Dispelling The Most Common Myths About SEO: Wix Edition [Interview]
Here's the lowdown on Wix for SEO straight from Wix themselves.
2. Can you customize your site for SEO with Wix (since it's not open-source)?
3. Can you do things like edit robots.txt and add schema?
4. Aren't Wix sites slow?
5. Is Wix responsive on mobile?
6. Does Wix still use client-side rendering?
7. Does Wix offer integrations or is it a walled-garden?
8. Is it possible to set redirects with Wix?
9. Does Wix help sites promote themselves on social media and beyond?
10. What's next for Wix? What are you working on?
11. Summing the Wix SEO Equation Up
Can a Wix site rank? Don't studies show Wix doesn't rank well?
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I'm trying to say that the idea that a Wix page can't rank is built on a foundation of misconception and outdated information.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).
Can you customize your site for SEO with Wix (since it's not open-source)?
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
At the same time, you can connect Google Tag Manager to your Wix site, which only bolsters the level of customization available.
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.
You can also view meta tags using the free Serpstat Website SEO Checker extension.
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.
Aren't Wix sites slow?
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.
Is Wix responsive on mobile?
Does Wix still use 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.
Does Wix offer integrations or is it a walled-garden?
However, our 'catalog' goes far deeper than just the 'must-haves'. To that you can integrate your Wix site with:
- PayPal Button
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?
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.
Does Wix help sites promote themselves on social media and beyond?
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?
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
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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