Is Template SEO Worth It or Should We Stick To Custom?

List one SEO consideration for why a company should consider using a template over a custom website?

To help you decide whether to use a template or create a custom website, we asked SEO experts and successful small business owners this question for their best insights. From maintaining brand consistency to ensuring your site is accessible, there are many reasons why using a template is better for SEO than creating a custom website.

Here are 11 reasons to use a template to build your website in order to maximize SEO:

  • Maintain Brand Consistency
  • Receive Visual Assets
  • Reduce Economic Costs and SEO Positioning Times
  • Correctly Place Headers
  • Enjoy a Variety of Benefits
  • Eliminate all Unnecessary Features
  • Avoid Making Errors
  • Maintain Familiarity With Customers
  • Pass the Core Web Vitals Assessment
  • Integrate Social Media Buttons Easily
  • Ensure Your Site is Accessible


Maintain Brand Consistency 

Website design plays a bigger role in SEO than most people think, which is why a template may be the way to go for your website. For example, using a template can help to ensure that each landing page of your website contains specified areas for photos, videos, headers, and smart navigation, all of which can be forgotten or implemented incorrectly in a custom website.

Some folks think that templates make digital spaces more boring, but they’re actually an excellent tool in maintaining brand consistency, ensuring that the best designs are used every time, and saving time for your business’s more pressing issues. Not to mention, they’re great for ensuring that each of your landing pages will rank at the top of search engines and therefore, gain traction.

Reece Kresser, Zizi


Receive Visual Assets

Images, videos, and infographics not only make your pages visually appealing to visitors, but they also give you the opportunity to boost your SEO. Many consumers use visual search to shop online, which means that you miss out on a lot of traffic if you’re not using images. Most templates are already equipped with solid visuals that are shareable, which means you can take advantage of opportunities for backlinking, and help boost your website’s authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

Datha Santomieri, Steadily


Reduce Economic Costs and SEO Positioning Times

Custom websites are customizable in every graphic and structural aspect and have undeniable advantages. They allow you to represent 100% the identity of the company for which they were designed and they allow you to implement every technical need in the way you want it. Moreover, the version for smartphone use can be managed more flexibly to obtain the desired effect.

Although a flagship product, the custom website also has some disadvantages. Being custom, it involves much longer times in its realization as the graphic draft of the site is drawn first and, only when the desired effect has been achieved, will the web development begin building the site in every detail.

Furthermore, the custom website has a much higher cost than the site developed with templates as it requires ad hoc graphics work and more development time. Therefore, this could affect a lower budget to be dedicated to SEO.

Piergiorgio Zotti, Consulente SEO SEM Specialist Bari


Correctly Place Headers 

Placement of headers can be a surprisingly impactful element of SEO, and unless you have an experienced SEO team assisting with the website build you could miss out on that optimization. Templates will have headers built-in, usually with suggestions for phrasing that is optimized. If you stick to the template, you will likely be following SEO best practices for web page formatting that you otherwise may overlook. Luckily, most SEO-optimized pages are aesthetically pleasing so you don’t need to sacrifice your vision at all to optimize.

Volodymyr Shchegel, Clario


Enjoy a Variety of Benefits

A template is likely to have been optimized for search engines already, helping your website rank higher on results pages. A custom website will require additional time and effort to achieve the same level of optimization. A template is a much more affordable option than a custom website design, which can often cost tens of thousands of dollars. They’re typically very easy to use, even for those without any coding experience. This makes them ideal for small businesses that may not have the resources to hire a web developer.

A template can be implemented much more quickly than a custom website design, which can often take months to complete. They are often very flexible and can be easily customized to suit your specific needs. There is also typically a large community of users who can provide support and advice if you run into any problems while using a template.

Brandon Schroth, Reporter Outreach


Eliminate all Unnecessary Features 

Templates really simplify building a website, but they must be made even simpler by eliminating all unnecessary features. You may be left with several pages and features that you are compelled to fill with content, but in reality, you’re just complicating your website. In addition, be careful of large images slowing down your load times.

The key to great UX is keeping it simple, and templates can make this difficult. Do not use videos of any kind, and avoid pop-ups. We all want to collect email addresses for high ROI marketing, but don’t annoy a potential customer away from your website to do so. Take advantage of templates. They will help you make a great, simple website, but be sure to refine it even more.

Robert Burns, Nuleev


Avoid Making Errors 

When using a template over a custom website, there’s much less room for error. Templates have been tested for varying degrees of SEO content and image optimization. Plus, you can take it one step further and read customer reviews and the results that others have experienced with a myriad of template options. One important thing to remember is that one SEO error can result in a drop in your site’s Domain Rating or, worse still, its spot on Google’s first page. So, if you can have a visually stunning, optimized website that provides more automation and templated features, it may just be your best bet.

Mark Sider, Greater Than


Maintain Familiarity With Customers

If you’re not a web development or design expert, there are numerous little tricks and techniques websites use that you haven’t noticed. Things like hamburger menus and the flow of text matter a lot for how we navigate the web. It’s all too easy for someone to overlook these aspects when designing a custom website, thereby creating something unfamiliar to the user. Even if they can’t quite put their finger on what’s wrong, they’ll engage less with your website and are also less likely to convert. A good template will have all the fundamentals covered so you worry less about having a website that actually works from a design perspective.

Leanna Serras, FragranceX


Pass the Core Web Vitals Assessment

A well-written theme coder or theme coding company will make sure your website meets Google’s requirements for loading speed. In other words, it will pass the Core Web Vitals assessment. Writing a template from scratch, without experience, may be a tedious job. Therefore, this should be done by professionals. On Envato, for example, there are a lot of very good templates that meet not only the Core Web Vitals assessment, but also many other requirements such as being responsive, having the right contrast, using the right amount of colors and fonts, and so on.

Lukasz Zelezny, SEO.London


Integrate Social Media Buttons Easily 

Adding social media buttons is easy on a website template. Despite limited web design experience and programming knowledge, one simply needs to install and activate a plugin that will help place a social media widget on a desired location of the site. Social media buttons can help improve awareness and visitor engagement with the brand. Once a site or its content is shared on a social media platform, it can spur interactions and bring traffic back to the site to improve its ranking.

Max Hauer, Goflow


Ensure Your Site is Accessible

One of the most important factors that goes into SEO rankings for a company is accessibility. That means ensuring that the site is crawlable by screen readers and has information like alt text available for content publishers to add to their articles. Some site managers and business owners might not know how to implement these features on their pages, meaning they don’t get the bonus from creating an accessible web page.

Using templates that help you build and publish accessible content helps ensure that your articles and pages are readable by those who need accommodations, and gives your page a natural boost in search engine rankings, so you can get multiple benefits from a simple, all-in-one solution.

Kyle Risley, Lift Vault

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