When it comes to the best website builders for SEO, Wix comes out on top, scoring 5/5 for SEO in our recent round of website builder testing.
Starting at $16 per month, Wix has a host of useful SEO features, like mobile friendliness, social media integration, and SEO best practice prompts. In addition to this, Wix now integrates with SEO tools like SEMrush which is a brilliant tool businesses. In terms of overall product scores from testing, Wix scores 4.8/5 and is our best website builder, all things considered.
However, Squarespace (from $16 per month) is also a great option. It includes native keyword support – which Wix doesn't – and also scores 5/5 for SEO. Along with SEO tools, if you're also looking for a website builder with complex design functionality, then Squarespace may be a better fit for your business. Just like Wix, Squarespace also scores 4.8/5 overall. However, this overall score is heavily skewed by Squarespace's fantastic design functionalities; it isn't as easy to use as Wix, and it doesn’t score as well for other features, giving Wix a slight edge overall in our book despite the similar scores.
But there are other good website builders for SEO too, including Weebly. Read on to find out more about Wix and Squarespace's closest (and cheapest) competitors. In this guide, we'll cover:
SEO Best Practice Prompts
Best for SEO
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Best for growing businesses
Best for businesses on a budget
Best for a blog or publishing site
Best for setting up quickly
5 Best Website Builders for SEO
The best website builder for SEO overall is Wix, according to our research, but there are plenty of great website builders that will help you rank well on Google. Our independent research team compared site speed, usability, design functionality, marketing functions, SEO tools, guides and more, to find the best 5 website builders for SEO:
What are Website Builders for SEO Good at?
Now, all these website builders will help you optimize your content for search engines and, in turn, bring in more visitors. But in the terms of SEO, what are they actually good at?
- Wix is the best website builder for SEO and the best website builder money can buy overall
- Squarespace is packed with SEO features like native keyword support and SEO-specific apps, and offers unbeatable design functionality
- Weebly has useful SEO features on all its plans, even its free plan, and lots of useful knowledge guides
- WordPress.com has all the essentials and is very mobile-friendly, but no keyword support or prompts
- GoDaddy comes with a useful “SEO Wizard” (a tool that points out ways to improve your page for SEO)
Wix – the best website builder for SEO
Best for: Overall SEO features, and Wix was the best website builder we tested overall
Pricing: from $16/month (billed annually)
Free plan: Yes
Free trial: Yes
- Useful SEO best practice prompts
- Friendly onboarding experience
- Advanced business functionality like CRM
- Our top choice of ecommerce platform
- Our top choice of ecommerce platform
- Wix is offering 50% off until Dec 8
- Can't change site design after publishing
- Slower server response time than some competitors
Wix is the best website builder we tested regarding SEO, with Squarespace close on its heels. Wix comes packed full of SEO features, including Meta descriptions, custom URLs, image Alt attributes, header code, social media integrations, canonical tags, and SEO-specific apps.
You'll also get SEO best practice prompts as you're building your website, so you can optimize at every step of the way – there's even a “get found on Google” section on your site's dashboard to take you through it, step by step.
One key thing that makes Wix stand out is the website builder's integration with Semrush, which will allow you to access Semrush's SEO keyword data directly from your Wix dashboard. Semrush is one of the best tools around for helping website owners determine precisely what keywords they should be targeting and, to top it all off, it's available at no extra charge to Wix users.
Wix has no native keyword support, which Squarespace and GoDaddy do have. However, it makes up for this with its numerous other features and the Semrush integration mentioned above, which provides all the keyword support you need. Overall, Wix gained 14 points on our last round of SEO-specific testing, higher than GoDaddy, Weebly, and WordPress.
Although it technically drew with Squarespace, with both providers scoring 5/5 for SEO, Wix is much easier to use (4.4/5) than Squarespace (4/5). Wix ADI, for example, is an AI design tool that can do most of the initial design work for you if you're a beginner. It also got a better website features score than Squarespace (4.9/5 vs 4.4/5), which, along with the new Semrush integration, helps it clinch first place.
