July 30, 2019

Which website builder is best for SEO?

With many different website design building tools on the market, people often ask, which of these platforms are the best?

Now this is a very complicated topic, a key element being how do you measure which platform is the best? Is the best platform the easiest to use? Is it the fastest? The best design? The one which gets the most customers?

Out of all of these elements, one of the most common topics is “Which website builder is best for SEO?” That is because people understand the importance of a website needing to be built in a way that it ranks highly on Google. As a result, if you have a high quality website and it ranks well on Google, you will get a lot more enquiries.

This article will cover some of the key aspects in SEO and how different website building tools can help you to meet these objectives.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimisation”, this is where your website is optimised in a way that the search engines view it as relevant and providing a good experience for users. If you have a website that has the key information your customers want and provides a good experience for users, it will be pushed higher on search engines like Google and Bing.

The ‘good experience’ is where the way your website is built, becomes important, it needs to be built in a way which makes it easy for people to use and find the information they need. This is commonly referred to as ‘on page’ search engine optimisation. The other, and just as important part of SEO is ‘off page’ search engine optimisation and considers the links and references to your website across the internet.

How important is SEO?

SEO is key for many businesses who want success online. If your website design is of a good quality and ranked highly on Google for the terms that your customers are searching for, you will benefit from a number of passive enquiries. Although involving regular optimisation, you really won’t need to do a lot of work to go out and find enquiries. There will be no cold calling and you won’t need to be desperately searching for a referral or new person to buy from you.

Another reason to be regularly looking at your SEO is that Google regularly changes it’s algorithms, that means that one tactic which works well in one month may no longer have a positive impact in another month. There are a number of ‘black hat’ tactics which may work extremely well to start with but can mean you get a hefty penalty by Google if they realise you are using underhanded tactics.

Some examples of black hat SEO are as follows:

  • Hidden text to appear more relevant (white text on a white background)
  • Keyword stuffing (adding huge volumes of duplicate versions of the same words to appear more relevant)
  • Buying backlinks from cheap websites (paying people to make many links to your site)
  • Article spinning (duplicating pages and changing certain keywords to try and make it look different)

The main types of website building tools

Wix

Wix is one of the main ‘self build’ or ‘diy’ website platforms, they have been established for many years but have grown increasingly popular in the last 2-3 years due to their adverts with Kasey Mahaffy, Karly Kloss and James Veitch. Wix also offer a high number of YouTube training videos making it easy for people without much web design knowledge to build a website.

Advantages and Disadvantages

With one of the most obvious benefits of Wix being it’s easy to use design tool and cheap price, this can come as a cost for people looking for a site that loads quickly. This is because Wix sites often come with a high amount of Javascript and HTML which is required to build the page.

If your site does load slowly it can be impacted on Google search and rank poorly, this is because Google favours sites that load quickly as they will provide a good experience to Google customers.

Wix has recently introduced a number of speed improvements and a product called Wix Turbo which promises the fastest Javascript execution time, advanced CSS and 4x more data centres. While these improvements sound good in practice it can be difficult to execute them if you are not a skilled web developer.

Summary of Wix SEO Performance

Wix has come a long way since it’s initial development but it is too soon to tell if the platform can have improvements on a wider scale rather than a minority of website which have been tested for improvements. There are a range of help videos available though so if you have some web developer skills it can be worth seeing if you can implement these changes yourself. There is no evidence however to suggest that by default a Wix site will rank higher on Google and other search engines. 

Squarespace

Squarespace, similar to Wx is a popular self build web design platform. It doesn’t have the new speed improvements implemented by Wix so can be make it difficult for the website builder to be the best for SEO. From looking at their website, they do seem to be positioned towards building websites for design conscious people, they typical list of customers are entrepreneurs, restaurants, photographers, musicians and fashion designers.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The advantages of Squarespace are fairly similar to Wix, both platforms are good as a starting point for people without web developer skills who need a website at a low cost. Squarespace doesn’t however have many of the speed improvements in Wix Turbo and can struggle at building a fast site.

