When you rent your website from your web design company, your site is typically hosted on the company’s proprietary platform, and you are charged a monthly fee which is usually much higher than a monthly fee from a third-party hosting provider. Such rental websites typically have the following SEO problems:
1. SEO services provided by the web company in-house may not be good enough for your needs. But if you hire an outside SEO firm, they may have limited or no access to your website’s platform. A serious SEO specialist needs to optimize all components of the website, so they need administrative access to the site down to the server level, if necessary. In case of a rental website, the platform is controlled by the web company, and it may be difficult for a third-party SEO firm to optimize your site to a sufficient degree.
2. There may be technical issues with the website that negatively affect SEO, and you may not be able to get your web company to fix these issues, because all their websites are on the same platform and they may be unwilling to change it. Rather than going ahead and getting your web designer to fix issues, you will have to wait for the company’s corporate decision to roll out fixes to the entire platform – if that ever happens.
You can’t hire an outside web designer to fix your website because the platform is controlled by the company. You can’t migrate your website anywhere because it cannot work properly outside of the platform.
3. Typically, rental websites for dentists or doctors come pre-loaded with content, but such pre-written generic content is nearly useless because it is not tailored to your specific practice and it is ineffective at converting patients. Also, content that is loaded by the web company on all their client websites may be detrimental to your SEO. You need to have original content written for your practice.
To avoid all these problems, I recommend hiring a company that will build your website on WordPress and host it with an independent hosting provider rather than in-house. WordPress is a commonly used, universal non-proprietary platform which makes your website easily accessible to any SEO firm or web designer you decide to hire. Independent hosting helps you avoid potential migration problems, should you decide to fire your web designer. Besides, independent hosting for WordPress is very cheap, only about $10/month for a high-quality hosting with all the technical support and maintenance included. Also, the web design company should provide a dedicated copywriter to help you write unique content.