A Quickstart Guide to Webflow SEO

Discover five techniques that you can use to drive more organic traffic from search engines.

Google processes more than 63,000 search queries per second, or roughly 5.6 billion searches every day, making it a massive source of potential traffic for your website. While there's no shortage of advice on improving search rankings, you should start by ensuring that your website meets a certain baseline to maximize your odds of success.

Let's take a look at five techniques that you can use to maximize your Webflow SEO rankings and drive more organic traffic.

A Brief SEO Primer

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of improving your organic rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) for target keywords. For example, a plumbing business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, may want to rank in the top ten results for the search term "plumber in Milwaukee" since these searchers are likely potential customers.

SEO is a constantly changing field that involves a combination of techniques:

  • On-page SEO consists in organizing your website and writing keyword-driven content.
  • Off-page SEO is building backlinks through guest posting and other techniques.
  • Technical SEO involves optimizing website architecture and performance.
  • Local SEO means creating and optimizing a local business profile.

Webflow makes it easy to implement on-page SEO with built-in support for blogging and easy page editing capabilities. In addition, you can implement some technical SEO in Project Settings > SEO and configure titles and metadata for individual pages. However, you may need third-party plugins or custom code snippets to implement more advanced SEO.

#1. Generate & Submit a Sitemap

Sitemaps are machine-readable files that help search engines find all of your content. Rather than hoping they follow links, these files consist of a list of every file and recommendations for how often search engines should revisit them (e.g., when they're updated). For example, Google Search Console lets you submit a sitemap and see its status at any time.

Webflow makes it easy to generate XML sitemaps at https://www.your-site.com/sitemap.xml automatically. If you select "YES" in Project Settings > SEO > Sitemaps, the platform will re-generate your sitemap every time you publish your site. If you have more advanced requirements, you can add your own sitemap code in the same area.

After generating a sitemap, sign in to the Google Search Console, click on Index > Sitemaps, enter your sitemap URL (https://www.your-site.com/sitemap.xml), and click Submit. After your sitemap finishes processing, you can see how many URLs Google discovered in the Submitted Sitemaps section and click on the analytics icon to catch any errors.

#2. Generate 301 Redirects for a Redesign

A 301 redirect is an HTTP status code sent by a web server to a browser or search crawler to redirect them to a new location for the content. For example, if you move a website to a new domain and search engines still link to your old domain, 301 redirects can transition those visitors to the new location and inform the search engine as they do.

Webflow makes it easy to implement 301 redirects in Project Settings > Hosting > 301 Redirects. You can simply input the old URL in the "Old Path" field and add the new URL in the "Redirect to path" field. In addition, you can redirect an entire folder using `(.*)` in the old path and adding `%1` in the redirect (see image above).

#3. Create Titles, Metadata, & Keywords

Most search engines don't rank websites by titles, metadata, or keywords anymore, but catchy titles and meta descriptions can make a big difference in click-through rates. In other words, you may appear in the same spot in the SERPs, but a catchy title can mean the difference between someone clicking on your website over a competitor.

When writing SEO titles, you should carefully consider the search intent—or the searcher’s most likely goals. For example, if you are targeting the keyword “emergency plumber,” you may use terms like “24/7” or “No Call-Out Fee” in the SEO title since these are concerns that the searcher is likely to have with that search phrase.

Webflow supports SEO titles and metadata for each page and post. You can add these data points in the SEO Settings section of the Pages panel. You can also add custom SEO titles and descriptions to collection templates, such as a list of blog posts. Titles should be shorter than 60 characters, and descriptions should be less than 130 characters.

#4. Check Google PageSpeed Insights

Search engines penalize slow or poorly designed websites on search engine results pages. Fortunately, Google PageSpeed Insights makes it easy to access in-depth performance statistics for mobile and desktop websites. After running the analysis, the tool provides a list of recommendations to improve performance.

Webflow has great performance out-of-the-box, but there are still some strategies that you can use to improve it. For example, you can remove unused interactions by clicking "Clean up" in the Interactions panel and use Compressor.io or other tools to compress images to minimize their size before using them.

#5. Create a Blog to Attract Backlinks

Many search engines rely on backlinks to indicate quality. If high-quality sources link to your website, they assume that you're providing some value to their visitors. But, of course, it's a challenge to build backlinks with a new website or business that doesn't have an established reputation or widespread distribution.

In addition to providing high-quality page-level content, blog posts can help attract backlinks by expanding your breadth of content. Suppose you publish content on niche keywords that popular websites don't cover. In that case, searchers will eventually discover your website, and new publishers will link back to your blog post as a reference for the subject.

Another common off-page SEO approach is guest posting. For example, you might consider writing an article for another blog or website and include a discreet link back to your website. 

The Bottom Line

Search engine optimization is a process that takes time, but the return on investment can be substantial. After all, it's one of the few sources of traffic that you don't have to pay for once you establish it. Fortunately, Webflow provides various built-in tools that you can use to improve your SEO profile from a technical standpoint.

If you plan on creating a blog to enhance your SEO, PowerImporter can help you manage posts in Airtable or WordPress and sync them up with your Webflow installation.

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