Embarking on the journey to switching to a new content management system (CMS) can be a daunting task.
From creating new content to refreshing old information and optimizing your pages to perfection, it can be very challenging.
But don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered with our SEO tool roadmap designed specifically for HubSpot CMS newcomers.
In this article, we’ll dive into the most important native SEO features and integrations available at HubSpot, ensuring your website is well-optimized for search engines.
And to round things up, we’ll discuss any missing SEO feature holes that you might encounter while building a brand new site or migrating an existing one.
(Full disclosure: I work with HubSpot’s highest rated partner agency SmartBug Media.)
What is HubSpot’s native SEO job?
HubSpot hosts your site when you sign up for a CMS subscription.
This is one less system that you have to worry about when deciding where your physical website will live.
When building your site on WordPress or other open source content management systems, you will have to sign up with a hosting provider to serve your site.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
This is essential for global companies that need their website to load quickly in any country and need to reduce the risk of DDOS attacks.
HubSpot’s CDN (using Cloudflare technology) is built into the CMS with no additional costs or setup required.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) Certificate
This is more popular nowadays via hosting providers but it needs SEO optimization.
Having your site on HTTPS is crucial to ranking well across most segments.
HubSpot provides an SSL Certificate as part of your subscription, and it renews automatically for as long as your site remains on HubSpot.
HubSpot’s redirect tool allows you to bulk import redirects via a CSV file or create them one by one.
This WYSIWYG tool is handy for marketers who have no experience updating .htaccess files or setting up redirects on the backend.
HubSpot automatically creates a sitemap that you can submit to Google Search Console (GSC), so you don’t need to create these manually or with any other plugins.
Surveillance and security
HubSpot CMS has a monitoring system and firewall to identify threats and stop DDOS attacks.
You’ll need a third-party tool, like Sucuri or something similar, if you’re working on WordPress or another CMS.
HubSpot manages all updates to the CMS, so you don’t need to manually update your CMS or plugin versions like you would if you were using WordPress or another CMS.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
HubSpot offers the ability to enable AMP on your blog, allowing users to find AMP versions of your blogs on mobile devices.
On-page SEO tools
HubSpot’s content planning tools provide a visual blueprint if you’re taking a topic group approach to your SEO.
This tool provides simple keyword research, internal linking, and analytics to understand how specific topics help you generate organic traffic, leads, and customers.
Here is an example of a paid media topic group with all sub-topic pages (and their associated keywords) linked (or not linked) to the parent page:
Recommendations on the page
This function allows you to see specific recommendations at the URL level and the relative impact of fixing such issues.
Here’s an example report showing on-page SEO issues, a description of each issue, a suggested label on who should fix the issues (eg Marketer vs. Developer), and an easy way to click through to see which pages were affected by those issues:
There are also optimization recommendations built into the CMS page editor which ensures that all on-page SEO bases are covered.
Generative AI content functions
HubSpot explores generative AI functionality within a content management system that allows you to rewrite, expand, summarize or change the tone of existing content.
As AI-written content continues to gain traction, I expect to see new features for content ideas (eg blog topic creation) within the app.
Here is an example of a few of the generative AI tools that are included within a CMS:
SEO tool and analytics integration
Google Search Console
Since Google encrypts most organic keyword referral data, Google Search Console is one of the only sources where you can find keywords that are driving SEO traffic to your site.
GSC integration is related in two areas:
1. Page publishing tools
For each page, the integration allows you to see:
- The most important search queries.
- average position.
- Total impressions.
- Average CTR. (CTR)
This data is effective for your CRO efforts.
When you design your on-page calls-to-action (CTAs), use accurate keyword data based on your top-ranking queries to help improve your overall conversion rates.
2. SEO analysis tools
In addition to page spread tools, HubSpot SEO analysis tools integrate Google Search Console to give you aggregate website metrics (similar to what you see natively in GSC).
The added value here is that you can click on individual URLs to see which queries each page ranks for.
