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Webflow SEO Checklist: The Ultimate Optimization Guide

August 27, 2023
September 13, 2023

Webflow SEO Checklist: The Ultimate Optimization Guide

Erin Porter

Introducing an elegantly crafted website that captivates visitors is just the beginning. Elevating your presence on search engine results pages (SERPs) is where SEO takes the spotlight. By prioritizing a robust SEO approach, the value of your investment in a top-tier, responsive Webflow website becomes even more pronounced.

Red Shark Digital's Webflow SEO specialists have meticulously crafted an all-inclusive Webflow SEO checklist to channel authoritative organic traffic to your site. From fine-tuning on-page elements to shaping effective internal linking strategies, we leave no stone unturned. Continue reading for the ultimate Webflow SEO checklist that covers all you need to know when building, optimizing, and publishing your website for the world to see.

New Site Webflow SEO Checklist

When publishing your website and kickstarting your online presence, these essential steps allow accurate performance tracking and help identify your target audiences. Setting up your Google Suite and harnessing powerful analytics platforms like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Bing Webmaster Tools allow you to curate your future SEO efforts from up-to-date information regarding your users and traffic sources.

Set Up Google Search Console

Google Search Console stands as a dynamic and cost-free utility from Google. It unlocks profound insights into the organic search dynamics of your website. When you delve into the capabilities of Google Search Console, you gain exclusive access to a wealth of optimization prospects that hold key insights to elevating your online prominence.

How to set up Google Search Console:

  1. Access Google Search Console: Go to the Google Search Console website and sign in with your Google account. If you don't have an account, you'll need to create one.
  2. Add Property (Website): Once logged in, click the "Add Property" button and enter the URL of your website. Make sure to enter the full URL, including the "http://" or "https://".
  3. Verify Ownership: Google needs to verify that you own the website. There are several verification methods available, including uploading an HTML file to your website, adding a meta tag to your website's HTML, using Google Analytics, or using your domain name provider.
  4. Choose Preferred Version: If your website supports both "www" and non-"www" versions or "http" and "https" versions, choose your preferred version. This helps Google index your site correctly.
  5. Accessing Data: Once your website is verified, you'll be able to access data about your site's performance, search queries, indexed pages, and more through Google Search Console.

Google Search Console allows you to:

  • View top performing pages
  • Identify traffic-driving keywords
  • Fix website issues
  • Submit indexing for new pages
  • See ranking positions

Set Up Bing Webmaster Tools

Alongside Google Search Console, Bing Webmaster Tools offers a comparable level of worth in deciphering Bing's organic search landscape. While Google remains a popular choice, it's worth noting that page visits on Bing have surged by 15.8 percent since February 2023. Webflow agencies use Bing Webmaster Tools to access analytics specific to their Bing traffic and users, encompassing a holistic organic SEO approach across search engines.

Create Google Analytics Property

Google Analytics is a robust website and app analytics platform catering to in-depth analysis and comprehensive reporting. This versatile tool empowers you with extensive insights, aiding in a deeper understanding of your customer base. Our expert Webflow SEO professionals specialize in configuring Google Analytics and SEO reporting for marketing performance.

Your initial phase involves establishing an Analytics account unless you have an existing account. You can proceed to create a property unless you intend to set up a distinct account for this particular website and/or app.

Create a new Google Analytics 4 property to begin setting up your Google Analytics. The Editor role is required to add properties to your Google Analytics account, which is automatically assigned if you create the account. Name your property and choose the reporting time zone and currency.

Next, you’ll need to add a data stream. Add a data stream by confirming your desired account in the Account column and your chosen property in the Property column. Within the Property column, navigate to Data Streams > Add stream. Here, you can select between iOS app, Android app, or Web options for your data stream.

For website data collection setup, you have several options:

  • Incorporate the tag into a website builder or CMS-hosted website.
  • Directly insert the Google tag into your web pages.
  • Utilize Google Tag Manager to add your tag.

