For small business owners, designing a website can be a tiresome task for someone with little to no web design experience. That’s why Webflow is a much easier system for designing a clean, easy-to-use interface that will attract new customers.
There are many free content management systems (CMS) available including WordPress, Wix and Squarespace.
So why choose Webflow?
I’m going to explain that below, including a step-by-step guide on how to give your new website the best chance to get ranked on Google using my foolproof SEO strategy.
Let’s get started.
Why choose Webflow?
Let’s start with Webflow itself. The best thing about Webflow is that it lets you build a website with amazing templates without having to write any code. That being said, you will need to spend some time playing around on it just to get a feel for how things work. Webflow has tutorials for you to follow and once you start dragging and dropping things during the editing process, you’ll find it a much easier way to design a decent website.
In the last decade, responsive web design has changed dramatically as to how we create for the web. The things we can do on a website now are becoming more and more complex but the tools to design them aren’t always easy to use. Webflow uses data driven design to integrate these processes making it easier for you to write blogs, create listings and display your products to potential customers.
Have I convinced you yet?
If the answer’s yes, let’s dive into the SEO side of things.
Why is SEO important for Webflow?
Making your website look great is important, but that doesn’t mean Google will automatically start ranking you higher than other people’s websites. That’s where SEO comes in. There are a number of SEO steps that a business owner will need to take in order to:
– Get recognised by Google
– Get rewarded by Google in the form of high rankings in their search engine
Let’s go through the steps.
Step #1: Having correct heading structure
It’s important that your website is structured properly with H1-H6. What does that mean? Heading 1 (H1) is the main heading, which should be front and centre on your website. Google will look for your H1 first to determine the content for that page.
You should only have one H1 per web page as by having more than one, you are confusing both the reader and the search engine. A newspaper article never has more than one main heading, so why should your web page? Next, you need to use H2-H6 to show Google what the subheadings or sub ideas are to break up your content into sections.
Why is heading structure important for SEO?
Heading structure is important both for search engines and the reader. The H1 is the most important because it allows you to include your keywords, boost your relevance for important search terms and anchors the page. It also draws the reader in if they find the heading interesting. Just as if you were scanning a newspaper, you look at the headlines first to see which articles interest you to keep reading.
Step #2: Optimise title tags and meta descriptions
Each page of your website should have a title tag and a meta description. What’s the difference between an H1 and a title tag, you ask? The title tag is what appears in Google search results and you want to use the same keywords or keyword phrase that you used in your H1 for that same page. The meta description is the short blurb that tells the reader what they are going to find on that page which should also include your keywords. For more information on how to do keyword research, check out my article on free SEO tools.
Why are title tags and meta descriptions important for SEO?
This is the first thing a user will see when they type a search into Google. The title tag and the meta description are what a person will use to decide if they will click on your website based on whether they think it’ll be useful to them. Don’t get lazy with your title tags or meta descriptions either as Google doesn’t like duplicates, so this might result in you getting penalised.
Step #3: Clear navigation structure
This can be done by either having tabs at the top of your website or a drop-down menu that is clearly visible. Make sure you also have a footer with all the pages clearly laid out for easy navigation. You should also hyperlink text within your content to relevant pages on your website. For example, if your text says, ‘contact us for more info’, use a text link to your contact page.
Why is navigation structure important for SEO and UX?
Having clear menus and footers makes it easy when Google crawls your site to see all your individual pages. This will also hopefully mean Google can list all of your pages in its search engine. Clear navigation is great for people too. No one enjoys spending 10 minutes trying to find contact information on a business’ website, so don’t make it difficult otherwise they’ll look elsewhere.
Step #4: Change your Webflow settings
Webflow has settings that can automatically help your website’s SEO. Under Settings there is a page called ‘Hosting’. Scroll down to the bottom of that page to ‘Advanced Publishing Options’. Make sure the first four settings are set to ‘ON’. The last one can be left ‘OFF’.
Why are these Webflow SEO settings important?
Turning these settings on is an instant way to increase the performance of your website. It immediately drops the load time and bandwidth usage. That translates to faster website speed and accessibility, which creates a better user experience for the visitors to your website. People hate waiting for slow websites to load and 1-3 seconds is the optimum speed. Any longer and people will give up and go to a better performing site.
Step #5: Auto-generate sitemap
You’ll be able to generate a sitemap under the ‘SEO’ settings and all you have to do is click ‘YES’. A sitemap is a list of all the URLs on your website with information about them, making it easier for Google to crawl. A sitemap includes metadata which tells Google how your web pages are related to each other and when they were last updated. Google can see all the content you have and understand how it’s organised, which is why creating one is crucial for SEO. What Webflow does is auto-generate a sitemap which makes your life much easier.
Why is a sitemap important for SEO?
By auto-generating a sitemap for your website, you’ll then be able to go into Google Search Console and request for Google to crawl your site. If you don’t request this, sometimes it can take up to five weeks for Google to recognise a new website that needs to be crawled. Sometimes websites are never crawled because this request was never made, which is why making a sitemap is so important.
Step #6: Create a Google Search Console Account
This is a free tool that Google has created, so why not use it? As we mentioned before, you’ll need to use Google Search Console (GSC) to request Google to crawl it. Once you’ve set up your website, set up an account on GSC. Then, click on the ‘Sitemaps’ tab and type in ‘sitemap.xml’. When you click ‘submit’, then you’ve notified Google that you’d like your site crawled.
Why is Google Search Console important for SEO campaigns?
Google Search Console allows you to track the performance of your website. Once your site has been crawled, you’ll be informed if there are any warnings Google is giving your website or any way in which Google might be penalising your site. Most importantly is that you are informing Google that there is a new website that needs to be crawled and (hopefully) will get you ranked on the first page of search results.