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Improve your Craft CMS skills

Is Craft CMS Good For SEO?

10 min read
Shape April 2022 HR 45

Choosing the right CMS is crucial for SEO success. In this article, we cut through the noise to provide definitive insights on whether emerging CMS platform Craft CMS delivers on its SEO promises. By examining its architecture, optimization features and comparing it to WordPress, you’ll learn if Craft CMS is an SEO-friendly choice that meets the demands of today's search landscape.

With developer-focused architecture, built-in SEO features like customizable URLs, metadata controls, and structured content models, Craft CMS empowers creating semantic, optimized markup without plugins. Comparisons show Craft CMS provides more integrated, flexible SEO out of the box than WordPress. The verdict: Craft CMS excels at enabling SEO best practices.

Craft CMS for Content and SEO

Overview of Craft CMS

Craft CMS is a flexible, user-friendly content management system optimised for structured content creation and SEO best practices. It has gained popularity as a modern CMS due to its focus on empowering marketers and content creators through its intuitive interface and flexible architecture.

Many digital agencies and marketing teams leverage Craft CMS for building custom sites, blogs, and ecommerce stores. Its versatility across projects and ability to scale for large enterprise makes it a popular choice. Craft also integrates seamlessly with modern JavaScript frameworks like React and Vue.js. The Craft CMS architecture provides built-in SEO advantages through its templating flexibility and structured content modelling.

Craft CMS Architecture and SEO

A key advantage of Craft CMS for SEO is its front-end templating powered by Twig. Twig provides full control over front-end markup and output through HTML templates. This allows complete customisation of metadata, URLs, hierarchical content structure and markup optimised for SEO.

Craft stores all content in JSON format. This structured content model allows related content, media and assets to be organised logically. The headless nature of Craft CMS content stored as structured data is ideal for rendering SEO-friendly markup on the front-end.

Together, Twig templates and structured JSON content provide the flexibility to optimise pages for keywords and focus pages around compelling user-focused content.

Craft CMS Use Cases

Craft CMS is an ideal choice for a wide range of digital projects needing an SEO boost. For blogs and content sites, Craft makes it easy to incorporate SEO best practices like keyword targeting, metadata optimisation and content structure. The intuitive interface allows non-technical users to optimise their own content.

Ecommerce stores benefit from Craft's flexibility to customise product pages and

category/taxonomy pages for better findability. SEO and eCommerce – Centralised content helps create optimised marketing pages with unified messaging.

Craft is also well-suited for sites needing multi-lingual and localisation support. It has robust translation workflows built-in to manage foreign language content. The JSON content structure also powers global content localisation easily.

Craft CMS empowers marketers to create SEO-friendly structures without reliance on developers. It brings user-focused content creation and presentation closer together - a boon for delivering engaging experiences optimised for organic search. For websites needing full control over front-end markup and content modelling, Craft CMS delivers on-page SEO advantages.

Optimizing URLs and Site Architecture in Craft CMS

Craft CMS URL Control and Permalinks

One of the most powerful features Craft CMS offers for SEO is its unparalleled control over URL structure and permalinks. Developers and site owners can fully customize URL settings to optimize page URLs.

Settings like omitScriptNameInUrls and usePathInfo give control over URL appearance and structure. The {{ siteUrl }} variable allows outputting absolute or protocol-relative URLs.

Permalinks for entries and other content can be customized via Tokens with variables for dates, entry titles, categories etc. This creates semantic, user- and SEO-friendly URLs. For example, blog post URLs can follow a structure like:


These customized permalinks persist through site changes, avoiding broken links. Craft gives full control over URL scheme.

Using Routes for Advanced URL Structures

Craft CMS provides a powerful Routing system to create advanced, customized URL rules. Routes allow matching URLs to templates and adding parameters.

For localized sites, routes can detect language and region to serve country-specific URLs. Ecommerce sites can customize product URL structures using custom product routes.

Other examples are:

  • Segmented routes for each site section

  • SEO-friendly category and tag URLs like /news/category/tech

  • Clean pagination URLs like /blog/page/2

The possibilities are endless when defining URL structures using Craft's flexible routing system.

Craft CMS Page Types for URL Planning

Craft allows creating custom page types with associated templates to model site architecture. For example, different page types can be made for Blog, Services, Company Info etc.

With customized permalink settings, the page type can determine the resulting URL structure. Blog page type URLs can follow /blog/{slug} while Services can use /services/{entry.id}.

This presents opportunities to optimize URLs based on site sections and IA. Some best practices are:

  • Primary pages/sections on siloed structure

  • Logical content grouping into pages/types

  • Keyword-driven URLs where suitable

  • Consistent URL scheme per template

Craft's flexible modeling and custom URLs empower developers to architect sites for optimal on-site SEO.

Craft gives unparalleled control over site architecture and URLs to boost SEO. Between permalinks, routes and page types, Craft CMS makes it easy to model IA and optimize URLs for search engines and users.

Optimizing Metadata in Craft CMS

Customizing Page Titles

Craft CMS provides several ways to customize title tags for optimal SEO. Each entry has a Title field that outputs to the <title> tag. For dynamic titles, Twig code can be used like {{ entry.title }} | {{ siteName }}.

Additional SEO title settings are available at the section level. This includes:

  • Custom title formats per section

  • Auto-generated titles from entry fields

  • Static or dynamic title formats

For advanced control, SEOmatic is a popular plugin for complete title tag management. It provides fine grain control over title lengths, formats, and generation per template.

Some best practices for optimizing titles in Craft include:

  • Keyword placement at the beginning

  • Site name branding appended to the end

  • Consistent title formats across similar templates

  • Truncating titles to optimal length (50-60 chars)

Craft's flexibility empowers full control over title tag content and structure.

