While there are several different ways to build a website for your business, going with one of the free website-building programs may not be the best choice. Yes, free website builders are simple and easy, but this doesn’t always equate to positive results, especially when you are concerned with SEO. Simply put, free website builders are not good for SEO, and here’s why:

The URL Problem

When it comes to SEO, your website’s URL is of utmost importance. The majority of free website builders use one common domain name for all sites. With each subsequent site, the free website builder attaches a specific name for each site. As a result, you will more than likely have a strange and vague URL with various numbers and letters, which could make it almost impossible for you and your customers to remember. Most importantly, it will make it difficult for your customers to find you. Free website builders often limit the opportunity to imbed important keywords into your URL, which is vital to any SEO campaign.

The Global Title Tag Problem

Any sound and effective SEO campaign is based on the use of key on-page SEO elements like meta descriptions and title tags. However, most free website builders use global title tags. If you do not have unique descriptions and titles for each page on your site, you are indeed starting at a major disadvantage by not placing keywords in title tags. Title tags are displayed in search engine results and in browsers, which help to identify the pages of your site. In the end, title tags are the second-most important element on the page. Each title tag should indicate what is reflected on the page. In the end, to be found under multiple keywords and phrases, you must implement those keywords in your title tags.

The Google Analytics Problem

One of the most essential tools to have on your website is Google Analytics. Even if your site does manage to get top rankings in search engines, you wouldn’t be able to determine whether it actually translates into visitors without Google Analytics. While rankings are vital, the entire purpose of ranking on a SERP and having an SEO campaign is to have visitors. Without Google Analytics, you won’t be able to track various key pieces of information, such as the following:

• Whether visitors are coming to your site
• How long they stay on the site
• Which pages visitors visit on the site
• And many other vital statistics

Google Analytics provides you with the data and statistics you need to learn how to interpret and improve your website. In most cases, free website composers do not allow you to install Google Analytics.

Lack of Customization

When you use free website builders, they typically come with a cookie-cutter website design. Though most free website builders offer several colour schemes and layout options, you will mainly be unable to customize your site. This means you cannot implement design features and elements that are specific to your industry. In many cases, free website builders prevent you from moving things around to where you want them, which makes the process highly frustrating. Simply put, using free website builders opens the door for other businesses and people to have similar layouts and websites. In the most extreme cases, your free website may even have boilerplate content, which can effectively kill your SEO campaign, due to the importance of unique content in the eyes of Google.

Instead of dealing with canned URLs, keyword-less title tags, no Google Analytics, and mundane templates, the best solution is to create a fully customized website. For more information about the benefits of a customized website, contact us today.

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Maureen McCabe
Maureen McCabe is a Toronto Marketing Consultant and founder of McCabe Marketing, who works with established small business owners and mid-sized companies to devise and deploy a custom Marketing Action Roadmap™.