I’m sure you have seen the commercials for Wix Free Website Builder. There is no doubt that it looks like a great tool for building a website, especially for those who want an easy site builder that will eliminate the need for complicated HTML coding. AND “free” is always appealing to those on a tight budget.
Wix and SEO
If you take the time to read wix.com and see what their crew says about how their websites will perform in the search engines, you will quickly see how fiercely they defend their product and proclaim that it is built with SEO in mind. In some respects, their claim has some truth.
I’m not going to tell you that there aren’t some good SEO elements built into this website builder and that search engine success will completely allude all who use it. On the other hand, as an SEO professional with over 9 years of experience in the field, I do see some things that could seriously hinder that success. If you need your website to perform well in Google and the other search engines, you should know the truth about Wix.
SEO Concern #1:
The first problem I see with the Wix website builder is the way they treat pages. My SEO success has been largely the result of maximizing all available pages to target a few relevant keyword phrases on each. I tell many business owners that a 200 page website will almost always serve you better than a 2 page site, assuming that you put effort into each page and make it valuable to your site visitors and make the theme of each page very clear. The problem with performing SEO on a WIX website is that the program is coded in such a way that a page isn’t really a page. As a result, some of the most important elements that need to be modified in a good optimization is simply non-existent. I’ll avoid the technical details and attempt to explain in very basic terms. When you click on the navigation of a conventional website, it will take you off the page you are viewing and send you to a brand new page with new content. When you click on the navigation of a Wix website, it basically hides the text you were reading and replaces that text with the new content. This strategy looks impressive. At the same time, for all practical purposes, it turns your 20 or 50 page website into a 1 page website. In doing so, it limits how many keywords you can effectively target.
SEO Concern #2:
One of the key elements to a good optimization is a properly formatted URL (or web address) for each subpage on the domain. When using Wix and clicking on any link within the navigation, you may notice that the URL does actually change even though it isn’t exactly a new page. I know – confusing. This is one part that you still have working to your advantage. Or do you? To that question, my answer would have to be “Yes. But not quite”.
Here is the problem. The new web address you see when you go to any of those so-called pages is not exactly clean. Take a look at these URLs.
A URL that is bad for SEO – michiganmarketer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=46
This URL could be referred to as being “overly dynamic”. One thing to notice about this web address is that there is no valuable keyword appearing after the .com/
A URL that is ideal for SEO – michiganmarketer.com/lansing-networking-events/
Here you’ll see a complete phrase at the end of the web address that you would hope this page would rank for. The whole address gives hints regarding what you will find on this page and the search engines take this into account.
A typical URL that Wix produces – awixexamplesite.com/#!sponsorship/c24vq
You can see that there are various characters in this Wix URL that you cannot remove and are not beneficial in showing the search engines what the page is about. While this URL isn’t nearly as bad as the first example, you can see that it is not nearly as clean as the second one.
If you are looking for an easy website creation tool and need to keep the price down, I would recommend that you avoid this free option. Despite their claims, Wix is bad for SEO.
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