5 Best Website Builders for SEO

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is so important, because it determines whether your website content will get the audience it deserves.

That’s why you need to choose a website builder that not only makes it easy to build a website, but can also support your climb up the search results.  We take your SEO very seriously here at Website Builder Expert, so we’ve carried out research to find the best website builders for SEO. We’ve narrowed it down to the top five. Use the interactive comparison chart to see how each builder stacks up, or keep scrolling for our in-depth reviews.

The five best website builders for SEO are:

  1. Wix perfect for absolute SEO beginners.
  2. Squarespace best for boosting your site's SEO with in-built features
  3. WordPress.com great for those who want a hands-on SEO experience.
  4. Weebly has dozens of high quality, helpful SEO apps.
  5. GoDaddy great for those who want outside help with 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.

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.

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.

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 quick overview of what each website builder offers in terms of SEO, take a look at our chart below. Select the builders you want to compare from the drop-down menus at the top of this chart. You can compare each builder based on their key features, ratings, and pricing.

Swipe right to see more
0 out of 0

Wix

Squarespace

WordPress.com

Weebly

GoDaddy

Overall Rating
4.8
Overall Rating
4.7
Overall Rating
3.5
Overall Rating
4.0
Overall Rating
4.4
Starting from

$16

Starting from

$16

Starting from

$4

Starting from

$6

Starting from

$6.99

Customizable Meta Titles
Customizable Meta Titles
Customizable Meta Titles
Customizable Meta Titles
Customizable Meta Titles
Image Alt Attributes
Image Alt Attributes
Image Alt Attributes
Image Alt Attributes
Image Alt Attributes
Social media integration
Social media integration
Social media integration
Social media integration
Social media integration
SEO Specific App
SEO Specific App
SEO Specific App
SEO Specific App
SEO Specific App
SEO Prompts when adding products
SEO Prompts when adding products
SEO Prompts when adding products
SEO Prompts when adding products
SEO Prompts when adding products
Keyword support
Keyword support
Keyword support
Keyword support
Keyword support
Ease of use
4.4
Ease of use
4.0
Ease of use
3.2
Ease of use
3.4
Ease of use
4.1

If you’re looking for more information on the elements of SEO we considered when putting this list together, check out the section above ‘What SEO consideration are important (and what do they mean)?’. There, we’ll go through everything that made its way into our testing and research process. For more general information on how we analyze our website builders, read on!

We’re pretty proud of our research process, because not many sites can say they’ve carried out such in-depth testing before making recommendations. Here’s how our in-house research team go about finding the best website builders on the market.

Every single builder goes through our thorough research process. We investigate important areas such as:

  • Ease of use
  • Design flexibility
  • Value for money
  • Feature quality
  • Help and support
  • Customer satisfaction

This helps us rate and compare the builders fairly, focusing on important factors that users have told us matter most.

We even get groups of everyday people to test the builders out and give us feedback, which we then analyze. This helps us:

  • understand exactly how easy (or difficult) beginners find the builder
  • uncover any issues within the builder
  • judge customer satisfaction

We’ve applied this process to over 50 website builders so far – all so we can bring you the most accurate results and recommendations!

Still got questions? Read our report on How We Conduct Our Website Builder Research for a more detailed explanation.

This piece will explore each builder’s SEO credentials, and outline 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.

#1. Wix

Perfect for absolute SEO beginners

Starting at $16.00/month

Editor's Choice

Wix

Perfect for absolute SEO beginners

Outstanding

4.8

out of 5
  • Basic SEO tools built-in
  • Easy-to-use editor
  • Step-by-step guides

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $16 - $59 / month

Pros

  • No coding required for SEO functions
  • No need to download extra SEO tools
  • Wix's SEO Wiz tool gives tips as you go

Cons

  • Not the most advanced platform
  • Slow server response time
  • Structured data is added separately
Read Review

Ease of Use

A complaint sometimes levelled against website builders is that they’re great for creating websites, but not for strengthening your 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. It’s no wonder that Wix came first place in our ease of use testing, with a top score of 4.4 out of 5.

