Optimize Webflow URLs: Removing Collection Slug for Improved SEO
When building a website, it's important to remember that the structure of your URLs can play a significant role in your site's SEO performance. This is especially true for Webflow users who use the platform's CMS collections feature to manage and organize their content. As helpful as collections are, they do come with a minor drawback: the addition of a collection slug in your URLs. So, let's dive in and see how we can optimize Webflow URLs by removing the collection slug for improved SEO.
The Problem with Collection Slugs
Typically, when you create a new piece of content within a collection in Webflow, the platform automatically adds a collection slug to the URL. This is a small piece of text that denotes the collection the content belongs to. For instance, if you have a collection for blog posts, the URL for each post might look something like this: yourwebsite.com/blog/post-name. Here, "blog" is the collection slug.
While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it can sometimes lead to longer, less clean URLs. This could potentially hinder your SEO efforts. Search engines like Google prefer short, clean URLs that accurately describe the content of the page. Therefore, if you could remove the collection slug and have a URL structure like yourwebsite.com/post-name, it could be more beneficial for your SEO.
Can You Remove Collection Slugs in Webflow?
As pointed out by Webflow expert Samliew in a Webflow forum discussion, it's not possible to remove collection slugs directly within the Webflow hosting environment. The platform's design requires the collection slug for proper content organization and routing. So, if you're looking to provide shorter, cleaner URLs for marketing or SEO purposes, you might feel a bit stuck.
A Potential Solution: Static Pages and 301 Redirects
One possible solution to this issue, as suggested by the same expert, is to manually create a static page with the desired URL, and then set up a 301 redirect from the original collection URL to this new page. A 301 redirect is a way to send visitors and search engines to a different URL than the one they originally requested, which could be helpful in this situation.
However, this solution might not be ideal for everyone. It involves manually creating a new page for each piece of content, which could be time-consuming if you have a lot of content. It's also worth noting that 301 redirects can sometimes lead to a minor loss of "link juice" (SEO value), which might impact your search rankings.
Alternative: Handling URL Rewrites at the Domain Level
An alternative approach could be to handle URL rewrites at the domain level. This involves configuring your domain's DNS settings to automatically remove the collection slug from your URLs. Depending on your domain provider, this might require some technical know-how, but it could be a more efficient solution if you have a large amount of content.
Keep in mind that any changes to your URL structure should be handled carefully to avoid potential SEO issues. Always make sure to set up proper 301 redirects to prevent broken links and to maintain the SEO value of your pages.
While Webflow's collection slug feature can be helpful for content organization, it can sometimes stand in the way of optimal URL structures for SEO. While you can't remove collection slugs directly in Webflow, solutions like manually creating static pages, setting up 301 redirects, or handling URL rewrites at the domain level can help you achieve cleaner, shorter URLs.
Remember, always approach changes to your URL structure with caution to prevent potential SEO issues. And, if you're ever unsure, don't hesitate to seek advice from the Webflow community or an SEO professional.
The Power of Canonical Tags: An Advanced SEO Tip
Here's a tip that's often overlooked but can be a game-changer for your SEO strategy on Webflow - the use of canonical tags. A canonical tag (rel="canonical") is a piece of HTML code that helps search engines identify which URLs represent the master copy of a page. It's a powerful tool that can help you control the URL displayed in search results and consolidate link signals for similar or duplicate pages.
Let's say you've followed the suggested solution of creating static pages and 301 redirects to remove collection slugs from your URLs. Now you have two URLs pointing to the same content - the original collection URL and the new static page URL. This could potentially lead to duplicate content issues, confusing search engines and diluting your SEO value.
Here's where canonical tags come in. By adding a canonical tag to the head section of your original collection page, you can tell search engines that the new static page URL is the master copy. This way, even if search engines crawl the original collection URL, they'll display the new static page URL in search results.
And the best part? Adding a canonical tag in Webflow is incredibly easy. Simply go to the page settings of your original collection page, scroll down to the SEO settings section, and enter the new static page URL in the 'Canonical URL' field.
Remember, canonical tags should be used carefully and correctly. Incorrect use can lead to SEO issues, so if you're not familiar with them, it might be worth seeking advice from an SEO professional or exploring the Webflow University guide on canonical tags.