It’s an age-old question and one that I receive quite often from my small business clients. Is WordPress better than Wix for SEO? Is SquareSpace better than Weebly for SEO? What about Webflow for SEO? I’ve heard them all, especially considering I build websites on a variety of platforms.
Here is what I tell my clients, whether I have built their website or not. It does not matter. Content is king, not platform, when it comes to SEO. Use whichever website platform you prefer, are familiar with, or the one that your designer recommends and can maintain for you.
First, let’s ground ourselves. As a reminder, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is the process of helping your website show higher in search engines like Google, when someone does a keyword search. The advantages of showing higher in search engines are obvious…you are likely to receive more visits to your website and as a result, more leads, sales, advertising revenue, etc.
Do-it-yourself website builder platforms, like the ones I mentioned above, offer a great way for small and medium sized business to create a professional website to promote their business at a very reasonable cost. While they are in fact do-it-yourself, many business owners hire professionals like me to help design their website and to optimize their website for higher search engine rankings to attract more customers. The ones mentioned above are some of the most popular, but there are certainly others. We won’t go much into the specific pros and cons of each but suffice to say that each offers users (and designers) some effective tools for building a professional website. What we will focus on is whether any of them are any better at naturally helping you rank higher in Google, simply because of the platform itself.
Again, in my opinion, and that of many SEO experts, the answer is no. I have personally built and managed websites on most of the platforms in question. I have worked to rank websites that now show on Google’s first page that were built on both WordPress and Wix, for example. At the end of the day, search engines like Google care about certain things:
1. Content – this is your copy, videos, images, blog, and how relevant all of that content is in relation to a keyword that someone is typing into Google.
2. Backlinks – backlinks serve as a popularity vote, signaling to Google that your website is important enough that other websites are linking to you
3. Meta data – to an increasingly lesser extent, Google weighs how well and relevant your page titles, meta descriptions, image alt tags and other code-related components are
a. Schema Mark up is increasingly valuable in Google’s eyes and is becoming an even bigger factor in determining where your website ranks on Google.
That said, there are still myths out there about one particular platform being inherently better than another. If you ask 50 people, you will likely get 50 different opinions. It would actually be seemingly impossible to conduct an accurate experiment to test whether a platform would rank higher than another. You can’t have two of the exact same websites, with the exact same content, number of links, social profiles, etc, to be hosted on the same domain but with two different platforms, you just can’t. So I am always baffled on where these myths originate from. There is a bit more of an in depth discussion on the topic that I found here. It echoes some of what I talk about above.
Conclusion: Get back to the basics and focus on quality of content and building quality backlinks, that is what will move the needle when it comes to higher SEO rankings in Google. When determining which website platform is best for your business, look at things like ease of use, apps and plug-ins that you’ll need, and design options and layouts that best suit your business.