Digital marketing services for local businesses

Are Wix Websites Good for SEO?

UPDATE, 12/12/2016 – For the sake of transparency, the Wix marketing team recently reached out to us at Rank First Local asking us to update this blog. After a lot of research and consideration, we have determined that Wix has significantly improved its SEO capabilities.

Without further ado, here are the most recent SEO updates to the Wix platform:

1.) Cleaner URL Structure

Wix replaced the hash-bang URL structure with a more traditional, custom selection. This means Wix webmasters can now format their URLs in an SEO-friendly manner. This also means:

  • Improved visibility of your Wix website on the web
  • The Wix Blog and Wix Stores URLs are shorter and more informative
  • It is easier to submit Wix site page URLs to search engines as the escape fragment part of the URL does not need to be submitted
  • Universal Analytics can be used with Wix sites
  • URLs can be shared without issue
  • AdWords Express can now be used

2.) Rel=canonical Tags Removed

Wix previously used rel=canonical tags on pages other than the home page. In short, rel=canonical tags told search engines that every page on your website was a duplicate of the home page and could have a significant, and negative, impact on your SEO campaign.

Currently, Wix has removed this setting, increasing your exposure to search engines. Google, Bing, and other major search engines crawl, read, and index your Wix website without issue.

3.) Other New SEO Features

In addition to removing the hash-bang URL structure and rel=canonical tags, Wix now provides:

  • Advanced blog SEO capabilities
  • A variety of SEO Apps via the Wix App Market

To learn more about Wix SEO and the platform’s capabilities, click here.

UPDATE, 2/8/2016 – At Rank First Local, we receive a lot of inquiries about Wix websites and whether or not Wix is good for SEO. In our update from October 2015 (below), we stated that Google was not indexing or ranking Wix websites.

While true at the time, Google is now ranking and indexing Wix websites.

Want proof? Check out the screenshot below:

wix websites ranked in google

81 pages on Granite State Mechanical Services are indexed by Google.

Wix Websites Use Hash-Bang (#!) URL Structure

Hash-bang URL structure #!

Wix websites rely on AJAX, which stands for “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.” AJAX uses XHTML for content, CSS for presentation, and incorporates Document Object Model and JavaScript to display your website content in a dynamic way.

However, AJAX is not very SEO-friendly, and as such relies on hash-bang URLs (#!). A hash-bang URL structure uses #! as part of a page’s URL in order to tell Googlebots and other search engine crawlers to crawl a page.

The hash-bang ensures Wix websites are crawled and indexed.

Wix Uses rel=”canonical” Tags

rel="canonical" code

The main reason why Wix websites are not good for SEO are because Wix websites use rel=canonical tag.

Why is this important? Rel=canonical tags are used to identify duplicate content on your website to search engines. Rel=canonical tags are most often used to prevent search engines from suppressing web pages on search result pages due to duplicate content.

Duplicate content negatively effects SEO and can result in lower search rankings and fewer leads generated from your website.

Learn more about canonicalization.

Why Wix Is Bad for SEO

Because Wix uses rel=canonical tags, the page authority of each service or product page built on a Wix website loses authority. Essentially, Wix is decreasing the SEO value of all web pages other than your home page.

For companies that heavily rely on the web to earn new business, like home service contractors, using Wix can significantly decrease the number of leads generated by your website.

Google No Longer Indexing or Ranking Wix Websites & Wix Web Pages

UPDATE, 10/16/2015 – In February, 2014, Rank First Local wrote the blog below answering the question, “Are Wix websites good for SEO?” It’s a question we hear a lot from prospective clients, and for good reason.

Our conclusion? No, Wix websites are not good for SEO. Want proof?

On Wednesday, Oct. 14, Google confirmed that Wix websites are NOT being indexed and ranked by Google and that the non-indexing issue was first noticed about two weeks ago.

For business owners with a Wix website who rely heavily on the web (SEO, PPC, etc.) for their primary marketing strategies, two weeks of not being indexed or ranked on Google could be devastating. Not being found means your website wasn’t generating organic visits, leads, and sales.

Search Engine Land reported that Google was attempting to fix the indexing issue, but “the best bet for anyone using a Wix website is to just wait it out.”

