Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for succeeding online. There are nearly 200 million active websites out there (and counting), and only so many of them can stand out. The most beautiful site in the world isn’t terribly valuable if no-one can find it. Wix has you covered on beautiful sites, but is it any good for SEO?
The short answer is, “Yes”.
Websites using Wix have no trouble getting to the top of search engine results.
Although there are other builders with stronger advanced features, Wix is a neat fit for for small businesses, blogs, and personal websites.
We’ve tested its features to see how they match up against other website builders, and tracked down the best tips for success with Wix SEO. We have all the information you need to decide for yourself whether Wix is right for you and your site.
Check out our snapshot of Wix in this summary table below to get a quick feel for how we rate it.
We’ve outlined the pros and cons, with a more thorough breakdown below. If you already have Wix and are looking for information on how to improve your rankings, we’ve also put together our top tips.
One of Wix’s main selling points as a website builder is its ease of use, and the same applies to its SEO functionality. Wix has all the basic SEO features built in, and most of the advanced ones too.
- No coding required. You don’t need any coding skills to use Wix SEO, which is marvelous. SEO can be a bit daunting to newcomers, but Wix keeps it simple and intuitive.
- SEO is built-in. There’s no need to mess about with plugins and widgets. SEO functionality is built into the Wix dashboard, which means you can focus on the content.
- Google integration. Connecting Wix websites to Google Analytics and Google Search Console (both of which are super useful for SEO) is very, very easy.
- Advanced SEO is trickier. Wix is excellent for core SEO, but it isn’t great for the fancier stuff. The margins can be pretty fine when it comes to search results, and Wix doesn’t excel beyond the basics.
Wix’s SEO is an excellent fit for small businesses and bloggers. It covers all the basics, with an ease of use that allows you to focus on content. SEO isn’t just for techies any more. With Wix, anyone can do it.
Website Builder SEO vs. WordPress SEO – we discuss which is better
|Feature||What is it?||Is it included?|
|Meta title||Tells search engines and users what the page is about.||Yes… Each page and post has its own SEO section. There you can fill in essential info and preview how the page will appear in search results.|
|Meta description||A chance to expand on the content in the title, summarizing what users can expect and why they should click on your page.||Yes|
|Custom URLs||Allows you to make urls that reflect the content, rather than a random jumble of numbers and letters. example.com/article/wix-seo-guide is much more informative than website.com/hds73tgha||Yes|
|Headings||Subheadings which show search engines (and readers) how you’ve structured your content.||Yes|
|Image alt text||Google is smart, but it’s not (yet) smart enough to know for sure what an image is showing or why it’s relevant. Alt text describes the images on your site.||Yes… Click an image, go to its settings, and it’s one of the sections for you to fill in.|
|Good speed & uptime||Sites are quick to load and are reliably ‘live’ more than 99% of the time.||Yes|
|Mobile friendly||Sites are easy to use on mobile and easily crawled (understood) by search engines.||Yes… The drag-and-drop editor lets you edit your site in mobile as well as desktop. Its ‘Page Layout Optimizer’ makes pages mobile-friendly with one click.|
|301 redirects||If you change a pages URL from X to Y, 301 redirects mean people will be directed to the new page even if they use the old address.||Yes… This is built straight into the dashboard. You put the old URL in one box, and the new URL in another. Simple.|
|SSL encryption (HTTPS)||SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) establishes a secure, encrypted link between a web server and a browser. Search engines are beginning to punish sites without SSL, so this is essential. Plus it’s just good practice.||Yes… All Wix sites have HTTPS and are provided with SSL certificates.|
|Sitemap||A complete list of pages on your site which tells search engines how it’s structured. Try adding ‘/sitemap.xml’ to the end of a site’s URL to see for yourself!||Not quite… Your Wix site will have a sitemap, but you’ll need to go to Google Search Console to manage it.|
|Google Analytics||A freemium Google tool which allows you to view data about your site, from page-specific traffic to user demographics.||Yes… You simply click ‘+ New Tool’ in the Wix Site Manager and enter your Google Analytics code.|
|Google Search Console||A free Google tool which shows how your site is performing in search results.||Yes… Connecting to Google Search Console is one of the steps in the Wix SEO Wiz tool.|
|Social media integration||Built-in functionality for users to share your content on social media.||Yes|
|Search engine instructions||Sometimes a site needs to ‘speak’ to search engines, asking them not to index certain pages.||Yes… Every page has its own SEO settings. If you don’t want a page to show up in search results, you just tick the ‘Hide’ option.|
|Canonical tags||If you have multiple versions of the same page, canonical tags allow you to choose which one search engines should focus on. This stops them from competing with each other.||Yes|
|Structured data||A way of giving search engines more information about your pages. You know the star ratings you see on search results? That’s structured data. And that’s just one type of thousands. Search engines love structured data because it helps match users with relevant information.||Kind of… Structured data isn’t built into Wix as slickly as you might expect. You can add it yourself, but it can be tricky. With the right plugins it’s actually easier to add structured data in something like WordPress.|
Every website builder has strengths and weaknesses… and quirks. A Ferrari’s not much good if you don’t know how to get it out of first gear. With that in mind, here are our tips for getting the most out of Wix SEO.
