You have just landed on this article and there are several reasons for that:
In this article we will cover how our own marketing team uses Strapi on a daily basis to manage the content of our website because yes, in case you did not know, strapi.io is made with Strapi and The React Framework for Production: Next.js.
On the menu for this article: Customization, SEO, Preview, Landing Pages, Webhooks, Collaboration, and just about everything you need to unleash your creativity. Let's start without further delay!
Eh! Where are you going!
You will understand why, from a marketer's point of view, Strapi has a lot of advantage. In case you did not know, Strapi is a headless CMS which is:
But why is this an advantage for the marketing team?
We work every day to facilitate the developer experience and ensure that they can build a Strapi application that is: customizable, well structured, scalable, quick, and easy so that you can manage the content in a fluid and flexible way.
It would be great to have an example of a company using Strapi to manage its content...
We rebuilt our website a year ago and decided to use Strapi for the Backend (obviously) and Next.js for the frontend. It was made by the Web agency Unlikely.
Our Marketing team has the same needs that many of our customers have, so writing this article was therefore quite easy. Here are the most important topics:
Customization is without a doubt Strapi's biggest advantage.
Indeed, assume that you can do almost anything you want on your Strapi application. You want to change the default WYSIWYG editor? Go ahead, it's entirely possible. You want to include a guided tour in the admin to onboard your content managers? That is what we did on our FoodAdvisor demo app. You want to be able to schedule the publication of your content? Create a
publish_at field and insert a custom code that will use the cron feature to publish your data. This might be too technical for you so I will let your engineers follow the guide for this exact use case: Schedule publication in Strapi.
You own the code. I mean not you, your developers, but what I want to say is that we offer the flexibility to do whatever you want with your Headless CMS.
With FoodAdvisor, I was able to include a Preview button in the content manager and to create a guided tour plugin using react-tour package. Without it, I would have had to wait for these features to be released.
This is what we mean when we define ourselves as a product that can Unleash Creativity. We put in your hands a customizable product, you do the rest and the community will be there to help you.
Now, before I talk about SEO I have to tell you something. I try to provide as many answers to simple questions in the the Strapi community's mind or potential users in order to reassure them that Strapi can be a solution for their project.
Many of them use Strapi without knowing what it is exactly or how it works. There was a time when many of them asked us the following question: Can I use Strapi with (x frontend framework/programming language) like React, Angular, Ionic, Python. The answer is obviously yes since Strapi is a CMS that allows you to consume its content via an API. If you use a technology that allows you to perform HTTP requests then yes, you can use Strapi as your data source. I wrote an article about it: Integrate Strapi with everything.
And you know what? Nobody asks this question anymore, or at least, not directly to me. I am both happy because I know that users now understand a little better what Strapi is and how it works, (but I'm sad because no one speaks to me now...)
Why am I talking about this?
Well, the SEO topic is exactly the same thing. Many of you ask if using Strapi is SEO Friendly for your website/application. The answer is obviously yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.
So I will once again try to create useful resources on our website to prove to you that yes, Strapi is SEO friendly although it does depends on you!
Let's take an example: You want to list articles on your application. You will probably have a collection-type
article that will contain various fields:
Now, consider that each article in your Strapi application will have its own page on the frontend. Well, for this page to be SEO Friendly, you will simply need to implement the necessary fields like a meta-title, meta-description, meta-image, or a boolean (true/false) for indexing the page or not. Don't forget to set some rules like a character limitation for your meta-title and meta-description fields.
It's not more complicated than that! Do not forget, Strapi allows you to create and manage the data that your frontend will receive. The biggest work here is to think about the architecture of your data from the beginning to avoid your technical team iterating several times on it. It is therefore a question of planning with your developers, what are the fields you will need for the SEO, your developers will take care to implement them in Strapi. You can, for example, see with your technical team how you can automatically fill a structured data JSON field when creating your content.
I encourage you to send this article that I wrote to your technical team concerning some good SEO practices in Strapi. These are just basics, feel free to go further with your customization level. These are best practices that we have obviously applied for our website as well as on Foodadvisor, our live demo.
According to SEMRush our website health is 7% above other sites in our category 😎 This figure is based on the total number of errors and total number of warnings that were found on the pages by crawling through our website.
Having the ability to create landing pages is very important for any marketing team and this is absolutely possible with Strapi. Indeed, a collection type can represent any type of data for your application, it can be an article, a product, a category, or even a page.
Let's go back to the example used above. You want to list articles on your website. You will therefore have a page listing these articles as well as a page for each article. This logic and architecture will be done at the frontend level, no need to go into details, your engineering leader knows 😉
However, say you want want to be able to have more generic pages like an /about-us, /pricing, or a /contact page. To do that, it's very simple, you just need to create a
Page collection-type. This will allow you, as for articles, to create several pages according to your needs.
Note: We are calling it
Page in this article but feel free to call it whatever you want.
Here are a list of some of our landing pages on our website:
Feel free to visit them by prefixing the slug with
Here is a list of 56 components that can be included on each one of our pages.
It is at this precise moment that I must tell you about the very powerful feature in Strapi that makes all of this possible: The Dynamic Zones.
This feature has scared a few. What is it exactly? What is it used for and how does it work? Let's try to cover all these questions!
Before addressing the Dynamic Zones, I must, first of all, tell you about two things:
When you create any content-type in Strapi, you define the fields it will contain. It's simple, for an article collection-type you will have for example:
It turns out that we, developers, don't like to repeat ourselves at all. So when we create a product we also make sure that the people that will use it will not repeat themselves. This is why we created components.