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.

Features

Wix excelled in the website features area of our research. It scored an all-time record 4.9 out of 5 in this category, thanks to its comprehensive set of tools.

One of Wix’s standout features 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.

The tradeoff with Wix’s ease of use and in-house functionality is that 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 in SEO. Adding structured data to Wix has to be done manually – meaning with code. Of course, there are tools out there to help you create your markup, as well as information in Wix’s SEO guide, but it’s still not the most beginner-friendly process.

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.

Site speed is another factor that’s becoming increasingly important in SEO. When we carried out our testing and analysis, Wix’s Google performance score came out at 87 (out of 100). Although this is the highest out of all the builders in this list, Google would still class it as “Needs Improvement,” with 90 out of 100 marking the beginning of “Good.” Its server response time is also a little disappointing, taking around 0.9 seconds to deliver a response. To put that into context, GoDaddy only took 0.3 seconds and Squarespace 0.5 seconds. Google usually recommends aiming for less than 600 milliseconds.

For the most part though, Wix does well in the SEO world. It understands that its users aren’t techies, and manages to strike a superb balance between usability and control. Not only does its builder make SEO simple, it also teaches the basics whenever you’re unsure what something means. If you want a comprehensive, supportive SEO experience, Wix is a prime option.

Wix logo 165

Ready for a Beginner-Friendly SEO Experience?

Wix is extremely easy to use, making it ideal for beginners who are new to SEO but still want effective results.

More Information:

#2. Squarespace

Great choice for those more confident with SEO

Starting at $16.00/month

Squarespace

best for boosting your site's SEO with in-built features

Excellent

4.7

out of 5
  • Hands-on control
  • More advanced tools
  • Better for intermediates

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $16 - $49 / month

Pros

  • Structured data automatically added
  • All tools are clearly formatted
  • Excellent social media integration

Cons

  • Not as much in-editor SEO support as Wix
  • No SEO-specific app
  • Editor doesn’t autosave for you
Read Review

Ease of Use

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. That’s not to say that Squarespace doesn’t offer any support at all, but it’s not built into the website editor in the same way as Wix. This means that if you’re a beginner, you might just have to do a little bit of hunting before you find the information you’re looking for.

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 practices. 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 has produced an SEO checklist and a guide to improving your site’s search engine visibility, both of which contain a really thorough breakdown of everything SEO. If you’re a beginner, you certainly won’t be left to do it all on your own, but compared to Wix, it’s a more casual, controllable experience.

Features

Compared to Wix, the majority of Squarespace’s features are already built into the backend – including a generous suite of SEO tools. There’s less emphasis on apps and plugins, making this builder ideal if you want to keep everything centralized.

So, what does Squarespace specifically offer in the SEO department? Meta titles and alt text aren’t the only factors to consider (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.

Squarespace has grown with the times and now automatically generates structured data for your pages. This means you won’t have to fiddle around with code or add it all yourself like you would with Wix. It also offers keyword support, allowing you to check the “Search Keywords” panel to see which search terms are driving the most traffic. Both of these features boost Squarespace’s beginner-friendliness, and allow you to have a greater knowledge of what your SEO is doing and how it’s working to boost the visibility of your website.

One drawback of Squarespace is that it can be a bit fiddly depending on the template you’re using. It can be tricky to know where to enter alt text, because some templates only give you the option to add a caption. The caption actually functions as your alt text, but that isn’t immediately clear.

Additionally, in our site speed analysis, we found that Squarespace isn’t the fastest of the builders. This is because its templates are all very image-centered, meaning that each one is pretty heavy. Still, Squarespace did perform well in terms of server response time, beating Wix, Weebly, and WordPress.com with a response time of 0.5 seconds – which comes in very neatly underneath Google’s recommended target of 0.6 seconds!

