Webflow SEO: A Beginner’s Guide to Rank #1 in Search Engines

Webflow SEO: A Beginner’s Guide to Rank #1 in Search Engines

Webflow SEO: A Beginner’s Guide to Rank #1 in Search Engines

June 24, 2024
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Are you a business owner or SaaS marketer trying to stand out online? Or maybe you're a freelance web designer or developer aiming to build SEO-friendly websites for clients. Regardless of your role, Webflow is a fantastic tool to help you reach these goals.

Webflow makes it easy to create beautiful websites that search engines love. However, climbing the search engine ranks with Webflow SEO can be challenging if you don't know where to begin. But don't worry, you're in the right place!

We’ll show you how Webflow's features can improve your website's on-page SEO. You'll learn how to increase brand awareness, attract more high-quality leads, and increase your sales.

Are you ready to make your site SEO-friendly without losing its style or functionality? Let's dive in!

What Makes Webflow Good for SEO?

Webflow is a simple-to-use tool for creating websites. As it's full of tools to help your site get found and appear in search results, it's an excellent choice for getting your brand found and moving up.

But maybe you also want to know if Webflow is good for SEO. SEO helps search engines understand your site, so more people can access it. 

So, how do Webflow and SEO function together, and does Webflow benefit or harm SEO? 

Let us find out!

What Makes Webflow Good for SEO

1. The Site is User-Friendly

You don't need coding skills to make appealing web pages with Webflow's visual canvas. With less effort spent on design, you'll have more time to focus on including SEO-friendly content.

Here, you can see a glimpse of the easy-to-use interface of Webflow:

The Site is User-Friendly

2. Fast Load Times

Webflow knows how quickly your site loads, which may affect its ranking in search results. So, they use smart code and fast computers to ensure their websites load quickly.

David Bitton, CEO of DoorLoop, discussed his experience of working with Webflow. Here is a part of the speech he shared 

 Fast Load Times

Websites must load quickly, as slow websites may lose visitors after only one page.

You can check out the following image that supports a broader statistic to this data —

Bounce rate

Many Webflow sites also follow Google's rules for a good user experience from the start. We call these rules "core web vitals." These rules let you know that content that takes longer to load may move lower in search results.

The following image would provide you with a clear conception of core web vitals:

Core Web Vitals

3. Metadata is Easy to Handle

That's what metadata is for: it tells search engines what your website is about. 

This list includes your website's title, summary, and keywords. This tells search engines if your website has what people are looking for.

It is easy to change information with Webflow. You can establish themes for various pages using their template settings.

See the image below to understand the customizing options you would find in Webflow:

Metadata is Easy to Handle

This lets Webflow automatically add essential data to your metadata, like the author's name or the page's title.

4. Generates Search Engine Friendly URLs Automatically

Search engines can easily understand the URLs that Webflow makes. 

A slug is the last part of a URL. It's like giving each page its own name.

Webflow automatically creates slugs for pages like "/log-in" for login pages and "/checkout" for checkout pages, as shown here. 

Generates Search Engine Friendly URLs Automatically

Browsers use these to determine the content of each page.

You can also create your own URL slugs to make them easier for people and search engines to read.

5. Use of Subfolders or Subdomains

You can choose whether to use subfolders or subdomains on your site with Webflow. This helps you get your pages in order.

If you are wondering about how subfolders (subdirectories) and subdomains differ from each other or in functionalities, you can see the image below to get a clear picture:

Use of Subfolders or Subdomains

Pro Tip: If you want your site to rank higher in search results, use subdomains instead of subfolders.

How is Webflow Different from Other CMS Systems?

Webflow is unlike other website-building tools. You don't have to write code from the start to design your website. 

Instead, you use a visual interface. It offers server services and a content management system (CMS) in one package. 

One of its benefits is Webflow's built-in hosting, driven by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Fastly's global Content Delivery Network (CDN). It means your website will always load fast, even when there is a lot of traffic.

Even though Webflow isn't as well known as platforms like WordPress, it has its own perks. w3techs says it has a 0.7% market share right now, a small amount compared to WordPress's 65.3%.

How is Webflow Different from Other CMS Systems

 

When it comes to SEO, Webflow does have some good points. The following image would help you understand why we said this.

Feature

Webflow

WordPress

Joomla

Drupal

Visual Interface

✔️

Integrated Hosting

✔️

Customization

High

High

Medium

High

Learning Curve

Moderate

Low

Moderate

High

As you can see, Webflow impresses with its visual layout and built-in hosting, which makes building websites easy. It also offers many customisation choices, allowing you to create completely unique websites that fit your needs.

