Can Your Rank A Wix Site?

Can You Rank A Wix Site?

In SEO, The Digital Marketing Blog by SeanLeave a Comment

This post is written by Mordy Oberstein, the Head of SEO Branding at Wix. Mordy also serves as a communications advisor for Semrush. Dedicated to SEO education,  he is one of the organizers of #SEOchat, the host of the SEO Rant Podcast, co-Host of Edge of the Web, and a popular industry author and speaker.

You can find him on Twitter either sharing SEO information or just having a good ‘ol time!

Mordy also recently joined us on our Internet Marketing Podcast to talk about what SEO branding is. As well as SEO branding, you’ll also learn why brands need to move beyond copycat content, and how to prioritise your efforts on topics that communities care about. It’s well worth a listen and you can do so here

In this post, Mordy explores the myth that Wix sites can’t rank. He debunks it using real-life examples of sites that are performing well in search, outlines the reasons why they’re doing well,  and provides some useful takeaways that you can apply to your own site. 

So, if you’re still unsure about using Wix when it comes to SEO, or are looking for top tips to improve your website, Wix or other, read on! 

Can you rank a Wix site? 

It’s just one of those weird questions that just won’t die. 

Despite the evolution of the Wix platform for SEO, and despite Google’s own statements around Wix and ranking, the notion that you can’t rank a Wix site still persists. 

But how true is it? 

Well, if you’re using Wix yourself, have clients on Wix, or are about to create a Wix site or work on one, this post will help to kill the myths around ranking a Wix site. 

With that, let’s dive into the source of the fallacy, the structure of Wix from an SEO point of view, some examples of Wix sites ranking, and what you can do to better rank a Wix site!

TLDR: You Can Rank A Wix Site

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty around ranking a Wix site and how it all works I want to unequivocally say, there is nothing preventing you from ranking a Wix site. 

The infrastructure used by Wix was built with SEO in mind (more on this later) and the platform does things like automatically submitting sitemaps to Search Console to make crawling and indexing more efficient (more on this later as well). 

So, can you rank a Wix site? 

The answer is yes, you can rank a Wix site and thousands upon thousands of site owners do!

If you don’t believe me, here’s John Mueller’s take

“Wix is fine for SEO. A few years back it was pretty bad in terms of SEO, but they’ve made fantastic progress, and are now a fine platform for businesses. The reputation from back then lingers on, but don’t be swayed by it.”

And if you don’t believe John, here’s a Wix site that brings in almost a million users via organic search each month according to Semrush: 

SEMrush Data for Mobilityware

We’ll dive deeper into this site later on, but for now, the point is that you can certainly rank well using a Wix site. 

Why You Can Rank A Wix Site: The Infrastructure & In-Built Functionality 

Now that we know you can rank a Wix site, let’s explain why, as this will be important for you to know when optimizing a site on Wix. 

If we’re going to be talking about a CMS and its ability to rank, then we have to address the underpinnings of the platform to see if they present an issue to search engines. 

One of the most common assertions around Wix and ranking has been that Wix uses a lot of JavaScript (I’d argue that the web uses a lot of Javascript and that it’s not going anywhere, but that’s just me). 

Wix uses server-side rendering so as to prevent any issues with Googlebot and JavaScript.

This is per Google’s own recommendation and is Bing’s preferred solution as well when it comes to handling JavaScript – so no issue there.  

To that, Wix also does things to help Google more effectively crawl your website. 

Not the least of which is a direct one-click connection to Search Console via the Wix dashboard that results in your homepage being instantly indexed (I would question the logic of Google partnering with Wix in this way if its pages were not crawlable and therefore indexable as the myth around ranking asserts by implication).

With this connection, Wix will also automatically submit your sitemap for you directly to Search Console. 

If you’re working on a Wix site, you can’t edit your sitemap, however, we do create an image sitemap for product, event, and forum pages. 

We also try to create the smartest sitemap possible by doing things such as eliminating hashtag blog pages from appearing in it and beyond. 

In terms of indexability, if you’re working with a Wix site it’s important to know we self-canonicalize pages automatically.

However, if the user ends up utilizing various filters on a page so as to create a URL with additional parameters (as is common on eCommerce sites), Wix will automatically canonicalize back to the original product page so that Google won’t be confused as to which page to rank. 

Filters adding parameters to a Wix URL with the canonical pointing back to the original collection page

There really is a lot that Wix does for you out-of-the-box for SEO, and it pays to understand where this happens as it can make your job as an SEO a lot easier.

For example, Wix automatically creates structured data for product pages, event pages, and well beyond. When you change a URL on a Wix static page or on a product, booking, online program, or events page, the URL will automatically get redirected (as in you don’t need to implement a 301 redirect here).

Similarly, images are auto-compressed and converted to WebP automatically.

Page caching is also automatically implemented in most cases.

(Have a look at the complete guide to Wix SEO to learn more about where Wix handles SEO tasks automatically.)

What I’m trying to say is that there’s no reason why you can’t rank a Wix site.

If anything, as I’ve explained above, Wix helps you get all of your ducks in a row so that you can rank well!

The Customization

I don’t want to portray the situation as Wix sets you up with everything you need for SEO.

That’s not how SEO works.

Wix may automate certain tasks, but the key to ranking well with a Wix site is undertaking good SEO. It’s about what content you create and what you as an SEO do with that content (along with the technical underbelly of the site, etc.).

However, we try to make as much of the platform open to you as we can so that you can do great things with the site.

For example, if you are working on a Wix site know that you can:

  • Customize the robots.txt file
  • Apply robots meta tags (both for individual pages and at the folder level in many cases)
  • Add custom title tags and meta descriptions (again, both for individual pages and at the folder level in many cases)
  • Set custom structured data, including adding multiple markups to a page and adding markup to all pages within a folder all at once (you can also customize the automated structured data markup Wix creates).
  • Customize URL slugs (and in the case of product and blog pages the folder name as well)

Again, the point is there’s no reason you can’t rank a Wix site, the platform is open for you to optimize and customise a site according to your wishes.

Lessons From Wix Sites That Rank

Instead of just laying out the case for why the notion that a Wix site can’t rank just doesn’t make sense, I’d like to show you some of the things that Wix sites are doing in order to rank.

This way you can walk out with some tangible ideas of how to optimize a site on Wix (or any site, really).

Use a Holistic Content Strategy to Reinforce Topical Relevancy

In specific, I want to focus on the Wix site I mentioned earlier, as I think they’re doing some interesting things on the content side (not that I think the site is perfect, but is any site perfect…?).

Again, the site is a traffic monster and in the US alone brings in over 500k users via organic search a month while ranking for over 11K keywords in the top 100:

Mobilityware Estimated Traffic in SEMrush

On top of that, it ranks for keywords that many SEOs would drool over, and wins Featured Snippets – the whole nine yards:

Mobilityware Keyword Rankings SEmrush

Let’s dive into the site by starting off on the technical side of things.

First and foremost it passes Core Web Vitals, which in a competitive niche like the site is in, can be very valuable:

Page Speed Insights for Mobilityware

The site is also taking advantage of structured data markup:

Mobilityware Structrued Data Info

They’ve done a great job building a strong backlink profile with a nice amount of follow links:

Mobilityware Backlink Profile

But what caught my eye is how they’ve used content to both create a strong identity around the product they offer and to bring in new traffic per se.

To just use a bit of a vanity metric, the site garners 161 Featured Snippets:

Mobilityware SERP Features


Where the site really shines, in my honest opinion, is how it uses supplemental content to bolster its relevancy around the core product.

The site, while it offers many games, has a special focus on solitaire as can be seen on the homepage:

Mobilitynet Homepage - Solitaire

To both funnel users towards the game itself and to demonstrate the site’s relevancy around solitaire, the blog tackles the topic better than most of the sites out there. In fact, the predominant topic on the blog is solitaire.

The keyword top solitaire strategy is a good example of this. Here the site wins the Featured Snippet:

Solitaire Featured Snippet

Leaving aside the win per se, look at how the site handles the topic itself:

Mobilityware Solitaire Content

The content doesn’t just rely on obvious tips but offers a relatively substantial amount of content around the topic.

Compare that to some of the content found further down on page one of the SERP:

Solitaire Content

There’s really not a lot of substantial advice here.

Heck, there isn’t a lot of content altogether!

What the MobilityWare site did here seems to be a textbook case of showing Google that it comprehensively covers a topic (and better than its competitors) so as to build site identity so as to rank really well for a keyword as competitive as solitaire:

Solitaire Google Results

It’s a classic example of what really strategic content can do for a site when trying to rank for its money keywords and is a lesson any site on any CMS can adopt.

How To Supplement To Win Money Keywords Over Powerful Sites

I want to contrast the previous case, which highlighted a very powerful site, with a situation that highlights how a niche site can outperform much larger competitors.

Often, as SEOs, we don’t rely enough on the insights of the topical experts, also known as the site/business owner.

Instead, we immediately jump to keyword research tools, checklists, etc.

But sometimes that depth of knowledge that only the business themselves has can be a real difference maker. This is especially true when a niche site is going up against much larger competitors.

Take the case of Bootsfinder, a Wix site that sells “classic” football shoes (or as us Americans call it, soccer).

More specifically, let’s take the case of one specific but very important keyword, the site’s money keyword, classic football boots. As you can see below the keyword is not only a very convertible keyword but also pulls in a very respectable amount of organic traffic:

Classic Football Boots Keyword Info from SEMrush

The Bootsfinder site ranks, at the time of this writing, #4 in its market (UK) for the keyword.

I was trying to figure out what made this site tick. Initially, I thought it was just the competition really failing. 2-3 of the ranking sites offer either minimal or no product descriptions. For example, here’s the 6th ranking site:

Classix Football Boot Product Page


However, there are sites ranking beneath the Bootsfinder site that do an amazing job with their product descriptions such as this one from Pro Direct Soccer:

Pro Direct Soccer Football Boot Product page


In fact, the site here is really strong.

It’s got millions of backlinks (Maybe too many backlinks? Either way, Google hasn’t caught on if that is indeed the case, which I am not saying it is) from over 30K referring domains.

Compare that to the very minimal amount of links Bootsfinder has accrued over time:

Bootsfinder Backlink Profile SEMrush

Links aside, the Pro Direct Soccer site is a beast pulling in over 1M users a month from Search:

Prodirect soccer domain overview SEMrush

The Bootsfinder site is far more niche:

Bootsfinder Domain Overview SEMrush

But being far more niche is exactly the point.

Lean into that. The Bootsfinder site does.

Bootsfinder does one thing, it sells retro football/soccer shoes.

The Pro Direct Soccer site does too, but they also sell pretty much everything else related to sportswear and football/soccer.

If you’re a niche site, this is where you have the power because you can offer a deeper experience. You’re focused on one thing (or a few things) and you can hone in on that and offer a different experience to the user (and to bots).

This is what the Bootsfinder site does in its product descriptions.

What’s the one thing you care about when buying a retro sports shoe?

It’s history. Who wore the shoe? When did they wear the shoe? Why is it important that this person wore it at that time? That’s part of the identity of the product and that’s why only Bootsfinder takes the time to list that information in the product description:

Bootsfinder Nike Football boot Product Description

With this sort of information (and beyond, because there’s always more than one smoking gun) a more niche player can differentiate itself from the larger competitors to win keywords that play a strong role in the site’s success.

So, if you’re a niche site competing with larger and broader sites, lean into being niche and capitalize on how that can differentiate your site.

It can be with how you go about product descriptions, like the case here, or it can be via a blog, resources, etc. There are a million ways to offer a deeper experience for the user that differentiates your niche site from larger competitors.

So, there you have it, two different-sized Wix sites, with different levels of traffic, both ranking well. With the examples above and the tips provided, you’ve seen how this can be done yourself.

So, back to the topic in hand, Wix sites and ranking.

Why Am I Even Talking About Wix Sites & Ranking?

For those that are abreast to the evolution of Wix for SEO, the idea that you can’t rank a Wix site will seem silly to you.

If you read publications like Search Engine Journal or SERoundtable or just follow John Mueller on Twitter you’ll see multiple instances of Google praising the work Wix has done and seeing no issue ranking a Wix site.

If you follow me on Twitter you’d know I have pretty thick skin and some of the things folks have said about Wix don’t bother me at all.

I view these instances more like a challenge than anything else – that it’s on me to educate and inform (and I’d say we’ve done a pretty good job here).

