Looking at popular web building platforms with an eye to SEO

Alison Shaw and Sue Dawson asked Kathleen Forsythe and me to give a presentation at one of the weekend retreats offered by their mentorship program. Kathleen designed their site, alisonshaw.com and I programmed it with a custom content management system, so they immediately thought of us when looking for speakers who could address the subject of website design.

Sue asked me specifically to address some of the popular web building platforms with an eye to how friendly they are to the search engines. After my presentation, Kathleen spoke from a graphic designer’s perspective on custom website design.

For my research, I looked at different websites built on squarespace, weebly, wix, smugmug and foliolink with seo-browser.com to see how they appear to the search engines. On the left of each slide is a screen shot of the page, and on the right is what a search engine bot would see.

What concerns me is whether each page has a unique title tag and description and whether alt tags can be added to the images on a page. This would indicate if their content management system actually allows you to optimize for the search engines or not.

Below are the slides from my presentation. Please click on the images for a larger view.

I program custom content management systems and also create WordPress sites for my clients. I have not had the opportunity to use weebly, wix, squarespace, foliolink or smugmug, so my research is entirely extrapolated from what I could view with seo-browser.com.

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