SEO Sydney is often asked for advice on developing websites to best achieve Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). The platform you develop your website can have strong effects on your rankings and organic traffic. It is important to not only choose the right SEO friendly website builder for SEO to develop your website on, but also take advantages of tools that are offered by the platform to increase your SEO.

Making your decision can be hard, with so much information and marketing out there. This is why we have analysed each platform in terms of how SEO friendly they are, and broken down the pros and the cons. We want you to understand what platform is right for you and your website. Use this as an ultimate guide to choosing a website platform with SEO in mind. We will be analysing WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace and GoDaddy. 

1: WordPress

 

WordPress is one of the top SEO friendly websitSydney SEO website builder for seo friendly wordpresse builder platforms out there, used by the majority of SEO Sydney’s clients. WordPress is highly customisable, and can be used to build complicated large websites, as well as easy beginner blogs.

Using a basic WordPress website builder platform to develop your SEO is possible to some extent. However, where WordPress thrives as a platform is in its plugin options. It allows you to customise the level of control you have over many parts of your website, including SEO. There are two major SEO plugins on the markets. All In One SEO Pack and Yoast. Either one of these plugins will help you understand and optimise your websites SEO. However, Yoast is both more popular and better reviewed, and at SEO Sydney we believe it to be the better plugin for SEO on WordPress.

Yoast has many features. The most helpful one is the ability to let you know your focus keyword. Yoast will scan your webpage and will tell you what you’re doing right and wrong attempting to rank for that focused keyword. It also has a feature focusing on the overall writing quality of the work, including the ‘ease to read’ which is important for encouraging people to stay on your site.

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WordPress, even with all its plugins is not the perfect website builder, because such a thing doesn’t exist. Yoast still requires strong and well developed content for H1’s and articles to focus on the keywords you want to rank for, amongst other things. Ranking well for a website requires a lot of work and research. Whilst WordPress has plugins to help, you still need to work hard, or even better, hire professionals to do so.

WordPress as an SEO Platform

PROSCONS
  • Has many plugin options
  • Two super popular SEO plugins, option to find what works best for you
  • Super customizable
  • 30% of top websites are hosted on WordPress
  • Considered the best by most SEO companies
  • Ability to choose what platform hosts the website, allowing for faster page speed
  • Like any platform, websites are not automatically optimised
  • Need to install plugins for most SEO options, these can cost money
  • Can be more complicated to use for beginners

 

Do We Recommend WordPress?

100% Yes. At SEO Sydney WordPress is our favourite website builder to develop SEO. We highly recommend it for our clients, and for you and your website

2: Shopify

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Unlike other website builder platforms discussed in this post, Shopify is just an ecommerce site, not for a variety of website types. However, it is one of the largest and most popular ecommerce site builders, and many SEO Sydney’s customers develop their sites on this platform. It can be good for SEO, but does have its limitations.

Some of the strong SEO features that Shopify has considered are easy to use basic features, such as, meta descriptions and keywords for all pages including specific product pages. They also have the advantage of being built around ecommerce, meaning they are one of the few sites that focus on products being able to rank well, as well as pages. They also understand the importance of analytics, and have functions making it easy to incorporate with Google Analytics, something many website builders do not consider.

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One issue that some users may face with Shopify is their ‘string urls’, meaning product pages may have to have ‘/product/’ included in their URL, this is not ideal, but their other URL optimisation features mean this will normally not be too big of an issue. Another major limitation some find with Shopify is their content options. Whilst there are options to create blogs, which are very important for SEO, the options on the blogs are limited. This may be the key feature that users will have an issue with, as they are not the best platform for content marketing.

However, the core features of Shopify are still reasonably limited with more complicated SEO such as on page optimisation. To truly rank well with Shopify you will need to look into their SEO apps and choose one for you. The lucky thing is that they do have a few to choose from, meaning you can play around with what works best for you.

Shopify as an SEO Platform

PROSCONS
  • Built in blog platform
  • Basic SEO functions
  • Built in redirects
  • Has options for advanced SEO apps
  • Only for ecommerce sites
  • Need to install apps for anything more than basic SEO
  • Not always easy to create content
  • Some limited URL options, not always as clean as possible

Do We Recommend Shopify?

We wouldn’t suggest starting a website on Shopify if you have not already, however we can work with Shopify sites if that is what our clients are comfortable with, as it does have its advantages.

3: Wix

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Wix is a popular website builder due to its easy ‘drag and drop’ features, meaning most people with minimal website development tools are able to build a professional looking and practical website. Their strong advantage is a built in feature called Wix SEO Wiz. Wix has been known in the past to have a bad reputation in terms of SEO, having some key flaws in aspects of a website that help with SEO. However in recent years they have been working on improving these and changing their reputation as a builder for SEO.

website builder for seo friendly wix seo sydney

Wix does give users the ability to add meta descriptions, page titles, alt attributes to images and other useful SEO tools. This means that for beginners they are very easy to use to help rank pages. However some of the more in depth tools needed to fully optimise a website for rankings are not available yet.

One of these flaws is that Wix still has a habit of sometimes adding random symbols to some urls, including those of blog posts. Those truly dedicated to building SEO know that you need smart blog posts to draw a wider range of people to a blog. The importance of the URL being neat is how Google perceives it, and therefore this can be an issue.

Wix also doesn’t truly have the advanced plugin options that come with WordPress, so the more advanced features such as keywords and a tool to help analyse the writing are missing. This may not be needed by most sites, however, for advanced level SEO they are helpful tools to perform the best you can.

Wix as an SEO Platform

PROSCONS
  • Already has Wix SEO Wiz ready to go
  • Simple and easy to access most SEO features
  • Can customise most aspects of the page
  • Difficult to make big mistakes
  • Does not have advanced option plugins
  • Some URL’s are not customisable and therefor messy
  • Can affect images titles, making them harder to rank in Google images
  • Most problems are with blogging features, so not useful for websites wanting to focus on that

Do We Recommend Wix?

