Developers February 20, 2021

Programmatic SEO: Airtable, Webflow, Wordpress?

Andrew Wise @capture

We've realized an opportunity to build 100s of landing pages for keywords with high search volume and low competition, and initially had planned to do this via Wordpress and synching to Google Sheets

That all changed when I read this Case Study: 100 visitors to 6,000 in 6 weeks: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/programmatic-seo-from-100-to-6-000-visits-per-day-from-seo-in-6-weeks-26c9a7049e?utm_campaign=top-milestones-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=indie-hackers-emails

So now we've been evaluating Airtable, and absolutely love the ability that Airtable has for easily synching scraped data and the ability to easily formulate the data we collect to be able to stick it into our landing pages.

Our initial plan was:

  1. Use Airtable and just render their web view to act as the landing pages. We saw that https://sidehustlestack.co/ is doing just that. The UI isn't marvelous, but assuming we're able to inject our own HTML/etc. into the landing page to make it a little prettier, this would be okay with us

OR

  1. Use Airtable to build all our pages, then sync this to Wordpress. Not ideal, but we're both Wordpress Experts so platform familiarity is great.

But now, having seen that nobody is talking about Airtable for Programmatic, we're re-thinking and looking at Webflow

Anyone with experience in this area, please weigh in and give your thoughts.

Much appreciated!

  1. 1

    I do it Webflow as described in the article. Works like a charm!

    I sync my database (Mongo) with Webflow CMS trough their API.
    You can automatically rebuild the website as soon as you update any CMS item with a webhook as well.

    The article is pretty comprehensive regarding the benefits of this approach.

    1. 1

      awesome -- thanks for this. from your experience @lukvo is Webflow the best/only choice for being the view-layer for web?

      1. 1

        I definitely think so, yes. It's prebuilt (fast loading & ideal for SEO), easy to change by both marketeers and techies. What's not to like :-)

        1. 1

          any key differentiator making Webflow better than WP? @lukvo

          1. 1

            Super easy to setup but still very flexible. A very good WYSIWYG editor, with superb integration with their CMS features.

            1. 1

              @lukvo Thank you! I'll have to poke around further. I've got no problem with frontend HTML/CSS, so the WYSIWYG isn't a big selling point.

              It sounds like Webflow is gonna be pretty similar to Wordpress, except WP is free, has the plugins library, etc.

              If Webflow has any advantages for Programmatic SEO that you know of, would love to hear so I can devote more time into the research

              1. 1

                I'm also an HTML/CSS expert, but I still enjoy using Webflow's editor because I can start from professional, flexible templates and build something very quickly.

                I'm not going to try to convince you, I just enjoy it. Maybe you can just give it a try and see what it brings.

                1. 1

                  thanks @lukvo you've inspired me to give it a try!

  2. 1

    This is quite easy to do.

    Couple of things:

    • Don't use airtable for the webview. Strict no-no
    • Cache airtable records inside wordpress. Ideally you should create a cpt for this
    • Use a webhook for clearing the cache. For instance, setup a zapier zap whenever records are changed and rebuild the cache on your wp site. But if your table is large, you will need to be smarter about this
    • With programmatically generating pages, make sure you stuff up those pages with heaps of metadata. So things like json ld, meta tags, titles, etc. You can also programmatiacally generate banner images and such on the fly.

    If you can share a few airtable records, I can give even more tips.

    1. 2

      @maantin thank you for this, stay tuned!

      So in terms of Wordpress/Webflow, they're basically interchangeable, no? I've been on WP going on 10 years, I'm super comfortable with it, so unless there's a substantial reason to go with Webflow, I'll be sticking with WP. Thanks for this

      Programmatic images, I'm right with you. I've been poking around https://www.bannerbear.com/ for quite awhile and waiting for the right use-case.

      I normally manually build landing pages with all the necessary tags, the trouble I've had is scale, so this solves it.

      Assuming this is my front-end, my next project is how to scrape the data I need and get it into my Airtable.

      Any suggestions there?

      I'll then have some records I can start sharing with you.

      1. 1

        I saw the other person's reply and though I should add this - I'm a product guy so I'll prefer to have complete ownership over what goes to the client. But since you're comfortable with WP too, go with wordpress.

        One way of scraping is to figure out what you SEO goals are. Maybe get a list of 10 - 20 search terms and optimize for that. Then probably hire a VA and tell them to fill an airtable table with x,y,z, columns from various sources. Then feed the data to your website, index the site and measure how well it is doing. Rinse and repeat.

        1. 1

          completely agree, this was the approach we were gonna do, to see how effective our strategy/hypothesis is

Recommended Posts