When you think about these things, Webflow is a great choice, especially for people who want an easy-to-use platform with powerful design and hosting tools. 

You should consider Webflow if you wish to find a current and effective way to manage your website.

The SEO Capabilities of Webflow

Webflow stands out from open-source content management systems (CMS) as a proprietary tool. In contrast to WordPress, Webflow does not provide third-party apps. However, this makes SEO testing easier. 

Webflow's built-in hosting service can be directly linked to the CMS if the speed changes. So, here what we did:

  • When doing important on-page SEO tasks, we tried Webflow's built-in features.
  • We relaunched our website with Webflow in January 2021 and looked at the effects a year later.

Within these steps, you can see how Webflow's built-in features help with its SEO.

So, let’s take you to a tour of Webflow SEO checklist:

How Does Webflow Measure On-Page SEO Fundamentals?

When it comes to on-page SEO, Webflow is a powerful tool, so you won't need loads of extra tools. Let's explore the features Webflow offers to help your website rise in search engine results pages (SERPs).

How Does Webflow Measure On-Page SEO Fundamentals

1. SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions

You have to make sure the names and descriptions of each page on your website are clear and useful so that they show up higher in search results. These are like little ads for your work.

Webflow allows you to individually set meta descriptions and SEO titles for your each page, as shown here —

SEO Titles and Meta Descriptions
Where You Can Find This Option

Here is how it works —

  • Designer Menu: This is where you'll find the editing tools for your website pages.
  • Pages Section: You can choose which page you want to change here.
  • Edit Page Settings: You can change many things about your page here, including the SEO.

Within "Edit Page Settings," you'll find fields for developing your:

  • SEO Title: This is the headline that appears when you search for something. Include your goal keyword and keep it short (about 60 characters).
  • Meta Description: It’s a brief summary (around 160 characters) that tells users what your page is about. Make it enticing to encourage clicks!

Webflow even has a helpful preview tool that lets you see how your title and description will appear in desktop Google search results. This is a great way to see what your mini-ads will look like for people visiting your site.

However, keep in mind that Webflow doesn't currently support creating templates for SEO titles and descriptions. You can't see a sample of your snippet's appearance on a phone, either though you can see it on a desktop and somehow it appears like this:

Search Result Preview

2. Page Slug/URL

With Webflow, you control the URLs of your website! This means you can give your pages their own unique URL names, which are the parts of the URL that come after the domain name.

Look at the following example to have a better understanding of this:

Page Slug/URL
Where You Can Find This Option

You can define custom URL slugs in the same place you set your SEO title and description for each page. 

(Remember, that's in the Designer menu > Pages section > Edit Page Settings).

Collections too!  

If you're using Webflow's CMS (Content Management System), this is applicable for normal website and collection pages.  A CMS makes it easy to handle things like blog posts, articles, and product listings on your website.

You can help search engines and people who visit your page understand what it's about by giving it URL slugs that are clear and informative.  

Plus, a touch of customization can never hurt!

3. Index Control

Think about a robot going to your website. That's kind of how search engines work! You can tell these search engine robots whether to index (show) a page in search results or not with something called a robots meta tag.

Here's how Webflow lets you manage this:

Robots Meta Tag Explained:

This tag basically gives search engines instructions. There are two main options:

index, follow: "index, follow" tells search engines to index the page and follow any links on it. (This is usually what you want for most pages).

noindex, follow: "noindex, follow" tells search engines to skip indexing this specific page, but still follow any links it contains. (Maybe you have a "thank you" page after someone fills out a form – you wouldn't necessarily want that indexed).

How to Control Indexing in Webflow

The "index, follow" tag is already set for most pages, so you don't need to change it. But if you don't want a certain page to be indexed, Webflow lets you add code to the "Inside <head> tag" part of the page settings. This may sound hard, but Webflow can help.

Bonus! Testing Subdomain Indexing

Before putting your site live on your name, you can test things out on a free subdomain like yourwebsite.webflow.io with Webflow.  

Webflow also lets you stop indexing this subdomain in the page settings, so search engines don't accidentally show your test site in search results.

4. Canonical URLs

Search engines can get confused by duplicate content, which is bad for your SEO.  

Don't worry, though—Webflow has your back! You can avoid this mistake with tools like canonical URLs.

The simple process of using Canonical URLs:

  • Project Settings: This is the main place in Webflow where you can change settings for your website.
  • SEO Section: There is an SEO area in project settings that will help you make your website search-engine friendly. Choose how to handle identical URLs here.

