Your website’s performance will play a key role in your SEO efforts. So, it stands to reason that the website builder you use to create your site can impact your placement in search engines. Website builders make it simple to build a website with no coding experience. There are some great options out there, many with the tools and functionality to help boost your SEO.
What Does Google Look For in a Website?
Google bots look for numerous qualities in a website to help determine its placement in the search engine results pages.
Website speed is one of Google’s most crucial ranking factors. This includes the loading speed of web pages, mobile web pages, and images. Things like widgets, videos, and large images can slow your website down, so use them with wisely.
Mobile-friendly websites are favoured by Google because more people access the internet through mobile devices than desktops. 2021 saw 55% of page views coming from mobile phones. A mobile-friendly website will be easy to navigate on a mobile device and the text will be readable.
User experience is also important for SEO. A poor user experience will lead to a higher bounce rate. Google will consider your website to be irrelevant to the searches performed by visitors who leave your site after only visiting one page. Ensure your site is smooth, functional, and easy to navigate to encourage visitors to stay on your site for longer.
An SSL certificate will ensure your site’s data and the data of your visitors remains safe and secure. Because of this, Google prioritises websites with a valid SSL certificate.
The Website Builders That do the Job and More
Now we know what Google values in a website, lets take a look at the website builders that can help us achieve this:
First on my list of best website builders for SEO is Wix. The Wix platform is an incredibly popular choice for building a website and there’s good reason for that. It is feature-packed and offers excellent value for money.
You can either build a website for free or select from one of the more comprehensive plans. The ‘Most Popular’ website plan costs just £9.50 per month. The price includes:
- 10 GB storage
- Unlimited bandwidth
- Free SSL certificate
- Excellent hosting
- £75 ad voucher
Wix provides its users with lots of SEO game-changers. For example, it automatically optimises websites for mobile devices. It also gives users the tools to maximise their websites’ performance by enabling customisation of aspects like meta tags, URL structuring, and structured data mark-ups. Furthermore, users can gain access to an array of tools such as a personalised SEO plan, social tools, and all-important visitor analytics.
There are more than 250 apps available to add to your website through Wix. Including, of course, SEO solutions like rankingCoach which is free to install and has fantastic reviews. When you choose Wix, you can easily connect your site with top tools like Google Ads and Facebook Catalog. It is a great all-rounder, offering hundreds of website templates as well as a generous selection of SEO and marketing resources.
|Options to suit all budgets||Both the free plan and Basic plan include Wix ads|
|Mobile-friendly sites||Once you’ve built your site, you cannot switch templates|
|Plenty of performance-maximising tools|
|Hundreds of apps available|
|Over 800 templates to choose from|
|Free SSL certificate|
|App that allows users to manage their site from anywhere|
Coming in at a close second is Site123 which, as you can see by the screenshot, promises to be “By far the easiest free website builder”. It is a brilliant choice for both newbies and those with website-building experience.
Even though they offer a free plan, Site123’s most popular option is there Premium one which costs only $12.80 per month. Like Wix, all Site123 websites are automatically optimised for mobile devices, making that one less thing for users to worry about.
Both the free and Premium options include powerful hosting, which is fantastic. They also include professional SEO tools to maximise your site’s internet exposure. The Premium plan, however, gives you a number of extra features:
- A free domain for a year
- 10GB storage (250MB with the free plan)
- 5GB bandwidth (250MB with the free plan)
Site123 offers an intuitive and responsive website builder, whether you want to create an online store, a blog, or simply a place to showcase your business. There is a good range of templates to choose from that will help you create an SEO-optimised website with very few SEO or website-building skills.
