowledge for this task, the top BPO agencies can take care of it for you.
How to get the most out of headless CMS?
Some tactics will maximize the way headless CMS impacts your SEO, so you better use them:
Content is king; it has always been and will always be. Produce fresh, quality content regularly, and it won't go unnoticed in the eyes of Google.
Use all the additional help you can get, but never stop creating authentic, valuable, helpful content that provides users with the information they are searching for.
Optimize content, but don't forget non-content
When you update and (re)optimize content, don't forget metadata. Ensure it's still relevant to the content; edit and optimize it by adding keywords if needed.
Track the speed regularly.
The headless CMS powers your content, improving your text loading speed and formatting. Loading speed is one of the most significant ranking factors and is something you don't want to compromise on. The ideal loading time is 1 to 2 seconds.
Consult your programming team about adding Schema.org to your website.
Schema structures data and helps search engines better understand the content of your pages.
What CMS features can improve SEO?
Here are the main headless CMS functions that are beneficial for SEO:
- Mobile view and speed optimization. CMS will optimize your content for mobile and other devices and improve its loading speed.
- API integration. Headless CMS uses API to deliver content from the back end to the front end, positively impacting website performance and overall SEO.
- Easy metadata access. This software gives you more extensive control over your metadata. You can easily access metadata, update it, and improve SEO anytime.
- Built-in features. Some headless content management system software has built-in functions that can help index your site and improve its SEO.
- URL customization. Headless CMS allows URL customization. Add keywords to the URL and give your pages better ranking chances.
- Canonical tagging. Canonical tagging helps search engines recognize which part of the content is original. That can help avoid content duplication, which enables you to avoid penalties and boosts SEO.
- Content delivery network. Another excellent characteristic of headless CMS is it uses a content delivery network (CDN).
CDN implies a network of serves all around the globe, ensuring on-time content delivery to all users, regardless of geolocation. There is no more delay in content delivery, which means better SEO + better rankings.
Are there cases when it's better to use traditional CMS?
Many people ask if headless CMS is better than the standard version. We wouldn't rate this comparison in terms of better or worse. The question is which one is more appropriate for your business needs.
Although headless CMS provides many advantages, such as platform independence, improved security, fast performance, cost-effectiveness, customization, and scalability, there are cases when it's better to use traditional CMS.
Headless CMS is popular among developers, especially mobile app developers, since its API allows delivery of the exact solutions for Androids and iOS devices, and they both look exquisite.
However, a headless CMS is unnecessary if you are the owner of a small website with only a few pages. Traditional CMS will fulfill your need effectively.
What types of sites should use headless CMS?
Separated front and back-end are beneficial for eCommerce websites or websites showcasing products and services.
The headless CMS market was worth $328.5 million in 2019 and is expected to increase its value to $1.628 million by 2027. Many businesses turn to this software platform for its flexibility, security, and other benefits.
Using a headless CMS brings numerous SEO advantages, especially if you have to deliver content to different types of devices. It spares your time, effort, and money.
However, the headless content management system is not for everyone - it requires a lot of technical knowledge.
You should decide do you want a non-tech person to maintain the presentation of your website, or would you instead go for a more demanding advanced option.
In some cases, traditional CMS will be faster and more effective - for example, when you are running a small website or personal blog. For bigger projects, headless CMS will be the right choice.
This guest post was written by Tomas Mckannie, a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.