From a branding point of view, if I were to give myself advice it would be not to even bring up this myth about Wix ranking as doing so just gives it more validity.

So why am I even entertaining the notion that you can’t rank a Wix site?

Because it hurts people. Folks, especially the ones who need it most (i.e. SMBs) have in the past been turned away by SEOs because of silly rumors.

You wouldn’t believe how many SEOs and agencies would turn away a Wix site because of the rumors.

Do Wix users not deserve to have their sites optimized to give their businesses a fighting chance to compete on the SERP and grow their businesses?

I think that’s wrong.

Why Do People Say You Can’t Rank A Wix Site?

How did we even get to the point where the notion of Wix sites not being able to rank persists?

Well, to be candid, there was once good reason. Wix was originally built on flash and used to do things like executing hashbang URLs – none of which was great for Search.

Those days, however, are long over (so long over that Wix is the only closed CMS that enables you to custom-set folder names in URLs for blog and product pages – a far cry from the ol’ hashbang URL).

However, like all good juicy rumors, they can snowball (in fancier terms, confirmation bias).

Some SEO folks would see a Wix site that doesn’t rank and chalk it up to the platform’s SEO abilities without much understanding of the underpinnings (i.e., without looking at the nature of the specific site and the underlying causality).

This culminated in a study that compared a few million Wix sites to a few million WordPress sites showing the WordPress sites garnering more traffic. However, this study too didn’t do the proper due diligence as to the nature of the URLs. For example, far more WordPress sites (at the time) were being managed by an SEO as Wix’s bread and butter was self-creators.

Are we really comparing the organic traffic of what was your typical WordPress site to a site built by a local SMB?

To that, the study did show that once you do compare apples to apples there was not a big difference between the two platforms.

Specifically, when looking at sites that brought in at least 100 users from Search, Wix, and WordPress were quite similar in the amount of traffic brought in by keywords ranking top 10.

This makes logical sense because ranking has more to do with what you do with the site than it does the CMS.

To logic, once it’s seen that a CMS can rank, why would any organic traffic discrepancies between two CMSes be attributed to the CMS per se? Either the CMS can or can’t rank. Once it can, it can.

To this, a 2021 Search Engine Journal article referred to the data in this study as being “skewed.”

Ironically, the data source of the study, BuiltWith, shows the opposite trend that what AHREFs showed. Namely, the number of WordPress sites that represent the top 10K and top 100K traffic earners has gone down:

Wordpress Usage Statistics

While Wix has seen the opposite trend, with its share of top traffic earners going up over the past few years:

Wix Usage Statistics

The point is exactly what John Mueller said in the quote shared above, “The reputation from back then lingers on, but don’t be swayed by it.”


Further Proof That Wix Sites Rank Well On Google

I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to share some other Wix sites doing some great things that are producing results on Google.

In other words, when it comes to the question of “Can a Wix site rank?”, the proof is in the pudding.

The British National Governing Body for the Sport of Ice Skating

This is Britain’s official site for its national governing body on all things ice skating and as a result, it ranks for all things ice skating in the UK: rankings SEMrush

Keep Laughing Forever

This joke site (the site isn’t a joke, rather it’s a site about jokes) brings in over 150K users from organic search each month and ranks for over 4,500 keywords in the top 10 alone.

It even ranks number 1 for the keyword funny riddles with a monthly search volume of 27K:

Funny Riddles Keyword Ranking for Keep Laughing Forever

All Elite Wrestling

Last, but not least, and for all you wrestling fans, the popular and nationally televised AEW site wrestles in nearly 1.5M users via organic search each month (sorry but not sorry for the pun):

all elite wrestling domain overview SEMrush

The site ranks for all sorts of keywords even beyond branded keywords including wrestling on tonight:

all elite wrestling keyword rankings SEMrush

Ranking With Wix, It’s Up To You

I’d like to think that the way Wix is built sets you up to rank well.

But when it comes down to it all, ranking isn’t just about a CMS, it’s about content creators and SEOs collaborating to fill the needs of users in the most optimal way and Google rewarding those efforts.

If you take anything away from this post (other than the idea that you can very much rank a Wix site) I hope it’s that the notion that when working on Wix the ability for you the SEO to come in and set the site up for success is open to you.

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