Switching to a new content management system (CMS) can be a daunting task.
From creating new content to revising outdated information to optimizing your pages to perfection, it can be quite a challenge.
But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our SEO tool roadmap designed specifically for HubSpot CMS newbies.
In this article, we’ll look at the top native SEO features and integrations available in HubSpot to ensure your website is well-optimized for search engines.
And finally, we will discuss any missing SEO features gaps that you might encounter when building a brand new website or migrating an existing one.
(Full Disclosure: I work with HubSpot’s highest rated partner agency, SmartBug Media.)
What native SEO features are in HubSpot?
HubSpot hosts your website when you sign up for the CMS subscription.
This is one less system to worry about when deciding where to store your actual website.
If you build your website on WordPress or any other open source CMS, you will need to sign up with a hosting provider that will host your website.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
This is a must-have for global businesses that need fast loading time of their website in every country and reduce the risk of DDOS attacks.
HubSpot’s CDN (which leverages Cloudflare’s technology) is integrated with the CMS with no additional cost or setup required.
SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer).
Today this is much more common with hosting providers, but it represents a necessity for SEO.
Having your website running over HTTPS is essential for ranking well in most industries.
HubSpot provides an SSL certificate as part of your subscription that automatically renews for as long as your website remains on HubSpot.
HubSpot’s redirects tool lets you import your redirects in bulk via CSV or build them individually.
This WYSIWYG tool is easy to use for marketers who are inexperienced in updating .htaccess files or setting up redirects in the backend.
HubSpot automatically generates a sitemap that you can submit to Google Search Console (GSC), so you don’t have to create it manually or with other plugins.
surveillance and security
HubSpot CMS has a monitoring and firewall system to detect threats and prevent DDOS attacks.
If you’re using WordPress or any other CMS, you’ll need a third-party tool like Sucuri or something similar.
HubSpot manages all updates on the CMS, so you don’t have to manually update your CMS version or plugin versions like you would if you’re using WordPress or another CMS.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
HubSpot offers the ability to enable AMP on your blog, allowing your users to find AMP versions of your blogs on mobile devices.
On-Page SEO Tools
HubSpot’s content planning tools provide a visual schema when you’re taking a topic-clustered approach to your SEO.
This tool offers basic keyword research, internal linking, and analytics to understand how specific topics are helping you generate organic traffic, leads, and customers.
Here is an example of a paid media topic cluster with all subtopic pages (and associated keywords) linked (or not linked) to the pillar page:
This functionality allows you to view specific URL-level recommendations and the relative impact of fixing such issues.
Here’s a sample report showing the on-page SEO issues, a description of each issue, a suggested label for who should fix the issues (e.g. marketer or developer), and an easy way to click to see which pages are affected by these issues:
Additionally, optimization recommendations are built into the CMS page editor, ensuring all your on-page SEO bases are covered.
Generative AI content functionality
HubSpot explores generative AI capabilities within the CMS that allow you to rewrite, expand, condense, or change the tone of existing content.
As AI-written content continues to gain prominence, I expect new features for the content idea (e.g. blog topic generation) in the application.
Here is an example of the few built-in generative AI tools in the CMS:
SEO tool and analytics integrations
Google Search Console
Since Google encrypts most organic keyword referral data, Google Search Console is one of the few sources where you can find out which keywords are driving SEO traffic to your site.
The GSC integration is divided into two areas:
1. Page Publishing Tools
For each page, the integration lets you see:
- Top Searches.
- Average position.
- overall impressions.
- Average CTR. (CTR)
This data is useful for your CRO efforts.
When designing on-page calls-to-action (CTAs), use accurate keyword data based on your top-ranked searches to improve overall conversion rates.
2. SEO analysis tools
Beyond the page publishing tools, HubSpot’s SEO analytics tools integrate with Google Search Console to give you aggregated website metrics (similar to what you would see natively in GSC).
The added value is that you can click on individual URLs to see what searches each page ranks for.
From here you can then identify new keyword opportunities to expand or further optimize SEO or conversion rate.
HubSpot’s standalone analytics aren’t enough for all marketers.
Most of our customers use Google Analytics in conjunction with HubSpot Analytics to pull in detailed data by site, device, channel, etc.
HubSpot’s Google Analytics integration is useful for ensuring that all pages of your HubSpot-hosted content are properly tracked.
There are currently no other uses for this integration other than making sure all your pages have the Google Analytics tracking code.
Similar tracking features exist for GSC and AdRoll.
Third party CMS integrations
HubSpot is a platform company that allows integration with most other marketing, sales, and customer success apps.
The app marketplace lists all third-party integrations.
Many integrations are free or inexpensive as long as you purchase the integrated software package.
Which SEO tools are missing from the HubSpot CMS?
Although HubSpot is an all-in-one platform, it doesn’t have all the SEO tools that in-house SEO professionals or SEO agencies use on a daily basis.
Keyword Recognition Tools
Although basic keyword discovery tools are included with HubSpot’s publishing and pillar page tools, if you want to do keyword research on pages that don’t rank you on Google, you should use Moz, Ahrefs, and SEMrush.
Crawl diagnostic tools
There are some SEO crawl diagnostic tools in HubSpot.
However, if you are trying to do a comprehensive technical SEO audit or understand the site structure of other sites in your industry, you will need Screaming Frog, Lumar (formerly Deepcrawl), Sitebulb, etc.
Keyword Rank Tracking
If you want to track a fixed set of keywords over time, keyword ranking isn’t built into HubSpot natively.
Although you can see the specific keywords that individual pages rank for, you’ll need to use a different tool to track daily or weekly ranks.
Link Building Tools
Aside from specific CMS usage, the link building tools in HubSpot are minimal.
You can see the inbound links your pages are getting from other sites, but HubSpot doesn’t have a link building research tool when you’re looking for new acquisition targets.
They also don’t have a central link building dashboard to show all the links your entire site has gained or lost over time.
Professional services for migrations or redesigns
Are you planning to migrate your website and don’t have the time, team or know-how to do it yourself?
Here are your two options:
HubSpot migration services
HubSpot offers low-cost migration services to rebuild your existing website page-by-page in the HubSpot CMS.
This is a good solution if you are not a developer and want to keep the look and feel of your existing website.
This is a cost-effective option if you don’t have a large or complex website and want to quickly switch to the HubSpot CMS.
There are some limitations to what HubSpot will migrate as part of this project, but you can see full details and pricing here if you’re considering this option.
Agency partners of HubSpot
However, if you have more complex requirements or need a complete redesign, there are also thousands of HubSpot agency partners performing migrations and redesign projects for clients.
take that away
Every migration or redesign project requires months of planning, implementation and optimization.
Although HubSpot has a higher price point (in the Professional and Enterprise tiers) compared to other open-source CMS, there are a number of embedded features and customer support that eliminate the need for additional hosting, CDN, security, and ongoing IT – Substitute requests for CMS updates.
Additionally, HubSpot CMS Hub’s Free and Starter tiers are a cheaper option and offer a solution for brands with websites smaller than 50 pages.
As of April 2023, HubSpot CMS Hub is the top rated G2 CMS (out of 353 CMS) based on satisfaction and market presence.
Ultimately, HubSpot is an excellent all-in-one platform for large and small businesses alike.
Its versatile features allow users to have both a powerful CMS and advanced SEO capabilities – while still being straightforward enough to set up, manage, and use on a daily basis.
However, that doesn’t mean every box is ticked for SEO professionals. The SEO suite is missing some tools that you may still want to purchase separately, such as: B. Keyword detection, crawl diagnostics, keyword ranking tracking and link building tools.
All in all, HubSpot CMS is a powerful platform for successful website optimization and digital marketing strategies, suitable for most B2B, B2C, and D2C businesses.
Featured image: Impressario Ink/Shutterstock