Wix's pricing model kicks off with a completely free plan, but you'll have to put up with pesky Wix adverts all over your page, which may increase bounce rates and counteract some of your hard-earned SEO work. However, there are paid plans:
- The Combo Plan ($16 per user, per month): On this plan, you can remove Wix ads, you'll have a custom domain, you'll have 2GB of storage, 30 minutes of video hours, and 24/7 customer care.
- The Unlimited Plan ($22 per user, per month): Along with increased capacity for storage and video hours, Wix’s unlimited plan will provide you with a site booster app for a whole year. This is designed to boost your Google ranking and get found easier.
- Pro Plan ($27 per user, per month): The Pro Plan also has the site booster app, as well as visitor analytics, allowing you to get insights about visitors and traffic, which can be useful when deciding your SEO strategy.
- VIP Plan ($45 per user, per month): This is the most fully-featured Wix plan and the only Wix plan with priority customer support, which you can of course use if you get stuck with anything SEO-related.
Wix also has a variety of ecommerce plans if you're currently building an online store – in fact, it's one of the best ecommerce website builders around. The Business Basic plan ($27 per month), for example, comes with abandoned cart recovery, and other shopping-focused features. The Business Unlimited ($32 per month) and Business VIP plans come equipped with subscription tools, advanced shipping, the ability to sell on social channels, and collect customer reviews.
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- Email and social marketing tools
- Best knowledge center available
- Robust analytics features
- Native SEO keyword support
- Slower site speed
- No advanced customization options
Squarespace has a great range of SEO features and, even though it doesn't have SEO best practice prompts like Wix does, it offers keyword support and is super mobile-friendly. There are also SEO-specific apps, canonical tags, image alt attributes, custom URLs, and much more.
Although it's strong for SEO, Squarespace stands out when it comes to design, and users we spoke to frequently commented how aesthetically pleasing their websites became with minimal changes. It's definitely the most design-centric website builder on this list, which helped it score a high 4.7/5 for design functionality. So, if that's a priority with you, along with SEO, then Squarespace is the provider for you.
There are also a lot of related features Squarespace offers under the umbrella of visibility – including advanced social media and email support, ensuring that search engine rankings aren't the only way to spread the word about your website. Other highlights include the provider's knowledge center, which has some great SEO tips on it, including video guidance.
Comparing Wix to Squarespace isn't easy, especially when they score so closely together and have exactly the same starting price point for paid plans at $16 per month. However, it's important to note that Squarespace does not have a free plan, rather, a number of impressive paid plans.
- Personal ($16 per month): This Squarespace plan includes SEO and visibility-enhancing features, and mobile optimization. There are no website analytics or commerce functions, which means it is quite limited.
- Business ($23 per month): Along with the SEO functions included in the Personal plan, you'll be able to track traffic, site paths, popular content and, if you're running an ecommerce operation, how users with commercial intent interact with the sales-based functions of your page.
- Commerce Basic ($27 per month): Although the business plan has some ecommerce features, this is the plan you'll need if you want to sell online. It offers a variety of powerful merchandising tools and access to ecommerce analytics.
- Commerce Advanced ($49 per month): This is the most fully-featured plan on offer and, much like the name suggests, provides numerous advanced commerce features, like abandoned cart recovery and danced discounts, that aren't on other Squarespace plans.
Best for: SEO knowledge guides and for businesses on a budget
Price: from $6/month (billed monthly)
Free plan: No
Free Trial: Yes
- Robust free plan
- Great for beginners
- Lots of useful SEO guides
- A bit outdated design-wise
- Few platform updates
- Worst server response time
Weebly has been in the website game for a while and came middle-of-the-road in our last round of testing overall, but it scores 4/5 for SEO, putting it just behind Wix and Squarespace. Weebly's overall score was also 4/5, meaning it lags behind Wix and Squarespace in other areas too, like features, design, and ease of use.
Like Squarespace, our research team found the knowledge guides offered by Weebly to be extremely useful, especially in the context of SEO. However, the improvements made off the back of information found in these guides were somewhat counteracted by poor site speed performance.
Weebly is one of the best free platforms out there. Even though it's certainly a bit outdated when compared with market leaders like Wix, it's a lot simpler and much, much cheaper, which makes it good value for money. Customization could be better, , but this won't matter as much to beginners looking to create a website.
Just like Wix, Weebly has a completely free plan, but it's somewhat limited, at least when compared with the other plans the provider offers. For instance, there's no phone support or custom domain, but there are actually quite a few ecommerce features on offer when compared with free plans offered by its competitors. In terms of paid plans, Weebly offers:
- Personal ($6 per month): Weebly's Personal plan will let you create a custom domain, and there are SEO tools on this plan too. However, you'll still have adverts on this version of your website, so it's not suitable if that's a dealbreaker for you.
- Professional ($12 per month): This plan has unlimited storage and a free domain name available, as well as phone support if (or when) you get stuck. On this plan, you'll be able to remove Square Ads, and you'll have password protection, too.
- Performance ($26 per month): The Performance plan has the biggest range of ecommerce features, including advanced ecommerce insights, and priority support.
Best for: mobile-friendliness and for any budding blogger
Price: from $4/month (billed annually)
Free trial: No
Free plan: Yes
- Brilliant for bloggers
- Easy to set up
- Large and helpful user community
- Super mobile friendly (great for SEO)
- Not the best choice for ecommerce or business sites
- Slightly inflexible editor
WordPress.com is one of the most well-known website builders out there and has a great range of SEO features that put it alongside the best in the business, such as being mobile-friendly and supplying custom URLs and canonical tags.
Overall, it's a bit more basic than Wix. Although WordPress scores the same as Weebly for SEO features (4/5), its scores in other areas (such as design and ease of use) were far behind that of Weebly, showing it just isn't good value for money.
In terms of SEO, the main downsides to WordPress are the lack of keyword support, which Squarespace has, and the lack of SEO best practice prompts, which Wix provides. On top of this, many of the advanced SEO tools available on WordPress are only accessible if you purchase one of the two most expensive plans WordPress offers – SEO features are cheaper from builders like Weebly.
One thing it's worth noting is that we're currently talking about wordPress.com, the website builder that would suit bloggers and writers working solo, or in a very, very small team. WordPress.org, on the other hand, is more of a content management system/web hosting platform that would suit a larger team of people working on a website that publishes thousands of pieces of content a year.
WordPress has a free plan, but you won't get much SEO support and you'll have to run ads on your website. WordPress's four paid plans are:
- Personal ($4 per month): This plan will let you create a free custom domain for a year, and remove ads from your site. However, it's missing important features that let you track how your content is performing, like a Google Analytics integration, but you will get Live Chat support and be able to earn ad revenue.
- Premium($8 per month): The Premium plan has a Google Analytics integration, so you'll be able to check if your SEO techniques are resulting in better traffic outcomes.
- Business ($25 per month): This WordPress plan comes with advanced SEO features and is the first plan that will allow you to install plugins from WordPress's famous plugin and add-on ecosystem.
- Ecommerce ($45 per month): As the name would suggest, this plan is geared towards users who want to start an online store. With this plan, you'll be able to accept payments in more than 60 countries, integrate your site with Top shipping carriers, and there are dedicated design options for online stores.
- Quick, efficient website building
- "SEO Wizard" tool is super useful for beginners
- Plenty of must-have features built-in
- Limited customization options
- Website design is quite restrictive
- Basic SEO features
GoDaddy, overall, provides a quick and efficient experience, and not everyone is patient enough to sit for hours to perfect their website design, as many perfectionists using Squarespace or Wix may end up doing. GoDaddy scores 3/5 for SEO and was the third-best website builder we tested overall, coming in behind Wix and Squarespace.
Our research team found GoDaddy's SEO Wizard really handy. “It does almost everything for you and picks out various elements of your site to optimize,” one of our researchers said. They did note, however, that GoDaddy doesn't provide “some of the more advanced SEO functions, like Squarespace or Wix”, such as canonical tags.
Overall, GoDaddy does the basics very well, isn't an intimidating software program, and really embodies the no-frills approach that many people may prefer over a website builder that has a seemingly endless stream of functions and features.
GoDaddy has four pricing plans, with the latter two focused on commerce and selling products online.
- Basic plan ($9.99 per month): GoDaddy undercuts Wix and Squarespace's starting prices but, unfortunately, there's no built-in website optimizer. So, if SEO and getting your site seen is your priority, you'll have to try one of the pricier plans GoDaddy has on offer. There are, however, a number of limited, but useful, marketing tools.
- Standard plan ($10.49 per month): This is the plan we'd recommend if you're looking to optimize your site for search engines but aren't too focused on selling products or services via your site. You'll be able to send more social posts and responses as well as marketing emails, too.
GoDaddy also has two ecommerce-focused plans which cost $14.99 per month and $16.99 per month, respectively. Like the premium plan, both these plans have a built-in website optimizer for Google and other website search engines, as well as a number of other tools to aid with visibility, such as social post boosting and the ability to launch paid search campaigns.
Why is SEO important for Websites?
A beautifully designed, super useful website is no good to anyone – owner or audience – if it's not being viewed by anyone down on page 134,345 of Google Search. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in.
In a nutshell, SEO makes your site more visible on search engine results pages. This will increase the volume of traffic arriving on your page and, if you're in the ecommerce game, how many you'll subsequently be able to sell.
When deciding which pages to show a reader searching for a specific term, Google will take lots of things into account before showing you their page – including the keywords you have on your page, the experience readers have on your page, and much more.
There are lots of techniques you can use to optimize your content and, luckily for individuals and very small businesses on a budget, website builders like Wix and Squarespace have built-in SEO features tol help you avoid outsourcing the task for a price.
A really good way to understand the benefits of SEO for a website is the concept of “mobile-friendliness”, which Wix and Squarespace both do automatically. Over 60% of all Google searches come from mobile, and having a website that only looks good on a desktop, but has usability issues on mobile, will mean users will behave negatively on your site and, ultimately, not spend a lot of time on it.
This will tell Google that your website isn't very useful or providing a very good experience, so it will knock you down the search engine results in favor of more useful sites – and the result this can have on your business or personal page is drastic.
This is just one example of why SEO is important – and why most web builders will consider SEO in their offering. However, it's crucial to look at how these offerings differ before you hand over any hard-earned cash.
Tech.co's Website Builder Research
Here at Tech.co, we do all of our own research and employ a team that user-tests all the products we write articles about. They devise stringent testing criteria to accurately analyze all aspects of the software, services, and products we write about.
For website builders, the team looked in detail at SEO features, design functionality, platform usability, site speed, marketing functions, the app market, and various other areas where providers differ in what they offer.
The conclusions we draw in articles on our site are based entirely on our own research and, although we have commercial partnerships with some of the providers we write about, this never, ever impacts Tech.co's editorial independence (and it never will)!
Verdict: Wix Edges Squarespace as the Best SEO Website Builder
Wix tops our list of best website builders for SEO with a total test score of 96%, which also makes it the best website builder overall. Wix scores 5/5 for SEO, the same as Squarespace, but what sets it apart is its recent integration with SEMrush, as well as the extremely useful SEO best practice prompts.
Wix has a wealth of useful SEO features and will help you optimize your site for mobile, which is increasingly important considering more than half of all web searches now come from mobiles. For $16 per month, it's a lot better value for money than a cheaper but limited website builder. With Wix, you genuinely have the full package.
That being said, Squarespace may be a better option if you're looking for supreme control over the design of your website as well as good SEO features, simply because of its excellent range of templates and minimalistic layout.
Here are some quick and simple answers to your most-asked questions about website builders for SEO.
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