Search engines can use a canonical URL to determine which version of your content is the "original" or most important. This keeps search engines from indexing multiple copies of your information, so they can only see the one they need to.

Global Canonical Tags

Webflow allows you to set a global canonical tag for your entire website, which is a great starting point. Let’s help you identify what global canonical tags look like with an example:

Global Canonical Tags

You can also add specific canonical tags for individual pages using Webflow's Custom Code Editor (if you're feeling adventurous). Just enter the Designer option and go to Page Settings. Then click on Edit Page Settings. Put the following code in the "Inside <head> tag" area:

Custom Code

5. Structured Data

Structured data is like extra information you can give search engines to help them better understand what you're writing.  

It's kind of like putting labels on the things on your page.  

There is a way to set up organized data that isn't built into Webflow right now, but you can use this instead.

Custom Code to the Rescue

Using the Custom Code tool, you can add structured data to your Webflow site if you know how to code. You can even find code tools online to help you write the right code for your needs!

6. Image SEO

Images are a great way to break up text and make your website look nice, but they're also important for SEO!  

This is where Webflow comes in handy:

All about the Alt Text: You can add "alt text" to every picture on your website with Webflow. This alt text is like a short summary that tells search engines what the picture is about and people who can't see it.

Here is an example that illustrates how you can individually set alt texts for each image in Webflow:

 Image SEO
Image Management

Webflow also shows you how big your image files are and the file names.  This is helpful because large image files can slow down your website, which can hurt your SEO.  

Webflow will even remind you if you forget to add alt text or have super large image files!

While Webflow doesn't have built-in picture compression (which compresses images), it does have something called "lazy loading."  With lazy loading, images only load when they're about to be shown on the screen. This can help websites open faster.

7. Heading Tags (h1, h2, h3 etc.)

Headings (H1, H2, H3) can help organize your text. But they're also good for SEO!  

It's easy to add and change these titles in Webflow. The following image bears a testimonial of this:

Heading Tags
H Tag Options

You can pick which H tag to use when you add a new heading element in Webflow. H1 is the most important, H2 is a subheading, and so on.

Here are some more specific instructions for you:

  • Make the title of the main page an H1 tag. 
  • For major portions, use H2. 
  • For additional points inside the larger subject, use H3.

You can be very creative with how your headers look in Webflow. To fit your website's style, you can change the font, color, size, line spacing, and more.

Remember that putting relevant keywords in your titles can help search engines understand your writing and help you rank higher for those keywords.

8. HTTPS

If your website address in the search bar has a lock icon next to it, that means it uses HTTPS, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.  It's a technical term for "your website has a secure connection." 

Why does this matter?

Security Is Important

People who visit your website can keep their information safe with a private connection. It includes passwords and credit card numbers. This makes people believe your website and feel at ease while they browse it. 

Search engines also like websites that use HTTPS because it shows that you care about safety.

Webflow Makes it Easy

The good news is you don't have to worry about complicated security setups with Webflow.  

If you use Webflow's built-in hosting service, your website will automatically use HTTPS by default. It applies to both your Webflow testing subdomain (like yourwebsite.webflow.io) and any custom domain name you connect to your Webflow site.

9. XML Sitemaps

Search engines see an XML sitemap as a road plan that shows them all the important pages on your site. When you send search engines your sitemap, you make it easier for them to find and index your information.

Automatic Generation of XML Sitemap in Webflow

Webflow makes an XML sitemap for your website, saving you time and work.  This sitemap is updated every time you change something on your website, which you can find written as follows on Webflow:

Sitemap

In Webflow, go to Project Settings > SEO and look for your website's XML sitemap address.

10. Robots.txt File

Robots.txt is like a list of rules for search engine crawlers, which are computer programs that view websites and look at them. You can tell web browsers which pages on your site they can see and which ones they should skip with robots.txt.

Editing Robots.txt File in Webflow

You can change the robots.txt file for your website right in Webflow's project settings. It lets you fine-tune how search engines read and index the information on your website.

Finding Robots.txt File in Webflow

Go to the settings for your project.  You can find an SEO area in the settings.  You can get to and change your robots.txt file here.

Finding Robots.txt File in Webflow

Don't forget that SEO is a process, not a goal. Use these Webflow tools and keep writing great content for your website to make it stand out online.

Strategies to Ensure Long-Term Success of a Webflow Site

It's easy to make a beautiful website with Webflow, but it can be tricky to keep it fast as your site grows. We'll show you how to keep your website running smoothly without losing its look. 