Most of the time: no, due to its limitations. However if our clients have a strong preference to Wix for other reasons we are willing to work with them.

4: Weebly

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Weebly is considered similar to Wix, as a ‘do it yourself’ website builder. They claim they have a free option, making it seem appealing, however this option does not allow you to be ranked by search engine tools, meaning you need to pay for any level of SEO. This is okay, as mosts builders are like this to some extent, however is Weebly worth it?

Weebly is actually quite similar to WIX in terms of what they offer for SEO. They allow for the basics such as metadata optimisation, content management, image alt-attributes, custom URLs, some level of page title customisation and more. Like Wix, they have most of these options included as a standard for all users who wish to use them, and also have additional features available through apps.

website builder for seo weebly seo friendly sydney

However it also has similar flaws to Wix, in that it doesn’t have the truly advanced options, as well as the same level of customisation for all features. It works in similar ways to Wix, so if you think that what they offer is the moderate level of SEO you are after, you may want to compare their other features before making a decision.

Weebly as an SEO Platform

PROSCONS
  • Many functions in built ready to go
  • Options to add extra apps to use
  • Most aspects are customizable
  • Does not have the advanced options of WordPress
  • Some limited use of headlines
  • Some limits in plans, may be more expensive for SEO features than other builders

Do We Recommend Weebly?

Similar to Wix, normally no. However, exceptions can be made if clients have other reasons for preferring it over WordPress.

5: Squarespace

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Squarespace is another similar website builder, known for their easy to use drag and drop tools. They advertise as being the best place for beginners to create a website. But what we are interested in, is how good they are for SEO once the site is created. Squarespace has worked on their SEO features in recent years, even earning praise for some of their features such as clean HTML markup, easy sitemaps and customisable page titles. They also allow for alt text in images, as well as tags.

All of these features are built into Squarespace, making them easily accessible. However do be aware of the fact that there are no free options with Squarespace, so you are paying for all features. One of the issues that people bring up with Squarespace is that whilst they do have certain SEO features, they are sometimes called different names on the site, meaning for a beginner this is more difficult to understand.

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Squarespace is also limited in how far they go. Unlike website builders such as WordPress, what you see straight away is what you get. This means that there are no plugins or extra options to develop your level of SEO. This may be a big hesitation for those wanting to achieve maximum SEO. Due to these features there are no options for Squarespace to help you optimise posts, such as telling you what you are doing right and wrong to rank for a certain keyword. This means you need to be very careful and wary when understanding and judging the quality of pages and posts. This means you need to have a very strong understanding of SEO and know you are ticking all the boxes, which can be difficult even for professionals.

The other strong potential issue with Squarespace is the speed of the site. You cannot switch over hosting platforms or developing your own for a faster site, you need to use their servers. Whilst they are not extremely slow, they also are not ranked best with speed, and this may be an issue for high level ranking.

 

Squarespace as an SEO Platform

PROSCONS
  • Easy to use for beginners
  • All SEO features are built in, no need for plugins
  • Does include many basic helpful SEO features
  • No free version
  • No additional plugin options
  • Does not use industry standard terms
  • No option for faster page speed
  • No feature to judge SEO on pages and posts
  • Many limitations around blogs

Do We Recommend Squarespace?

Due to its many limitations we do not. If a client has a pre-existing Squarespace site we would recommend moving it over to WordPress. However it is possible to do some level of SEO on Squarespace sites.

6: GoDaddy

website builder for seo godaddy seo friendly sydneyGoDaddy is a website hosting platform that also has a website builder function. One unique thing about GoDaddy that may draw users to it is them offering SEO Services for less than $3 a month. It sounds too good to be true, and that is because it is. This is significantly less than what professional SEO services like SEO Sydney offer, which may seem appealing, but there is a reason it costs must less. Many of their ‘features’ such as Keyword generation and optimisation checklists are things you can google and get for free. Not only this, but some of their selling points are things that are automatically done on any website builder. They do not actually compare to the services of SEO companies, who offer things such as constantly updated personalised reports, content writing or content writing assistance, website development and more.

Even without including this additional feature, other SEO features on GoDaddy are limiting. It does allow for basic information to be added to assist with SEO. They have not focused on anything much other than basic features, because they rely on people buying their cheap SEO package and assuming GoDaddy will do it for them. They also offer more detailed SEO services, however many reviews such as this Reddit one, have had extremely negative experiences. The biggest issue they found with the SEO service on offer was that the blog post was irrelevant to their site, and that it was ‘clearly a link farm’. GoDaddy clearly understands SEO enough to know about the importance of links, however, does not use them correctly the way a legitimate SEO provider would.

website builder for seo godaddy seo friendly sydney

As you can see GoDaddy’s claims of SEO have let down many users.

GoDaddy as an SEO Platform

PROSCONS
  • Cheap
  • Doubles as a fast website hosting platform
  • Not effective
  • Very little ‘do it yourself’ options
  • Many negative reviews
  • Primarily a website hoster, therefor not as much effort put into their website builder functions

Do We Recommend GoDaddy?

Not as an SEO website builder or as an SEO service. Whilst GoDaddy still remains a decent website hosting provider, they have let down many users who have attempted to build a website and use their SEO services.

Conclusion

In the end, the quality of the content, and understanding how to write for what you rank for are the most important things for optimising SEO. These key skills are not something a website builder can change. Different users with different needs will need to decide what works best for them. However if you strongly value SEO, WordPress is undoubtedly the platform to use. This is agreed on by most SEO experts, including us at SEO Sydney.

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