Take a closer look at the advantages and limitations of Weebly sites and discover some SEO tips to help grow your traffic.
Weebly is a website builder you can use to create your site, blog, or even an online store. Founded in 2007, it was acquired by Square in 2018 and is now the basis for over 50 million websites worldwide.
Builders like Weebly are great for people who need a site but don’t have much (or any) knowledge about HTML, CSS, and other coding languages.
With drag-and-drop functionality, templates, and other useful tools, building websites with Weebly is user-friendly and doesn’t require any specialized knowledge.
But just having a website isn’t enough – it also needs to be found by visitors.
So just how useful is Weebly for SEO?
Do you have control over where your website will rank in search listings?
Is it even possible to show up on the first page of Google with a Weebly domain?
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the advantages and limitations of Weebly sites, cover some of the concerns marketers have about using it for SEO and give you some tips and tricks to help you grow your traffic.
The question isn’t “Can you use Weebly for SEO?” – Of course, you can.
The real question is “How well do SEO tactics and strategies work with Weebly sites?”
This, like most things SEO, is a bit more complex.
In short, if you’re wondering if a Weebly website can rank highly on search engine results pages (SERPs), the answer is yes.
It comes down to what you put into it.
Factors like keywords, site content, and links all play a role.
And among website platforms, Weebly is one of the better choices, as some SEO functionality is built right into the platform.
Read on to learn some strategies you can implement to optimize your Weebly site and drive more traffic.
Many business owners like the do-it-yourself approach Weebly provides.
They can create a professional-looking website without spending thousands of dollars with a web development agency.
It’s a budget-friendly way for small and medium-sized businesses to establish a presence on the internet.
For professionals like artists, graphic designers, and copywriters, who primarily use their website as a portfolio showcase or place to send visitors, it’s extremely useful.
If you’re seeking to use your site to attract new customers or sales and grow your business, it’s generally less effective than other platforms.
But that’s not to say it can’t be used for that purpose.
To understand what it takes to optimize SEO for your Weebly site, it’s first necessary to understand how search engines work.
Search engines determine rankings using four main factors:
Crawling and indexing are performed by crawlers (also known as spiders), that follow links from one site to the next.
Algorithms are a set of detailed instructions search engines use to determine what content is useful, while machine learning helps fine-tune this process.
Above all, the goal of search engines is to provide visitors with the information they’re seeking, which makes user intent paramount.
For a more in-depth explanation of how search engines work, this is a good place to start.
We’re also going to assume you’ve already set up a Google Analytics account to track web traffic.
If you don’t know how to do that, you can read more about it here.
With these basics out of the way, here are three steps you should take immediately to maximize the rankings of your Weebly site:
Now let’s dive deeper into how you can do this and discuss other ways you can secure a high ranking.
One of the biggest benefits of using Weebly as a web platform for your business is its accessibility.
You don’t need to know any coding at all to get started – and this is true for SEO optimization as well.
With a few clicks from the Pages tab, you can open advanced settings for each page.
Here you’ll be able to add Page Titles, Page Descriptions, and Meta Keywords.
Let’s look closer at keywords and what it takes to develop a successful strategy.
It starts with research.
You need to determine which queries your target audience will be using, then use those terms as part of your overall content strategy.
Your on-page content needs to use these keywords organically to establish your site’s usefulness.
Using your Google Analytics account or another reliable SEO tool, you can perform research to determine what keywords you should be using.
There are three main elements to consider for this:
Your goal is to find high-traffic, low competition keywords, though, with some terms, a high level of competition is inevitable.
For more information about performing keyword research, read this article.
Once you have performed your keyword research, add them into the page title, meta description, and URL structure.
Your on-page content should also be tailored with keyword-rich paragraphs.
But don’t jam in terms where they don’t fit.
This practice can get you dinged by search engines for keyword stuffing which could result in your page being demoted in rankings or even removed from results altogether.
For more information on how to optimize your on-page content, we’ve provided a handy guide here.
There’s a good reason why Weebly is used by 45 million users worldwide – it’s simple and affordable.
A free, albeit limited version is available, which lets you to use a Weebly subdomain (e.g., YourSite.Weebly.com) at no cost.
Premium versions are also very affordable, with plans starting as low as $6.00 per month, with available free custom domains.
