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5 Best Website Builders for SEO

Best Website Builders for SEO

Rank high and drive traffic with these builders

Why is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) important?

Picture this – you and your friend both create similar websites, but your friend has chosen a different website builder with better SEO tools. Your builder is more limited, but you’re pretty sure it won’t matter, as long as you post good content.

Soon, your friend’s site starts ranking high up in Google’s search results. Meanwhile, your site flounders somewhere around page five of those same results. Your friend gets tons of traffic to their site. When you check your site’s analytics, all you see is digital tumbleweed.

Luckily, this doesn’t have to be your future!

That’s why you need to choose a website builder that not only makes it easy to build a website – it also needs to support your climb up the search results. We take this very seriously here at Website Builder Expert, so we carried out research to find the best website builders for SEO.

Now let’s cut to the chase.

The five best website builders for SEO are:

  1. Wix – perfect for absolute SEO beginners.
  2. Weebly – has dozens of high quality, helpful SEO apps.
  3. Squarespace – great choice for those more confident with SEO.
  4. GoDaddy – great for those who want outside help with SEO.
  5. WordPress.com – great for those who want a hands-on SEO experience.

We haven’t plucked these three out of the air. WBE researches all the top website builders, comparing features and conducting user testing to get a bird’s-eye view of the industry. According to our research, these three are ahead of the field where SEO is concerned.

4.7 out of 5

SEO Control

5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

5 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4 out of 5 stars

4.1 out of 5

SEO Control

5 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3.5 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

4 out of 5 stars

4.3 out of 5

SEO Control

4 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

5 out of 5 stars

3.8 out of 5

SEO Control

3 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

4 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

4.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

3 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

3 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

2.5 out of 5 stars

3.7 out of 5

SEO Control

4 out of 5 stars

Ease Of Use

3.5 out of 5 stars

Customer Score

3.5 out of 5 stars

Value For Money

4.5 out of 5 stars

Help and Support

4 out of 5 stars

Design Flexibility

3 out of 5 stars

This piece will explore each builder’s SEO credentials, as well as the features to be looking out for when choosing a website builder. By the end, you should have a clear idea of which builder is the best fit for you.

Let’s get to it.

What Is the Best Website Builder for SEO?

If you’re reading this article, odds are you have at least some idea of what SEO is, but it’s worth recapping in brief. That way we know exactly what to expect from our top-rated website builders for SEO.

SEO is how web content improves its chances of appearing in the search results of sites like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. Search engines want to connect users with relevant, high-quality information. SEO is the process of ticking those boxes and ensuring search engines know how to find you.

Just a handful of the things that factor into SEO are:

  • Meta titles & meta descriptions – the title and summary of your site that gets shown in Google search results
  • URL structure – ideally, a short page URL with relevant wording
  • Image alt text – the explanatory text that appears in place of an image on your site if the image fails to load
  • Backlinks – external links back to your website that add credibility to your content
  • Site speed & mobile usability – factors that determine whether the user experience on your site will be positive or negative
  • Structured data – a standardized way of formatting code that is easy for search engine crawlers to understand

A website needs to be able to address all these things and more. A website builder without strong SEO is not worth your time or money.

The top builders for SEO keep up with the trends and make implementation easy. Depending on the skill level of their target customers, they also teach. If you’re still learning the ins and outs of SEO, worry not – there are builders out there that can support you through this process.

For a more comprehensive look at what each website builder offers in terms of SEO, take a look at our table below.

SEO Features Wix Weebly Squarespace GoDaddy WordPress
Customizable Meta Titles Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Image Alt Attributes Yes Yes (not on specific product images) Yes Yes Yes
Social Media Integration Yes Yes Yes Yes (but only social buttons) Yes
SEO Specific App Yes Yes No No Yes
SEO Prompts When Adding Products Yes Yes No No No
Keyword Support Yes Yes Yes Yes No

#1: Wix

Perfect for absolute SEO beginners

Starting at $13.00/month

WIX PROS
#1 No coding required: you don’t need any coding knowledge to use Wix SEO. Instead, Wix keeps its SEO functions as simple and intuitive as its drag-and-drop site editor
#2 SEO built-in: there’s no need to spend time figuring out which confusing apps and widgets to download. SEO capabilities are built into the Wix dashboard, so you can just cut to the chase
WIX CONS
#1 Advanced SEO is tricky: Wix has the basics more than covered, but the more elaborate stuff, like structured data, isn’t built into the platform (although you can add it)
#2 Limited control: Because Wix SEO is so easy to use, it can’t offer the hands-on editing control that platforms like Squarespace provide

A complaint sometimes levelled against website builders is that they’re great for making websites, but not for SEO. There used to be some truth to this, but not anymore. Wix has improved its SEO game over the last few years, to the point where it’s actually a market leader.

SEO is a long-term game, and you need platforms that can help you keep on top of it. Wix is one of the best SEO website builders for those still learning the ropes. Its SEO Wiz walks users through the essentials step-by-step, suggests improvements, and even sets goals for you.

wix seo wiz tool example
Wix SEO Wiz will design you an effective SEO plan based on a few questions about your site.

More Information:

Wix SEO Review – A full breakdown of Wix’s SEO strengths and weaknesses

Wix Review – Our full overview and rating of the builder

No coding is required with Wix. From meta titles to 301 redirects, SEO is built right into the Wix dashboard. Every page has dedicated SEO settings, and every image you upload has an input for alt text – which is how search engines understand images.

Another big plus is the strength of its Google integration. Web analytics tools are essential for understanding your site’s traffic, and Google is the gold standard. Connecting Google Analytics and Google Search Console to Wix sites is simply a case of entering your tracking ID.

SEO is actually much more straightforward than it seems sometimes. Wix makes your site’s SEO upkeep easy, and it will let you know when you’re falling short.

Wix has implemented a bunch of SEO features in the last few years, and the Help Center is as comprehensive as you’re likely to find anywhere. Even if you don’t use Wix, its SEO guide is well worth a browse.

Wix SEO guide
Wix’s SEO documentation is clear, thorough, and easy to navigate. It’s a valuable resource, even if you don’t wind up using the Wix website builder

The trade-off with Wix’s ease of use and in-house functionality is it falters when it comes to more advanced SEO methods. Structured data (which gives search engines additional, highly relevant information about your site) is becoming increasingly important to SEO. To add any to Wix, at present, you have to do so manually – with code.

This is a minor gripe, but one worth being clear about. The learned SEO students among you may find Wix stifling after a while. That’s the game with website builders, though: the price of convenience is control.

For the most part though, Wix understands its users aren’t techies. It balances usability with control superbly. Not only does its builder make SEO simple, it teaches the basics whenever you’re unsure what something means. If you want a comprehensive, supportive SEO experience, Wix is a prime option.

Ready for a beginner-friendly SEO experience?

#2: Weebly

Has dozens of high quality, helpful SEO apps

Starting at $5.00/month

WEEBLY PROS
#1 SEO app: Weebly offers SEO tracking through integrated apps
#2 Custom URLs: You can tailor the URLs of every page on your site to better appeal to search engines
WEEBLY CONS
#1 Can’t edit product image alt tags: you can add alt tags to regular images, but ecommerce product photos are out of luck

Weebly prides itself on its ease of use, and SEO is a big part of that. Everything from meta descriptions to web analytics is baked in to the platform. Like Wix and Squarespace, Weebly keeps all the essentials in-house.

weebly seo guide tool

Meta titles and descriptions, custom URLs, and alt text are all part of the page editor. Google Analytics and Search Console integration is as simple as inputting your tracking ID. Its mobile editor ensures your site looks good and runs well on all devices – something increasingly important to SEO.

Weebly’s plugin library is very strong. There are dozens of SEO-focused plugins in its App Center. The likes of Site Booster (which helps your site appear on Google Maps, among other things), for example, prove it’s worth having a browse. All in all, Weebly’s SEO is thorough and easy to use.

More Information:

Weebly Review – Our full overview of the Weebly website builder

In an odd omission, Weebly doesn’t currently allow you to customize alt text on product images. Regular image? Go nuts – but you’re out of luck if you’re trying to sell stuff. We’d be surprised if this was the case for much longer, but it’s a caveat to keep in mind if selling online is central to your plans.

That said, Weebly is pivoting towards ecommerce at the moment. It’s already shaping up to be a strong hybrid of general purpose website builder and dedicated retail platform. The same is true of its SEO, which has a foot in both camps. From page titles to custom product URLs, Weebly hits an especially good balance of SEO for the needs of small businesses.

Ready to take your pick of the best SEO apps?

#3: Squarespace

Great choice for those more confident with SEO

Starting at $12.00/month

SQUARESPACE PROS
#1 Lots of user control: you have the choice to add your own code, which opens up a whole new world of advanced techniques
#2 Clean, structured interface: if you don’t want to work with code, Squarespace’s most basic SEO functions are clearly formatted and easy to edit
SQUARESPACE CONS
#1 Not for beginners: there are better platforms for those who want more SEO guidance
#2 No SEO specific app: Squarespace falls behind Wix and Weebly by not offering SEO functions on a dedicated app

 

Squarespace is the tall, dark, and handsome enigma of the website builder world – or it likes to think so, anyway. Its SEO features are sophisticated and well integrated, but don’t expect to have your hand held like you would with Wix and Weebly. If you’re familiar with the basics of SEO and want a bit more backend control, Squarespace may well be the builder for you.

squarespace seo features

Squarespace has a highly organized, almost CMS-like backend. This makes it easy to stay on top of SEO, provided you’re already familiar with best practice. The dashboard still offers the odd prompt or explanation, just not in quite the same guided tour way as its peers. If you do need some help though, Squarespace have produced an SEO checklist and a guide to improving your site’s search engine visibility. All in all, it’s a more casual, controllable experience.

Meta titles and alt text aren’t the only things to think about for SEO (though they are important). Your site also needs links! Squarespace’s social media integration is second to none, and a vibrant, multichannel online presence can do wonders for SEO. After all, search engines trust sites that other sites trust.

More Information:

Squarespace SEO Review – A closer look at Squarespace’s SEO features and who they’re best for

Squarespace Review – Our complete assessment of the Squarespace website builder

Squarespace Pricing – An in-depth breakdown of Squarespace’s pricing plans

Squarespace Offer Code – Claim 10% of your first Squarespace purchase using our exclusive discount code

A drawback of Squarespace is that it can be a bit fiddly depending on the template you’re using. A handful of them display alt text on the site, which is not the way it’s supposed to work. You can nip this in the bud by browsing the Squarespace template guide, but it’s an odd hurdle to have to jump.

And again, be aware that fancier SEO methods require ‘code injections,’ which means adding code yourself. If the last couple of years have been any indicator, all the major builders will roll out smooth in-house solutions for structured data before too long, but you know what they say about assumption…

On the whole though, Squarespace is an excellent option for SEO. If you want a builder that will teach you the basics of SEO, Wix and Weebly fit the bill better than Squarespace does. But Squarespace has always fancied itself as a more sophisticated class of website builder. If that sounds like your vibe, give their free trial a spin to see if it’s meant to be.

Want to put your basic SEO knowledge to good use?

#4: GoDaddy

Great for those who want outside help with SEO

Starting at $10.00/month

GODADDY PROS
#1 SEO wizard: this built-in tool asks you a few simple questions, then suggests the best keywords for your site to target
#2 SEO Services team: if you sign up for this paid service, a team of experts will research your target markets and optimize your site without you having to lift a finger
GODADDY CONS
#1 Limited SEO functions on the cheapest plan: in order to get the most out of GoDaddy’s SEO tools, you’ll need to upgrade from the Basic plan
#2 Value for money: GoDaddy’s SEO Services are helpful, but they’re not the cheapest on the market – and most features are limited to more expensive plans

We’ll be honest: on its cheapest plan (Basic at $10.00/month), GoDaddy’s SEO features are practically nonexistent. That being said, if you upgrade to the next tier (Standard at $15.00/month), you’ll see a huge increase in SEO capabilities, including targeted keyword suggestions from GoDaddy’s team. 

You can then track your search ranking over time to see how GoDaddy’s keyword suggestions (or your own SEO brilliance) have improved your rankings in the SERPs (search engine results pages). You can view your site’s progress at any time via your account dashboard.

GoDaddy’s standout feature is its “SEO wizard” tool, which comes with its Premium plan ($20.00/month). The SEO wizard asks a few questions about your site, and then provides you with targeted keyword suggestions to help optimize your pages.

GoDaddy Review – Our comprehensive look at GoDaddy’s website building platform
godaddy seo services page

If you want to take your optimization efforts a step further, GoDaddy’s SEO services team gives free consultations over the phone, where they’ll ask about your business/blogging goals and your budget. GoDaddy’s SEO Services option costs $6.99/month, and you’re essentially paying for the SEO team to conduct a site audit and research your target market. Based on that info, the team will “regularly make SEO updates to boost your website in search results.” The major plus here is that there’s very little work to be done on your part – the GoDaddy team will fully take the reins. 

We’ll be honest – $6.99/month isn’t very cheap for the kind of work that GoDaddy’s SEO team performs. But if you do decide to spring for this service, it will yield a ton of SEO benefits – after choosing a recommended plan and allowing on-site optimization, 80% of GoDaddy clients saw first-page results for their targeted keywords within six months.

Ready for an easy SEO experience?

#5: WordPress.com

Great for those who want a hands-on experience

Starting at $4.00/month

WORDPRESS.COM PROS
#1 Optimized themes: all of WordPress.com’s website themes are designed with SEO rankings in mind
#2 Customization: WordPress.com is full of opportunities to edit your own meta descriptions and titles
WORDPRESS.COM CONS
#1 Limited access: while the basics are taken care of on every WordPress plan, you’ll need to upgrade to the Business plan to access most SEO tools
#2 Advanced interface: WordPress.com is not as intuitive as other website builders when it comes to editing your site

Let’s start with the great news: WordPress.com takes care of 80-90% of basic SEO mechanics for you. WordPress themes are designed to appeal to search engines – in fact, much of the HTML is actually formatted with search engine crawlers in mind. But if you want to be more involved in your site’s SEO, then you have a few options.  

