Prior to 2017, building a website on Wix was a recipe for disaster. While you could quickly create websites through Wix, it came at the cost of your site being ignored by Google search results (SERPs).
This was due to a variety of reason:
- slow site speeds
- poor SEO configurations options
- Google’s inability to understand the technology Wix was using to build sites
Wix users complained to the point where the company was forced to upgrade their service to remain competitive. In late 2016, Wix updated their services to correct many of problems experienced by site owners. Also, Google’s technology improved and became more compatible with Wix. Now, Wix has become a viable option for SEO and Wix site owners can easily rank in Google SERPs.
Google Used to Think Wix Was Weird and Dressed Funny
If you’ve researched Wix as your website builder of choice, then you know it was not listed as “SEO-friendly” until just recently. There were many reasons behind this. Here are four of the most pressing:
- Bad URL Structure – Up until late 2016, Wix used an ugly and outdated URL structure that made it challenging to promote sites. This lousy structure was incompatible with many Google tools and did not look professional. For example, if the link for your events calendar was supposed to be http://mybusinesssite.com/calendar, Wix would generate it as http://mybusnesssite.com/#!calendar/n32xp4. Wix later upgraded their infrastructure to allow for “clean URLs.”
- Lack of SEO Customization – One of the biggest gripes about Wix came from the lack of SEO customization, especially for blogs. You couldn’t optimize the title tag, URL, and meta-descriptions for posts which made it harder for Google to index posts.
Fortunately, Wix went through multiple upgrades in the last few years. Since then, Wix’s reputation has improved and has become a viable option for small businesses.
Google and Wix Are Now Friends
Wix has made great strides in improving their SEO to the point where it’s shifted from the “web builders to avoid” to becoming a recommended site builder for most small businesses. If you plan on using Wix, there are a few things you can do to boost your chances of ranking well in Google SERPs.
Use SEO Wiz
Learning the finer points of SEO and how to configure it can be time-consuming, and most businesses resort to hiring someone for their SEO. If you don’t have the budget for that, check out the SEO Wiz tool on Wix. It is a tool to help you configure the SEO for your website and does so by asking you basic questions about your site. SEO Wiz provides a checklist of things you need to change and walks you through how to configure options like keywords and your page’s SEO title.
Properly Configure and Name Images
If you want to improve your site’s speed and your SEO, then optimize images for your website. Start by compressing your images before uploading them to Wix. The smaller the photos, the faster they will load. Also, make sure you’re using the proper format for images. For pictures, JPG is best while PNG is best for graphics.
Next, make sure you are giving descriptive file names to images. Naming a photo e14a24b.jpg is not going to convey to Google that this is an image of a Ford Mustang. Ford-Mustang.jpg tells Google about the image and allows for better indexing. Also, make sure you are filling out the “label” field in Wix. These are your alt tags that Google uses to help identify images. Alt tags also help the visually impaired identify your photos.
Give Adequate Focus to Mobile Optimization
Don’t let your site’s mobile version become an afterthought. Over half of those searching for your site will do so from mobile devices. You can start making your pages more mobile friendly by turning on Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). This generated optimized pages that speed up loading times and customizes blog posts into mobile-friendly.
You can also edit the mobile version of your site in the drag-and-drop site editor. You have the option of doing this manually or using the Page Layout Optimizer to do so in a single click. The mobile version of your site needs to operate efficiently to maximize traffic. Slow sites or those that don’t render well on mobile devices, and this results in both a reduction of traffic and a reduction in sales.
Did We Say Friends? More Like Frenemies
Wix has become a viable option for SEO for many small businesses, but there are still a few potential caveats you should be aware of. Some can be overcome with diligence while others are going to have to be addressed as you expand.
Site Speed Can Still Be an Issue – Depending on the size of your website and the number of images and media files used, speed can still be an issue. The best way to avoid speed issues is to make sure all of your images are optimized and that you don’t excessively use images on Wix. Also, keep your image pop-ups to a minimum. Most visitors would prefer you didn’t use pop-ups at all.
Some Code Not Accessible – At some point, you may wish to change something in the base HTML or CSS code. Maybe the background color of your template isn’t quite right, or you want to decrease the margins more than what the template allows. Unfortunately, Wix does not allow access to the base HTML or CSS code of your site, meaning that advanced customization is not available.
Limited Portability – If you grow to the point where you need more features than Wix offers or you want to move to another platform such as WordPress, you’re going to have to start over. Wix does not allow you to export your site data and files to another platform. Instead, you will have to copy your text, files, and media and repopulate a new site design.
Wix Can Get You Started, But Keep Improving Your SEO Skills
The good news is that Wix allows you to set up a professional website quickly and gives you the tools you need to rank well on Google. Ranking high in Google SERPs is crucial if you want customers to find you. Most people don’t look past the first two pages of search engine results, so if you aren’t ranking highly, then you aren’t being found.
While Wix is a great starter tool, you need to grow your knowledge of SEO. Wix is great for basic SEO, but as your business grows, you will need to learn the subtler points of SEO to stay competitive. Improving your knowledge of SEO will help you in the future if you decide to move to other web builders. For now, Wix will get you on your way to getting ranked highly on Google, but continue to grow your understanding of SEO so you can stay at the top of Google SERPs.