Successfully do SEO with TYPO3

Is TYPO3 good for SEO? If so, is it better or worse than other systems, such as WordPress? The answer to the first question is YES. The second often not easy to answer. The following article provides more clarity.

There are people who claim flat rate WordPress is basically better suited than TYPO3. Presumably, posts like this primarily serve to attract more WordPress customers. Well, if TYPO3 is now the better or worse CMS, I would not like to write here. I work successfully with both systems and have had very good experiences with both. Only in very different ways, because the systems are fundamentally different and should not be constantly compared in my opinion.

Let's get to the actual topic: SEO with TYPO3!

SEO with TYPO3, is that basically possible?

As mentioned in the first paragraph, yes! Already in the basic version of TYPO3 - without additional extensions - there is the possibility to set page titles, meta tags, description, author, e-mail and the date of the last update. A good TYPO3 service provider will be able to easily output these fields from the backend into the frontend. There are 2 fields for the page title. One for the SEO-relevant title of the page in the title tag of the HTML page, and one for the title of the page in automatically generated menus and navigations.

Readable URLs are no problem for TYPO3

In addition to the standard functions, extensions such as realUrl or cooluri can be used to create a clearly readable URL structure almost at the push of a button and can also be easily managed thanks to the hierarchically structured TYPO3 page tree. TYPO3 automatically creates the URLs using the current hierarchy of the page tree with the page titles of the pages contained therein. In addition, you can customize individual segments and page URLs, overwrite entire paths, or omit parts of the path altogether.

Personally, I prefer realUrl because of its many years of experience, which actually works on websites without special requirements according to the plug-and-play principle.

And how does it work with extensions? If it is necessary to use another TYPO3 extension with readable URLs, you can completely customize the configuration of realUrl. This can be seen pretty well here on one of my client projects. Each so-called "crime scene" is an extension record, and has its own URL, generated from the title field of the record.

Can the content in TYPO3 be optimized for SEO?

Of course! By default, TYPO3 provides headers from H1 to H5 and paragraphs are wrapped with P tags. Even otherwise, the code generated by the extension "fluid_styled_content" is clean and clear, even out of the box.

Of course, by customizing the HTML templates of the extension "fluid_styled_content", you have the option to gain absolute control over the HTML output. This is not really difficult for an expert, but is often neglected by many. This often creates superfluous code that no search engine needs.

An experienced TYPO3 developer should actually be able to control the HTML output of the website 100% so that the editor or SEO expert can work comfortably with it.

And what about PageSpeed?

TYPO3 can be very fast, because it already has a number of interesting features integrated by default. For example, in addition to the standard cache, TYPO3 supports the easily configurable GZIP compression, which can be used to compress embedded JavaScript and CSS files. Likewise, TYPO3 can also combine these files in the header or footer into a single file, thereby significantly reducing the number of HTTP requests.

Of course - and this must be said in any case - TYPO3 needs more server computing power due to its powerful functionality than e.g. WordPress. It just happens more in the background and often in the frontend. Not least because of the integrated caching mechanism. However, with compatibility with PHP version 7, this has improved significantly and TYPO3 shines with more PageSpeed than before.

Extensions like "min" can additionally compress the entire source code in the frontend. I use this extension myself and it's really good. Even a less experienced TYPO3 administrator can install it in a few minutes and configure it via TypoScript.

Experience: An acceptable PageSpeed value of over 80% for most projects is easily achieved with a standard installation and no additional extensions. Of course, this also depends a bit on the type of programming and the project.

Practical example and demo: The current TYPO3 Introduction Package achieves a PageSpeed of 91% on desktop computers and 70% on mobile devices without additional extensions and functions. The following example is hosted on a business web hosting at All-Inkl.com. Here is the link to my test domain, and here the link to the PageSpeed tool.

The selection of the webhosting provider is also crucial for PageSpeed. The following providers can achieve a high PageSpeed value and install TYPO3 without problems:

Google Sitemap, robots.txt, and advanced meta tags

It is relatively easy to generate a dynamic sitemap in TYPO3 with TypoScript. I have done this several times in the past and that worked well. In the meantime, however, there are excellent tools for doing so. The extension metaseo offers a toolbox for SEO, which covers the most necessary SEO features. It generates an XML sitemap suitable for Google's Webmaster Tools, a dynamic robots.txt, and provides backend modules that keep everything in control. You can exclude pages from the sitemap, add your own extensions, set priorities and canonical links and much more.

Of course, there are also other extensions for SEO with TYPO3, as well as the extension mindshape_seo, which I have in use with a customer. Which extension is more suitable should be checked project-specifically.

My conclusion to SEO with TYPO3

It is definitely SEO with TYPO3 operate successfully. It is also possible without enormous effort, if a professional service provider for TYPO3 is involved. On behalf of my clients, I've been working extensively on SEO for the last 3 years, and I can say from experience that setting up the extensions and capabilities mentioned in the article does not take more than 10-20% of the total budget of a TYPO3 website.

Ultimately, in the end, content is critical to success with SEO, not just the system. Who controls TYPO3, can configure it fast, efficiently and also worthwhile for SEO. Those who only build wild templates and install extensions without knowing what happens in the background, will not reap success.

The extensions mentioned in the article for SEO with TYPO3 in overview

  • realurl – for readable URLs
  • cooluri – for readable URLs
  • min – for compressed HTML output
  • metaseo – for sitemaps, robots.txt and advanced meta-functions