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

squarespace logo

Want to Put Your SEO Knowledge to Good Use?

Squarespace has great SEO tools for those who want more control over their website.

More Information:

#3. WordPress.com

Great for those who want a hands-on experience

Starting at $4.00/month

WordPress.com

Great for those who want a hands-on experience

Good

3.5

out of 5
  • Features depend on plan
  • SEO lacks on basic plan
  • Steep learning curve

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $4 - $45 / month

Pros

  • SEO-optimized theme designs
  • HTML formatted for search engines
  • Customizable titles/meta descriptions

Cons

  • Hands-on tools only on advanced plans
  • Most difficult website editor
  • Templates are very focused on blogging
Read Review

Ease of Use

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.  

Features

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.

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

On top of this, you’ll also be able to install more advanced SEO plugins, such as Yoast SEO, which will help you take things to the next level.

Previously, WordPress.com ranked last in our top five best builders for SEO. However, things have changed since we carried out our site speed test as part of our SEO analysis. Site speed is key to SEO, because search engines like websites that load quickly. WordPress.com performs better in this area than Weebly and Squarespace, with a Google performance score of 76, making it worthy of third place. However, its server response time could still do with improving. It took 1.3 seconds for anything to start happening, putting WordPress.com in second place behind Weebly.

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 that hands-on experience – WordPress isn’t as intuitive as builders like Wix.

wordpress.com logo

Ready to Take Charge of Your SEO?

If you want to have plenty of control over your website’s SEO, then WordPress’s hands-on approach will be a perfect fit.

More information:

#4. Weebly

Has dozens of high quality, helpful SEO apps

Starting at $6.00/month

Weebly

Has dozens of high quality, helpful SEO apps

Excellent

4

out of 5
  • Many SEO apps available
  • Basics mostly built-in
  • Plans are cheap

Free plan available

Paid Plans: $6 - $29 / month

Pros

  • SEO tracking through integrated apps
  • Can create custom URLs for every page
  • Makes creating 301 redirects easy

Cons

  • Can’t edit product image alt tags
  • No personal site restore option
  • More reliant on apps than Wix is
Read Review

Ease of Use

Although Weebly’s website editor may no longer be as simple as it once was, this builder has thankfully kept its SEO processes easy and straightforward. Everything from meta descriptions to web analytics is baked into the platform. Like Wix and Squarespace, Weebly keeps all the essentials in-house.

Meta titles and descriptions, custom URLs, and alt text are all part of the page editor. Integrating Google Analytics and Search Console is as simple as inputting your tracking ID.

However, we did find Weebly’s mobile optimization lacking. Although using the mobile editor is as quick and easy as clicking a button, the effects aren’t so impressive. In fact, many users have complained that as soon as they view their websites on a mobile device, all of their formatting goes out the window. This is a big oversight on Weebly’s part, as mobile optimization is an important part of SEO.

Features

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

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.

Site speed is another area where we found Weebly to be slightly lacking. It achieved a performance score of 72, matching Squarespace. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that Squarespace sites are often heavy because they have so many images. This isn’t the case with Weebly, but its server response time was still the slowest of the five – it took 1.4 seconds to load.

These things aside, Weebly seems to cover most of the vitals when it comes to SEO tools. It also helps keep things simple for beginners. When we tested it, we found that Weebly was one of the only website builders that made it easy to set up 301 redirects, something that can be quite intimidating for SEO novices. From page titles to custom product URLs, Weebly provides a good selection of SEO tools.

weebly logo

Ready to Take Your Pick of the Best SEO Apps?

We love Weebly’s large app store, which has plenty of tools to help you optimize your site.