Upon completing the data collection setup, proceed with further configurations to extract additional valuable insights from your analytics.

Create and Submit Your Sitemap

Submitting a sitemap of your website as part of your Webflow SEO checklist is integral to search engine crawlability. Distinguishing itself from its industry counterparts, Webflow stands out by seamlessly generating an XML sitemap upon configuring custom domain hosting. These sitemaps serve as invaluable guides for search engine crawlers, outlining your site's hierarchy and giving prominence to essential content while setting the pace for efficient crawling.

Create Your Robots.txt File

Robots.txt files serve as directives for search engines, outlining off-limit areas of your website. These files present a detailed inventory of pages and sections spiders can't visit during crawling. The robots.txt file informs search engine crawlers about the URLs they can explore on your website. It's important to note that the robots.txt file is not solely purposed to exclude web pages from Google's indexing; its primary intent is to manage crawling activities.

Webflow has two rules for populating the robots.txt file:

  • User-agent: this section applies to all robots.
  • Disallow: tells robots not to visit the site, page, or folder within the website.

Disable indexing on Subdomain

Webflow provides a staging domain for each project. Deactivate subdomain indexing during the developmental phase using Webflow's user-friendly SEO settings. You possess the capability to guide search engines through the crawling process using a robots.txt file. Additionally, you can obstruct search engine access to specific pages, directories, your entire site, or even your subdomain. This feature proves valuable in instances such as concealing your site's 404 page from indexing and inclusion in search outcomes.

Here's how to deactivate indexing for your Webflow subdomain:

  1. Navigate to Site settings > SEO tab > Indexing section.
  2. Adjust the "Disable Webflow subdomain indexing" setting to "Yes."
  3. Save your changes and publish your website.

Check out our Webflow Website Pre-Launch Checklist for more information on launching your own website.

Download Our Webflow SEO Checklist for FREE

Advanced Technical SEO Checklist for Webflow

Enhancing your website with technical SEO tactics immediately places you ahead of the curve to search engine crawlers. Implementing technical SEO not only satisfies search engines and users, however. Technical SEO averages 117 percent Return on Investment (ROI), according to statistics provided by Thrive My Way. Prioritizing your website architecture, core web vitals, and rich snippets using Webflow for SEO goes a long way for your website to maximize visibility and user experience.

Confirm Google Can Crawl Your Site

Crawlability stands as the vital capability of search engine crawlers, such as Googlebot, to access the contents and resources of a website. Failing to ensure proper crawlability can deter a website's organic search rankings, leading to undesired outcomes. It's essential to differentiate crawlability from indexability, as both serve unique purposes in the SERP ranking process.

The scope of crawlability extends beyond Google. Various specialized crawlers perform their rounds of exploration on website pages for unique purposes. Take the example of the AhrefsSiteAudit bot, which delves into website pages to gauge site health and pinpoint potential issues for SEO reporting.

Several telltale symptoms can signal impaired crawlability, including:

  1. Page Discoverability: Ensuring pages are discoverable by search engine crawlers is paramount.
  2. Nofollow Links: The use of nofollow links can impact how search engine crawlers navigate through your site.
  3. Robots.txt File: The directives in the robots.txt file can either facilitate or impede crawling activities.
  4. Access Restrictions: Any restrictions on access, intentional or unintentional, can hinder proper crawling and subsequent indexing.

Recognizing the significance of crawlability goes beyond Google's realm, as various crawlers influence a website's overall health. Prioritizing these factors in your Webflow SEO checklist ensures that your digital presence is optimally accessible, contributing to improvements in visibility and search engine performance.

Confirm Google Can Index Your Site

Indexing your website is arguably the most essential step beyond publishing your domain within your Webflow SEO checklist. An accurate page index hinges upon successful crawling. While it's worth noting that, in exceptional cases, Google may index a URL based on its textual content and backlink anchor text without a prior crawl, this type of indexing lacks the full context of page details, like title and description, on the search engine results page (SERP). Google Search Console’s URL inspection features allow users to test a website page's index status on Google. Request indexing with a single click to ensure your newly published pages are in the queue for Google indexing.

