Does headless architecture helps SEO for eCommerce?

headless ecommerce seo

Headless architecture is a concept that has been adopted by many eCommerce websites. It’s the idea of separating the frontend from the backend. This separation means that there is no need for server to be running for a website to display content on a browser.

The headless architecture allows for more flexibility and scalability, which is why it’s becoming so popular among eCommerce sites. 

But one reason that also makes headless architecture popular is its impact on SEO.

In this article, I will shed light on how headless architecture affects a website’s SEO.

What is Headless Architecture?

A headless architecture is an approach to building web applications in which the backend is decoupled from the frontend. The frontend can be built with any framework, library, or technology that you want, and then it can be connected to your backend using an API.

Frontend: Frontend is the design and development of a website’s interface. It includes everything from the layout to images, buttons, text, etc. It also includes things like responsive design (making sure your site looks good on any device) and accessibility (making sure people with disabilities can use your site)

Backend: Backend is the part of a website or a web application that handles the processing and storage of data. It typically consists of one or more databases and server. The backend is what powers the frontend that site visitors see.

Whereas traditional architecture cannot handle both the frontend and backend separately, headless makes this a reality.

One of the most basic working logic of the Headless eCommerce system is the use of APIs. While users interact with a storefront on the eCommerce site, they send requests to the server via an API connection. The server forwards the required response to the API connection under the sent request. As a result, the customer quickly and accurately receives the result of his action.

In the research conducted by Jacob Nielsen, it is stated that users prefer to keep the latency time under 0.1 seconds while taking any on-site action.

Research by Google has proven that even reducing the on-site interaction time by 0.1 seconds can increase the conversion rate by up to 8%.

So what is the way to achieve this latency time? API!

Headless eCommerce technology allows you to integrate various technologies you prefer through APIs. And, APIs, in turn, ensure that all transactions happen at the speed of light.

Depending on the integrated technologies, you can provide a better shopping experience to your customers.

Is that all?

Remember that 39% of all global eCommerce traffic comes from organic searches. For this reason, all eCommerce platforms prioritize SEO to get more organic traffic. If your site is fast and makes the customer comfortable while navigating the site, you are one step ahead of your competitors.

Benefits of Headless CMS for SEO (excellence in content management + content distribution)

Headless eCommerce increases page speed

As we said at the beginning of our article, speed is essential for customers to have nice shopping experiences besides its huge role as a ranking factor.

Research shows that 40% of customers can wait a maximum of 3 seconds for an online store to load in the browser. On top of that, even a single-second delay results in an 8% reduction in conversion rate.

Headless architecture cuts the connection between the frontend and the backend, which greatly helps to increase your site performance in terms of speed.

Other scenarios where headless architecture helps your site speed are the use of customized CDN and different provider support.

Flexible CDN & Optimized Server Usage With Headless eCommerce

eCommerce sites often spread your content to large network of servers around the world using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like Cloudflare to increase site speed.

What is CDN?

CDN (Content Delivery Network) is one of the most important software infrastructures that make Internet use functional. CDN can be described as a set of servers located in different geographical regions in order to deliver contents of a website to the end user with the lowest network and transaction delay.

So what does this gain?

Isn’t the use of CDN something that already exists in traditional architecture?

In traditional architecture, the CDN usage area is limited. Shopify and other ready-to-use eCommerce platforms often use the default servers of their choice as their hosting option. While this may seem like a reliable and easy deployment option, it has its shortcomings.

For example, it is not right to host your server operating in the USA on a server in Europe.

Read more about: Challenges with SaaS eCommerce platforms.

The difference between using traditional and headless CDN is that headless architecture allows you to choose between customizable CDN servers. This, in case, allows you to broaden your customer reach. 

The use of CDN in headless architecture to ensure that your online commerce store is easily accessible to international customers is a huge gain.

Full authority over your site architecture and content

Having full access to site architecture and content is essential for every SEO specialist. In this way, you can make the arrangements you want without contacting the technical team.

Traditional eCommerce platforms have pre-built site architecture that prevents intervention at every stage of website setup and makes it difficult to have full authority in optimization processes. The explanation is that when you open a new eCommerce store, you’re actually building on an existing, pre-built bone.

What problems could this cause?

