Building a website is more accessible now than ever before. Previously you needed to enlist an expert coder to develop a website for your business, but now it’s possible (in theory) to do it yourself.

There are all sorts of benefits and drawbacks associated with DIY web builders – but one that’s attracted significant attention over the years is limited capacity they offer for SEO.

Here we dive deeper into this and share some insight into exactly what DIY web builders can offer in SEO terms, and how opting for one of these platforms could impact on your visibility online.

What are DIY web builders?

DIY web builders first emerged around a decade ago – but now there has been significant development in the amount of options and types of platforms available to businesses. Initially DIY web builders were initially created in response to a very real issue many businesses had. They knew they needed a presence online – but they lacked the skills and funds to build a website. Platforms such as Wix, SquareSpace and Weebly emerged to plug that gap – to enable companies to set up a website with minimal expense and effort, and no outsourcing required.

For some businesses, this approach works well, especially right at the start. But for many, DIY web builders fall short and can throw up a lot of difficulty due to their various limitations – especially as a company expands and develops. We’ve covered this in a little more detail here.

How do DIY web builders support SEO?

There was a time when DIY website platforms didn’t offer any SEO features – which is where they gained a reputation for being non-SEO friendly. Unlike WordPress (the platform mot sites are built upon – and still the most popular CMS or content management system globally), there was no option for SEO professionals or companies themselves to edit the site as necessary to improve Google rankings.

Now, most DIY platforms have started to introduce basic SEO features, many of which are simple enough for non-professionals to use. These include widgets which enable you to modify and add meta tags, alt tags and insert links into pages. But does this actually work?

SEO on professionally built sites vs DIY sites

There’s much more to SEO than meta and alt tags. And because DIY web platforms offer very basic and simple customisation options and no real back-end editing capabilities, an SEO professional is incredibly limited with what they can do to help you if your site is hosted on a DIY web builder. That’s why we (and any decent web developer) would always recommend starting out with your own website, hosted independently. This not only allows you room to grow, but actively supports the growth of your business.

It’s important to note that SEO is complex – success looks different to everyone and involves different techniques, tools and approaches depending on various factors including keyword competition, the size of your company and finally, your website itself. This means that a Wix website with excellent content and all SEO features utilised could technically rank higher than a WP site which has terrible load times, absolutely no on-page optimisation and poorly written content with no keywords in sight.

In addition to this we should say that there has never actually been a platform-related barrier to SEO in terms of content. It is still possible for a DIY website owner to optimise the content on their site through keyword research and professional copywriting. And as Google’s algorithm continues to be more content-focused, DIY sites may find they are less dependent on technical or on-page techniques provided they concentrate and invest in high quality and regularly updated content.

Does my business really need SEO in order to grow?

There’s no short or straight answer to this – because every single business is unique. Some businesses don’t rely on online sales and traffic to be profitable or successful – and in this case, money spent on SEO would be redundant.

But for most start-ups, the reality is that a significant portion of sales (if not all sales) will now come via Internet-based sources and online leads. This means that most new businesses will need to budget for and invest heavily in digital marketing techniques – which starts with a well-built website and decent SEO. DIY websites seem like a good idea for a lot of businesses at the very beginning because they’re affordable and easy to use – but they can very quickly become cumbersome due to their limited functionality and flexibility and as a result, hold your business back from its true potential.

Need support to get noticed online?
At Candy we understand what businesses need to help them to grow – from expertly executed branding and common-sense SEO services to full-service digital marketing support. We’ll work with you to get to know your business and customer base inside-out, putting together dynamic and future-proof plans to ensure you get the recognition you deserve in your chosen space.

Book a call with us today: