How to optimize your Weebly SEO to rank high in Google
In this guide, I will show you how to rank on the first page of Google using a free domain website weebly.com.
If you are a beginner in SEO or you are a local business SEO savvy, this step-by-step Weebly SEO guide is for you.
We will monitor the ranking progress along the way.
The purpose of this guide is to show you that it is possible to rank a website on a budget and doing it by yourself. However, this is not a quick ranking method, it will probably take from 2 to 6 months to rank your website, so don’t expect quick results. Although, ranking position results depend on your concurrence.
I will update the ranking of the site used in this article.
We will cover all aspects of SEO, from on-page optimization to off-page. Please note that the method used in this guide can be used with any website building platform.
Note : SEO is not a « one method only » strategy, some of you may have different opinions on how to rank a website. So, if you do so please let us know.
STEP 1 : SETTING UP
In this weebly seo guide, let’s pretend we are a local plumbing business in Nice (South of France). Yes ! I do SEO both in English and French. You can easily replicate the method in your country !
So, the exact keyword will be « plombier nice » ( keyword + city). We want to rank for this exact keyword.
1- Sign up for a Google account or you can use one you already have.
2- Go to weebly.com and create an account then “add site”
3- Choose the type of business, name of your business (use your keyword you want to rank for) and pick a theme.
4- Choose your website domain
That is a really important point, you need to include your keyword in the domain name.
My keyword is « plombier nice » unfortunately, the domain I was taken, so it will be 247plombiernice.weebly.com.
Note : you don’t need to get a paid domain you can start with : yourkeyword.weebly.com
Once you have your domain name you should be on a page like that :
Note : Your page will be different because you are starting fresh. You will have to design your website, we won’t cover that part in this guide. If you have a question about designing your website on Weebly, comment below.
In that case, I created my website previously so content is already on the page.
As you can see my keyword « plombier nice » is at the top of the page. Which is easy for Google robots to read.
This guide might be missing some components. Again, if you have questions comment below.
STEP 2 : ON PAGE OPTIMIZATION
Ok, now you have your domain name ready and it’s time to set up your website and optimize your weebly seo in order to comply with Google algorithms.
First, you have to create content on your home page and all the other pages of your website. You are the only one to know what type of content is best to describe your business.
When I create my content I like to check what my competitors are doing, which keywords rank best and which one to use for my content.
In Step 2, I will show how to identify your competitors, how to find keywords with decent volume search, how to set up pages on your website and how to do on-page SEO in a simple way.
1- Identify your concurrence
We need to understand what our concurrence is doing.
What I usually do is open google and then type my keyword in then pick up the top 10 websites on the first page.
Once you have your first 10 websites in your niche, we need to put them all in a spreadsheet.
So you will copy and paste all of these websites.
NOTE : You can use SEO TOOLS to make it easier. If you want to invest in SEO tools you have a large choice like Semrush, MajesticSEO, Market Samurai.
However, you can get a free trial on Semrush which will be enough for our research. Alternatively, you can use a free tool called Screaming Frog.
To identify if it is worth using my keyword (here : plombier nice), I take in consideration 11 main factors to begin with. Which are : the external links going to the URL, the external links going to the root domain, facebook page likes, twitter followers, TrustFlow, CitationFlow, Keyword in URL, Meta title, Meta description, H1 tag and word count.
Here is a preview of the Market Samurai Tool with all the factors listed above.
Note : when using different tools you might have different results. Market Samurai get teh data from MajesticSEO.
BLP= external links (backlinks) to a specific URL
BLD= external links (backlinks) to the main domain
Title= keyword in meta title
URL= keyword in the URL
Descr= keyword in description
Head= keyword in H1 tag
FREE DOWNLOAD : click here to get my free XLS spreadsheet template to organize your analysis similar to Market Samurai for your weebly seo site and rank high in organic results.
Conclusion : If you did the same work on your spreadsheet, can you identify the « weakest » competitors in your niche ?
SEO is a number’s game. Ok ok ! Some of you will say not all the time ! Well, let me tell you if you have zero backlinks, no keyword in your meta data, YOU WILL NEVER GET ON PAGE 1.
2- The foundation of a good On-Page optimisation
First, you must focus on title, meta description and heading tag. Your main keyword must be included in URL, title, description and heading tag.
I like to make it simple, place your keyword at the beginning as follow :
My keyword appears in the URL, Site title, description and H1 tag.
Here is how to do it :
Let’s assume your keyword is already in your URL.