More Information:

  • Weebly Review – Our full overview of the Weebly website builder

#5. GoDaddy

Great for those who want outside help with SEO

Starting at $6.99/month

GoDaddy

Great for those who want outside help with SEO

Good

4.4

out of 5
  • Poor SEO on Basic plan
  • Great SEO on other plans
  • Good value for money

Free trial available

Paid Plans: $6.99 - $29.99 / month

Pros

  • Gives site-specific keyword suggestions
  • Pay extra for complete site optimization
  • New and improved focus on marketing

Cons

  • Limited SEO functions on cheapest plan
  • Extra help pricey for what it's worth
  • Less hands-on control than Squarespace
Read Review

Ease of Use

Ease of use is one of GoDaddy’s strengths. This builder scored 4.1 out of 5 in our most recent round of testing for this category. And it’s not just the website editor that keeps things simple – GoDaddy has the same attitude towards SEO, too. In fact, GoDaddy is an awesome option for SEO newbies who are looking for a website builder with Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI).

With ADI, the platform creates your website for you based on your answers to a few questions. It’s a similar process with SEO. Like Wix, GoDaddy walks you through its SEO tools, and it only takes a few minutes!

Features

Unfortunately, GoDaddy’s SEO features are practically nonexistent on its cheapest Basic plan ($6.99/month). That being said, if you upgrade to the next tier (the $13.99/month Premium plan), you’ll see a huge increase in SEO capabilities, including targeted keyword suggestions from GoDaddy’s team. You’ll also have access to its “SEO Wizard” tool, which provides you with targeted keyword suggestions to help optimize your pages.  

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.

All of GoDaddy’s plans include GoDaddy Insights, a smart learning tool that analyzes your site and gives you a tailored action plan to help you grow your online presence and measure your site’s performance.

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.

In terms of site speed, GoDaddy is second only to Wix, scoring 83 in our performance testing. Its server response time is excellent, too – it only takes 0.3 seconds to load.

godaddy logo

Ready for an Easy SEO Experience?

GoDaddy is perfect for entrepreneurs looking for an easy, all-in-one SEO package. We like how GoDaddy does a lot of the work for you!

More information:

  • GoDaddy Review – Our comprehensive look at GoDaddy’s website building platform

Best Website Builders for SEO: Final Thoughts

Search engine optimization is vitally important to website success. There can be as much as a 17.5% difference between the click-through rate of position one and position three.

When choosing a website builder, SEO functionality is one of the most important factors you should consider. 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. Squarespace best for boosting your site's SEO with a range of in-built features
  3. WordPress.com great for those who want a hands-on SEO experience.
  4. Weebly dozens of high quality, helpful SEO apps.
  5. GoDaddy great for those who want outside help with SEO.

Wix is especially good at explaining features and setting goals, integrating its knowledge base right into the builder. Weebly also provides a beginner-friendly approach, supplemented by a wide range of SEO apps to help you get your head around things. 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 of 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.

When it comes down to site speed, Wix and GoDaddy come out on top with the highest performance scores, whilst Weebly and Squarespace sit near the bottom. However, it is worth bearing in mind that Squarespace’s slower performance is due to the weight of its visually beautiful sites, and its server response time was actually one of the fastest. The same can’t be said of WordPress.com, though, which had the slowest server response time out of the five.

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

Wix, Weebly, GoDaddy, 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, which should give you plenty of time to form an opinion of the platform.

Find Out More

Website Builders and Core Web Vitals Insights: Wondering about the SEO impact of the Core Web Vitals update on website builders? We’ve put together a guide exploring this and highlighting what you can do to measure and improve your site’s performance.

FAQs

Click the + to see the answer.

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:

For pure ease of use, Wix came out on top in our research, with a score of 4.4 out of 5. GoDaddy came in a firm second place, with Squarespace bringing up the rear in third. Any of these three are pretty safe bets in this area. That said, it’s not a black and white issue. It’s completely personal, and in our many years of testing website builders, we’ve found that different people click with different platforms. Free trials are a great opportunity to find that out before parting with any cash.

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.

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.

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