You can keep your Webflow site running quickly by making a few easy changes, as follows.

Strategies to Ensure Long-Term Success of a Webflow Site

Stay Away from Third-Party Scripts

Ever noticed how slow websites are when they have a lot of pop-ups and chatbots? The reason for this is that those functions need extra scripts to work. 

These tools can make it take longer for your website to load, especially on phones.

The good news is that you don't have to give up speed to use these tools! The key is to wait for them to load. 

Think about how your website would load in stages —

  • First Stage: The text and general layout are the first things to load because they are the most important. It makes it look like your website loads quickly for people who visit it.
  • Second Stage: It takes a moment for less important things, like chatbots or tracking scripts, to start. The visitor is probably already looking around your website at this point, so the wait doesn't bother them.

You can put these apps off with tools like Google Tag Manager.  It's kind of like a traffic light for the parts of your website. You can choose which parts of the page to load first (like green lights) and which ones to wait (like yellow lights) with Google Tag Manager.

Control Scripts with Google Tag Manager Tool

GTM, or Google Tag Manager, is a powerful tool for controlling the tags on your website. It lets you do three specific things:

  • Keep track of conversions, 
  • Look at how well your site is doing, and 
  • Run remarketing ads. 

Rule-based tags can be used with GTM to decide when and where to use them. For example, you can choose to only load conversion code on certain pages, like the checkout or confirmation page.

One good thing about GTM is that it can delay the reading of tags, making page loads much faster. You can make sure users have a better experience without losing functionality by adding a bulk delay of up to 6 seconds after the page loads for the first time.

GTM also has ways to eliminate the need for third-party scripts completely. 

Before loading a script, using Google to find faster options is a good idea. This method can help you get the most out of your website's speed while meeting your needs.

Optimize and Compress the Sizes of Your Images

Images that look good on your website are great, but images that are too big or not optimized can slow things down. So you must minimize your pictures before you send them to Webflow.  

You can find a lot of free tools online that can help you downsize your pictures.  Just make sure you find the right mix. You want your files to be small but also the pictures to look good.

Webflow even has a tool to convert your pictures to a file called WebP. You can think of WebP as an image format that maintains quality while reducing file size.

Use Selective Loading on Mobile vs. Desktop

Scripts should only be loaded on the desktop version of your site because mobile websites are naturally slower than desktop websites. 

According to Google, your mobile site also affects your search engine rankings. 

In general, whether you're designing a website for mobile or desktop, you should utilize as few scripts or fancy effects as possible.

Lazy Load Images

Picture yourself scrolling through a long document.  When you lazy load, pictures don't show up all at once, but as you scroll down. This makes the first-page load very quickly, which is great for sites with lots of pictures.

Webflow automatically lazy loads all new pictures. In other words, you don't have to do anything else to use this speed enhancement.

As of August 2020, all new photos uploaded to Webflow are now configured to lazy load by default. 

The process of checking this out involves three simple stages:

  • Click on the picture, 
  • Go to the Element Settings panel on the right, and 
  • Make sure that "Load" is set to "Lazy." 

This will show you if the images are lazy loading.

Lazy Load Images

Use SVG Images, Not JPGs

When you can, use SVG images instead of JPGs or PNGs. SVGs are smaller and have great quality.

Here's what to do:

  • Make all your SVGs the same size, like 72x72. This makes it easier to resize them later.
  • Use an SVG compressor to make your images even smaller.

If you have lots of SVG images at the top of your site, they'll usually load right away. Here's how to make them load faster:

  • Put an embed code where you want the image.
  • Add the SVG code into the embed.
  • If it's an icon, set the color using currentColor. Then, you can change all the icon colors at once by changing the color swatch.

Avoid Preloads for Maximizing Performance

Preloading is more like guessing what your visitor will do next when you preload.  

Let's say you load a movie trailer ahead of time while someone is looking at your website. If they don't click on the movie, that could waste their data and slow things down.

Webflow users should avoid preloading most of the time. It's a good thing that preloading is turned off by default for all links. 

In other words, you shouldn't have to worry about it unless you've specifically turned it on in your Webflow settings.

Reduce or Remove the Use of Too Many Fonts

Using different fonts is fun, but putting too many on one page can slow things down. This is because you need an extra file to load each font. And as you can see here, the load speed is highly affected by the use of fonts.

Reduce or Remove the Use of Too Many Fonts

To make the page load faster, remove all the styles and use only "system-UI" as your font. This will load the default font for the device that is watching your site. 

