It’s commonly discussed in various communities how WordPress is the end-all for SEO and how you cannot implement good SEO on other platforms. I initially went with Weebly, a website platform well suited to businesses looking for a clean website, naively thinking that it would be easier to have a platform where I didn’t need to worry about code, but I wasn’t thinking about SEO for Weebly. While on Weebly, my website received over 100,000 page views within a thirty day period. I’ll be detailing some tips for implementing good SEO for Weebly websites here.
I was very pleasantly surprised by Weebly. Weebly is a website builder that makes it really easy for bloggers as well as entrepreneurs to quickly build a professional looking website, which was why I chose Weebly over some of the other options, including Squarespace. I’ll be detailing some steps to keep in mind when it comes to SEO for Weebly as well as some unresolved issues.
One of the reasons why I stayed with Weebly for a while is how good my website looked on mobile. Without any effort, my readers could easily navigate the page and read content. This is a big ranking factor for Google as non-mobile friendly websites will be penalized by the new Google algorithm.
That said, you will want to think about how your website looks on mobile. Try not to have overly large images, space out your images to make it easier for readers to find text, and try to make links large enough that they’re easy to click. Google has real people (as well as machines) test websites, so ensure that your content looks good on mobile!
This is a big one. You need to pay extra with Weebly to have your website be secure, however if you run a business or want to gain real traffic from Google, I strongly recommend it. A secure website is one of Google’s ranking signals. Weebly can easily make your website secure for you. It’s worth it!
Once you make your website secure, be sure to create a new property within Google Search Console for your new https:// website and submit your sitemap. This will enable you to track your analytics as Google treats your website before/after the https:// differently with organic search.
Good integration with Google Analytics and Search Console
SEO is not a one-time step to implement. You need to ensure that your articles are ranking well, people are clicking through from Google (rather than skipping it in lieu of another article), and that your readers aren’t leaving reading one page. Adding my Google Analytics into my Weebly website was extremely easy–and it’s given me access to so much more data that has allowed me to get a glimpse into other potential keywords that I could write about!
Ensure that your website is added to Google Search Console for the secure and non-secure version. Get your Google Analytics working. You’ll thank me when you’re able to analyze your bounce rate!
Good SEO writing
SEO writing doesn’t need to be boring, repetitive, and dry. Good SEO writing for any platform (including weebly) uses a diversity of vocabulary, focuses on a few appropriate keywords for a topic, and uses them a few times in the article. That’s it.
Google’s machine learning algorithm can read your text using NLP (Natural Language Processing). Simply, write about your topic well and sprinkle in your keyword(s). Write the best article that you can that is original, more than 500 words (more about this later), and uses varied language. I find that a thesaurus can be really helpful when I realize that I used a word more than a few times in a row.
Additionally, you don’t need an exact match and to repeat this over. You can vary up your keywords, put words in between your keywords (such as necessary words such as in/and), and even pluralize your keywords. Google can tell that this is the same keyword, so don’t stress.
SEO optimized titles
This is pretty basic, but you’ll want to have clickable titles that incorporate your biggest keyword. Basic, but I cannot tell you how hard it is to come up with catchy titles that are also SEO-optimized. Continue reading on where to find the SEO settings on Weebly. You’ll want your titles to be less than 60 characters for now.
SEO optimized snippets on Weebly
This is the big one. Weebly can hide these options, depending on where you’re looking, but they’re essential for SEO optimization on weebly. I’m going to do a different section showing where you can find your SEO snippets for pages as well as blog posts.
Make it sound like a sentence that actually sounds like natural human writing. Do not simply list keywords in a list. I recommend maxing this out at 140 characters with only incorporating your most important keyword(s). Do not stuff as many keywords into it as possible!
Where to find your SEO optimized snippet editor on Weebly pages
Weebly hides their SEO snippets for pages, so if you have a business or just a few static pages on your blog, you’ll need to dig a little in order to find these settings. I show you through photos below.
Where to find your SEO optimized snippet editor on Weebly blog posts
Weebly hides their SEO snippets for blog posts in a different spot, so I’ve also included some screenshots to help you find where to find your SEO snippet editor on Weebly. It’s annoying, but this is essential for your SEO.
It’s no secret that I think that keyword research is important. If you’re looking for a tool that is affordable with many features, I really love Keysearch and it’s what I use for myself. If you’re on a more limited budget, Ubersuggest is a new free keyword research tool that is great for getting you started with finding keywords that matter for your business/blog.
One of the hardest part of keyword research is knowing when to write about them. I am a firm believer in checking seasonality of keywords to optimize your timing as well as having a good content calendar for free that incorporates SEO into it. (You can download my content calendar here.)
For blogs: Well defined categories that aren’t too narrow
One of the most useful feature of Weebly is the category feature. I strongly advocate writing in-depth about topics that you know well. You’ll want to tie together your blog posts with well-defined categories that aren’t too broad or too narrow. Simply, you want Google to know that you really like writing about a specific topic!
Non-date based URLs
One of the great features of Weebly is that it does not automatically incorporate dates into the title that is shown to the public. (I could write a treatise about the back-end of weebly when it comes to storing blogs with a date.)
In the same place as your SEO settings, you’ll want to ensure that your SEO url is short and snappy. Instead of writing the url for this post as /seo-for-weebly-how-i-reached-100k-page-views-on-weebly, I made this url /seo-for-weebly.
This is simple, but it used to be the case that you could rank well with very little text. I generally recommend writing at least 500 words about a topic. If that seems like a lot, 300 words is a good start. Even if it’s a static page, ensure that you have text on it!
Alt Image Text
You might have readers with disabilities that require them to use screen readers. Google really likes when you describe your images and it’s also good for Pinterest as readers of your website might save your photos to Pinterest if they enjoy them. You can click for my guide to writing alt image text that will help you rank here. You can see how to add alt image text to your images.
One of the trickiest ranking factor is building up high quality backlinks to your website. We advocate white hat SEO and you should not purchase backlinks under any circumstance. Network with people in your field. Get interviewed by people, write articles, do collaborations with others, and write good content. That said, you can rank with minimal backlinks for non-competitive keywords, but this is an important step for SEO!
Website title and description
It’s important to fill out your website meta description, so that when people find your homepage, they know what your website is about! You can find this under settings -> SEO. I’d describe your website in the same manner that you’d write a SEO snippet. FYI: Meta descriptions are dead, so you can ignore those.
Issues with Weebly SEO
A lot of people bemoan that Weebly doesn’t have Yoast, but you don’t need Yoast to do good SEO writing. One might even argue that Yoast destroys good writing. Although many people argue that Weebly is weak for SEO due to not having Yoast, you don’t need Yoast for good SEO. You need to do the steps above and you will find that you will rank in due time.
Difficulty speeding up website speed
To be fair, Weebly websites aren’t as fast as some other websites and due to the closed loop, it’s very difficult to improve your loading speed as much of the loading speed is tied to Weebly as a platform, so do not be shocked if your loading speed seems slower than some others online. This is a constant complaint of mine when it comes to Weebly and I hope to see some improvements in the coming months/years.