Search engine optimization (SEO) might feel like a confusing game site with too many rules to rank highly on any search terms you consider important to your business. And there are tons of websites all claiming they contain the best secrets to guarantee increased traffic and search rankings. But as with most things in life, SEO is best tackled one step at a time.
The first step? Putting Weebly’s many simple and powerful SEO features to use.
Page Titles & Descriptions
Page titles and descriptions appear directly in search results when someone finds your site on a search engine, giving you a great opportunity to influence searchers to visit your site. These also provide you with the ability to use search phrases you’d like to rank for. For example, let’s say you own a business in Oakland called Rockridge Bakery that has been around since 1972.
Page title: About Rockridge Bakery: Serving Oakland since 1972
Page description: Rockridge Bakery is a family-owned bakery and cafe that has been part of the North Oakland community since 1972.
The option to add Titles and Descriptions can be found in the same place as the permalinks discussed next.
Every page on your site has a name that you provide (separate from the title noted above), and this name is used by default to both generate your navigation and to create links for each individual page. You’ll generally want to keep these names short and to the point for navigation purposes: Contact, About, Store, etc. And when you do this it also means that you end up with very short links: mysite.com/about, mysite.com/contact, etc.
The thing about using these short names for your links is that you’re missing a valuable opportunity to use those links to highlight how you’d want them to be found via a search, since search engines take those names into consideration when ranking your site.
So for your About page, you could be more descriptive for your permalink (about-the-rockridge-bakery-team). But don’t go overboard—try to keep your permalinks to five or six words.
If you’re using the classic Weebly website editor (with dark gray menus like the image below), go to Pages and select the page you’d like to update. Then choose the SEO Settings options for that page and enter a page permalink in the provided box. You’ll need to publish your site for the change to take effect.
If you have an eCommerce site using our new website editor (screenshot below), head to the page you wish to edit using the page selector dropdown menu on the upper left, and then click the gear icon to the right of the page name and choose View page settings. Set your permalink using the Page URL section on the General tab, and update your page title and description from the SEO tab.
The Header & Footer Code
Please note that if you’re using the classic Weebly site editor, you’ll find the header and footer code fields within the site editor under the Settings tab. Select SEO from the left-hand menu after navigating there, as indicated in the screenshot below.
If using the new editor, you can access verification tools and edit your header code by going to Settings > Tracking Tools from the menu on the left of your main account dashboard. You’ll see a dedicated Google Verification section where you can paste in your HTML tag, as indicated below.
If you’re moving a site from another host to Weebly, ideally you don’t want to lose all the search engine history and optimization you gained from your time with that site. And, thankfully, there’s a way to redirect both traffic and search engines from your old pages to your new ones within Weebly using the 301 Redirects feature.
This option is found under Settings > SEO in the classic Weebly editor, at the very bottom of that page. All you need to do here is enter the page permalink from the old site and select which new page that should point to the new site. Then click Save.
301 redirects can be set in the new site editor from the main account dashboard menu, under Website > SEO. There you’ll see a URL Redirects section. You can also set redirects to each page within the site editor by toggling on Redirect other URLs to this page within the Page settings (see below).
That’s it. Once you Publish your site, all those old pages will redirect to the new ones so that you continue to get value from them. But note that this is only works if you’re using the same domain with Weebly as you were using at your previous host. Weebly’s article and video explain this in detail.
Once you get these basic Search Engine Optimizations in place, you’ll be well on your way to seeing your site ranking much higher in search results. Next up, read a more advanced SEO guide like our new Ultimate SEO Guide for Any Stage Business on Townsquare, where you can find tons of additional business resources and inspiration.