11 February 2022

4 consequences of a headless CMS for your SEO

️ Blog
8 min. reading time

headless CMS consists only of a backend where you can create, update and delete content. The front end where the content is presented is not integrated. This ensures that a headless CMS is very flexible. The content can easily be pushed to different channels via an API link. But disconnecting back end and front end does have consequences for your SEO in a positive and negative sense. Social Brothers lists the consequences for you.

Headless is fast

Load speed is becoming increasingly important within SEO. Search engines want to place sites at the top with a good visitor experience. Because visitors are impatient, sites that do not load within 5 seconds give a bad visitor experience. Here a headless CMS has an advantage over a traditional CMS. Because the content of the API link is pushed to the website or another front end, the website is nice and fast, especially when using a modern framework such as React† That the text is already there, while the pages are still loading, will not occur with a headless CMS. An additional advantage is that a large number of users of the front end are not able to slow down the back end. So the speed remains constant.

Headless is mobile first

The user experience also depends on the extent to which content is displayed well on different devices. A responsive website increases the user experience and is therefore placed higher by search engines. Google will even use the mobile version of your site as the default when determining the ranking. It is therefore very important that your content is suitable for mobile, or even better, looks great on mobile devices. Fortunately, a headless CMS is particularly suitable for ensuring that your content is displayed properly on different platforms.

Where is the content?

So far this sounds good, but a headless CMS certainly also has disadvantages for SEO. If you disconnect the header from the CMS, will the header still be found correctly? A traditional CMS works well for SEO as it produces HTML pages. These are crawled by the search engine spiders. With a headless CMS this is more difficult, because the first content that the user (and therefore the spiders) receives is empty. A search engine that cannot properly interpret JavaScript will see a minimal HTML page with no content. This will logically not be included in the search results.

Fortunately, search engines are also getting smarter. The Googlebot, for example, has been using the latest Chromium version and is therefore better able to interpret JavaScript. As a result, when crawling and indexing, he will not only look at the basic HTML, but also at the JavaScript files that make up the rest of the page. You can also help crawlers with this by using structured data from schema.org.

SEO without helpers

An advantage of a traditional CMS is that there are several plugins and programs available to help you with SEO, such as Yoast en SEMrush† With a headless CMS you lose these useful functionalities. This means that you should already take SEO into account in the code. Provide fields for metadata, such as the meta title and the meta description. The already mentioned use of structured data is also useful because in this way you can make it clear to search engines what the content on your website means and which content is important, such as the H1 and the headings. You give search engines context with the content. Also something to consider with a headless CMS is an XML sitemap that is easy to crawl and is automatically updated when new URLs are created.

Headless and SEO: no or go?

In terms of the technical SEOFor example, when it comes to speed and mobile first, a headless CMS certainly has advantages over a traditional CMS. In terms of content, however, there are some snags. However, by taking this into account more from the start in the back end, a headless CMS can be just as SEO-proof as a traditional CMS. Combined with the advantages in terms of technical SEO, this gives the headless CMS itself advantages.

Want to know more?

Do you want to know more about the benefits of a headless CMS, read our blog about it. If you want to know more about SEO, check us out complete SEO handbook.

Do you need help with the SEO of your headless CMS? contact on. Social Brothers is ready for you. View our SEO services.

Steven Founder[email protected]06-20413957
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