WordPress offers four different pricing plans, and the amount of SEO features you’ll get depends on the plan you choose. The Free and Personal plans, at $0.00 and $4.00/month respectively, offer only the basics when it comes to SEO. That’s enough for personal websites, but if you’re looking to scale, you’ll want either the Premium ($8.00/month) or the Business ($25.00/month) plan.

wordpress com pricing plans

You’ll get Google Analytics integration on the Premium plan, but advanced SEO tools don’t come into the mix until you upgrade to the Business plan. If you do choose to upgrade, you’ll have access to your site’s:

  • Front page meta description: edit the general summary of your site that viewers will see in Google results 
  • Custom post meta description: edit the meta description of individual pages
  • Custom title formats: customize how your site’s content titles appear on the SERPs
  • Search and social previews: see how your site will look on search engines and social media before you publish it
WordPress.com Review – Our full overview of the WordPress.com platform

If you know your SEO, and want to be very involved in the process, then WordPress.com is a great choice. That being said, you will sacrifice some ease of use in order to get hands-on – WordPress isn’t as intuitive as builders like Wix or Weebly.

Ready to take charge of your SEO?

Best Website Builders for SEO: Final Thoughts

Search engine optimization is vitally important to website success. When choosing a website builder, SEO functionality is one of the most important things you should look at. For the top-rated website builders, SEO is comprehensive and easy to use.

To recap, the five best website builders for SEO are:

  1. Wix – perfect for absolute SEO beginners.
  2. Weebly – dozens of high quality, helpful SEO apps.
  3. Squarespace – great choice for those more confident with SEO.
  4. GoDaddy – great for those who want outside help with SEO.
  5. WordPress.com – great for those who want a hands-on SEO experience.

They’re feature-rich and easy to use. Wix and Weebly are especially good at explaining features and setting goals, integrating their knowledge bases right into the builder. Which of the two is better for you ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you’re not interested in learning about SEO and would rather your builder just handle it for you, then GoDaddy’s “we’ll take care if it all” approach is even more appealing.

Squarespace and WordPress.com are terrific options for those a little more comfortable with SEO best practice. These builders won’t hold your hand through the process, but then not everybody wants their hand held.

All five builders tick the essential SEO boxes, and their development teams will ensure they keep up with the trends. It ultimately comes down to which builder best compliments the needs of your site.

Wix, Weebly, and WordPress.com have free plans, so you can use them for as long as you like before deciding if they’re right for you. Squarespace offers a 14-day free trial, while GoDaddy’s free trial period is one month. Both options should give you plenty of time to form an opinion of the platforms.

By choosing one of these five builders, you can make sure the sad picture we painted at the beginning of this article doesn’t happen to you. Instead, banish the digital tumbleweed and soar to SEO success!

FAQs

Why is SEO important?

Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to be found online. It’s inherently free marketing. Ranking high for the right search terms can bring in thousands of visitors a day. And the best part is they’re filtered specifically for your site. They’re looking for you! No SEO, no organic traffic. Sad day for you.

Check out our SEO tip articles to get started

Which SEO website builder is the easiest to use?

For pure ease of use, Weebly came out on top in our research. Weebly and Wix are the safe bets when it come to ease of use. That said, it’s not a black and white issue. Some users find Squarespace easier to use. You click with what you click with. Free trials are a great opportunity to find that out before parting with any cash.

What is alt text?

Alt text is how search engines understand what images are about. Think of them as little private captions. Search engines are smart, but they’re not yet smart to know what an image is by looking at it. They look for the alt text. Alt text communicates the visual elements of your website, and offers a way for you to be found in image search results.

What is structured data?

Structured data is a way of providing specialized information about your pages to search engines. It’s how featured snippets are created in search results (star ratings, recipes, and so on). Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! have all collaborated on it, so rest assured it’s not a passing trend. Structured data is only going to become more important.

Website Builder Expert aims to provide you with honest data. That’s why we conduct our own research and obtain direct, personal insight. Analyses and graphics in this article are based on authentic sources cross-validated by our in-house experts.

We take great care to ensure the information we publish is reliable and accurate. However, WBE takes no responsibility for any inaccuracy in information supplied to us by users, research participants, or other entities.

Please note the insight contained within this article is for general information purposes only. We’re glad to answer any questions you may have about this article and its supporting research. For further information, please contact Website Builder Expert directly via email at info@websitebuilderexpert.com.

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About Fred O'Brien

Fred O'Brien

I know from experience that building a website is only as hard as you make it. The internet is more accessible than it’s ever been, with all the resources you need to join in and stand out. Anyone can get online. I’m here to help you do that.

1 comment

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  • Avatar
    Matthew Woodward
    Great article, very thorough! Nice one!