Squarespace is listed as one of the only self build options that support Google AMP pages, Google’s platform to build super fast websites. These do need to be enabled in the settings section but it can offer improvements to your blog that other tools cannot offer. Squarespace doesn’t support AMP on other pages like your products, home page and contact page. This can mean that it is not a total solution to site speed.

There are many factors which impact SEO and site speed while important, is not the only factor. Read the rest of this blog to find out some of the other factors including domain names, content and relevance. 

Summary of SEO Scores

Similar to Wix, Squarespace does have some good features for SEO but they mainly come down to implementation in order to achieve good results.

Wordpress

Wordpress is one of the most popular web platforms on the market and currently makes up approximately 30% of the web. Due to it’s high popularity they have invested a lot into their capabilities for SEO. Popular SEO plugins include Yoast SEO, Google XML Sitemaps and W3 Total Cache.

Advantages and Disadvantages

As previously mentioned Wordpress makes up a large number of websites online, this can however come at a risk to website owners who may unknowingly install plugins which were not built correctly or have security flaws. If you do not find a WordPress developer with the required technical skills, you site may get hacked.

Wordfence, a popular WordPress blog researched this topic and found that hacked websites unfortunately suffer long term penalties in Google search, 45% saw search traffic impacted by a hack and 9% saw a traffic drop of over 75%.

For a website that primarily relies on SEO to generate enquiries, getting hacked could make a huge impact on the longevity of your business.


You may think that a quick repair can fix the problem but according to WordFence , only 45% saw their traffic go back to normal.



It is not however all bad as many WordPress websites do not get hacked. If you are intent on using WordPress for your website, make sure you speak to a professional and ask them the steps they will go to in order to ensure that your site is not vulnerable.

Summary of SEO Scores

To summarise, there are many factors that can impact on a WordPress site and the SEO score, but if you do decide to use WordPress make sure that you use a range of different marketing methods so your site will not be too badly impacted if it gets hacked. Regularly updating plugins, hosting your site securely and having secure passwords can help but it is always best to consult a professional SEO agency if you want to make sure that you minimise the risks as much as possible.

Bespoke

Bespoke websites are websites which do not rely on templates for the design and functionality of the website. As they are bespoke you no longer need the often ‘bloated’ code which comes from using a template and then changing elements of the design. This makes your website much faster and can have a positive effect on your Google ranking, pushing it higher on Google search because it appears more relevant.

Advantages and Disadvantages

One of the biggest advantages of a bespoke website design is that you only need the functionality relevant to your website, this means that it is much faster than a self build website which will will be impacted by the other content on your site which you may not be needing. This could be extra design elements or CSS or javascript for functionality like sliders and image carousels which you no longer use.

All of this can however come at a price and bespoke websites are generally more expensive than self build options. For many customers this additional cost is quickly recuperated in the  months as a result of extra sales but it can impact on cash flow.

Our websites are generally priced from £2499 + VAT and have three payment options to make it more affordable to buyers. Other website building companies can have a cost of approximately £1499 - £2000 but it always comes down to quality and calibre of work that will be spent on the website.

Summary of SEO Scores

Bespoke websites are generally the best for SEO just as long as your choose a quality website building company. Make sure you check reviews and look for examples of the work to ensure that the site is built properly.

If you would like to see how one of their websites score for SEO, use a tool like Google Page Speed Insights or SEO Toolbox. Alternatively, send RACER Marketing their work and we will help you assess if they are able to offer you a quality website for the price they are offering.

What impacts SEO?

Over 200 factors can affect how highly your website ranks on Google, a common misconception being the platform alone making a considerable difference in how your website performs.

In reality this is not true, and to understand this we need to know that there is a key difference in “which website has the best SEO tools?” and “which website is the top of Google?”

The name of your company and your domain

Some of the oldest websites rank the highest and that is because they have a higher ‘domain value’. This can make it especially difficult for new businesses to rank well because they will often buy a domain which has a domain value of 0.

This is similar to domain length, the longer your domain has been owned, rather than ‘parked’ can be viewed as a ranking factor. Legitimate businesses often register their domains 5 or 10 years in advance so consider paying for the next 10 years as a very minor but still important factor. This may only be £100 for a total of 10 years so it doesn’t have to be a costly investment for a business.