1- Let’s start with page title :
In your weebly dashboard, head over to SETTINGS then GENERAL and enter the site title (60 characters).
Click save and publish at the top right.
Next, head over SEO below General, left side of the page :
- Enter your site description
- Meta Keywords
- Footer code : you need to enter your Google Analytics code. To do that check How to Install Google Analytics
- Header Code : read below
Now click on PAGES at the top and you will see the SEO Settings menu on your left
2- Page description (meta description) and meta keywords.
As you can see on the previous screenshot, you have the page description and meta keywords. Write your best description for your website (130-160 characters).
You can also put meta keywords but Google doesn’t take them into consideration anymore. Click publish.
3- H1 tag
Now, let’s put the H1 tag on our page.
NOTE : by default, weebly.com does not have an option for H1 tag but only H2 tag. In SEO the imôrtance of H1 tag is crucial !!!
In order to have an H1 Tag on your Weebly page, you can modify the HTML/CSS code or simply add HTML embed code.
Let me show you how
Click at the top on BUILD and on the left side you will have a box called « EMBED CODE »
Drag and drop it at the top of the page.
In that screenshot, my H1 tag is « Plombier Nice et Alpes Maritimes urgence 24/7 »
Click on EDIT CUSTOM HTML
Then enter the code :
<h1 style=”text-align:left;font-size:28px;color:black;font-family:arial;”>Your text here</h1>
Click outside the box to confirm and should see your text H1 tag. Click Publish.
Well done you made it !!!
4- Image optimisation
We need to optimise our images ALT-TEXT or alternative text. That means your images will need a description text. These images with descriptions can give an advantage to your rankings. Google reads image too !
First, the image file on your computer must have the keyword when you have your image on the page click on it and go to advanced settings. At the bottom, you will see a case with « Alt text » enter a description with your keyword or website then click publish.
Repeat the process with all of your images.
5- Loading page speed
The loading page speed of your website is really important too ! However, if you keep your site with less than 10 pages, which is enough for a small local business, reduced image sizes and a simple frame your loading speed shouldn’t be over 2/3 sec.
If you are planning to build a large site with multiple pages I don’t recommend using weebly.com. If you want to test your loading speed head over here.
NOTE : For the content on your site try to keep the volume higher than your competitors. On my free template checklist, you have one column with « word count » it gives you an idea of your competitor’s content volume. In order to check the word count on a specific URL, you can use the free tool screaming frog.
STEP 3 : Verify and register your website with Google Webmaster
Ok, let’s recap quickly :
You got your domain on weebly.com and it includes the keyword you want to rank for
You have the theme of your site, pages and categories set up.
For each pages you have some content that explains/describe your product or service.
Your weebly seo, site title, meta description, heading tag, images are optimised for Google.
Brilliant ! Now let’s register your domain with Google Search console / Webmaster Tool.
1- Go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
2- Click on add a property and enter your domain name (without www for a free weebly domain)
3- Choose alternative method
4- Copy the line of HTML code that Google provides to you.
5- Go to your Weebly page, click on SETTINGS then SEO and enter the HTML tag in Header Code box. Save and publish.
Go back to your Google search Console and click VERIFY.
Sweet ! Your domain is verified.
6- Let’s check your sitemap now.
To make it simple a sitemap is a hierarchical list of pages organized by topic, and it provides instructions when search engine navigate in your website. It makes the Google robot’s life easier !
Luckily Weebly already created a sitemap for you, which should be http://yourdomain.weebly.com/sitemap.xml
Click on « Sitemaps » then add/test a sitemap
Click Submit and your are done.
Congratulations ! You made a free website ready to rank on first page !!!
STEP 4 : OFF PAGE OPTIMISATION
Congratulations ! You got your free Weebly site and you did the ON-PAGE OPTIMISATION.
Let’s get into the main component of ranking in 2016 which is link-building.
What is link-building ?
Link-building or building links that point to your website will increase the authority of your site.
I am not telling you to create links from any website, you need to use good quality sites to get the juice from.
To make it simple, let me explain using my website 247plombiernice.weebly.com.
There are different types of platforms where you can get a link from ; directories, forum, blogs, social and media services.
As an example, I would like to register my site on PagesJaunes.fr (or Yellowpages in English), I am building a citation NAP (name, address, phone number). This will automatically provide me with a link from Yellowpages to my site.
However, when building NAP citations, make sure that it is the same on your website. Same company name, same address, same phone number EVERYWHERE !
You can then register your site in every directories with good authority if you wish.
