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SEO 20 min read February 15, 2021

Dispelling The Most Common Myths About SEO: Wix Edition [Interview]

Dispelling The Most Common Myths About SEO: Wix Edition [Interview]
Dispelling The Most Common Myths About SEO: Wix Edition [Interview] 16261788451639
Stacy Mine
Editor at Serpstat
180 million. That's the number of users that choose Wix. That's a lot of people. With that many users, you would think the information about what the platform can do for SEO would be clear. Yet, numerous myths and misconceptions exist. In this post we speak with Wix's official liaison to the SEO community, Mordy Oberstein, to set the story straight.

Here's the lowdown on Wix for SEO straight from Wix themselves.

Can a Wix site rank? Don't studies show Wix doesn't rank well?

The short answer is yes - 100%.

I'm not sure how this misconception came to be, but it's a bit on the absurd side.

To get into this, we have to understand how ranking works and why a site may or not rank in a given instance.

I would break this "understanding" up into two parts: accessibility and then content, competition, and optimization.

Regarding the latter, obviously, Wix doesn't create content for people; that's up to each site. The same for the level of competition on the SERP. As far as optimization goes, there is absolutely nothing preventing a Wix site and its content from being optimized. We're not an open-source platform, so there are going to be limitations. That said, the foundation of having a well-optimized site is well within the Wix platform's scope. I'll get into more of the details in a bit.

I think the question of Wix and its ability to rank has more to do with: are Wix sites accessible to search engines? Is there anything blocking them from crawling and indexing?

There's nothing about the Wix infrastructure or functionality that prevents a search engine from crawling and indexing a Wix site. To that, when you connect a Wix site to Search Console via the Wix dashboard, the site is indexed almost instantly.

I think any notion to the contrary goes back to the days where Wix was based on Flash technology. This hasn't been the case for years.

Also, there were issues with hash-bang URLs in the past. This certainly didn't help perception here. Let me be clear, Wix hasn't used hash-bang URLs for over five years.

I'm trying to say that the idea that a Wix page can't rank is built on a foundation of misconception and outdated information.

It's the one issue folks have with Wix that irks me (in case you weren't able to tell).
Perfect Troubleshooting: Secret Tricks To Solve Common Ranking Problems

Can you customize your site for SEO with Wix (since it's not open-source)?

Our overall philosophy is to create a platform that doesn't get in your way. A platform where you can execute SEO as you see it.

That's the goal.

The path towards that is certainly more complicated for closed platforms; much the way site security is a complex path for open-source platforms.

Not to digress from the question too much, but there's a lot embedded in the question of "customization." While having full-on customization means all doors are open, it also means that there is a lot of potential to "mess things up" if you don't know what you're doing. It can also mean that when there's an update to an open-source platform, things break.

I'm not trying to advocate for a specific type of platform here. What I'm saying is that the issue is a bit more complex than it seems. Also, there's a time and place for each type of platform. What might be good for the goose might not be good for the gander.

Back to the main point. Being a closed platform, the path of least resistance can mean creating something out-of-the-box. For example, Wix does a lot of image optimization on the backend.

Wix resizes images automatically, compresses them without sacrificing image quality, implements lazy-loading, etc.

It's a balance of trying to offer as much SEO ability as we can while aiming to increase the amount of customization available at the same time.

How we handle structured data markup is a good example of this, as I'll show shortly.

All of this aside, Wix does offer a considerable amount of customization as it relates to SEO.

To this you can:

  • Add custom structured data markup to static pages (and override any out-of-the-box markup created on dynamic pages)
  • Create your own title tags and meta descriptions
  • Set up canonical tags
  • Add up to ten meta tags to the pages' header
  • Create whatever alt tags for images you would like
  • Add custom slugs to your URLs
  • Set up caching for static pages
  • Prevent Google from indexing specific pages
… and a lot more.

At the same time, you can connect Google Tag Manager to your Wix site, which only bolsters the level of customization available.

The last thing I want to mention is a developer tool we have called Corvid. You can do a lot with the tool as it enables you to add custom Javascript to a page and customize functionality.

Just by way of example, with a few lines of Javascript, you could have content dynamically added from a database to specific pages and at certain intervals. Meaning, if you wanted to have 'Fall Sale' added to every product page or every product page title-tag on October 1st and have it replaced with Winter sale on December 1st, you could do that.

Again, there's a lot of 'stereotyping' that happens when we talk about a website builder and customization. As you can see, there is a good degree of customization available to you when working with Wix.
Serpstat offers you a quick and handy way to check all the meta tags on your site or page using the Site Audit tool. Just create a project, start the audit and voila - explore the technical issues with titles, descriptions, alt tags, and a lot more.

You can also view meta tags using the free Serpstat Website SEO Checker extension.
Dispelling The Most Common Myths About SEO: Wix Edition [Interview] 16261788451639
Read the article below to learn more about analyzing sites for technical issues.
Advanced SEO Audit: A Complete Guide To All Stages Of The Analysis [Infographic]

Can you do things like edit robots.txt and add schema?


The biggest Wix for SEO myth of all is that you can't edit your robots.txt files. I see that one come up often.

You can 100% edit your robots.txt files.

I don't really have much to say on that; it's black and white - you can edit your site's robot.txt file, full customization. You can even easily restore the file back to default in one click.

As far as structured data is concerned, the simple answer is yes, you can add structured data to a Wix site.

For your static pages (think your Homepage, About page, etc) the Wix Editor has a field where you can drop your markup code. We currently support JSON-LD and that's added to the header.

For many of our dynamic pages, such as product pages, event pages, and so forth, Wix creates out-of-the-box markup for you.

