Does a headless website make you more competitive?
Striving to deliver a better digital experience than your competitors is a solid marketing strategy. How easy it is for users to find out about you and your products or services from your digital platforms could be the differentiator that makes them opt for you over your competitors.
In this post, we’ll discuss some of the ways that developing your website and/or digital products in a headless environment can help you stay ahead of your competitors.
What is a headless website?
In simple terms, a headless website is one that is built with the backend content management system separated from the front-end user interface (the “head”). Rather than the two being coupled together like with a traditional setup, a content rendered in the front-end directly from the CMS, the content is pulled as data from the backend via an API, and then served to the front-end. It’s just a different way for your website to understand and organise content, and it offers a number of technical benefits.
What does headless actually mean for your business?
If headless is just a different way to structure your website architecture, and the front-end interface looks (mostly) the same to the user as it would if you structured it in a traditional way, what advantages does headless actually offer your business, from a competitive perspective? Let’s look at some of the ways it can help.
Providing a better website experience
Because of the way headless websites render content, there are significant improvements in speed and general loading performance – meaning users are waiting less time for your website to load, and they can interact and access your content more quickly. There are a multitude of stats around how important load speed is to engagement with your website – for example, for each additional second of load time, conversion rate drops off by an average of 4.42%. There is also an additional competitive advantage to having faster loading times – better rankings. Page speed is an important ranking factor for Google, and having strong metrics in this area can help improve your organic search performance. Again, putting you ahead of your competitors.
More complex integrations
Operational efficiency is an important competitive differentiator. If you can respond to queries quicker, offer faster delivery times and generally offer a better experience by improving your internal efficiencies – this could put you well ahead of your competitors. Headless can help in this regard as it can support more complex integrations, and having more discrete control over scaling up different parts of your architecture means you can support processing larger amounts of data through your website or digital product. For example, you might want to connect your website to different CRM, ERP or other management systems that will help improve visibility of customers and incoming projects across the business – and headless gives you more tools and scope to support this.
Being more agile, flexible and scalable
The microservice nature of headless means that it’s much easier to scale up, down, or add bits to the architecture without impacting other parts. This approach can help you to be more agile, adapting quickly to new challenges and ways of working to stay ahead. A headless approach also harnesses powerful cloud-based tools and technologies which have agility and scalability built-in.
Manage content for multiple channels
In a headless setup, your content isn’t tied to one front-end user interface. That means you can manage and publish content to multiple channels, such as websites, apps, portals or dashboards, all from one CMS. This not only helps to improve internal efficiencies, removing the need for duplication of tasks, but it can also help you increase visibility with your customers and audience by reaching them in more places.
Increase trust with enhanced security
In a traditional CMS/website setup, all of your vulnerabilities from a security perspective sit in one place. If one element is exploited or compromised (e.g. the front-end) the rest of it will be impacted to (the back-end, content and user data). In a headless setup, because these components are separate, the attack surface is smaller, and if one element is compromised, it won’t affect others in the architecture. Having improved security helps you to protect your website or digital product from potential downtime and also maintain trust with your customer base.
Is a headless website right for your business?
There are a number of ways covered in this post in which a headless website can benefit your business and make you more competitive – but it’s not right for every project. Headless requires more development time for initial setup, and projects with a smaller scope and less complexity often don’t warrant a headless approach.
You can find out more about the fundamentals of headless websites and how they might benefit your business by checking out our complete guide to headless.
The best way to determine whether headless is right for you is to consult with an expert. We support clients in a range of industries with both headless and traditional CMS setups. If you’re considering a digital project, let’s talk about your options and the right way forward for you.