There is a common question that small business owners ask when they're looking to build a new website. Is it better to choose WordPress or Wix for SEO? Is Squarespace better than Wix for SEO? There are lots of platforms for building your website, so it is reasonable to question whether some have a positive or negative impact on SEO.
Here is the basic answer to that question: It really doesn't make any difference. The important thing is the content, not the platform when thinking about SEO. As long as your CMS platform has all the required SEO tools and functionality, like Wix does, you should use the website platform you feel most comfortable with. Also the CMS platform you are easily able to manage yourself, even if you get a professional Wix website designer to create it.
Search Engine Optimisation in simple terms
Let's remind ourselves: Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of taking action to make your website appear higher in the rankings for search engines like Google. The reasons you would want to do this are obvious; by appearing as close to the top (the number one spot), you will receive a greater volume of targeted visitors to your website, which translates to more leads, sales, ad revenue, etc.
DIY website builders like Wix are a convenient solution for SMEs to give themselves a professional website that promotes their business in a cost-effective way. While these types of closed-CMS platforms are marketed as DIY, business owners often hire Wix website design professionals to assist with designing their website and optimising it for higher search engine rankings and more traffic.
There are many website platforms out there, so we won't go into the individual pros and cons of each service. All you need to know is that Wix offer their users and designers some very powerful tools for constructing a professional website. The focus of this article is to consider whether the Wix CMS is naturally better for SEO, simply because of the nature of the platform.
So, what's the answer?
Again, some SEO experts will tell you that no platform is better than any other for SEO. They will have built and managed websites on most of the available platforms and managed to achieve a good ranking on Google. Although, this is correct to a point, the CMS platform still does need to contain all the basic and advanced SEO functionality.
Ultimately, search engines like Google are preoccupied with certain things:
Content: This means the copy on the website, the videos and images, the blog posts and any other content placed on your website. Search engines will assess the quality and uniqueness of each page on your website.
Backlinks: Quality backlinks essentially serve as a popularity vote. If there are lots of backlinks to your website, this tells Google that it is important enough for other websites to point people in your direction.
Intent: The Google algorithm is evolving all the time and now more than ever the Google algorithm through its machine learning is focused on making sure the 'intent' of the keywords people search is very much in-line with the web pages they rank.
To get all the above right, you really need the help of someone with expertise in everything that relates to SEO. Even with the knowledge of this, there are enduring SEO myths that a particular platform is inherently better than another for SEO.
Ultimately, it is not really possible to put the theory to the test. To conduct an accurate experiment to see whether one platform ranks higher than another, you would have to replicate the exact same website on different platforms. But you cannot do this, as all the duplicate content would undermine the SEO efforts of every version and render the experiment useless. They couldn't all share the same domain name, they couldn't all be promoted the same, and they would not receive the exact same backlinks. Having said this, here is a great WordPress to Wix migration case study which proves that the Wix CMS should be considered along the same lines as any other CMS.
That makes it increasingly mysterious where these myths about the platforms originate from. Evidently, people read or hear them somewhere and spread the word around until it became known as a 'truth'.
How does Google assess whether a website will be helpful?
The Google algorithm draws on a number of signals to assess the likelihood that a website will be useful. It will weigh up factors like where backlinks are coming from and how many quality related backlinks there are. It is thought that there are as many as 200 ranking factor signals that Google evaluates, each of which carries a different weight for the rankings.
A good SEO expert will have an understanding of the most important signals and the knowledge to do the work that gives your website the attributes it needs. It doesn't matter how your website was built; content is king. The SEO capabilities built into the Wix website builder are very robust and optimised for success with Google, so you can put your faith in the experts that created them.
Limitations with some CMS website builders
With Wix being a closed-CMS platform, you cannot gain direct access to the raw code to tweak it. You do have the ability to add extra functionality to any Wix website by adding extra code through Velo by Wix.
Many SEO experts will tell you that Wix sites do not rank or they are very slow because they do not have the ability to tweak the code. Think of it this way - You have a large team of highly skilled developers at Wix HQ who are constantly working on improving the functionality and performance of every single Wix website and the best thing is, unlike if you used the WordPress CMS platform, you do not have to pay them as it is all part of the service Wix provide.
If you want your Wix website to rank well in Google search results, you need to focus on the basics. Your website needs to contain quality content that connects with your website visitors on an emotional level. You need to be seen as an expert within your niche. And you need to earn high-quality related backlinks that tell Google that your website will be useful to people performing a search on Google.
If you would like to learn more about how SEO works, check out my Wix SEO Course where I guide you through every step of getting your Wix website to rank at the top of Google.