RapidWeaver has always given you the power to create an SEO-friendly website. However, RapidWeaver 8 introduces a whole host of excellent new SEO features that can help your website rank higher in Google.
In this post, I’ll cover all the new SEO features that have been added to RapidWeaver 8. Just before we start, if you want to know when RapidWeaver 8 launches, make sure you sign up to the Realmac Newsletter.
Social Media Meta Tags
RapidWeaver 8 now generates social media meta tags for you. This is really three features in one as it works globally for all pages, on a per-page basis, and individually on each blog post.
These meta tags help describe your site in more detail when pages are shared on social media and messaging apps. RapidWeaver will automatically generate meta tags with information about your page. You can customise these meta tags by providing a custom title, description, and image for each individual page and blog post. You can do this via the Page Inspector.
Doing so allows social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) and messaging apps ( Messages) to display a rich media card when a link to your site is shared.
By default, this feature is enabled for all new projects. To enable this on existing projects, check the "Generate Social Meta Tags" option in the General Settings area.
How does this help with my SEO?
You might be wondering how this helps your SEO? Well, as I mention in the RapidWeaver SEO Course; small changes add up to big results.
Social media cards do not directly affect your ranking; however, more inbound links and visits to your site is a crucial ranking factor; it conveys to search engines that your site is an authoritative source of information.
Now, you’re probably still thinking “super, but how does that help my site’s ranking?” It's been shown that users are more likely to click on a tweet or share that has an image or video preview attached. Therefore, if you utilise this feature correctly, it will help increase your inbound links and clicks, which in turn increases your overall SEO score.
I know some of you might still be a little sceptical about this, but I can't stress enough that the more inbound links, and clicks on those links, the better.
This type of SEO update should be part of your long-term SEO plan, you won't see results from this overnight; however, if you chip away at these seemingly inconsequential details, you’ll find that they all make a difference.
Edit for Social Media
As I mentioned above, you have total control over the title, description, and image used on the card; this can be handy to add additional information or change the title to ensure it’s better suited for social media. Sometimes a long, wordy, blog post title doesn’t work well on Twitter, changing it to something a little more punchy and attention grabbing might get you more clicks.
In short, this feature allows you to control how your pages are displayed when shared on social media and messaging apps. You enter a title, description, and image, and RapidWeaver takes care of the details.
Side note: In the General Settings, there is a “Twitter Username” box. Although it’s not essential for the social media meta tags, I’d recommend filling that in as Twitter can then link your account more easily to any tweets.
Htaccess File Editing
RapidWeaver 8 also introduces an amazing new
.htaccess file editor. This is a much-requested feature, and I’m really excited we managed to get this feature added to 8.0.
Integrated within the Publishing settings, the htaccess file editor is destination independent; meaning you can edit the htaccess for each individual publishing destination. This is very useful if you have different rules for your development and production servers.
We’ve even added version history support! This is a big deal - RapidWeaver keeps track of all the changes you make, creating a GIT like history of all changes. If you need to rollback, for any reason, to a previous version of your
.htaccess file, just choose that version from the drop-down menu.
This is truly a fantastic feature, no longer do you need to fiddle around with an external FTP application, it’s now baked right into RapidWeaver.
How does htaccess file editing help my SEO ranking?
Again, and as with most aspects of SEO, I can’t give you a number or the exact impact it will have on your site’s ranking.
However, correctly managing your htaccess file helps ensure your site is running smoothly and enables you to provide additional information about your site to search engines. These details will help search engines index your site, and convey to them that your site is a reliable source of information.
For example, if you delete or replace a page on your site, it is essential to set up a redirect (where appropriate) to another page on your site; having fewer missing pages that return a 404 or 5xx error indicates that pages on your site could go missing or be unavailable — and this can affect your SEO ranking.
Be careful when editing htaccess files!
Setting up a redirect can be quickly done from within your htaccess file (we actually cover this in our htaccess tips tutorial). Take care though, as adding some poorly written code can cause your entire site to become unavailable. If you're not sure what you're doing, ask a professional or at least seek help on the forums. Don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉
There's plenty of other handy htaccess tips and tricks that can help you run a more efficient site, and personally, I think this is a fantastic addition to RapidWeaver. I’ve already used this feature extensively in my projects.
RapidWeaver SEO Features
I've only touched on the new SEO features in RapidWeaver 8. We’ve covered RapidWeaver SEO in detail, so I’d definitely recommend reading those posts as well (I’ve also linked to some additional resources below).
RapidWeaver has every SEO feature you need to get your site indexed and ranking on Google. When it comes to SEO and RapidWeaver the answer is “Yes!”…
- Has customisable browser titles
- Adds the description meta tag
- Creates descriptive URLs for all pages
- Outputs SEO friendly HTML content
- Intuitive, easy to use, meta tag management
- Automatically generates social media meta tags
- Has a built-in SEO Health Check
- Supports secure HTTPS sites
- Generates and publishes a sitemap.xml for you
- Includes modern blogging capabilities
- Has numerous advanced SEO addons available
The features added in RapidWeaver 8 makes it even easier to build an SEO friendly website. Just keep in mind that SEO is an ongoing process - it's never a 5-minute fix. You’ll have to be patient and keep working at it, and if you do, you should see that hard work pay off.
Good luck and Happy Weaving 😃
RapidWeaver SEO Resources
- RapidWeaver SEO Course Our most popular training course teaches you how to rank higher in Google and increase traffic.
- Free RapidWeaver 7 SEO Basics Video
- URL Customization in RapidWeaver