Provide One Domain for Access

Adhering to SEO best practices underscores the significance of maintaining your website's visibility within a singular domain, mitigating potential complications across indexing, crawling, and security domains. Opting for multi-domain indexing calls for thoughtful strategies, with a key recommendation being the implementation of a 301 redirect for seamless navigation.

Thankfully, Webflow streamlines this process, allowing the seamless setup of 301 redirects via the user-friendly SEO project settings. By accessing project settings, you can effortlessly redirect URLs from their old path to the new path on your primary domain. Upon execution, a site publication confirms the changes.

Understanding that having multiple domains can hurt your page's ranking is integral. Housing everything under one domain acts like a guiding light, giving your website a distinct identity and connecting with essential factors like popularity and metadata. On the other hand, dealing with a bunch of different domain names scatters your SEO power and makes it less effective.

Common issues consistent with multiple indexed domains:

  • Duplicate content across secondary domains
  • Penalization from site crawlers due to shared IP addresses of primary and secondary domain names
  • Vulnerable to technical issues, especially if multiple domains exist on one hosting account

Secure Your Site With HTTPS

HTTPS stands as a paramount ranking signal within Google's algorithm. Employing TLS (SSL) for encryption, HTTPS sets itself apart with heightened security, a distinction far superior to that of HTTP. It's imperative to promptly address any absence of HTTPS security on your website to guarantee the safeguarding of both your site's integrity and user data.

By contrast, the HTTP protocol lacks encryption, leaving connections vulnerable. This instability translates into unencrypted lines of text within HTTP requests and responses, prone to interception by any entity monitoring the connection, including malicious hackers seeking to exploit the vulnerability.

Prioritize Page Speed Optimization

A staggering 82 percent of consumers have voiced that sluggish page speed significantly influences their purchasing decisions, according to a study conducted by Unbounce. The objective of swift page load times has been a central theme in website development for well over a decade, and this pursuit isn't slowing down in the current mobile-first era. (Did you catch our little play on words there?) Our Webflow SEO experts have compiled a set of key recommendations for enhancing your website's page speed:

  • Streamline image sizes to reduce bulk
  • Employ diverse image dimensions tailored to distinct devices
  • Optimize CSS and JavaScript through minification
  • Entrust site hosting to swift and responsive providers
  • Exercise caution when incorporating pseudo-images and animations

Webflow presents numerous indispensable resources and tools designed to fine-tune your website's page load speed. Check out our Webflow Checklist for more expert tips on optimizing page speed!

Convert Images to WebP Format With Webflow

In tandem with optimizing your website for page speed, Webflow introduces a cutting-edge addition to its arsenal of page speed enhancements: the dynamic WebP conversion tool. By embracing the WebP format, you unlock the potential to compress images efficiently, all while retaining premium resolution quality.

WebP represents a contemporary, space-efficient image format that seamlessly balances image excellence and reduced file size. In comparison to conventional formats like JPEG and PNG, WebP stands as a compact alternative, resulting in faster website loading times and bolstered SEO rankings—without compromising the visual resolution of your site.

WebP embodies open-source creativity, offering its foundation to everyone and inviting downloads and contributions to its source code. Developed by Google, the WebP format exemplifies their commitment to reducing image sizes without sacrificing quality. This clever approach utilizes predictive coding similar to techniques found in video keyframe encoding.

Google's diligent research underscores the success of WebP in achieving remarkable compression feats. WebP remains 26 percent leaner than PNG files and an impressive 23 to 24 percent trimmer compared to equivalent JPG counterparts. These enhancements allow WebP images to expand to dimensions as large as 16383 × 16383 pixels.