Duplicate content. It is a very common SEO issue for eCommerce websites. The odds of encountering this problem are high because stores sell so many similar products in various categories.

What is duplicate content?

The appearance of the same content in more than one place on the internet is called duplicate content. Duplicate content is caused by:

  • Copying and pasting from other websites, which is not a good practice.
  • Copy and paste errors when text is copied from one document to another.
  • Cloning web pages with identical or near-identical content.

When you encounter such a problem, if you do not have full authority in the site structure, then you may encounter the problem of creating multiple URLs to the same page or redirect problems. This issue is most visible on category pages in eCommerce sites.

Flexibility

Flexibility is essential to deliver innovative experiences to customers visiting your webshop. Headless eCommerce, on the other hand, provides full flexibility. You can have full control over the content you offer, your site design, and more, and you can easily renew the parts of your site you want without applying changes to the entire infrastructure.

Using knowledge graph for SEO

Headless architecture makes it easy for you to optimize your content to appear in the Google Knowledge Panel.

The Knowledge Graph is like a “giant virtual encyclopedia” that Google references to create certain elements of search results.

Google’s Knowledge Graph is responsible for generating the boxes that show up in search results for queries about people, places, and more. These boxes, called knowledge panels, provide a list of key cases extracted from the Knowledge Graph.

How Google Knowledge creates panels?

Knowledge panels are created automatically. But Google is working hard to make sure these are as accurate and consistent as someone else’s manually created. Google’s automated systems aim to display the most relevant and popular information for an organization in a knowledge panel.

With headless architecture, you can define the relationship between objects (e.g. products, brands, product images, reviews, FAQs, transportation data, discounts, catalogs, etc.) and concepts (content titles, meta descriptions, keyword frequency, etc.) with the help of various integrated services. Defining this relationship is important to semantically align the data about your store.

Having an architecture that holds semantically compatible data accurately conveys all information about your store to search systems. In this way, you give the search systems enough semantic information to create a knowledge graph for your store. Having a knowledge panel and having your products appear in these infographics is very effective for improving the user experience.

It is quite difficult to do this in traditional architecture. Due to its nature, the traditional architecture gives you the chance to create knowledge panels through add-ons that offer only limited possibilities. However, this limitation prevents you from transmitting all information about your store to search engines. At the same time, traditional plug-ins are quite unsuccessful in associating information semantically. But headless architecture allows you to use integrated services and to establish a relationship between the search engine and your store.

Customizable URLs

URL structure or permalinks are a ranking factor that affects your content’s performance in search results. One of the biggest problems with many traditional eCommerce platforms is the inability to fully customize permalinks.

Having full control of your site in headless architecture allows you to create SEO-friendly URLs.

Using SEO-friendly frontend frameworks

In an architecture that you do not have full control of, you will have to use pre-installed plug-ins. This limits you to make custom enhancements as you want.

The headless architecture allows you to take advantage of special SEO-friendly frontend frameworks (Vue, Next.js, etc.), optimize your content, and make your site understood better by search engines.

Be prepared for the voice searches with headless

Voice search rates are getting bigger and bigger every year. This proves that voice searches are not a future scenario, but present.

In the first half of 2022, 40% of the United States population is using voice search features. 71% of consumers now prefer voice search instead of typing their queries manually.

Being ready for the voice search SEO trend and voice search specific optimization has now become a new priority for eCommerce platforms. 

Stores with the headless architecture base accurately convey the store’s information to search engines through various integrated services. Search engines use this information to create structured data and knowledge graphs. Here, voice search results are answered by using data from these knowledge graphs and structured data.

Conclusion

We talked about the contribution of headless eCommerce to SEO.

The area where headless eCommerce platforms can benefit SEO is huge. Headless eCommerce platforms give huge advantages to eCommerce stores to achieve better speed performance.

Better speed performance, in turn also affects other ranking factors like customer experience, abandonment and engagement rate. So, just the speed optimization solely affects whole SEO for better.

We could add more, but there is something we should get straight to the point: is headless eCommerce really good for SEO?

The answer is, heck yes!

Narmina Balabayli
Narmina is a full-time head of content at Uvodo, lifetime artist, part-time cat lover. Love writing anything about digital. She has superpower to disappear.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Share This

Copy Link to Clipboard

Copy