For example, use —

  • Segoe on Windows, 
  • Roboto with Android phones, 
  • Blink for Macs or San Francisco, and 
  • Helvetica Neue as a backup font by default.

So, the ultimate advice is: for your website, try to use only a few main fonts.  Keep things easy and the same for best results.

By using these strategies, you can keep your Webflow site running at its best, giving guests on any device a quick and enjoyable experience.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Webflow has become increasingly popular since it first appeared in 2013, especially in the last two years. If you want your website to rank higher in search results, you need to take advantage of Webflow's powerful SEO features. 

Webflow SEO optimization gives you everything you need to optimize your site for search engine exposure. Its user-friendly design, fast loading times, clean code, and top-notch design templates make it perfect for SEO. 

Webflow's proprietary nature also makes SEO testing and troubleshooting easier, allowing you to quickly find and fix performance issues. Using Webflow's built-in tools and these best practices, you can increase organic traffic and improve SEO on your site. 

So, why wait any longer? Start using Webflow now to improve your site's SEO and visibility. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Webflow good for SEO?

Yes, Webflow is excellent for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Here's why:

  • Clean Code: Webflow makes clean HTML code, which is vital for search engine crawlers to be able to read and process your website correctly.
  • Fast Loading Speed: Fast loading times are guaranteed by Webflow's built-in hosting, which AWS and Fastly's CDN drive. Search engines like Google use page speed as a key ranking factor.
  • Mobile Responsiveness: Webflow instantly creates responsive designs so your website looks good and works well on phones. Search engines also consider mobile-friendliness when ranking websites.
  • Customizable Metadata: Webflow makes it easy to change meta names, descriptions, and keywords, which is important for making your website more visible in search engine results.
  • Structured Data Support: You can add organized data to your website with Webflow. This helps search engines better understand what your pages are about and how they fit together.
  • SEO-friendly URLs: Webflow makes URL slugs for your SEO-friendly pages by default. This makes it easier for search engines to read and index your content.

2. How do I set up SEO on Webflow?

Webflow SEO settings require a very simple process. Here are the steps you need to take to set up SEO on Webflow:

i. Project Settings

  • Auto-generate Sitemap: Turn this on. A sitemap helps search engines understand your website structure and content.
  • SSL/TLS Enforcement: Activate this for a secure connection (https), which is crucial for SEO and user trust.
  • Minify Code: Enable minification of HTML, CSS, and Javascript. This reduces file size and improves website loading speed.

ii. Page Settings

  • SEO Title & Meta Description: Craft compelling titles and descriptions that accurately reflect the content for every page. These appear in search results and can influence clicks.
  • Open Graph Settings: Optimize how your website previews are shared on social media.

3. Does Webflow have SEO plugins?

No, unlike some other website builders, Webflow doesn't need any extra SEO tools to work. Webflow comes with SEO tools that you can use to make your site better for search engines.

So you won’t need any Webflow SEO plugin to upgrade your rankings.

4. How do I add keywords to Webflow?

The process of adding keywords to Webflow is easy:

  • Page Settings: Pick the page where you want to add keywords in Webflow Designer. Then, on the right sidebar, click the gear button, which looks like a setting.
  • SEO Settings: You'll find an SEO tab in the page settings. Click on it to access the SEO settings for that specific page.
  • Meta Title, Description and Keywords: You can put your chosen keywords in the meta title, meta description, and keywords areas in the SEO settings.
  • Meta Title: This is the title that appears in search engine results. Include your primary keyword here.
  • Meta Description: This is a short summary of your page that shows up in search results. Use important keywords in a natural way.
  • Keywords: Google doesn't use the meta terms tag to decide how to rank a page, but some search engines do. Include keywords related to your page's content.
  • Save Changes: Don't forget to save your changes after adding your keywords.

By adding relevant keywords to the SEO settings of your Webflow pages, you can increase your website's visibility in search engine results and attract more free traffic.

5. How can I get better SEO with Webflow?

Webflow is an all-in-one platform that includes integrated SEO features. Here are some tips that you can follow for improving SEO with Webflow:

  • Add SEO titles and meta descriptions to all pages
  • Provide alt texts for all images
  • Set up proper URL structures, which can help search engines understand what your page is about
  • Use proper header tags
  • Optimize site loading speed
  • Use Structured Data Markup which can help you with ranking
  • Implement Hreflang tags for multilingual websites
  • Connect Google Search Console to get accurate and detailed reports about web visits, browser types, and demographics
  • Use CMS Collections to define meta title and descriptions using CMS fields

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