Mobile-Friendly Webflow Website Features

The shift to a "mobile-first" perspective within Google's SERP outcomes has been a widely acknowledged progression in recent years. Considering that over 60 percent of Google's search traffic originates from mobile devices in the US, the significance of responsive design has surged to the forefront. The Webflow UI Designer features intuitive drag-and-drop projects for a responsive-first site right from the outset.

Embracing responsive, mobile-first Webflow design reaps numerous SEO advantages, including:

  • Enhancing usability to ensure seamless interaction
  • Aligning with Google's predominant emphasis on exceptional user experiences
  • Elevating pagespeed performance for swifter interactions
  • Mitigating bounce rates through enhanced engagement
  • Fostering amplified social media sharing due to an improved user experience

Download Your FREE Webflow SEO Checklist PDF

Webflow SEO Keyword Research Checklist

Optimizing your website is great and all, but the optimizations are pointless unless you establish a strong keyword research plan. Conducting keyword research consists of numerous steps that provide insight into your target audience, their preferences, and the state of your industry’s market. As for your audience, keyword research provides integral details, including the pain points, solutions, and questions your audience experiences. Before you optimize, set realistic goals from your keyword analysis to divide and conquer your Webflow SEO checklist.

Establish Target Keywords

The initial stride towards enhancing your online presence involves optimization of your website for targeted keywords. These optimization practices generate visibility and propel traffic, increasing conversions. It's crucial to lay a robust foundation by curating a well-rounded list of keywords that resonate with in-market target demographics. Comprehensive industry research enables you to study persisting trends, identify areas of improvement, and uncover potential avenues of growth specific to your offerings.

Our Webflow SEO agency uses these keyword research tools trusted by industry leaders:

Beyond the immediate boost of website visibility, keyword research yields valuable outcomes, allowing you to:

  • Forge a deeper understanding of your intended audience and effectively engage them
  • Identify fresh and pertinent subjects to enrich your website's content spectrum
  • Attract and qualify leads that are genuinely interested in your offerings
  • Drive heightened sales and bolster revenue generation
  • Enhance the efficacy of advertising campaigns, magnify click-throughs, and amplify impressions
  • Cultivate an elevated level of brand recognition and awareness

Conduct Competitor Analysis for Keyword Research

Elevating your service's keyword research can be expedited by conducting competitor analyses of industry leaders. This approach offers valuable insights into the keywords that your identified competitors have successfully clinched top ranks for. By strategically redirecting user traffic toward your site, you successfully conquest users from your competitors.

If you've already accomplished your initial keyword research, supplementing it through competitor analysis opens new avenues to maximize the impact of your chosen target keywords.

Engaging in a comprehensive competitor keyword analysis follows a straightforward five-step process:

  1. Identify Your Competitors
  2. Conduct Thorough Competitor Research
  3. Compile a Comprehensive Collection of Competitor Keywords
  4. Export the Accumulated Keyword Insights
  5. Meticulously Arrange and Organize Your Unearthed Results

Assess Search Intent

Securing rankings for service-related keywords is an achievement in itself; however, elevating your visibility becomes long-lasting in implementing a strategic search intent approach. Search intent reveals the "why" that underpins each search query.

There are four categories of search intent, each outlining a unique user journey:

  1. Informational Intent: This category caters to users driven by a quest for knowledge and understanding about a particular topic.
  2. Commercial Intent: Suited for users poised to tread the path of research, this intent type emerges when users seek to gather insights before making an informed purchase decision.
  3. Navigational Intent: Users in pursuit of a specific webpage find themselves aligned with navigational intent, as they endeavor to pinpoint a designated destination.
  4. Transactional Intent: Underpinning user aspirations to accomplish a definitive task—often a purchase—transactional intent underscores specific actions within their crosshairs.
Four boxes segmenting and definitely the four search intents involved with keyword research.

Aligning your keyword strategy with a firm comprehension of these intent types propels your digital presence towards reaching the needs of each user along their buyer journey.