Can’t wait that long? Give us a call. Rank First Local offers affordable website design and development, so you can transform your website into a 24/7 sales machine.

If you’re a small business owner looking to improve your presence on the web, Wix may look like an attractive option–after all, it is low cost with a simple interface that anyone can use to create an attractive looking website in only a few hours.

What’s not to like? Well, possibly a lot depending on the goals of your website.

What is the Purpose of Your Website?

If you’re simply looking for a website to point prospective clients to to show off your portfolio, then a Wix website may be sufficient for your needs. If you are looking to grow your company by generating new leads, customers, and sales through your website, the Wix is not going to be a as effective solution as other content management systems like WordPress in most cases.

Optimizing your website for search engines is done in a variety of ways–some related to on-page content–others related to website code and structure. Content written on the Wix platform is crawled and indexed by search engines, but all pages on Wix websites are canonical of the homepage. If you are unfamiliar with the term canonical URLs, what this refers to is the picking of the best URL when there are several choices–usually the home page. This is great for SEO when you have several closely related pages and you want search engines picking the best one. With Wix, however, all pages are canonical to the homepage, making it very difficult for sub-pages to rank well.

For service companies and online retailers that offer a wide range of products and services, getting your sub-pages to rank well is vital to the growth of your website traffic. The surest sign of a poorly optimized website is virtually all traffic landing on the website’s homepage. Every page on your website is indexed independently and represents a unique ranking opportunity.

This is not to say that Wix will not work or provide any benefit to your company at all, there are simply better and more flexible options available. The popular adage “you get what you pay for” is true even in web design. A free, do-it-yourself, website is extremely unlikely to perform well compared to well-designed, well-optimized websites built by a professional.

What Does Wix Have to Say?

According to the Wix SEO Team, Wix websites can be indexed properly and even rank quite well.  The Wix SEO Team had this to say on the blog:

“The technical details: Wix is using Ajax Crawling solution. Ajax Crawling allows sites to serve dynamic content to the end users, while providing great user experience, and at the same time serve search engines the same content in a special version of the page. You can read it all in Google’s documentation , There is no problem with the #! in the urls, the canonical tags or the javascript code the users see.

Wix serves millions of clients and we see good results in search engines. We are constantly monitoring the performance and follow the latest changes in the SEO industry. Please let us know of any issue you find. The best address is our support team.”

 Our Take

Your website should be looked at as an investment in your company–not an expense. Most consumers turn to the web today when they are looking for products and services, so if your website is not being found, you are losing money to your competitors–guaranteed.

While Wix may provide a solution that is better than having no website at all, it lacks the customization and flexibility that WordPress provides.

We believe–from experience–that WordPress site’s provide the best combination of flexibility, customization, and community developer support available today. Of the top top one million websites on the web today, 48 percent of them are built on the WordPress platform.

The versatility of the WordPress platform makes it an ideal website engine for robust enterprise level websites all the way down to small local service providers.

Affordable, SEO-Friendly Website Design by RFL

Rank First Local has website design and development packages for everyone. From basic affordable website design options to full-featured, fully-customized websites, our team of designers can meet your needs.

If you like the design of your Wix website, not problem! We can do an exact port of your design to a WordPress platform. Recently, we completed a Wix to WordPress port for an urgent care in Greensboro, Mediq Urgent Care. The look and functionality of the site remained the same, but the website now performs much better in search engine results.

Want a new design that delivers results? Our websites are not just beautiful–they perform at a high level. What good is a beautiful website if nobody can find it? At Rank First Local, we specialize in creating websites with lead generation in mind–increasing your website’s ROI and helping you achieve your business goals.

Contact us today to more about how website from Rank First Local can help you grow your company and improve ROI on your marketing spend. Call us at 866-330-2917 or fill out a contact form to get started!

"Rank First Local is a great company that really keeps me up to date on all of my marketing/website efforts. They are truly a trusted business partner of mine!"

- Jason J., Managing Partner at Vista Homes

Learn more about our SEO process or get started today!

"Rank First Local is a great company that really keeps me up to date on all of my marketing/website efforts. They are truly a trusted business partner of mine!"

- Jason J., Managing Partner at Vista Homes

Learn more about our SEO process or get started today!