For brand new businesses, having a relevant search term in your domain can be helpful as a ranking factor. It is important though to consider that you will want a domain that will be suitable for years to come. If you call yourself "Boilers in Bromley" you will likely appear as a Bromley specific company to people outside of this area.

If you can’t find a domain which includes your search term, you can include your keywords in a subdomain, but it is not suggested to have multiple subdomains as each subdomain will need to build up it’s own domain ranking.


On Page SEO Factors

Keyword in title tag

Although not an important factor, having the keyword in the title tag is still an important SEO factor. For many people this is built into most website building tools by default but you can check this by opening up your website and checking the section listed below. Is the wording something that someone would search for if they were looking for your products and service?



Keyword is first in the title tag

Similar to the keyword in the title tag, another important factor is that the keyword is first in the title tag. This means that similar to the below, the most important words are placed first.



H1 is in title tag

The H1 should be the main heading in your website. Each page should have it’s own H1 but this will need to be properly coded into your website. It is not always present by default so it is important to check that when your website is built, it contains this key information.

This can be checked on a website like SEO Toolbox but if not, get in touch with us and we will show you how to look at the code on your website and find this information.


TFIDF

TFIDF stands for term frequency, inverse document frequency and is related to how often your terms appear compared to the proportion of the rest of the text.

An easy way of calculating this is as follows:

(Number of times a search term is mentioned on one page / word count of one page) / Number of pages containing that term

Unfortunately there is no ideal number for TFIDF so it may be worthwhile to compare your site against other sites that are ranking higher than yours on Google.



Content length

Similar to TFIDF an important metric in SEO is how many words are on each page. When we write articles at RACER Marketing, we know that they need to be a minimum of 3,000 words in order to rank highly on Google.

This blog is 3035 number of words.

Just remember that the content must be relevant and cannot include black hat techniques such as keyword stuffing or hidden text.


LSI keywords

LSI is defined as “Latent Semantic Indexing” and covers related terms to your the keywords you are targeting on a page.

For Ideal Loft Ladders, a website we are promoting through SEO, we do not only need terms related to “Loft Ladders Kent” we also need information related to “attics” and “access points”


Page load speed based on HTML

We would consider page speed one of the most important factors in your SEO ranking and both Google and Bing both use page speed as a key ranking factor.

You can test your page speed using an easy tool like Google Page Speed Insights, it will score either slow, average or fast based on performance.


Page load speed via Google Chrome

Google Chrome also relies on page speed via their site visitors to assess the site speed of a website. This means that they will look at past data of site visitors to get a real insight into how quickly a page loads.

A site does need a high number of visitors in order to be assessed so if your site does not get a high amount of traffic Google will not use this as a factor.


Duplicate content

Duplicate content or very similar content which has been changed slightly can impact your sites relevance on Google. That is why it is so important that content is written specific for your page from scratch even if it is a similar topic to a page that already exists on your website.


Number of internal links relevant to a page

Another key ranking factor is the number of pages which link to each other. This is called internal linking and essentially means that if your page is of value, there should be many links from other pages on your website to that page. This can be done through putting the page in the menu or linking to it from blogs and other service based pages.

Which website builder ranks the best?

From looking at the previously listed ranking factors there are many things which can impact how your site performs in search. It is important to recognise that none of these factors cover which website design builder you choose to use.

In reality there is no such thing as a website builder performing any better than another, it all comes down to implementation and ensuring that you follow Googles recommended guidelines.

Even a bespoke website which is built fast and loads quickly may not rank well if it is a competitive industry and the site does not comply to recommended factors.

If a site has previously been hacked or blacklisted, there are special measures you need to go to in order to recover it’s position in search and it may be worth you consulting a professional to ensure that you get your ranking back as quickly as possible.

Summary

To summarise, if you are looking for a new website and need it to perform higher in Google Search it is important to consider a number of different factors that can impact it’s rankings.

Although we have not listed all of them in this blog, there are hundreds of different factors to consider. If you need a website, ask yourself, how will I ensure that my new website is relevant and provides a good experience to users? Will I be able to do this and follow Google’s guidelines?

If you need a website, contact us about how to get your new website to rank highly, or have a look at the other articles on this Knowledge Hub.