You’re eager to build a beautiful Wix website, but you read somewhere that Google hates Wix! Is that still true? You need your site to rank high on SEO, so should you give up on Wix now?
Yes, Wix used to have a bad (let’s be honest, terrible) reputation regarding SEO. And the reasons were valid. Wix added characters to the URL. It was based on Flash. And the blog wasn’t SEO friendly in regard to how it handled the title, meta description, and even the URL.
Well, I have good news: Wix has improved its SEO capabilities, dramatically.
In 2016, Wix fixed most of the SEO issues that gave it a bad reputation. The reputation does linger a little bit these days, but don’t worry. Even a senior Google employee, John Mueller, said publicly in a Google forum that Wix websites work fine in Google search.
But getting an awesome spot on search engines isn’t just about the website builder you choose — it’s also about the settings and tools you use within the platform. But more important is your overall SEO strategy, and your platform is only a tiny part of that.
We want your site to rank as high as possible… Because hey, when you look good, we look good. But we also want you to have as much free time as possible. So, we did the dirty work for you (well, not really, because we didn’t break a sweat) by figuring out how to use Wix to help boost your site’s SEO.
Running the Wix SEO Wiz
Great SEO doesn’t magically happen. It’s a complete (and sometimes complicated) strategy involving keywords, links, and keeping up with Google updates. But the right SEO strategy for the guy down the street isn’t the same as the best route for your company.
To get your website to rank as high as possible, use the Wix SEO Wiz. It’s a powerful, user-friendly tool that will create a personalized SEO plan for you. (If you’ve read Wix reviews, you probably know that Wix users swear by it.)
To start the wizard, go to Wix, navigate to your settings, click SEO, and then hit the “Let’s Go” button to start the wizard.
Your plan will outline exactly how to do three critical things for SEO:
- Get listed on Google
- Optimize your pages for SEO
- Keep improving your SEO
Now, it’s up to you to put the plan into action. Wix makes it so easy that there’s absolutely no excuse not to take the next step, or five.
5 Ways to Improve Your SEO with Wix
I think Wix undersells itself: You get an “SEO Plan,” but it’s more than just a plan. It’s a roadmap — one that points you to the exact spot in the editor where you need to make the change.
So, are you serious about your SEO? Here are five of the most important things you need to do in Wix to improve it:
SEO Booster #1: Optimize Your Homepage
Before you can get your site listed on Google, you need to optimize your homepage.
Step 1. Click Update the Homepage’s title. You can use Wix’s recommended title, or click through the linked guidelines to help you write your own. Then click on the “Go to Editor” button, follow the instructions, and then hit Refresh.
Step 2. Click on Change the Homepage’s SEO Description. You’ll learn how to input your meta description, which is the text displayed right beneath your title on search engine results pages. Google places high priority on this text for ranking.
Follow Wix’s tips for how to write a good meta description. For example, you should include keywords and your business name.
Step 3. Click on Optimize the Homepage’s text. This step will get your homepage to rank well for your keywords. Of course, this means you must actually use your keywords on your homepage. Click the button for the Editor and then incorporate your keywords throughout your text organically — that is, by not stuffing or forcing your keywords in the text.
SEO Booster #2: Mobile Optimization
If a site isn’t designed for mobile devices, nothing’s more annoying than having to read it on a phone. That might be a slight exaggeration, but it sure rates right up there with people who talk loudly on their phones in restaurants or who forget to use turn signals when driving. Since many people browse the internet with their smartphones, Google punishes sites that aren’t mobile-optimized.
Wix can do all the optimization behind the scenes — no coding necessary on your part. But you need to tell it to do this. On the main screen of the Wix Editor, click on Page Layout Optimizer.
Next, click Optimize Now.
That’s it! Simple as that. Wix will do the hard work of making sure the page size, display, and other nitty-gritty details are taken care of.
SEO Boosters #3: Instant Google Indexing
You can rank high on Google only if Google knows you exist. And this isn’t automatic. You have to tell Google. When you run the Wix SEO Wiz, the tool adds you to Google. And according to Wix, it’s instant.
After you set up your site and optimize the homepage, you need to connect it to Google using the SEO Wiz. It’s super simple, and it guides you through the whole process. Just click Settings, and then Get Found on Google. This will open the Wix SEO Wiz.
When you get to the screen, click Connect to Google to tell Google about your fabulous new website that everyone will want to visit.
After you publish the site, you’ll want to double-check that Google really knows who you are. Just go to Google and enter site:yoursitename.wixsite.com/site. You’ll see all the pages that rank for your site. Then you can cross Google off your list.
SEO Boosters #4: Canonical URLs
You probably have multiple versions of your webpages. Maybe you have one for a specific campaign and another for Facebook ads — but they’re really the same page. And you really want Google to think of them all as one page and not rank them separately.
