Improve your SEO with the MoonBooth Hugo theme

Dear Hugo dev,

Let me guess—you know you need to improve the SEO performance of your Hugo site, but you don’t know how, you haven’t got the time, or it all seems a bit confusing.

I’ve got your back.

Simply drop this SEO theme into your Hugo site and all your code will be optimised for Google.

This is the only theme for Hugo with this many SEO features. For example:

  • Custom SEO headlines and SEO descriptions: WordPress sites have plugins that do this, but we don’t want to use WordPress (oh, the security and speed issues!), we want to use Hugo. The MoonBooth SEO Theme for Hugo handles this for you, allowing you or your content person/team to write SEO headlines that can target multiple search terms (which can lead to more SEO traffic).
  • Avoid wasting Google’s crawl budget: Did you know that no matter how big (or small) your site is, Google allocates you a “crawl budget”? This means that you don’t want to waste Google’s time by allowing it to crawl pages such as your “thank you for signing up to email updates” page or your 404 template—you want to save Google’s time for your important pages, such as your product pages or your articles. The MoonBooth SEO Theme for Hugo easily allows you to block Google from indexing any page you want, and then takes it a step further by automatically blocking these pages from your Google XML sitemap (to avoid triggering Google errors) and from your RSS feed for good measure. I’ve got your back!
  • Avoid unnecessary HTTP requests. Yes, you need this even with HTTP/2: The background here is that since May 2021, Google has been increasing the importance of page speed when ranking web pages. This means, in part, that you want to avoid unnecessary HTTP requests. The MoonBooth SEO Theme for Hugo lets you customise CSS styles without adding an extra style sheet (so there will only be one HTTP request for CSS). But hey, what about HTTP/2, you ask? Well, Google only started using HTTP/2 for “select sites” in November 2020, so it may be a while until they use it for your site. Therefore, it’s still best to minimise HTTP requests when it comes to SEO. Other themes add an extra style sheet when you make CSS changes, but the MoonBooth SEO Theme for Hugo only ever publishes one .css file.

Other features

You also get some great opt-in features that aren’t SEO-related. For example:

  • Open Graph for Facebook and Twitter: Just create a .png image of your site logo or similar that’s 1200px wide and 630px high, add it to your Hugo site’s /static/ folder, and the theme will automatically make all your site content look great when you or others share it on Facebook or Twitter. If you don’t want this feature, simply do nothing—no extra code will appear.
  • Google Analytics: Just add your Google Analytics ID to your Hugo config file and the GA script will be automatically added before the closing <head> tag on every page in production. (The theme deliberately doesn’t insert the GA code for localhost pageviews so as not to inflate your metrics.) Works with both GA4 or GA3 (a.k.a. Universal Analytics). Not using Google Analytics? No worries, simply do nothing and the script won’t be added. This theme is all about speed and SEO!
  • Netlify CMS: Do you have a content team or person who wants a WYSIWYG editor to add and update content on your Hugo site? The free and mostly excellent Netlify CMS does this for you, and this theme adds all the necessary code to your Hugo site. Just add a parameter called netlify_cms to your config file [params], set it to true, and the Netlify CMS JavaScript will be added for you. Not using Netlify CMS? No worries, do nothing and the scripts won’t be added. This theme was built for speed and SEO!

Who made this?

My name is Ron Erdos and I run this site (and coded the theme). I’m an SEO professional with 14 years experience doing and leading SEO for large ASX-listed (Australian stock market listed) companies. I’ve also built Hugo websites for five years now. I’d like to think the MoonBooth SEO Theme for Hugo represents a good intersection of these two skill sets.

Can I see an example of the theme in action?

Sure! This site (moonbooth.com) uses the theme, as does its sister site, Julia School, where I publish Julia language tutorials. The Julia School GitHub repo is public, if you want to see how I’ve implemented everything on this page. That said, I don’t use Google Analytics (or any client-side analytics) or Netlify CMS on these sites, so you won’t see the code for those, but they are in the theme if you want them.

Where can I find the documentation?

Here’s the documentation for the MoonBooth SEO Theme for Hugo.

Can you help me with the theme?

I’d be more than happy to help you implement the theme—please contact me at ron dot erdos at this domain.

Will there be updates?

Yes! Updates are free until December 31, 2030—yep, next decade. I use this theme on my own websites (this one, and Julia School, amongst others), so I’ll definitely be updating it.

Can I use this on more than one website?

Yes! You can use this theme on as many of your websites as you wish, including unlimited client websites.

Do you offer refunds?

Sure. If you’re not happy for any reason, just send me an email at ron dot erdos at this domain, and I’ll reverse the Stripe transaction within 24 hours. You can keep the theme because hey, when it comes to digital, once you have it, you have it.