SEO Content Audit Checklist

Publishing content regularly is arguably one of the most efficient ways to establish topical authority and secure relevant backlinks. Writing content that reaches a user at their stage in the user journey path builds brand awareness and establishes consumer trust. Demand Gen Report states that 44 percent of buyers typically consume three to five pieces of content before engaging with a vendor. So, writing content that exposes your brand to potential customers across the research, mid-funnel, and conversion-ready stages is essential. SEO specialists at Red Shark Digital conduct regular content audits as part of their Webflow SEO checklist to evaluate the performance of current content marketing initiatives.

Understand Your Target Audience

Before you begin optimizing, establish a refined list of keywords that effectively resonate with your target audience within the market. Maximize your campaign efforts by conducting comprehensive industry research to identify relevant trends and discover untapped opportunities within your service domain.

To truly engage with your audience, address their pain points and capitalize on the opportunities that align with their needs.

Crafting impactful content instills you as a trusted source of your audience's needs, which consists of the following key talking points:

  • Identify the challenges your audience seeks to address
  • Answer the questions that frequently arise within their sphere
  • Address the overarching objectives that motivate your audience

This approach to audience analysis extends beyond keyword research. Research platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Reddit to better understand your audience. When you adopt a comprehensive approach, you position yourself as an industry leader with a comprehensive audience engagement strategy that resonates at each user journey stage.

On-page keyword optimization includes far more than the selection and placement of in-market phrases. It requires a diligent and deep understanding of audience needs and behaviors within their digital landscape. This crucial step in your Webflow SEO checklist elevates your website's resonance and impact, leading to a true user-first experience.

Add Value With Content Keys in Webflow

Provide a seamless and user-friendly overview of the content within your article. By incorporating a functional table of contents, you empower users to effortlessly navigate and access the specific sections of the blog that pique their interest and address their immediate needs.

Establish Heading Hierarchy

Structured heading hierarchies present a dual advantage by organizing your content for both users and search engine crawlers. When it comes to users, this organization provides a natural and logical sequence, allowing them to segment topics using subheadings as indicators. For search engine crawlers, distinct subheadings with varying values and REM weights enhance their comprehension of your content and enable a more accurate evaluation of its significance.

A list of heading hierarchies from H1 to H6 with the designated code for each heading highlighted in red.

Write Compelling Copy

High-quality, relevant content creation is essential to reaching target audiences and driving traffic to your site. One study from HubSpot reveals that websites that regularly publish content experience 350 percent more traffic than sites that don’t.

Creating a copywriting checklist helps writers ensure their content stays true to its purpose, adding value to the user.

Here’s the checklist our SEO specialists follow when reviewing their content:

  • Smooth Flow: Does the content flow seamlessly?
  • Reader Engagement: Is the content gripping and interactive?
  • Relevant Answers: Does it address readers’ sought-after answers?
  • Natural Keywords: Are keywords seamlessly woven in?
  • Promise Fulfillment: Does it deliver on its commitments?
  • Value Spectrum: Does it inform, evoke emotion, or entertain?
  • Visual Appeal: Does it sport captivating visuals, format, and spacing?
  • Precision: Free from errors in spelling and grammar.
  • Format Mastery: Organized headers for both SEO and readers.
  • Brand Persona: Does it mirror the brand’s personality?

Craft content that ticks these boxes for content that dazzles both algorithms and readers.

Webflow On-Page Audit SEO Checklist

On-page optimization is crucial in staying relevant in Google’s ever-changing algorithm and apart of any legitimate Webflow SEO checklist. Search engine crawlers explore the internet to track and map out search indexes for Google Search ranking systems. In this process, crawlers evaluate a website’s content and determine the kind of information a website page contains. The better a page answers the query, the higher it will be ranked on the SERP. This regular practice requires SEO professionals to perform consistent on-page SEO analysis and implementation. From optimizing metadata to building an internal linking strategy, on-page optmiziation can be the element that makes or breaks your chance at landing a spot on the first page of search results.

