Every aspect of your content matters when it comes to increasing its visibility on the internet. From the way you create your content to how you design your URLs and metadata.Learn how to optimize your content for search engines while minimizing the burden on content creators.
Make metadata a first-class citizen
Why the jump to metadata? SEO, at its core, is a set of metadata describing, enhancing, and supporting your content. If you want to have great SEO, you need to have great metadata. To achieve great metadata and thus SEO, you need to treat it with the same importance as your actual content. Delegating this task to a set of out-of-the-box features and tools won’t do your content justice. Ideally, content metadata should be incorporated into the content production workflow, including taxonomy checks, audits, and thumbs up from SEO experts, just as you would incorporate proofreading, market alignment, and legal into your content creation process. Treating metadata with the same importance as content has its downsides, such as it may take longer to publish a given piece of content, but there might be fast-track workflows for less important content and other workarounds. However, the biggest advantage is the extensibility of an SEO setup built to match your needs.When using a headless CMS like Kontent.ai, you can choose what metadata you use and label the fields based on your needs. Moreover, you can integrate best-of-breed SEO tools that can use the metadata and boost your SEO.
There are (at least) two types of metadata: structural and content (descriptive) metadata.
Structural metadata indicates the layout structure of your content elements. For example, “title”, “hero image”, and so on.
Content metadata describes the semantics of your content and helps with the discovery, identification, and selection of resources. For example, “first name”, “job title”, and so on.
To make your content creators’ lives easier, separate metadata elements from content elements using content groups.Create a content group named “Metadata” and move the metadata elements or the snippet to it. The benefit is that your content creators won't have to think about metadata while writing content.
Use proper keywords
Keywords in titles and introductory parts of your content are crucial from the SEO point of view. That’s because these parts of your content are what your visitors see first.Take care to always use relevant keywords in your content. Try to think about which terms your visitors would search for to find the particular piece of content. Using the right keywords results in a higher ranking in search results.
Improve your URLs
In Kontent.ai, use URL slugs to build SEO-friendly URLs. You can set URL slug elements to generate slugs automatically from a text element, such as a title.Using descriptive URLs generated like this helps higher visibility because URLs are one of the key metrics search engines pay attention to. For instance, compare these URLs:
We recommend that you structure your content with headings, use lists instead of long sentences, and illustrate written content with relevant, meaningful images.
Decrease render time
Another critical metric is the render time. Multiple studies have confirmed that over 80% of users leave a page if it fails to load in under three seconds.Large images or complex scripts running on page load can significantly increase your page load times. Long load times lead to higher bounce rates (visitors leaving without interaction). High bounce rates, in turn, lower your website ranking.You can test how Google, Bing, and other engines see your page using Fetch:
Insert the URL of your website.
Select a user agent you wish to test for (crawlers by Google, Bing, Duckduckgo, etc.).
Make sure to select the Render checkbox to get render time and other valuable information.
Another tool to test your page with is Google's PageSpeed Insights. All these tools work on live sites.
Sitemaps are important both for search engines crawling your website and for your visitors. A sitemap for search engines enhances the SEO of your website because it ensures all relevant pages are indexed by search engines.There's also another type of sitemap, and that's what we call a sitemap for visitors. It serves as a map of your website that helps your visitors understand its structure. You can create such a sitemap using clear navigation or a dedicated page that serves as a signpost helping people find what they need.
Featured snippets are a Google feature that includes text from your website in the search results for additional context if your content answers the user’s query the best way. Structuring and chunking your content will allow you to target these queries more accurately than your competitors. Creating reusable content items (chunks) used in any related content will reinforce your messaging across your online presence. Giving those chunks the same structure and configuration options, such as “allow as a snippet,” gives your SEO experts the control over excluding or including certain items from and into these snippets.
Is your content ready for voice search? Voice search is, in essence, a more conversational approach to querying for answers. It often includes the five Ws, such as “Where’s the closest cafe?” instead of a web search where users usually look for “closest cafe.” Some would argue that FAQs are an indicator of poorly discoverable content, and there is some merit to it. However, why not have both – make the content easily discoverable and target the “five Ws” questions?Having a FAQ section on your website isn’t as helpful as having these questions logically linked to the topic they are about. The beauty of highly structured content is that there is no limit when it comes to its reuse potential, so there can also be a dedicated FAQ section. Still, it would be much more beneficial to have the question and relevant content items bi-directionally linked. Creating a relevant “five Ws” question can be part of any content creation or SEO workflow.
SEO depends on consistency
A big part of SEO that is frequently left out is content stability and consistency. Reusing content chunks to promote content consistency and stability is more common than it used to be, but how about promoting the same consistency and stability in metadata by reusing SEO keywords or parts of the metadata description? The great thing about a headless setup is that you can model your SEO metadata elements the same way as any element containing content. So why not allow the reuse of tags, keywords, or content chunks in metadata fields?
Add “missing” CMS features
Moving from traditional CMS platforms into Kontent.ai, it may seem that there are features missing. Where are quotes, charts, and other visuals? Where can I remove an article from the navigation?
Is headless bad for SEO?There is this misconception – if a CMS doesn’t include SEO tools, it will automatically be a bad fit for an SEO-minded business. The often omitted downside is that to rely on these built-in tools heavily is counterproductive. These tools are not being used as a baseline, but they are often the only thing set up to help with SEO.Your SEO setup, as anything around your content, should evolve. A set-in-stone metadata setup will not. Headless enables you to evolve your metadata, hence the whole SEO setup.
Use standardized metadata keywordsSchema.org provides a collection of standardized sets of metadata. Webmasters can use them to mark up their content so that search engines understand it. This can improve your search engine ranking considerably.
Verify your changes firstIf you want to make sure you're on the right way before deploying the changes to production, create a preview environment and use it for tests first.
Are you curious how we at Kontent.ai manage SEO in our headless CMS? Check out this great article: Kontent.ai Loves: SEO.