It may seem like “everyone” is using WordPress these days, but there are just as many potential benefits to using platforms like Squarespace and Showit for your website. As for local SEO, Google doesn’t care what platform you use when it comes to ranking. As long as your website is designed with the user experience in mind, you should be good to go. That said, there are distinct differences and pros and cons associated with each of these platforms. Here’s what you need to know as you make your decision.
This platform powers about half the Internet, according to some estimates. It’s appealing for local SEO, in particular, because it’s a highly flexible platform. And it dose have some appealing local SEO and business listings plugins available from various developers that can make it easier to optimize your site for audiences within a specific geographic area. If you’re a newbie without any coding knowledge, it can be difficult to tweak anything you add to your site. On the plus side, you will have access to literally thousands of choices.
• A lot of themes are already designed with the user experience in mind
• Available software is free, you only pay for the hosting
• Local SEO plugins include keyword research tools and competitor keyword “spy” tools
• Lack of customer support
• You’ll still need your own web host
Contrary to popular belief, Squarespace sites can rank just as well on Google as WordPress ones. The platform has a bunch of integrated SEO functions. It also has handy tools like the “Page Header Code Injection” box you can use to get the right code for your headers. They have an “SEO” section in the “Settings” panel under “Marketing” that you can use to write your brief descriptions for each page of your site. However, some of the stuff you’ll need to link it to your Google Analytics reports are hard to find.
• 24/7 customer support that includes live chat
• They have a Knowledge Base with video walkthroughs
• It’s highly functional for local e-commerce sites and you can sell your products without the need to switch platforms
• It’s one of the more expensive platforms
• SEO options often require some assistance to set up properly
• A/B testing isn’t integrated if you want to test different forms of locally optimized content to see which one gets better results
Showit is designed for use as more of a visual platform since it was created by some of the top creative players in the photography industry, so it’s not as versatile as WordPress or Squarespace. It’s not really going to benefit you all that much if you don’t have visual products or services. You will also be dragging and dropping into a Flash-based site, which could cause some page load time issues. The appealing thing about Showit for local SEO is that it automatically puts the right HTML into your text content. Also, some of the default settings can work against your local SEO efforts if you don’t make adjustments.
• It’s fairly easy to use if you want a basic website
• Templates and themes are easier to manipulate than some of the WordPress ones
• Customer support is great and includes live chat
• You have to buy a Pro subscription to get SEO content features
• Mobile versions of the site aren’t all that great
• It’s more of an investment and could hurt your rankings if you don’t pay enough attention to your SEO efforts
Regardless of the platform that ends up being right for your local SEO needs, the bulk of your efforts should be on the content that’s placed on your website. Local SEO techniques such as claiming your online business listings and using geo-specific keywords can be applied to content that’s distributed via any of these of platforms. Base your decision on which one to use on your specific needs and how comfortable you are with using the available features.