The fancy word for what connects all those pages is canonical URL, which is the main URL for the page. And that’s the one you want Google to recognize. Wix makes it easy for you by creating a default canonical URL.
But you may want to create your own URL. Start by clicking on Services, then SEO (Google). From the “Page Settings” page, click on the “Advanced SEO” tab.
Once the screen is displayed, all you have to do is add the URL in the “Canonical URL” field (circled below).
Then Google will recognize all versions of the pages as one page. This means all your SEO weight will be on the main page instead of being spread around.
SEO Booster #5: Set Up 301 Redirects
Getting a broken link is no fun. Going to an old page is even less fun. And according to Google, it’s a bad thing. So, it’s important to have 301 redirects from old pages that might be ranked in search engines to your fancy new Wix page.
Go to your settings, click on SEO, and then scroll down to the “Manage 301 Redirects” section. Take a minute to learn about 301 Redirects, and then click Get Started to start linking your old pages to new ones.
Put in the URL for the old page, select the new page, and then you are home free. Be sure to do this for each page that you’re no longer updating or that’s offline.
What Does Wix Need to Be Even More Amazing?
I like Wix. It’s pretty darn good at basic SEO — meaning tags, meta descriptions, and alt text. Wix has also recently added a very comprehensive SEO Guide that walks you through creating and using a strategy to help you with advanced SEO.
Clearly, Wix has put a lot of effort into improving its SEO capabilities. Still, I think it could improve in two areas:
- The site map. Wix automatically creates a site map, which helps with SEO. But you can’t change it. If Wix added the ability to customize, it would help more advanced users.
- Image names. When you upload an image, Wix uses a string of numbers and letters as the name instead of a meaningful name. Google is not a fan. To improve SEO, you must manually change the image name to a keyword-based name.
Well, those are my recommendations. Overall, I’m still impressed with how far Wix has come. Yes, using another tool, such as SEMrush, can help you really capitalize on SEO, but you can still rank pretty well with Wix’s SEO tools alone.
How Do Wix’s Competitors Compare?
Wix is great, but you might still wonder how a few of the most popular website builders handle SEO as well. Let’s take a look at a few…
I love WordPress as a site builder. It’s a very powerful tool, and you can create a feature-filled site.
However, many SEO functions, such as customized URLs and canonical tags, require that you install a plugin. My favorite WordPress SEO plugins include Yoast SEO, All in One SEO Pack, and Redirection (for 301 redirects).
With Wix, these features are built right into the SEO wizard. This saves time and makes it less likely that you’ll skip these important steps. And with Wix, you won’t have to constantly update plug-ins — you always have the most recent version of everything right in the platform.
Winner: Wix. Its improvements and built-in features make it much easier (in my opinion) than WordPress to use for comparable SEO results.
Wix and Squarespace are comparable in regard to their SEO offerings. The main difference is that SquareSpace doesn’t let you customize titles and meta descriptions on individual blog posts and products. Wix lets you optimize them for all pages.
However, Wix makes it much easier to make the SEO changes and customizations. Wix creates an interactive SEO plan that gives you all the instructions and links to make the changes. With SquareSpace, this information is in online help format, which makes it much less usable.
Winner: And again, Wix takes the honors. No more searching for how to find a field to update. No more guessing what you have done and what you haven’t. You can do the same thing with SquareSpace — it’s just a heck of a lot easier in Wix.
I read a lot of SEO guides from various tools while writing this post. And hands down, the Weebly Ultimate SEO Guide is my favorite. I also love Weebly’s automatic prompts to improve SEO throughout the process of building a website.
But Weebly doesn’t have a wizard like Wix’s SEO Wiz. This makes it just a tad harder to get the same rankings as Wix.
Winner: Wix, by a hair. Or should we say, a wizard.
Getting Started with an SEO Strategy
We’ve alluded quite a bit to the fact that you need a real SEO strategy behind Wix’s SEO Wiz. And we don’t want to send you off into the SEO wilds without some tangible advice on how to actually create a strategy that will help you move beyond basic to advanced.
Fair warning: SEO is an entire field of study. So, remember that this is just an intro and shouldn’t be considered the full story.
- Start with your audience. Whom do you want to sell your stuff to? Spend time understanding what they care about and what keeps them up at night.
- Move to the content. What content will help solve your audience’s challenges? And help them sleep better? Get detailed info about the type of content, and the topics your audience is interested in.
- Get detailed about keywords. Spend time — lots of time — with both free and paid tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush. Decide which keywords to target and then how best to rank for them. Yes, Wix is a great tool for website building. But it’s just a tool. To get the best SEO for your business, you need to use Wix as a starting point and use your knowledge, research, and sweat equally to go the rest of the way.
To learn more about Wix, read our expert review.