- Take advantage of Wix SEO Wiz. It will set up a custom SEO plan for you based on just a couple of questions. It’s not the most thorough plan, but it’s an excellent introduction if you’re new to SEO. It even gives you achievements as you meet your goals. We’re not sure we’d ever call SEO fun, but Wix gives it an admirable go.
- Get the basics right. You’d be amazed by how many sites don’t even do core SEO properly. Look at the results on page two next time you search for something, you’ll see what we mean. Wix gives you everything you need to talk to search engines. Don’t cut corners. Sometimes all it takes to top the rankings is consistency.
- Focus on mobile. Wix is excellent for making mobile friendly sites, and Google rewards mobile-friendly sites. Lesson? Take the extra time to make your site as good as it can be on mobile. Search engines will love it and, just as importantly, so will your users.
- Make full use of your meta descriptions. The recommended character limit to is 160 (130 for mobile) — use it. It’s your one opportunity to explain why searchers should click on you. Use it. Tests suggest longer descriptions improve user engagement.
- Submit a sitemap. Sitemaps are essential for SEO. They tell search engines what’s on your site, how it’s structured, and where to find it. Sitemaps is one of the few things Wix won’t take care of for you, so it’s extra important that you set up a Google Search Console account and make sure everything’s in order.
- Connect to Google Analytics. No website builder can provide the traffic insights Google can. Google Analytics is the gold standard of web analytics, and it’s free! Connect your Wix account to Google Analytics and you’ll open a whole new world of useful data on how you can improve your website.
- Keep learning about SEO. Wix is great for ‘jump-starting’ your search engine performance, but for long-term success it pays to learn about SEO in more depth. There are plenty of great resources out there, but we recommend The Beginner’s Guide to SEO by Moz for getting started.
A major strength of Wix is it lets you build your site around your content. Regardless of the website builder you’re using, the best way to perform well in search results is to be interesting and/or useful. Google isn’t interested in sites trying to game the system. Focus on your site, conduct smart SEO, and the results will come.
Mark Preston, an SEO Expert, moved his highly successful site from WordPress to Wix. Much to his surprise, his site saw a huge uplift as a result.
We caught up with the ‘straight-talking SEO’ guru to discuss Wix’s SEO functionality, find out how he went from Wix sceptic to Wix fan:
Wix SEO according to Mark Preston (SEO Trainer, Speaker and Consultant)
Q: Which recently released (last 6 months) Wix SEO features have you found most valuable?
A: Wix released the ‘Advanced SEO Feature’ which allows you to change the canonical tag and add structured data to individual pages. To get ranked in the featured snippet (position 0), being able to add schema to the page is a massive bonus.
Q: What SEO capabilities is Wix still missing? How has this held you back from optimizing the performance of your website?
A: I would say, hosting images attached to the domain. I do however know that Wix has this on its development roadmap.
Q: Based on your experience, what are the most common misconceptions of Wix’s SEO capabilities?
A: Perception of WIX is based on outdated knowledge and information. SEOs tried Wix a few years ago and it was trash, so they still believe it is trash. Wix has made massive improvements over the past 18 months which people outside the Wix community are not aware of.
The biggest misconception has to be – “WIX is no good for SEO”. That is not true as I have proven within my Wix SEO case study, which caused quite a stir within the SEO community.
The proof is in the pudding. It’s all well and good talking about SEO theory, but what matters is results. Here are some examples of Wix websites outperforming their competitors in search results.
The Cuts & Bruises Barbershop in London. Type ‘barbers stoke newington’ and there they are right at the top. They even feature in Google Maps! Cuts & Bruises is an excellent example of ranking for the right keywords, rather than the most popular.
Marine Corps Aviation Association. This website was put together in two days! It now ranks for over 190 keywords, ensuring those looking for the site can find it easily. Depending on what your website is for, sometimes it’s just a case of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.
Long John Silver’s runs on Wix, appearing whenever people in the US search for a local fish takeaway. Looks great, too, which doesn’t hurt.
These are all very different sites, and there’s thousands more where they came from. Wix provide all the tools you needs for successful SEO. Focus on your content/service, do SEO best practice, and the rankings will come.
Wix SEO Battle
Last year, Wix decided to settle the Wix SEO debate once and for all by choosing two agencies to try to rank highest for the search term ‘Wix SEO’ over a six month period. One agency – the ‘Wix Lovers’ – competed with a Wix-built website, while the other – the ‘Wix Haters’ – was free to use any platform.
[Wix has] improved their tools immensely and have resolved some of the major SEO issues that previously plagued their users.
Wix is excellent if you’re not completely comfortable with SEO. Its built-in support and advice makes it a fantastic way of learning the basics, and advanced techniques can still be used once you feel more comfortable with the process.
If you consider yourself a bit of an SEO whizz, Wix’s constant hand-holding might get on your nerves after a while. For more control through a slightly clunkier interface, providers like Squarespace or WordPress may be a better fit for you.
Rest assured you can rank with Wix, and rank well.
The real question is whether you feel comfortable with its SEO tools, and the only way to know for sure is to try it yourself.
Wix’s free trial includes most of its SEO features, so you can get a feel for its features without handing over a cent. Give it a spin.
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