Are Wix Sites Bad for SEO?

September 12th, 2019 by Alula Amare

Wix is one of the most widely used website builders in the world, with over 150 million users as of 2019. Despite being so popular, it’s not exactly a secret that Wix sites have a bad reputation within the digital marketing community. It got so bad that Wix tried to prove a point by holding a contest to see if anyone could outrank them for the keyword “SEO hero.” Spoiler alert: they didn’t win. But does Wix deserve the flack it gets? And is it realistic for people to expect a (mostly) free website builder to outperform more robust platforms?

Everybody Hates Wix custom graphic for blog about Wix and SEO

Everybody Hates Wix

So what’s wrong with Wix sites? In short, there are several technical aspects of SEO that Wix sites don’t mesh with.

  • URL Structure: Free Wix sites have a URL structure of username.wixsite.com/siteaddress. As an address, that’s hard to remember, and it’s not exactly something you’d print on a business card. Wix users can have more control over their domain name by using the paid service, but if Wix’s entire shtick is being a free website builder, then it’s not a good look to charge people for something as basic as a regular-looking domain name.
  • Google Analytics: Google analytics can’t be implemented on free Wix sites because they technically don’t have unique URLs.
  • Site Crawl Issues: Wix sites don’t allow users to edit their robots.txt files, which can make it more difficult for search engine crawlers to index sites with dozens or hundreds of pages.
  • 301 Redirects: Free Wix sites do not support 301 redirects. If you take down a page for any reason, you can’t redirect users to another page, and you will lose the original page’s link equity.
  • Site Speed: Google has started to place more and more emphasis on site speed as a factor for keyword rankings. Wix sites tend to load slowly because they require hundreds of Javascript file requests before rendering a web page. This affects pages’ keyword rankings and offers a worse experience for users.
  • The Templates: Once you’ve selected a template for a Wix site, you’re stuck with it. You can’t pick a new one or make major edits to your current template without losing all of your content.

Wix site being displayed on laptop

It’s Not All Bad

Despite their issues, Wix sites have some benefits. Users can still use fundamental site optimization tools, like title tags, meta descriptions, blogs, H1s, and H2s. Business owners can customize their site’s design (to an extent) with Wix’s templates. They also support e-commerce in their premium plans. So if you’re trying to establish a client base online, Wix isn’t the worst place to start, especially if you have a decent following on Instagram and just need a website so users can make purchases.

To be fair, Wix’s premium plans are reasonably affordable. Their prices are comparable to what other providers, like Squarespace, offer. All of this makes Wix a somewhat decent starting point for small businesses and entrepreneurs who can’t, or don’t want to, invest money in a website. Wix doesn’t allow users to implement highly technical aspects of SEO, like editing their robots.txt file, because they don’t expect people who use a free website to know about them. That may be shortsighted, but that’s clearly the assumption they’re making.

Most new businesses will outgrow a Wix site once they’ve reached a certain level of success. Attracting new customers, and keeping the ones you already have, will get increasingly competitive. At that point, you’ll need to have a well-defined SEO strategy. Moving on to a more robust CMS like WordPress should be a priority.

If you have a Wix site and aren’t satisfied with its performance, Search Influence can help. Since 2006, we’ve provided hundreds of clients with digital marketing services like SEO, paid search campaigns, and more. Our team has handled a variety of site migrations, and we can help you build a new website. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us at (504) 208-3900.

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Wix on Laptop