Wix, one of several ‘web builders’ that are currently gaining in popularity, especially with start-ups and small businesses, is a unique creature in the world of the Internet. And one that has been no stranger to controversy in its 13-year history, especially when it comes to Wix SEO.
Why People Choose a Wix Website
Wix has a lot of great things going for it. If you are starting a business, it’s usually one of the busiest and most stressful times of your life. If you are running a smaller local business finding the time to even think about building a website seems impossible. But you know you need one. Every business needs one, no matter how new or how small.
However, when you call web developers, the numbers regarding cost get mind-boggling quickly. So when people come across Wix, which lets you build a basic website in minutes, and then charges a reasonably low fee to host it for you (because dealing with that can be a time-consuming pain as well), it can often seem like a logical choice.
When Working With Wix Gets Complicated
Wix is not a great option for many. It is a far more restrictive platform than WordPress, Joomla, or any other more complex CMS offerings. And it is definitely pay for play, as gaining new functions almost always involves microtransactions and paid upgrades.
When it comes to SEO, to say that Wix has had its problems, there is something of an understatement. In fact, this long – and very amusing – piece details all of the many SEO faux pas Wix has made – including getting its own IP de-indexed from Google at one point. As the article we cited points out in much greater detail, Wix has also offered and continues to offer some terrible, very inaccurate SEO advice to its subscribers.
The Wix SEO Workaround
So, would we recommend Wix? No. Do we understand that for some businesses, businesses like restaurants, local stores and other service businesses, Wix often seems like the best choice at the time. As they have a physical business, maybe a website does not matter that much (it does, but we’ll explain that in a minute) Yes. Do we know that some of you have Wix websites and that changing it now is something you do not have the time or patience to do? Yes.
All of this is why we will explain how even with the SEO challenges Wix presents; you can still make things work and still get a Wix website that looks good – because we have to admit, design-wise a lot of them are lovely – and ranks well in the SERPS, bringing your business all the benefits that a good website should.
Why a Well Optimized Website Matters to Local Businesses
The way people find local businesses has changed massively over the last few years. No one has a Yellow Pages anymore (unless they are using it for a doorstop) and everyone searches for things online. Including where they can go locally to get a haircut, grab a pizza, get their dog groomed, buy their Gran a birthday card and so on and so on. So they must find your business in that search.
Local SEO, which Pearl Lemon has won several awards for, is an ever-changing thing, especially right now when voice search is once again changing the game.
The number of homes with Echo and Google Home speakers is steadily rising, with Amazon’s Echo Dot being the most popular item sold on its online marketplace during last year’s holiday season. And thanks to tools like Cortana, Siri and Google Assistant, almost any smartphone user can utilize voice search at any time.
It’s easy to see why voice search is so appealing. After all, it’s incredibly convenient to ask your device a direct question and receive a concise answer, especially compared to scanning through text after typing out every single character of your query. Asking Alexa where to get pizza is much easier than scrolling through search results pages, especially when you are driving and should not even be touching your phone anyway.
So, good local SEO now has to take account of that too. And at Pearl Lemon we are. The biggest goal in local SEO is to get a business into the Google Local 3 Pack – which we explained in detail here – and the good news for those with a Wix Website is that Wix SEO – and its challenges – are no bar to doing that.
Winning at Local Search
While a comprehensive local SEO strategy features many components, we’ve selected some of the most important Google ranking factors for local SEO to feature here. A local business which focuses on these here will have a distinct advantage in the organic search results over their competitors even if they have a Wix website.
Google My Business Signals
Every local SEO effort should begin by creating or claiming your Google My Business (GMB) listing.
Once you have created your Google My Business listing, make sure your profile is properly optimized. Some things to remember:
- The business should be correctly categorized
- Optimize the GMB business title by including relevant keywords
- Double-check that the link to the business website is correct and crawl-able
- Verify the accuracy of the listed business hours
- This might seem obvious, but verify that the business address is correct! This is so important, as the Local Pack listings consider the businesses’ proximity to the searcher’s location
- Add your company logo
- Include high-quality photos
What exactly does the term “link signals” mean? It’s quite simple, really. The term “link signals” refers to inbound links to a website. There are a few common factors that should be considered when evaluating the quality of inbound links.
Link Authority: When it comes to inbound links, quality is key. Try to avoid “spammy” links from low-quality sites. Instead, focus on obtaining links from high quality, authoritative websites. Links from high authority sites related to your business niche is even better.
Link Quantity: While it’s true that quality trumps quantity, of course, the more high-quality inbound links you can get, the better.
Link Anchor Text: Anchor text is the text that appears highlighted in a hypertext link, which can be clicked to open the target web page. Google looks at the anchor text of a link as an indicator of the subject matter of the target page. You do have to be careful, however. Google will penalize a site whose backlink anchor text profile is over-optimized.
Citations are the instances where a business appears somewhere on the web. For example, business directories and review sites are two major sources of citations. When it comes to citations, consistency is key with local SEO.
Ensure the business name, address, and phone number (aka NAP) adhere to the same format every time they are published. If you do need to make a change to the NAP information, be sure to update every cited instance.
Online business reviews are another key factor for local SEO. Reviews on these sites help form a company’s online reputation. One of the worst things a company can do is ignore the reviews they receive. If your business falls into this category, don’t worry…it can be corrected.
As is the case with traditional SEO, on-page factors are important to any local SEO strategy. And this is where website owners who have discovered the limitations of Wix SEO really start to get nervous. However, for the most part, the stuff that really matters can still be addressed and includes all the following:
The content on your business website should serve your local audience, offering value to visitors and prospective customers. Make sure the content includes targeted keyword phrases, but be careful not to over-optimize. Content marketing success comes from creating high quality, useful content that people find informative, engaging and helpful. And those people won’t care what platform your website is running on if you can give them that.
Here’s a brief list of some on-page factors that do matter, and yes, they can all still be effectively optimized even with the limitations of Wix SEO in its most basic form.
- Page titles
- Meta Descriptions
- Heading tags
- Image optimization
- Site speed
Eventually, some businesses may have to ‘bite the bullet’ and upgrade to a more robust CMS than Wix. But the fact is many can do just fine with one. They just have to take their Wix SEO advice from those who really DO know SEO (unlike the bloggers over at the Wix site itself who so seem to be WAY out of the loop)
As a Wix user, you want more visibility. We’ve created our service to help you to achieve that. Let’s get started with your Wix SEO today.