Optimize Meta Titles for Search Engines in Webflow

Meta titles and descriptions are what users see as Google populates search results. Note that this metadata is what users see before clicking on your site. Meta titles are identified as a name tag within a page’s HTML and provide Google with an accurate definition of what the page is about.

Our Webflow SEO professionals offer our meta title best practices:

  • Keep your meta title within 60 characters
  • State the page’s intent, but concisely
  • Optimize for the page’s primary target keyword
  • Engage your users

Webflow dynamic content makes metadata creation simple. Add dynamic fields to meta titles and descriptions to streamline your on-page optimization process.

Best Practices for Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions appear in each search snippet on the SERP. The meta description offers a brief description of the content available on the page and insight into how the page relates to their search query.

  • Keep your meta description within 158 characters
  • Write in active voice and charge readers with an action
  • Include a Call-to-Action within each description
  • Optimize for the page’s primary target keyword
  • Write with a promise to add value users are seeking, and ensure that the associated page follows through on the promise you are making to users

Optimize URLs in Webflow

Optimize your URL path with key terms that state the page’s contents. Keeping your URLs short enhances crawlability. We recommend writing your slug similarly to the page title but removing unnecessary words.

For example:

Maximizing Holiday Sales: The Importance of an Email Marketing Strategy


A search bar with Red Shark Digital's website development URL is broken out by protocol, subdomain, domain name, and URL path.

Implement 301 Redirects in Webflow

Maintaining the vitality of your website is essential, and one of the earliest indicators of an unhealthy site is the tally of broken links. Broken links lead users to pages that fail to materialize, resulting in 404 error codes that detract from your user engagement time.

The easiest way to find broken links on your website is through Google Search Console. It stands as the tool of choice for insight into website performance and visibility. Be mindful that Google Search Console only operates as fast as search engine spiders can crawl, so any fixes you make can take some time before your Google Search Console updates.

Webflow makes 301 redirection simple. Go to Site settings, and find the option 301 redirects under Publishing. Enter the old URL and the new one you want to redirect the old one to. Confirm by clicking Add redirect path, and publish your site. That’s pretty much it for Webflow 301 redirects. For other redirects (which are way less common), consult an expert.

When it comes to streamlining the process of 301 redirections, Webflow steps in as a facilitator of elegance. Navigate to your Site settings and locate the 301 redirects option under Publishing. Enter the old URL and the new URL you wish to redirect the old path to. Confirm your redirect path by clicking “Add redirect path,” and publish your website to set your new redirect.

Add Alt Tags to Media

Adding alt-text to your website’s media is one of the most underrated and forgotten elements in on-page optimization.

Alt-text is a short description that tells your users what the image shows.

  • Rename your file to a concise, descriptive name for search engines before importing your image into the Webflow site
  • Add alt-text to every image on your site. Remember, the sole purpose is to describe the image’s contents
  • Convert the image to WebP format for an extra optimization boost

External Links to Industry-relevant Resources

Take the opportunity to link to relevant sources within your website content. Reputable external links add credibility to your site and open new avenues for search engine optimization efforts.

Build Internal Linking Strategy

Create a strategic internal linking structure to fortify your site and enhance your sitemap. Experienced SEO consultants include internal links between pages help Google identify a page’s place in overall site architecture and invites users to navigate to different areas of your site within a single session.

Need More Than a Webflow SEO Checklist? Trust the Professionals at Red Shark Digital

Optimizing your website is a constant effort to maintain visibility with your target audiences. While our Webflow SEO checklist offers a comprehensive foundation for optimizing your website with insight from industry-leading tools and practices, it’s essential to adjust and modify your SEO efforts to meet the needs of your audience. Our award-winning SEO experts specialize in identifying, diagnosing, and executing custom SEO strategies that are proven to work. Whether you’re a small business owner or a marketing manager needing additional expert help, our Webflow agency is here to work for you. Speak with a dedicated account manager today to kickstart your SEO campaign.

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