By way of example, when you create a product page, Wix will pull the variables on the page to automatically generate product schema.

That said, you can override the out-of-the-box markup Wix creates and/or add structured data to a dynamic page that does not automatically get code generated. Via a developer tool called Corvid (emphasis on the "R)" you can add custom code to the header of a page, which overrides anything out-of-the-box markup created.
What Is Robots.txt And How To Set It Up Correctly

Aren't Wix sites slow?

For the record, this isn't a "Wix" problem. It's simply the nature of any closed CMS. (The problem applies to WordPress sites as well. It's easy to not know what you're doing and slow down your WordPress site. The evidence for this is that some studies have shown that the vast majority of all sites are not Core Web Vital ready.)

There's a bit of misconception here. Folks will say that 'code bloat' inherently means performance must be sacrificed. However, Google often flattens the code so this limits the impact of this problem to an extent. A lot of other elements come into play here. Meaning, it's a bit more complicated than some SEOs make it out to be.

That is not to say that performance is perfect.

We've spent the better part of a year working on the Wix infrastructure to improve performance, and we have, dramatically. There have been recent improvements made that significantly improved Wix sites on both desktop and mobile compared to previous performance.

There is still a lot of work to do. We know that. In fact, we're excited about it. With the pending inclusion of Core Web Vitals into the Google algorithm we've been doubling our efforts to move the needle for performance.

Simply put, we've already put a tremendous amount of effort into improving performance and we're not stopping.
How To Check Server Response Time And Reduce It

Is Wix responsive on mobile?

Yes, Wix does offer a fully responsive option. While the main Wix Editor relies on adaptive mobile design, our EditorX site builder is a full responsive option.
How To Optimize Images On A Website For Mobile Devices

Does Wix still use client-side rendering?

Not at all. Wix relies on server-side rendering (SSR). In specific, we utilize dynamic rendering. This means that user agents, such as GoogleBot are offered pre-rendered content which dramatically improves speed and performance when compared to client-side rendering.

Along these lines, Wix static pages can be cached so as to help boost the page's performance. The option to cache such pages includes the ability to establish reset frequency. Meaning, you can reset the page to cache a new version every 24 hours, every 2 hours, etc. So even if you do update the content on the page frequently you can set up a cache reset that aligns.
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Does Wix offer integrations or is it a walled-garden?

Wix is far from a walled-garden. There are a slew of integrations you can utilize. Of course, you have your 'basics' like Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Ads, etc.

However, our 'catalog' goes far deeper than just the 'must-haves'. To that you can integrate your Wix site with:

  • MailChimp
  • Hubspot
  • Quickbooks
  • PayPal Button
  • Shippo
  • Gamify
  • Printify

Still, there may be apps that Wix does have a formal integration with that you might want to implement.

Wix enables you to create custom integrations in a variety of ways. The advanced settings within the Wix dashboard enables you to add custom code to the page's body or header. Here you can select to have the code added to all or specific pages depending on your needs.

You can also use the Wix developer's tool, Corvid, to do the same. (And, of course, you can also add the code to support integration via Google Tag Manager.)

The bottom line is, you can add pretty much whatever marketing integration you want to your Wix site.

Is it possible to set redirects with Wix?

Our SEO Tools section includes a 'URL Redirect Manager" so there are a good number of options at your disposal when working with redirects and Wix.

With the URL Redirect Manager, you can set up a single 301 redirect or a group redirect for URLs that share the same path.

Wix also supports bulk redirects, so you can upload up to 500 redirects via CSV. More than that, we'll tell you if there is an error. So, say by accident you added a space when typing in your URL, we won't let you execute the redirect; you'll get an error message.
Detailed Instructions For Redirects: When And How To Use Them

Does Wix help sites promote themselves on social media and beyond?

There's a ton Wix does for you here!

Let's start with the very basics. You can up the title, description, and image that appear on social media on a per-page basis.

You can also set social sharing patterns for your site's main pages. To this, you can select one specific image to show on social media for multiple pages. It also means you can set up patterns within your social share title and description.

For example, if you wanted to add your site's name to the social title for all of your static pages (Homepage, About page, etc.) you could do that with one click. The same for your social descriptions. Let's just say you wanted to use your meta-descriptions for social media as well (why write the same content twice?), you could set that up with a single click as well.

The same applies to your og tags. You can even set a og:url pattern in the case that you want all of your posts to lead back to the same page.

Of course, there's a lot that goes on when working with social media outside of tags and titles, etc.

Wix has a broad set of social media tools that we offer our users. You can use Wix to:

  • Create and custom-design social media posts (think an in-house version of Canva!)
  • Use templates to create video posts, YouTube videos, and Stories
  • Schedule Facebook and Instagram posts

There's an entire email marketing platform built-in as well.

What's next for Wix? What are you working on?

Honestly, there is a ton going on. We're constantly researching, upgrading, and developing.

In specific, we're on a structured data kick. Currently, we're working on giving our users the ability to add more than one schema to a page and offering more out-of-the-box markup for various page types.

Of course, there's a continual push to improve performance (as there has been for some time as I mentioned earlier) and to align our ongoing efforts with the inclusion of Core Web Vitals into the algorithm.

Summing the Wix SEO Equation Up

If I had to sum this all up, I would say Wix's SEO capabilities have evolved, are evolving, and will continue to evolve. We don't have a "finish line." It's not about us reaching a certain threshold. Rather, we aim to continually evolve our platform overall and in regards to SEO. It's a pervasive mindset. It starts at the very top of our company and is a theme all the way down.

What does that mean in real terms? It means you can expect to see a continuous stream of really meaningful SEO capabilities inside of Wix.
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