Weebly allows both premium and free sites to be indexed.
Weebly is also probably the easiest website builder.
Drag-and-drop visual tools let even the most technically deficient users create a good-looking site that’s responsive for mobile visitors.
Adding pages is easy, so you can create child pages that are more in-depth (and keyword-rich).
And the in-page meta data editor lets you optimize it for SEO purposes by easily editing title tags and meta descriptions.
It’s also easy to add a blog to your Weebly site.
Blogs are a great way to boost SEO quality, as they position you as an authority for answering your visitor’s questions.
Quality content on your blog using a variety of on-page SEO tactics will make your site more appealing to visitors and give you more opportunities to rank in search engines.
If you’re a bit more technologically savvy, Weebly also now allows you to add schema to your website.
You can add custom tags to headers and footers and other structured data to help you rank higher.
There are several structured data generators available for free online to help you generate this code if you need it.
Embedding it on your site is as simple as cutting and pasting in the page editor.
Now that we’ve covered the good things about Weebly, it’s only fair that we discuss its drawbacks.
The first, and most obvious shortcoming is that it doesn’t allow you to go beyond H2 headers.
You may not be able to subdivide your content the way you want and your copy won’t be as scannable as you might like.
As you build, implement and optimize your website, the other issue you’ll encounter is control restrictions.
Even with a premium plan, Weebly doesn’t allow you to install any software on their site.
This means if you’re using Weebly to build a platform for your business, you can’t integrate content management services.
You may have to rethink your SEO content strategy and find a way to provide the same quality information, without using other services you may currently rely on.
You may also find Weebly’s blog functionality is not up to your standards.
You can’t migrate blog content from another platform, and the layout is fixed.
The comment control and management system is very simple.
Forum options are also very limited.
The previously mentioned third-party restrictions mean you can’t use an element like Tal.ki on your Weebly site.
Weebly’s forum functionality limits sub-forums to five, with only the 15 most recent topics displayed and topics limited to a maximum of 200 replies.
And because hosting communities on your website allows your visitors to organically create the type of relevant content search engines value, this could be a lost opportunity.
The way Weebly backs up sites is also potentially problematic.
You can download your entire site as a zip file, but if you lose your content or your site is deleted, you’ll be stuck rebuilding it from scratch, including your top-performing pages.
Still not sure if Weebly will work for your SEO needs?
At the end of the day, it comes down to your budget and resources.
If you’re looking for simple and affordable, or you’re a one-person marketing team, Weebly might be just the thing.
You’ll be able to create a nice-looking website that can be optimized to attract web traffic, without spending a lot of time or money.
You can get started in Weebly for free and set up your site in just 60 seconds, even as a complete beginner.
On the other hand, if you have more time, some coding knowledge (or access to developers), WordPress offers a lot more in the way of customization.
If you don’t have the time to dedicate to building and optimizing your website, or you need it set up quickly, you can hire a professional.
But if you don’t mind rolling up your sleeves and figuring things out on your own, Weebly is very easy-to-use.
Weebly offers four plans, ranging from a free basic plan to a $26 per month performance plan. You can learn more about what’s included in each tier by visiting Weebly’s site.
There are many ways to promote your Weebly site and attract more visitors.
One of the best ones is also important for SEO purposes – backlinks.
Alongside on-page SEO and content optimization, this is one of the most important ranking factors.
Here’s a list of strategies you can use to build links that will improve traffic.
Another great promotional tactic is using social media.
Weebly also gives users the option to use Weebly Promote, a platform for social media ad creation and management.
By integrating directly into your site, it allows you to connect your business’ Facebook page(s) so you can use social display networks for promotion.
Recommended ads are automatically generated, though you also have the option to create custom ads.
Like everything else, Weebly has its plusses and minuses.
Depending on your budget, it can be the perfect all-in-one website builder for your needs.
If you’re an experienced web professional, you may find it lacking, but it’s a great tool for new businesses or companies just launching websites.
There are a few less-than-ideal features, but overall, Weebly is a good platform for most people’s SEO needs.
With a bit of elbow grease and the tips included here, it’s quite possible to have your site show up on the first page of Google.
But like all SEO, it takes work, patience, and determination to reach the top.
Featured Image: Ashan Randika/Shutterstock
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing …
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