What is a Headless CMS and why is it good for SEO?

person with white glasses thinking about headless browser

Some developers prefer a headless CMS instead of a bundled CMS like Shopify or WordPress. In this short guide we explain the basics of what is a headless CMS and why it is relevant for SEO.

What is a headless CMS?

A Headless CMS (Content Management System) is a type of CMS that focuses solely on content management tasks like creating, storing, and managing content, without the need to manage the presentation or layout of that content. Unlike a Shopify CMS where the ‘front end’ (the visual editors) is bundled with the ‘back end’ (the code that makes it all work) a headless CMS is just the ‘back end’ that can be connected to the ‘front end’ like Storyblok part of the system.

Why is headless good for SEO ?

With any bundled CMS, like WordPress or Wix there will be elements of ‘bloat’ – meaning the bits you don’t need that are included as standard, in case anyone else needs it. A headless cms means you have complete control over the bits you need, without the baggage of the bits you don’t. For SEO this means you have the potential of a super fast website presentation because the ‘baggage’ that could slow the website down is not there.

With almost infinite flexibility a headless CMS could offer lightning quick load times, high CWV scoring pages and so much more.

What are the downsides of a headless CMS?

Bespoke development will always come with it’s risks. developing a dedicated CMS could take longer to deploy than an ‘off the shelf’ CMS. If it is not built correctly, it could run the risk of actually delivering a slower website or accidentally creating spider traps that are not good for Google.

For the business owner, running a headless stack will require dedicated and skilled developers that may require more investment than the more mainstream CMS.

Examples of headless CMS

We have worked with a number of headless CMS over the past few years. However, we don’t have enough perspective to offer a recommendation of the best headless CMS. Instead we present a selection of companies you may swish to consider.

  • Contentful is a CMS that can plug into Shopify to add more flexibility for editorial content.
  • Storyblok – connects to most technologies supporting your own tech stack.
  • Butter ButterCMS provides a RESTful API, webhooks, and integrations with popular front-end frameworks like React and Vue.


Choosing the best CMS for your business will always be a subjective decision. A headless or ‘monolithic CMS’ will need to ensure it delivers on the promise of flexibility and SEO friendliness.