Crafting Meta Descriptions

Craft has multiple ways to configure SEO-friendly meta descriptions. At the field level, entries can have a short "Teaser" text that outputs to meta descriptions.

For dynamic descriptions, Twig code can reference entry fields to generate custom descriptions for each page. The SEOmatic plugin also allows custom meta description logic tailored to each template.

Some tips for optimizing meta description tags in Craft:

  • Summarize page content

  • Include focus keywords naturally

  • Adopt conversational tone and language

  • Length of 155-160 characters

  • Consistent descriptions for similar pages

With its templating and plugins, Craft CMS provides the flexibility to craft custom meta descriptions per entry or globally.

Enhancing Pages with Open Graph Tags

To enhance social sharing, Craft CMS sites can easily incorporate Open Graph meta tags. The native {{ entry }} variable outputs core Open Graph info like title, description and image.

For more control, SEOmatic allows customizing Open Graph data per entry, globally, or using custom logic. Other plugins like Social Pix fill in suitable images for social sharing.

Beyond Open Graph, full Twitter Card and other social metadata can be added in Twig templates or using plugins. With proper social tags, Craft CMS pages gain better visibility when shared on social networks.

The structured content model also means related media assets are linked to each entry or page for easy access in meta tags. For great social sharing experiences, Craft CMS pairs flexible templating with structured content.

Craft provides many options for deep control over page metadata critical for SEO. With its templating language and plugin ecosystem, Craft CMS gives both developers and site editors control over optimized meta tags.

Additional SEO Features in Craft CMS

Optimizing Sitemaps in Craft CMS

Craft provides built-in XML sitemap generation features. The default sitemap indexes all site pages and content. Settings like sitemap caching, image inclusions, and custom sitemap routes are available.

For advanced control, the SEOmatic plugin is the go-to choice. It allows creating multiple sitemaps - for pages, news, products etc. Granular settings per sitemap are available like:

  • Custom inclusion/exclusion logic

  • Priority and update frequency per URL

  • Notifying search engines of new sitemaps

Together, Craft and SEOmatic provide fine-grained control over sitemaps tailored for search engines.

Leveraging SEOmatic for Added SEO Capabilities

The SEOmatic plugin expands Craft's core SEO features significantly. For metadata management, it provides template-specific title/description settings. Per-element meta tags can also be customized.

For URLs and routing, SEOmatic adds advanced capabilities like:

  • Automatic URL duplication checking

  • 301 redirects for changed URLs

  • Segmented sitemaps by content type

It also surfaces key SEO data like internal/external links and site indexing statistics for analysis.

SEOmatic complements Craft's templating flexibility with programmatic SEO tools for entities, meta optimization and more.

Implementing Robots.txt Rules

Craft allows creating a custom robots.txt file for search engine crawling guidance. The file can be added at the web root or configured within Craft settings.

Typical configurations involve:

  • Allowing/blocking folders

  • Crawl frequency guidelines

  • Specifying sitemap locations

  • Blocking unsuitable pages

Custom routes can be created just for the robots.txt file. environments like staging/development.

For large sites, sections can have individual robots.txt rules. Configuring proper robots.txt directives in Craft guides search engines for optimized crawling.

Craft provides SEO-focused tools for sitemaps, metadata, URLs and robots directives out of the box, complemented by plugins like SEOmatic. This holistic approach of technology plus content creates the ideal SEO framework.

Comparing Craft CMS and WordPress for SEO

Default SEO Capabilities Comparison

Out of the box, Craft CMS provides stronger default SEO capabilities versus WordPress. Craft gives full control over URLs, templating, and metadata for optimizing markup.

In contrast, WordPress needs SEO plugins like Yoast for basic functionality like meta tags. The integrated nature of Craft's SEO features allows for unified optimization.

Some key differences:

  • Craft has customizable permalinks, URLs and routes

  • Twig templates enable complete frontend control

  • Metadata optimize for every template

  • Less reliance on plugins

Overall, Craft CMS provides better default SEO capabilities versus the fragmented experience of configuring WordPress and plugins.

Ease of SEO Optimization

Optimizing WordPress for SEO requires installing and configuring various plugins like Yoast, Rank Math etc. Complex functionality like XML sitemaps need additional plugins.

In Craft, most SEO features work right after installation. Core configuration like metadata, titles, URLs provide SEO lift. Additions like SEOmatic plugin expand capabilities.

Compared to WordPress' plugin dependency, optimizing Craft for SEO involves:

  • Learning Twig for templating access

  • Reading core SEO documentation

  • Minimal plugins required

The structured authoring and frontend control in Craft CMS makes SEO optimization intuitive and integrated.

SEO Community and Resources

With its widespread use, WordPress has abundant SEO resources available. Tutorials, guides, community forums exist for all major plugins and SEO techniques.

For Craft CMS, dedicated SEO resources are currently limited but growing. The community provides support through official channels like StackExchange and Craft Slack. SEO plugins like SEOmatic have detailed documentation.

As Craft CMS gains traction as an SEO-friendly CMS, more specific resources are emerging focused on best practices. But availability lags behind WordPress currently.

In summary, Craft provides integrated SEO capabilities out of the box versus WordPress’ fragmented plugins approach. And while WordPress has more abundant SEO resources, Craft makes SEO optimization intuitive through its flexible architecture.

Shape April 2022 HR 202
Andy Golpys
- Author

Andy has scaled multiple businesses and is a big believer in Craft CMS as a tool that benefits both Designer, Developer and Client. 

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