Websites & Apps

Upgrade your SEO toolbox

Take a deeper dive into Craft’s SEO capabilities for B2B By MOTUM B2B June 28, 2018

Last month, we published a blog post gushing about the many benefits of Craft CMS — both from a web development standpoint and from an ease of use perspective for content authors working with the platform.

This time around, we thought we’d zoom in on the specific qualities Craft lends to your SEO efforts. We sat down with Steve Lendt, Director of Engagement & Analytics at Motum B2B, to get his thoughts on the platform’s SEO capabilities.

Please enjoy these complimentary acronyms

Craft CMS has drawn attention from web developers largely due to its ease of use and flexibility. In general, the platform makes it much easier to create and manage content, making it more accessible to users with little to no development experience.

The same goes for SEO: Craft lets you manipulate your site’s SEO without getting your hands dirty with code.

“Craft has this great ability to control SEO from [the content author’s] standpoint,” Steve says. “It’s a more user-friendly experience for someone who’s not a developer.”

He explains while the practice of SEO remains the same, Craft improves the ease with which you can effect change. That translates into a greater degree of control over elements such as page titles, descriptions, URLs and even social media cards for Twitter and Facebook.

Other platforms draw in SEO elements programmatically, meaning they are automatically generated based on the page content. That’s still possible in Craft, but Steve recommends playing around with your newfound powers.

“If you really want to make a difference in the SEO, you now have more capability than you ever had before,” he says. “You have a much better SEO toolbox.”

Plugging into Craft

To make the SEO process even more efficient, Motum typically uses a plugin called SEOMatic. It allows us to customize the titles and descriptions on a page-to-page basis, as well as their implementation per page type.

The plugin features a Google Meta preview card, as well as Twitter and Facebook preview cards, to show how the site will render in your search results or social media respectively.

Written by humans, for humans (and robots)

So, Craft is more efficient and offers more control. Great. What does that actually mean for someone looking to ramp up engagement via SEO?

As Steve puts it, it means writing SEO for actual, real, live humans.

In other words, he means writing valuable and engaging content that isn’t simply designed to boost search rankings — but with alternative platforms, that’s sometimes easier said than done.

Craft makes it simple for users to post their own content and tailor the SEO to be more relevant to readers (without neglecting the bots).

As a result, says Steve, “You have a lot more ability to take advantage of speaking to humans and bots alike.”

Steve also expects Craft to impact the way Motum builds and implements campaigns.

“When we build campaign-friendly URLs, we put a lot of thought behind the messaging and how the various messages align with one another,” he explains. With Craft, a content author can easily tweak existing content to make it fit the campaign’s messaging — and hone in on SEO targets as a result. “We can more readily reuse or repurpose existing content just by using Craft.”

Juiced up on SEO

Retour is another plugin we use to handle redirects when transitioning from an old site to a new site. In a nutshell, we can plug a list of unique URLs from the old site into Retour and point them directly at pages in the new Craft-powered website.

That means slowly rebuilding a snapshot of the website without seeing any downtime on Google.

Our web team likes to call this “Saving the website’s SEO juice.”

Crafting your B2B SEO strategy

In the B2B space, content is often so niche that it’s actually easier to create a refined, targeted SEO strategy with what you have.

Whether you’re operating within a limited amount of web market space or a very competitive space, Craft adds an edge to your SEO efforts.

“Competitive markets will definitely see the SEO benefits of Craft,” says Steve. “In B2B, you have a better chance of getting your niche content ranked higher because you’re using the latest tech inside the best SEO playing field.”

What does Steve recommend to clients or content authors working with SEO in Craft?

“Keep asking for results,” he says, “and keep an eye on trends.”

Because Craft makes it so easy to adjust and evolve your game plan on the fly, he encourages clients to keep checking key metrics and data to track the progress of their marketing efforts. It pays to watch for new and upcoming trends for the same reason.

“You can do more strategy around SEO, and you can do more thinking around the whole thing from end to end: where the visitor’s coming from, what you want them to see, and how you want it displayed,” Steve adds. “You have an amazing amount of flexibility, so you can come up with a really smart game plan that you can then use as a new best practice.”

The Motum team is excited to finish our own conversion to Craft in the near future.