From here, you can then identify new keyword opportunities to expand or improve your SEO or conversion rate.
HubSpot’s standalone analytics isn’t enough for all marketers.
Most of our customers use Google Analytics in conjunction with HubSpot Analytics to pull in granular data by page, device, channel, etc.
HubSpot’s Google Analytics integration is useful for ensuring that all pages of content hosted on HubSpot are properly tracked.
Right now, there are no other uses for this integration – other than making sure that all of your pages contain Google Analytics tracking code.
Similar tracking functionality exists for GSC and AdRoll.
Third party CMS integration
HubSpot is a platform company that integrates most other marketing, sales, and customer success applications.
Its app marketplace lists all of its third-party integrations.
Many of the integrations are free or low cost as long as you purchase the integrated software package.
What SEO Tools Are Missing From HubSpot CMS?
Although HubSpot is an all-in-one platform, it doesn’t have every SEO tool that in-house SEO professionals or SEO agencies use on a daily basis.
Keyword discovery tools
Although basic keyword discovery tools are found in HubSpot’s homepage and publishing tools, you’ll want to use Moz, Ahrefs, and Semrush if you want to pull keyword research from pages you don’t rank for in Google.
Crawl Diagnostics Tools
There are some SEO crawl diagnostic tools at HubSpot.
However, if you’re trying to do a large-scale technical SEO audit or understand the site architecture of other sites in your industry, you’ll need Screaming Frog, Lumar (formerly Deepcrawl), Sitebulb, etc.
Track keyword rankings
If you’re looking to track a consistent set of keywords over time, keyword rank tracking isn’t natively built into HubSpot.
Although you can see the specific keywords that individual pages are ranking for, you will need to use another tool to track ranking on a daily or weekly basis.
Link builder tools
Outside of specific CMS uses, link building tools are very few at HubSpot.
You can see the inbound links your pages receive from other sites, but there’s no tool in HubSpot to do link building research if you’re looking for new acquisition targets.
You also don’t have a central link building dashboard to see all the links your entire website has gained or lost over time.
Professional migration or remodeling services
Are you planning to migrate your site and don’t have the time, team or know-how to do it yourself?
Here are two options for you:
HubSpot Immigration Services
HubSpot offers affordable migration services to rebuild your existing site page by page on HubSpot CMS.
This is a good solution if you are not a developer and want to keep the same look and feel of your existing site.
This is an affordable option if you don’t have a large or complex website and want to get access to the HubSpot CMS quickly.
There are some restrictions on what HubSpot will migrate as part of this project, but you can see full details and pricing here if you’re considering this option.
HubSpot Agency Partners
On the other hand, if you have more complex needs or need a complete redesign, there are also thousands of HubSpot Agency Partners that perform migrations and redesign projects for clients.
Any migration or redesign project will take months of planning, execution, and optimization.
Although HubSpot has a higher sticker price (at the professional and enterprise levels) than other open source content management systems, there are a number of built-in features and customer support that would replace the need for additional hosting, CDN, security, and IT requests. Continuous information for CMS updates.
In addition, the HubSpot CMS Hub Free and Starter levels are an affordable option and provide a solution for brands with websites smaller than 50 pages.
As of April 2023, HubSpot CMS Hub is the highest rated CMS according to G2 (out of 353 CMS) based on satisfaction and market presence.
Ultimately, HubSpot is an excellent all-in-one platform for businesses large and small alike.
Its various features allow users to have a powerful content management system and advanced SEO capabilities – while still being straightforward enough to set up, manage and use on a daily basis.
But that doesn’t mean it will check every box to turn off SEO pros; There are some tools missing from the SEO suite that you may still want to have separately, such as keyword detection, crawl diagnostics, keyword rank tracking, and link building tools.
Overall, HubSpot CMS is a solid platform for successful website optimization and digital marketing strategies suitable for most B2B, B2C and D2C businesses.
Featured image: Impressario Ink / Shutterstock