10 Sep 2018 SEO Tools

SEO on Wix sites. Can it be done?

source code of website shown on mac

With more than 110 million users, it’s safe to say that Wix is a popular web development platform.

Why is it so popular? Probably because it’s free and very, very easy use. Any website novice can easily knock together a half decent-looking website using Wix.

If you are toying with the idea of using Wix and have done some research, you’ve probably heard negative nellies say, “Don’t use Wix, it’s rubbish for SEO. SEO on Wix sites just can’t be done.”

With all the bad rep, we thought it would be helpful to look into the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to Wix and SEO, and answer the question, “Can you SEO a Wix site?”

Why does Wix get a bad rep?

Once you get a bad rep, as we all know, it’s very hard to kick it. Wix has learned this the hard way. A few years back, there were a lot of issues with Wix websites that made competing in Google impossible. These past issues included:

  • Bad URL structures that would give SEO experts nightmares. Serious nightmares. Why? Because they used to add in weird and wonderful characters, such as yoursite.co.uk/#?about!/xbn67. As you probably guessed, these URLs are far from being SEO friendly
  • There was no way to optimise title tags, URLs or meta descriptions for blog posts
  • There was no way to add alt attributes (alternative text for images)
  • Lastly, Wix was based on Flash technology, which is just a complete no-no when it comes to SEO. Why is Flash so bad for SEO? Flash content doesn’t have any URLs, can’t be searched or indexed, uses text content which isn’t readable and there’s no way of monitoring outbound links. So yeah – just awful!

Over the last few years, they have been working hard and the above issues have been fixed. They have also caught up and are now on par with their competitors and their SEO offering.

They have also worked with Rand Fishkin (a well-known and reputable SEO expert and co-founder of Moz) to improve their rep in the SEO world, and even Google’s John Mueller has stated that “WIX websites work fine in search” – (Webmaster Central Help Forum).

Wix users still having issues

I’ve had conversations with business owners who use Wix and say they are struggling with driving traffic to their website. Nine times out of 10 it’s not down to the platform (as I have had the same conversation with non-Wix users), but more the fault of having no robust SEO strategy.

Some common website issues that have a negative impact on SEO are:

  • Pages take too long to load
  • There’s no link building strategy
  • Pages have too thin content
  • Pages use image-based content (Google can’t read text that is put on top of an image)
  • Poor on-site optimisation, such as missing title tags, strange URL names, images not optimised
  • Lack of keyword research (ideally you should do your keyword research first and then plan your website and pages around this)
  • Lack of understanding with how competitive the market is when it comes to competing for rankings and keywords


SEO on Wix – time for the review

If you still need some convincing, I have picked out the most important SEO features and reviewed how Wix approaches them.

#1 Customisable page titles – this is shown in search engine results pages and is the main title for a page.

Pass or fail – Pass

#2 Customisable meta descriptions – this is shown in search engine result pages and gives readers a small overview about what the page is about.

Pass or fail – Pass

#3 Customisable URLs – URLs are a ranking factor so it’s important to get your keyword in here.

Pass or fail – Pass (Wix do add a short extra string to blog post URLs – which isn’t ideal for SEO).

#4 Customisable heading structure – search engines use the headings of a page (h1, h2, h3 etc) to get an outline of the page, so having a proper heading structure is important.

Pass or fail – Pass (h1 to h6 are available for pages, h1 to h2 for blogs)

#5 Customisable image alt attributes – search engines pay attention to these so can be used wisely for SEO.

Pass or fail – Pass

#6 Ability to create 301 redirects – these redirects prevent your site from having broken links.

Pass or fail – Pass

#7 SSL encryption availability – Google prefers sites that use an https address rather than http as users are more protected. This is especially the case for ecommerce.

Pass or fail – Pass

#8 Meta robots tag availability – sometimes you will have pages that you don’t want Google to index, therefore setting pages as index or noindex through the meta robots tag is very important to SEO.

Pass or fail – Pass

#9 Sitemap availability – Having an xml sitemap on your website can help speed up indexation by search engines.

Pass or fail – Pass (Wix generates an automatic sitemap, but you can’t access or customise it)

#10 Mobile friendliness – Google has stressed the importance of having a mobile friendly site, it’s a ranking factor these days!

Pass or fail – Pass (On Wix there is a mobile editor, however, the tablet version isn’t customisable)

#11 Canonical tag availability – these tags are an advanced feature and let search engines know when two pages are offering the same content and which page to consider.

Pass or fail – Fail (this is not available in Wix)

Other factors to consider are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. While none of these have a direct impact on SEO, these two tools help you monitor and fix your website. We have good news… These tools are available to use with Wix.


Remaining Wix Issues

There’s definitely more you can do SEO-wise than you can’t with Wix. However, there are still some remaining issues to bear in mind:

#1 Strange names for images – When you upload images, Wix likes to give them weird and wonderful names, such as /media/1209_3d016gh92a5ffe4c.jpg. This makes optimising images for SEO tricky, especially if you want to rank in Google images.

#2 Limited growth – Wix is great for start-ups as they provide all the essentials for starting a website. However, as a business grows, so does its needs. Wix isn’t great for growing ecommerce or dynamic sites that need more customisation. The whole platform is based on drag and drop. Therefore, when you decide it’s time to move your site, currently, there’s no way to export your Wix site and upload it to another platform such as WordPress. This is a massive disadvantage for growing search traffic.

#3 Slow page speed – page loading times are fundamental for SEO. Wix uses JavaScript to code the website and while this is miles better than Flash, it still massively slows down the speed of a website.

#4 Light box URLs – Wix seems to create too many URLs for your website. This is a problem for many reasons, such as pages end up with thin content, primary pages leak SEO value to low-value pages etc. An example of this is their light box URLs. Wix gives users the option to create a larger version of an image when clicking on it in a ‘light box’. This enlarged image is treated as a separate page. However, you can choose “nothing happens” when visitors click on the image and this way a new URL won’t be created.

Wix SEO Wiz

A review of SEO and Wix wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the tool they created a few years back called SEO Wiz. The SEO Wiz helps those who are inexperienced with the most critical aspects of SEO, including alt text, meta descriptions and headers.

The tool also has a handy keyword module which helps you find relevant keywords for your site. Users are asked “how would people search for you on Google?” Based on your answers, Wix will tell you the best keywords, taking into consideration relevance and strength.

Wix App Market

If you are more experienced, there are other SEO apps available within the Wix App Market – not masses and definitely not as extensive as what’s available for WordPress users.

The best ones in my opinion would be their Testimonial Builder and Site Booster, which can help with driving traffic. Through the Site Booster app you can get your business listed on directories. Google testimonials help with local traffic. Their Testimonial Builder app allows you to add more testimonials via email, website and social media.


I wouldn’t rule out using Wix altogether, especially if you like the idea of a drag-and-drop style website builder.

Ultimately, Wix websites do rank, as long as you put in the effort and stick to an SEO strategy.

Personally, my go-to website platform builder will always be WordPress, because there are less SEO limitations and I am familiar with the content management system (CMS).

If you decide you still want to go down the Wix route, I would 100% recommend reading ’12 SEO boosts for your SEO site’ and ‘Is Wix SEO Friendly? 10 Questions [and answers] About Your Website’s SEO’.

Learn more about SEO

If you found this article interesting, we have also written about helpful SEO tools – check it out!

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