Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Weebly Site
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an art of making your website friendly to search engines like Google and Bing/Yahoo! so that it will be listed top in the search results pages. SEO is as important as building a website with quality content and Weebly provides very useful SEO settings which can be done by yourself without depending on any external agencies.
In this article we will discuss all possible settings you can do to improve your Weebly site’s search ranking.
SEO settings on Weebly site are to be taken care 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:
General Settings Tab
- Site address is your domain name and ensure to use a custom domain for your Weebly site to get better results in search engines. You need to upgrade to a minimum of starter plan in order to connect your custom domain.
- 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”.
- 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. But Weebly only offers SSL as free with business ecommerce plan.
- 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.
- Facebook Sharing option allows you to connect your Facebook profile or page and automatically share the blog posts with your followers. This is a simple and effective way to promote your site content for free.
- Mobile Site – 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. Non-responsive theme users can enable “Display mobile optimized version…” checkbox under so that Weebly will automatically setup a mobile redirect and display your mobile site when opened in mobile devices.
- Site description 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.
- Google Analytics Tracking – Paste your Analytics tracking code at site level in the Footer Code section.
- Webmaster Tools Code – Verify your site with Google, Bing, Yandex and Baidu webmaster tools by pasting code in Header Code section at site level.
- 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.
- 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 advance setting options allows you to set page title and meta description for page each individual page.
- 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.
- Page 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.
- 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.
- You can also hide your page from search engines by selecting the check box “hide this page from search engines”.
Other Important Settings
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” and you can change it as per your image description under “Advanced” option. Learn more about SEO for images here.
Weebly 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.
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.
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.
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.
Similar to site and page level settings, for blogs, the blog level settings are available under “Settings > Blog” and individual post level settings are available 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.