The website builder has a dedicated Reviews page on its website which boasts many glowing 5-star reviews. It also has an “Excellent” Trustpilot of 4.3/5, with more than 6,000 customer reviews. As Site123 actively asks customers for reviews, whether positive or negative, it is clear that they value honest customer feedback.
|Very easy to use||No telephone support|
|A wide range of available SEO tools||The free plan is very limited|
|Mobile-friendly sites||You can’t change your template once your site goes live|
|Create unlimited websites from one account|
|A generous selection of apps for integration|
No website builder list would be complete without WordPress.com. For £15 per month – a little more than the previous two builders – the Pro plan is considerably more useful than the Free one. The Pro plan offers a free custom domain for one year, premium support, and it removes the ads that you get on your site with the free option. Furthermore, opting for Pro gives you access to a huge range of plugins, which is undoubtedly one of the best features of WordPress.
Some more notable features of WordPress.com is that SSL certificates are included as standard and its content delivery networks will optimise the loading time of your pages – both great for SEO! And, if you want a professional email address, you can sign up for a 3 month free trial, after which you will have to pay from just $3.50 per month.
Users can take advantage of WordPress’s built-in Jetpack essentials, which takes care of basic SEO aspects, including sitemaps. However, for a more comprehensive SEO tool, the Yoast plugin is a great choice. Designed specifically for WordPress, Yoast will take you beyond the basics and give you detailed SEO metrics such as keyword density, content length, and the reading level of your content.
|Thousands of plugins to choose from, including SEO-boosting and speed-enhancing options||WordPress websites can be vulnerable to security breeches|
|Mobile-friendly sites||Themes and plugins can get expensive|
|Free SSL certificate||The built-in Jetpack essentials is quite basic|
|Highly customisable sites|
|A good choice of professional themes|
My fourth choice for best website builder for SEO is Squarespace. It offers award-winning web design templates for building professional and customisable websites. More than just pretty designs though, Squarespace websites have advanced SEO tools built in so that users can optimise their sites with ease. There is a really handy SEO checklist which will guide users in optimising their sites, taking them through each step so that they get the most out of the available tools.
As well as including an SSL certificate, sitemap, and automatic markups, Squarespace websites are optimised for mobiles. There are plenty of options for marketing your website too such as social media integrations, email marketing campaigns, the ability to create banners, and a Video Studio app for professional video creation.
Squarespace doesn’t offer a free plan like the other website builders on this list. However, you will be able to change or cancel your plan whenever you like, and you also have the option to pay monthly or annually. Paying annually will get you a nice 25%-30% discount, depending on you chosen plan.
|Award-winning, Professionally-designed templates||No free plan available|
|A checklist to help maximise your SEO||No option for autosaving, so you have to do so manually after every change|
|Free SSL certificate|
|App to allow users to manage their sites from anywhere|
|Access to Squarespace’s Video Studio app, great for creating professional videos|
Lastly, we have Weebly. This website builder promises to help grow your brand and convert casual visitors into repeat customers. Read the detailed SEO guide for helpful advice about keyword research, blogging, and analytics, to name just a few topics. Also ensure you make use of the App Center, where you’ll find tons of apps to help boost your traffic, sales, and social media presence.
When you’re designing your website with Weebly, you can choose from a number of intuitive and responsive themes. There are themes that are ideal for online stores, portfolios, events, blogs, and more.
Like some of the other website builders we’ve looked at, Weebly offers a free option. The free plan has SEO-boosting features such as a free SSL certificate and built-in SEO tools. However, if you intend to open an online store, it may be worth investing in the Business plan, costing £18 per month. This will give you a free domain, advanced site statistics and eCommerce statistics, pop-up notifications and loads of eCommerce tools.
Furthermore, Weebly’s powerful – and free! – hosting ensures your website remains speedy and reliable.
|Free SSL certificate||Customisation can be limited|
|Easy-to-use editor||Phone support is only available with the Pro plan and more expensive ones|
|App that allows users to manage their site from anywhere|
|Detailed SEO guides freely available|
|Weebly App Center has a good range of apps|
There you have it, my top 5 recommended website builders for boosting your SEO. Although there are common features amongst them, my personal favourite out of my list is Wix. I think that Wix stands above the rest due to its comprehensiveness and its emphasis on SEO aspects like mobile-friendliness, page-loading speed, and security. And, not forgetting that personalised SEO plan, which is a particularly useful feature.