Website Builder with SEO – Truth or Myth?

Marketing & SEO
Laura Harvsey 11 March, 2019
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Website builders like MotoCMS, Wix, and Squarespace are quickly gaining in popularity. They are becoming serious competition for popular CMSs like WordPress. Whether your site is built on a CMS or a website builder, SEO is key to your website’s success. Each of the brands is trying to position its product as a website builder with SEO. Some of it is factual. Let’s take a look at some SEO myths and see if we can find the truth about SEO and website builders.

website builder with SEO main image

Myth: Drag-And-Drop Website Builders Are Terrible for SEO

If you know anything about search engine optimization, you realize that it is the driving force behind your website. You also know that if you ask 1,000 different people about search engine optimization, you will get 1,000 different responses.

A persisting myth is that sites built using WordPress or other CMSs rank better than websites that are built with website builders. However, there is not a lot of hard evidence to back up this claim. It is possible that these claims have been perpetuated by people repeating what they’ve heard from others or have read on the Internet. However, the truth is that there are a number of websites that are built by drag-and-drop website builders like MotoCMS that are currently ranking number one on Google. Many of these website builder-based sites are outranking WordPress sites.

While everyone that says that WordPress is the best for SEO, there really is no way to prove it. There’s no research to back this up.

Truth: SEO Depends on Back Links and Content

The truth of the matter is that search engine optimization has always relied on backlinks and content, not on the platform used to build the website. Websites can be built to have the exact same design and offer the exact same content. One could be built using a website builder and the other built using a CMS.

Google algorithm update Onsite SEO image

An individual with a website that Google considers authoritative may stumble across an article on a site built using a web builder. They love the article and link to it from their own website. Now, all of their followers are reading an article on a site built on a website builder. They share it on social networks, and the Google search engine takes notice. Little by little, the site built on the SEO website builder starts to go up in the rankings.

Was this site more successful than the site built on WordPress simply because it was built using a website builder? Absolutely not. In this hypothetical situation, is this proof that website builder SEO is better than other websites? No. It just verifies the importance of link building.

Irrelevant Truth: WordPress Has Cleaner Code Than Drag-And-Drop Website Builders

We will concede the fact that WordPress may have slightly cleaner code than drag-and-drop website builders. However, the impact that this has on search engine optimization is minimal, if any.

This is because Google has no problem understanding or crawling through websites that are built using website builders. Google recognizes many website builders as legitimate. Google does not give preferential treatment to a website built using different programming languages.

wordpress code article

In general, both CMS and Website builders are using DOM (HTML, CSS) as the basis of their code. The textual content, which is placed in HTML plays the biggest role for google bots. Consequently, the tool you are using does not significantly influence on your website search performance.

Truth: Website Builders Do Have Their Imperfections

Website builders do have some imperfections that impact search engine optimization. One of the selling points of website builders is that they allow you to build a website without using any code. It’s simple, but it means that you do not have complete control over every single aspect of the website creation process.

For example, many website builders allow you to do some editing to the HTML or the CSS, but you may not have control over the hosting speed. You would have this control if you were able to select regular hosting companies.

website hosting providers with prices

The major search engines are using loading speed as a factor in ranking sites. If your website doesn’t load fast, it does a disservice to your visitors. This could negatively impact how your page ranks. Conversely, with a CMS website builder like MotoCMS, you are able to select your hosting service. This makes this hybrid solution a true website builder with SEO. If you want to know more, take a look at MotoCMS SEO optimization guide.

Another issue with some website builders is the inability to customize your site’s URL. As you know, having a short URL improves search engine optimization ranking. A shorter URL allows Google to pinpoint the true focus and relevant information on your page. MotoCMS also gives you such an option.

Myth: Most Website Builders Do Not Have Access to Basic SEO

Most website builders give you access to the tools that you need for on-page SEO. These would include things like:

  • Page Title;
  • Image Alt Tags;
  • Meta-Descriptions;
  • Connection to Google Analytics;
  • Adding Media;
  • Mobile Friendly;
  • Connecting to Google Search Console;
  • Sitemap;
  • Page Level Heading Tags.

It’s good to remember that only 50% of SEO is what you do on the page. Eighty percent of the benefits you receive will come from what you do off-page. This includes things like getting authoritative websites to link to your website. This is not easy and takes some time, but it is worth it. Search engine optimization, be it for a website built on a CMS or one built using a website builder, relies on perseverance.

Website Builder with SEO – Summing It Up

Are there some benefits to using CMS as opposed to a website builder from a search engine optimization perspective? Maybe, but it is not the end all or be all of your sites. The success of your SEO has a lot less to do with the platform you use as it does with the work you put into making your website enjoyable to use and authoritative.

There are more than 200 ranking factors that search engines use when evaluating your site. If you have some tech savviness, WordPress can allow you to fine-tune your website. However, drag-and-drop website builders allow a level of modification as well.

If you don’t have technical knowledge, or if you don’t have the time, the money, or the resources to make the most out of a WordPress site, try out a drag-and-drop website builder. You may be surprised by the results.

What do you think? Are there benefits to using a website builder with SEO as opposed to a CMS? Let us know in the comment section below.

Tags: SEO seo tools
Author: Laura Harvsey