A component is a set of fields that can be used in any content-type. Let's say your Article and Category collection-types both share meta-title (text), meta-description (longtext), and meta-image (media) fields. Then it would be preferable for you to create a component containing these 3 fields named seo. You can then use it for your two collection-types. This means you don't have to repeat yourself! Convenient right?
When you include a component in a content-type it will automatically be included. It may sound weird but once added, it will always be there. So for the example of the SEO component it's perfect, since we always need it for those content-types, so there is no problem. But what if you want to include a component and sometimes you don't want to? Do you see the transition coming?
A Dynamic Zone is made up of "blocks" that, first of all, allow you to include a specific set of components in a content-type.
Let's say that I were to delete the SEO component of the Article collection-type previously created and I wanted to have the option to either include it or not in certain articles.
To do this, I can create a Dynamic Zone in the Article collection-type and simply include the SEO component there. If I go to any article, a little "+" button appears at the bottom of the content manager page. I just have to click on it to create a new "block" and select my SEO component. Then, I just need to fill in the fields for my article to be SEO-friendly.
This is what a Dynamic Zone is used for: dynamically include components in your content-types. That's it. - Me
Now, imagine a
Page collection-type that contains a Dynamic Zone which includes components such as:
Well, that's exactly what we have on our own website. (I'm not kidding, feel free to check our homepage).
We use Dynamic Zones to generate particular sections of our pages. It allows us to to have the option to include or not or not specific components depending on the page. This way you can see that even if the majority of our pages are part of a
Page collection-type, they don't display the same content or the same components.
This exact system is on FoodAdvisor with components such as:
The pricing page also has a Dynamic Zone but you can decide to include different components such as Pricing Cards.
I really hope that the Dynamic Zone has no more secrets for you. If you are convinced by this feature, share the message with us on Twitter with the #StrapiDynamicZones 🐦
A tutorial on how to create landing pages using Strapi is coming soon 😉
The preview system allows us to visualize content even before it has been published. As you know, Strapi is a Headless CMS. It means that we do not generate pages for your data. In fact, it waits patiently at the edge of a beautiful lake to be fetched by a React, Python, or Ionic application. We are almost certain that your technical team has already developed a nice frontend ready to consume this data.
There is therefore no native functionality allowing you to view your new article on your frontend since they are not connected by default. This connection must be created, but I guarantee you, it is extremely simple, at least I know that your technical team can do it while drinking coffee.
Here is a tutorial on How to Implement Previews with Next Applications using a Strapi backend that will surely be very useful to your engineers.
However, I told you that Strapi is largely customizable. I did not lie! It is quite possible to include a preview button in the content manager allowing you to open a page of your frontend in preview mode. This is a system that is currently in place on our FoodAdvisor demo.
Can you see the Preview button on the right bottom card? This will open this page on my Next.js frontend:
This demo ain't half bad!
I hope I haven't scared you away with this one. If you don't know what it is, a webhook allows you to send information to another application when a particular event occurs. In Strapi, you have the possibility to send a webhook to Zapier for example when you publish, create, edit or delete a piece of content.
You can, for example, set a webhook to publish a tweet via Zapier when you create a new article in your Strapi application. The possibilities are endless, only your imagination is the barrier.
This one is for your CTO: It is also possible to use webhooks to build your static site generator when you publish data or simply by manually activating the webhook. This is exactly what we do at Strapi. A webhook allows us to build our Next.js site on Vercel directly from the Strapi admin which means that our team can decide when we refresh the content of the website.
Thanks to the roles in Role Based Access Control feature it's possible to set up a collaboration system between the different members of your teams. You can manage the reading, editing, and publishing rights to your Strapi Admin Interface. Review and publish drafts, but also share access only to the necessary content.
Here is what the interface of a Super Admin looks like:
Here is what an author user will see according to the permissions that will be attributed to him by the Super Admin:
This allows you to align roles with the organizational workflow and help your team do their job more efficiently and autonomously. Feel free to read our user story of how Continuum delivered a corporate website for Banco Internacional with 30 custom roles
An easy way to start implementing an approval workflow process within Strapi could be to disable the Draft & Publish native feature and add a "State" enumeration field in a "Settings" components, mandatory in all new entries, that lists the different states of your content.
Once the article is saved, a trigger is activated so the content move to the new state. And the Team that has the rights can now access that piece of content.
Strapi's RBAC feature is deep (thanks to the 'custom conditions') enough to allow specific users to move content only to a specific state. For example, the "Approval Team" can be the only team allowed to push the content in the "rejected state".
We have always published articles more or less oriented to developers because they are the ones who use Strapi in the first place. It is very easy for them to understand the advantages and disadvantages of Strapi and we can actually communicate using code blocks. However, this is less the case for members of marketing or growth teams. That's why I wanted to write this piece of content in order to answer the questions that non-tech people about the most requested topics.
Our Marketing team uses Strapi with all the features showcased in this article. We use it because it is simple, fast, convenient, beautiful, and it allows us to easily create content for our website. We are confident that it is SEO friendly, we have the flexibility to create pages on the fly and dynamically define which content will live on these pages. We have different environments (staging & production) to help us improve our deployment experience and we are able to publish new content in less than 3 minutes.
If you want to get a taste of what we can do with Strapi, just browse our website! The data comes from Strapi and the design comes from a Next.js application. We are thinking about open-sourcing it soon. You are currently on our blog, continue your journey by discovering our showcase, our user stories, and our career page (we are recruiting).
Give a try to our brand new FoodAdvisor demo application or feel free to contact a member of the sales team if you need more information or a personalized demo. I wish you an excellent day and see you in a future article.
Maxime started to code in 2015 and quickly joined the Growth team of Strapi. He particularly likes to create useful content for the awesome Strapi community. Send him a meme on Twitter to make his day: @MaxCastres
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