Weebly is one of the simple ways to build your website and keep your business online. However, this is no more sufficient and you need to get traffic from search engines like Google. Without traffic, there is no use of keeping the website online. And, one of the big questions on Weebly users is – does Weebly good for SEO? In this Weebly SEO review, we cover both pros and cons of Weebly SEO features. Read ahead to decide what SEO features you will get with Weebly.
How Good is Weebly SEO?
Many Weebly users like to do search engine optimization themselves, at least until they gain some traffic. We strongly recommend that approach so that you can get the grip of how things work. Hence we pay special attention to ease of use. We cover simple SEO features ranging from title tags to site statistics available within Weebly.
Top 10 Pros of Weebly SEO Features
Here are the top 10 pros and top 10 cons you should know while working on search engine optimization for Weebly site.
1. Title and Meta Description
Weebly has simple and straight forward approach to set page titles and page meta descriptions. You can setup title and description under site settings as well as page settings. Setting up title and description in the corresponding text boxes automatically creates the meta tags for the page.
Don’t miss the 301 redirect when you change page names.
2. Header and Footer Codes
Weebly offers header and footer code sections for the whole site or for each individual page. Whether you need Google Analytics, Search Console or any other script, you have full access to insert multiple verification codes on each page.
3. Custom HTML Element
The drag and drop Custom HTML element plays an important role in letting search engines know what is important and what is not. You can add custom HTML in pages, footer or in blog posts. For example, you can add H1 to H6 headings using HTML element that is not possible with Weebly’s default title element.
4. Automatic XML Sitemap
Weebly Sitemap generation is seamless and automatic. Once you submit the XML Sitemap URL to Search Console or webmaster tools, you never have to look back. From then on, you just create and publish pages in Weebly. The rest of it is taken care for you.
Automatic sitemap generation. Create or Delete pages as you go. You are covered.
5. Loading Speed and Bandwidth
Weebly offers 500MB limit for free users and no limit for premium users. Weebly sites load pretty fast and you do not have to worry about your site’s availability even if your site receives huge traffic spikes. No matter how big your site grows, site speed remains strong.
Note: Weebly has unclear pricing plans based on geographical locations. For US, there is no indicated limited on the pricing page simply showing as dash. However, you can see clean limits on European pricing plan.
6. Focusing on Keywords
You can easily target each page on your site for specific keywords or key-phrases. It is also easy to add internal links, though it is a manual process. This gives you an opportunity to craft your pages to fit both search engines and users.
7. Use of Custom Domain
As a premium user, you can attach a custom domain name with any Weebly site. A custom domain helps a site with building reputation and makes migration possible.
8. Setup 301 Redirects
You can use 301 redirect from Weebly site settings to send users from old page to new page. The built-in 301 redirect propagates the page rank to the new page.
9. Custom 404 Page
The ability to create a custom 404 page in Weebly helps as a placeholder page for broken links. It is extremely useful in reducing the bounce rate of your site, which affects ranking.
Did you know, a custom 404 page reduces bounce rate.
10. Hide from Search Engines
The ability to hide selected pages from search engines helps combat internal competition. If some of your pages use duplicate content, you can just hide the pages from search engines by checking a box in page settings.
Top 10 Cons of Weebly SEO Features
Unfortunately, Weebly does have plenty of problems. However, there are work arounds available for many of the items below. They are still cons because there is no quick and easy way to implement them.
1. Heading Structure from H1 to H6
Where are the H1 H2 H3 drag-and-drop elements in Weebly?
What you say in headings is what the search engines hear the most. Keywords from headings play a key role. Weebly by default use H2 tag for the title element. Absence of H1, H2 and H3 drag-and-drop elements is a huge drawback. As a workaround, you can use the Weebly embed code element to insert heading tags on pages and blog posts.
2. No Directory Structure
In Weebly, every page is at the same level. If you offer 5 products and 5 services, all of them are at the same level. You can not group products under one directory and services under a different directory and can not assign a URL structure. This forces you to overload page names with keywords (ruining the menu and sub-menu).
3. No Link Attributes
Href is the only attribute you can use with links and buttons in Weebly. You can not use onclick, rel or any other attributes.
If you are setting up an eCommerce store, you are going to miss some key metrics. When you spend money marketing your online store, you will definitely want to track visitor experience. Programs like Google Event Tracker are available to help. But, lack of the ability to add additional attributes cripples conversion optimization.
Thinking of eCommerce with Weebly ? Think twice.
4. No Spam Control
Spam kills. Your hard earned ranking could quickly evaporate if you can not prevent spam from blog posts. Comments are part of the page and spam comments also make a part of the page. Search engines like Google regard this as a poorly administered site. There is no captcha support for Weebly Blog comments to prevent bots from spamming your posts. Weebly’s smart spam protection does not work to filter IP addresses or blacklist words.
5. No File Manager
If you would like to use an image at three different places, you will have to upload it three times. When a user visits your site, these images are downloaded as three different images as they have different URLs. Had there been a file manager, browsers would use the image from cache. Absence of file manager effects the loading speed of a site.
6. Useless Image Names
File names for uploaded images plays a role in SEO. Weebly uses an internal cryptic name for the images like “/uploads/1/2/3/4/1234567/1234”. Using image names with keywords is necessary, but the absence of file manager or using descriptive file name hurts SEO.
What happened to my image names ?
7. Incorrect Stats
The built-in Weebly statistics are incorrect. In addition, there is no history. Without history and feedback it is almost impossible to optimize a site for search engines. Using third party tools like Google Analytics is the only option, but there is a learning curve with it.
Ability to see a decent (trustworthy) snap shot of statistics right in the panel is an absolute necessity for an easy website builder, considering the typical needs of a user in this segment.
One month of minimalistic statistics. What about the history?
8. No External 301 Redirects
If you are using a free subdomain of Weebly, you can not create a 301 redirect to an external site. If you need to migrate, you risk losing reputation you built with weebly subdomain.
9. No Multi-Language Support
If you are planning to create Weebly sites in multiple languages, you are going to be troubled by the cryptic URLs & absence of subdirectories. Creating a separate subdomain for each language is the only usable choice. Inbound links you gain for one subdomain does not help the other. Each subdomain of multi-language site must build its own reputation and your overall rank gets split among them.
10. Page Speed
Since, you can’t access your site’s backend it is not possible to optimize the speed of Weebly website. With Google pushing for Core Web Vitals and page experience, this will be big problem with Weebly when your site fails in Core Web Vitals test.
Based on the above pros and cons, we can clearly say Weebly has foundation for good SEO. However, when you want to compete with competitors, you need to focus on advanced stuffs like improving speed and passing core web vital. As mentioned, you can’t improve page loading speed in Weebly with no access to server. Therefore, when you plan to host bigger site with long term objective, then be away from Weebly and look for other platforms like WordPress.