1- SIMPLE LINK-BUILDING STRATEGY
If you are a local business the best way to find good domains to get links from, is to spy on your competitors.
We will use MajesticSEO to steal backlinks from your competitors.
Let’s start by taking the first 10 results on page 1 for your niche. In my case « plombier nice »
One by one you copy and paste each url in majestic then click on BACKLINKS :
A list of sites will appear. These are the domains the current website is using to get links from.
Click on EXPORT at the top right and download the CSV file.
As you can see these are all the sites one of my competitors is using to get a link from.
Let’s have a look at the one on line 4 :
It appears to be a blog with a « do-follow » comment section. OHHH ! Look what I found, my competitor’s anchor text « PLOMBIER NICE ».
Right click on the anchor text and in the menu choose INSPECT, this will open HTML source code on the right. You can see where the anchor text is pointing to, in that case :
This link is even better because it’s not a « nofollow » link which means as dofollow, your website will get much more POWER than with a nofollow link. So now everytime you are trying to find if the site gives dofollow or nofollow links just right click on any of the blog’s comment.
Now, you just have to repeat the process with the other sites on your spreadsheet.
PLEASE NOTE : I recommend to chose sites with a similar topic to your website and also use a different anchor text for each link your are building. This will give you an opportunity to diversify your anchor text frame and avoid Google penalties.
I recommend also to track all of the links. On your .csv spreadsheet you can add a column for « link date » and one for the status of your link (pending, refused, accepted).
That way you know exactly what works and keep a really organised work.
You have now a brand new free website, weebly seo optimised for search engine and ready to rank on the first page.
Some of you may notice that I did not talk about Google maps, which I think is a really important step. You need to register your business in GoogleMybusiness and optimise your listing. However, I don’t have an address to list my website on so I will try to rank my site without.
I will probably list it in the future and update this Weebly tutorial : build and rank a Weebly free website.
I am planning on making a full tutorial video following this guide. If you think this video could help you let me know in the comment section.
If you need any informations, feel free to comment, I will do my best to answer all of your questions.
All the best.
Update : 22/10/2016
Awesome ! Few changes during these few days. I’ve been building links for almost 5 days now and I would like to share with some of the results.
Here are the majestic metrics :
However, it takes time to get the website indexed by Google. So, I decided to send them my URL and hopefully get it indexed quickly.
This is how you do it:
Go to add your URL to Google , connect to your account and enter your url. That’s it!
As you can see from the metrics above, only a few of the external links have been taken into consideration.
NOTE: Don’t give up right now and keep building your backlinks. I will show you an other method using Web 2.0 backlinks to rank and improve your seo weebly site. Stay tuned!
The website is finally ranking on Google! Previously the website was indexed in Google but it was not ranking. I made some few changes on the on-page seo into the weebly dashboard. As you can see above, I added the site description in the settings section plus optimized each page as well. Then I went to Google Search Console and ask to re-index my site.
At the mean time the number of backlinks went up. Today, the website shows up in the 188th position in Google SERPS.
These are the new metrics and ranking:
So, the metrics dropped down a couple days ago but I did not update on to the post because it was not really important to mention. I just lost one link from a directory that’s all !
Here are the stats as today 17/11/2016 from Majestic.
Also, if you look at the previous rankings, the site was on the 188th position on the 31/10/2016. Out of curiosity I checked again on the 1/11 to find out the site was on the 232th position.
When I built the site on Weebly, I forgot to add an hreflang tag and the website was actually ranking on google.com.
Yesterday I added the hreflang attribute <link rel=”alternate” href=”http://247plombiernice.weebly.com” hreflang=”fr-fr” /> which tells Google the website uses french language and targets the country France.
With that set up I hope I will get better ranking results in the french SERPS.
Here is how to add the hreflang attribute to your free weebly site :
1- Inside your dashboard, click EDIT SITE > settings > seo settings > header code
Paste the html markup into teh header code section. To find out which hreflang attribute to use you can check at http://www.aleydasolis.com/en/international-seo-tools/hreflang-tags-generator/
2- You need to do the same thing on every pages of your website. Go to pages > choose the page > seo settings > scroll down to HEADER CODE.
To finish with, you also need to change the international settings onto your webmaster tool account.
Go to SEARCH TRAFFIC > International targeting.
Once this is done, re-send the URL to ask for a new crawl of your website. DONE !
Here are the current rankins after updates :
Conclusion : I previously forgot to add the hreflang attribute and wasted 4 weeks. Hopefully I will get better results in few days and will keep you updated.