*Updated with information as of June 2020, originally posted in April, 2018
Building a website today is significantly easier than it was in the past thanks to platforms like WordPress, Wix, and SquareSpace. While these sites all have the same basic functions, when it comes to SEO they’re not all equal. For small businesses just wanting to have a website online, any of these website services are fine. The issue is that for more advanced marketing and SEO, platforms like Wix are just not compatible. Wix has a bad rap in the SEO community, and they have certainly stepped up their game in the past few years. While they’re better than they once were, there are still quite a few reasons why Wix isn’t good for SEO.
No Exporting Sites
A big downfall of Wix is that it doesn’t allow people to export their sites. If a business builds their website on Wix, and later wants to expand, do SEO, or add e-commerce, they find the platform is unable to perform these tasks. Wix doesn’t allow users to export their site to another platform like WordPress. This means that a site has to be scrapped, all the data saved, moved, and then re-uploaded. This can be a critical hit to any SEO a site already had, not to mention time-consuming.
Googlebot Can’t Crawl
In order for a website to appear in search results, Google has to index it. They do this by sending a bot to crawl a website, basically reading the content and categorizing it. Many users have found that Googlebot has a hard time crawling all pages on Wix websites. Wix has worked to resolve some of these issues, like restructuring their URLs to be shorter and upgrading the code they use. They have also released guidelines to help users get their sites indexed by Google. Even with these changes, some users have found that it takes a while for their pages to be indexed and that some pages still aren’t. A page that isn’t indexed for Google is worthless and basically invisible to users searching meaning it has no value for SEO.
Little Technical SEO Customization
There is basic SEO, like creating content and meta descriptions, and then there is more advanced technical SEO. Businesses can usually do basic SEO themselves, but they typically seek out SEO agencies to work on the more technical aspects. A huge downfall with Wix is that they don’t allow for a lot of technical customization. Wix adds extra strings to certain URLs, has limited h-tags, doesn’t allow users to access or customize their sitemaps, and doesn’t have canonical tags. All of these issues might seem small, but they can make a huge difference when it comes to SEO.
Gives Inaccurate Advice
By far the worst things about Wix are that they provide their users with poor and inaccurate SEO advice. Not providing certain features is one thing, but giving users advice that is just wrong is downright unethical in our opinion. Much of the inaccurate advice they give is done in order to justify their undeveloped platform.
A few things that Wix has said about SEO that is just wrong are:
Meta descriptions are important to search engine rankings:
Wix made a claim that Meta descriptions are important to website rankings. They said, “while the description is not visible, it too is very important for search engines. In fact, the title and the descriptions are among the first things Google uses to determine your site’s rank”. This directly contradicts what Google has said, which is that Meta descriptions do not impact ranking. However, Meta descriptions are what users see under a search result so they can impact the click-through rate, which does impact ranking. So Meta descriptions are important, just not in the way that Wix claims.
Social Metrics Boost SEO:
Google has stated multiple times that their ranking algorithm does not take into account social media engagement. Things like the number of shares or likes just don’t matter to them. Yet Wix keeps claiming that it does. Social media plays an important role in SEO- it’s a way to build up links, share content, get a brand’s name out there, and engage with users. However, it does not increase rankings the way Wix says it does. If a business creates engaging content on their blog, and it gets shared on social media, that builds up links and directs traffic back to the site, which will impact rankings, but social media metrics in itself do not boost SEO.
Exact Match Domain names help with rankings:
Exact Match Domains (EMD) is an old black hat SEO tactic that Google has actively fought against. It prevents sites from ranking well simply because their domain name matches the search terms. Wix claims that EMD will make a site rank higher. This is just false. Google is constantly rolling out updates to fight against this spammy practice. It’s far more important that a website has content that targets keywords than having a domain name that does.
Ideal content length is 250-400 words:
One thing that changes in SEO is the ideal word length for content. In the past users liked shorter blog posts for easy readings. But for many years now users have been preferred longer content and Google’s updates have responded to this. This hasn’t stopped Wix from recommending all content be 250-400 words, which is pretty short. Users equate longer posts as being of higher quality. Longer posts also keep users on a page for longer and it gives a site more chances to target their keywords. There isn’t much data on exactly what the best content length is, but 500-1500 is more ideal than the number Wix suggested.
Other inaccurate SEO advice Wix gives:
- Having a custom logo is good for SEO: This just untrue, logos have zero impact on SEO
- Meta keywords are best for SEO: Google and other platforms stopped looking at meta keyword tags more than a decade ago
- Including keywords as often as possible is great for SEO: This is called keyword stuffing and Google will actually penalize websites for doing this
- Offer people incentives to post links to your site: This is bribery and the same as paying for links. Google heavily disapproves of this will penalize sites for doing this.
- Links from .gov, .edu, or .org are more trusted and better for SEO: Google does value links from trusted sites more, but just because a domain ends in those letters doesn’t mean they’re automatically good sites.
- Links from Wikipedia will help SEO: All Wikipedia links have nofollow attribute, meaning the links don’t count towards SEO, so no they don’t do anything.
We previously released this article back in 2018. Wix has made a few changes to their platform in the past few years, especially in regards to site speed which was one of the issues we originally commented on. They launched Wix Turbo which is designed to boost site speed. Wix appears to be working on addressing the other issues, however, they still lag behind other website builders when it comes to SEO.
Wix is a great, easy to use platform that is perfect for people looking for a simple website. For businesses that want to expand, branch into e-commerce, or engage in SEO though, Wix just isn’t up to the task yet. Wix has made a lot of great updates but they still aren’t there yet. When it comes to SEO, WordPress is still the best website platform. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about Wix or SEO!