Web site templates tank when it comes to search engines, according to a Washington, D.C.-based search marketing guru. Why? Duplicate content and image-based design.
Many business templates, for example, come pre-loaded with text. You and a competitor can pick different web designs, but wind up with the same text. You’ll sound exactly the same. Plus, search engines dislike duplicate content and may penalize both sites. Many template designs feature image-based (rather than text-based) home pages that actually contain zero key words that a search engine can read.
So if you do use a template, be sure it’s search-friendly and write your own copy!