Search engine optimization (SEO) is an art of making your website friendly to search engines like Google and Bing/Yahoo! This will help to list your website top in the search results pages. SEO is as important as building a website with quality content and Weebly provides very useful SEO settings. We recommend to practice these SEO tips by yourself without depending on any external agencies.
Related: Review of Weebly SEO features.
In this article we will discuss all possible settings you can do to improve your Weebly site’s search ranking.
Weebly SEO Tips
You can take care SEO settings in Weebly site with the following options:
- Site level settings under “Settings” tab.
- Individual page level settings under “Pages > Individual Page > Advanced Settings“.
- Other important settings.
Search Results Format
Before we discuss SEO settings on Weebly, first let us have look on a search result in Google to understand different elements.
The “Site Title” comes from the site settings and all other elements are relevant to individual page’s settings.
Site Level SEO Settings
“Settings” tab available in the top menu of the Weebly editor offers various site level SEO features as below under “General” section.
1. Website Address
Using appropriate domain name is very important for building your website. Though, Weebly allows you to use free subdomains like “yoursite.weebly.com”, we strongly recommend to connect your custom domain. This will help your Weebly site to get better ranking in search engines. You need to upgrade to a minimum of Connect plan in order to connect your custom domain in Weebly.
2. Setup Site Title
Set your site’s title which will be displayed in search results at the end of Page Title. Generally, site title could be your domain name itself or your business brand. Use the description effectively with single or two words and do not stuff site title with many keywords. Since site title appears on each search results links, this is most important for SEO as well as branding. Ensure to select the checkbox “Show title on the top of your pages”.
3. Free SSL
SSL is not only a must for sites selling online products nowadays search engines also provide more weightage for secured https:// sites compared to other http:// sites. With SSL, users will access the site content over 128-bit encrypted connection and a lock icon will also be displayed in the browser’s address bar to indicate your site is secured. You can also allow the buyers to checkout on your own domain thus increase the confident and security with SSL.
Weebly offers free SSL for all users including free plan. You can enable the option under “Settings > General > SSL”.
Favicon is though not affecting your SEO it is also displayed on browsers and on some search engine results like Yandex thus improving your brand visibility. Learn how to add Favicon to your free Weebly site.
5. Mobile Responsive
All new responsive themes are by default mobile device compatible and there is no need to do any action. You will not see any mobile settings if you use a responsive theme. When you are in Weebly editor, you can switch to desktop and mobile display to check the responsiveness before publishing the content.
Non-responsive theme users can enable “Display mobile optimized version…” checkbox under “General” settings. So that Weebly will automatically setup a mobile redirect and display your mobile site when opened in mobile devices. You can choose non-responsive themes under “Theme > Change Theme > Others”. Scroll down and choose “Show Older Themes” to view all old non-responsive themes.
Under “SEO” tab, you can manage additional site level settings.
Meta keywords are not used by search engines, hence you do not need to use this for SEO purposes.
6. Site Meta Description
As explained above in the search result format, Google shows meta description on the search results. Site description in Weebly is used as a meta description when your home page is shown in the search results. Use descriptive words to explain the purpose of your site to encourage users to click on it when shown as excerpt in the search results.
7. Analytics Tracking Codes
Tracking traffic details of your Weebly site is important to monitor the search performance. You can insert any tracking and verification codes under the “Header” section of “SEO” tab. Note, Weebly will show to insert Google Analytics tracking code under “Footer” section. However, Google recommends to add the code just after head section. Therefore, you can insert the code in “Header” section and test whether it works properly for you.
8. Webmaster Tools Verification
This is one of the first steps you need to do for verifying your Weebly site ownership with search engines. You can verify your site with Google, Bing, Yandex and Baidu webmaster tools by pasting code in Header Code section at site level.
9. Hiding Weebly Site from Search Engines
Select the option “Hide Site from Search Engine” in order to automatically set your robots.txt file and disable search engines from indexing your site. This is helpful to hide the site before you launch your website.
10. Setup 301 Redirect
Whenever you change the URL of a page or blog post set 301 redirects to retain the search engine ranking of the previous page. Learn more about setting up of Weebly 301 redirects here.
Page Level SEO Settings
Similar to site level settings page level settings allow you to set page title and meta description for page each individual page. You can page SEO settings under “Pages > Select a page > SEO Settings”.
11. Page Title
Ensure to add a page title for each of your page with not more than 57 characters (including site title) otherwise it will get truncated in the search results. Also don’t forget to use the focus keywords of the page on the title.
12. Page Permalink
By default, Weebly will assign the “Page Name” as title and permalink. However, you can change this under “SEO Settings”. This is a permanent URL, shown in search engines and users can bookmark on their browsers. Therefore, if you have lengthy page title, ensure to assign short permalink so that users can remember.
13. Page Meta Description
Enter 160 – 180 characters descriptive sentences explaining the excerpt of your page content. This will be shown as a meta description in search results and important for encouraging users to click on the results.
14. Page Level Header / Footer Codes
Header and Footer Code sections are used for Analytics and Webmaster Tools code or any other purpose to add codes applicable only for that page. For example, you can insert separate even trigger code on a specific page to track the performance on that page.
15. Hiding Page from Search Engines
You can also hide your page from search engines by selecting the check box “hide this page from search engines”.
Related: 100+ free Weebly tips and tricks.
Other Important Settings
16. Set ALT Text for Weebly Images
Alternative Text or ALT text is a text used by search engines to identify your image content and index the images in the database. By default Weebly set this ALT text of all the images to “Picture”. You can change it as per your image description under “Advanced” option by clicking on the image. Learn more about SEO for images here.
17. Weebly XML Sitemap and Blog Feed
Weebly offers a dynamic Sitemap and Blog feed. You can submit both Sitemap as well as Blog feed to the search engines in your Webmaster Tools account.
Weebly Sitemap format is “www.your-site-name.com/sitemap.xml” and the Sitemap will dynamically get updated whenever you publish new pages or change the existing URL. Hence submitting the Sitemap once in the webmaster tools is sufficient.
Weebly blog feed format is “http://You-blog.com/1/feed” and the blog feed can also be submitted to search engines.
18. Using Title Element
Weebly’s drag and drop title element adds a H2 heading by default which is not good for SEO when there are many H2 headings through out your page. Hence, hence organize your content and use appropriate headings from H1 to H6 whenever required. Learn more how to do this here.
19. Using Keywords
Above all content is the key for successful SEO and ensure that your keyword is part of content, title and description so that it will be highlighted in the search results pages. Learn more on how to write SEO effective blog posts in Weebly.
20. Custom 404 Page
404 page though not going to affect your site’s SEO, it disappoints users who landed on your site looking for something. Default Weebly’s 404 page not found page does not offer any additional customizing options and hence design you own 404 page with search box and useful links to offer visitors an alternate to look for.
21. Blog Settings
Similar to site and page level settings, for blogs, the blog level settings are available under “Pages > Blog Page > SEO Settings“. You can setup individual post level settings under “Post Options > Advanced“. Enter SEO post title and SEO post description for each posts since they will appear in search results like individual pages.
22. Ecommerce Settings
If you have ecommerce store, Weebly offers SEO settings on the dashboard. After logging to your account, click on the “Manage Store” button or directly navigate to “Settings > General” section from the sidebar. Here you can maintain Analytics tracking codes for your store. For individual product pages, edit the product to add SEO title and description.
As you can see, Weebly allows you to customize each page, blog post and product on your site. This will help you to get good results in search engines. In addition, you can enable Facebook and Twitter sharing buttons on your blog post for easy promotions.