How to Choose an SEO-Friendly Wix Website Template for Your Business:
I'm an SEO who specializes in Wix website optimization and nothing else. I've optimized over 550 Wixsites and have noticed the same mistakes being made again and again. So much so that every time I send an SEO report to a new client, I'm often repeating myself. I'd like to help you avoid those mistakes.
Most site owners I've come across don't have time to sit down and learn the intricacies of SEO. Many originally believed that once their site has been made, it would simply show up in search results whenever people searched for the products or services they had to offer.
Because of that, pretty much every Wix website owner I've worked with aimed to build the most beautiful site possible, entirely unaware that every additional slideshow, gallery, animation, video background etc they added was slowing their site down and detracting from their chances of getting found online. As a result, I've often began by telling clients that they own the most beautiful website that would never be found.
Some Wix website owners created their site through the Wix ADI automatic set-up process, whereby clicking on a preferred template and entering a few basic details allows your new site to appear as if by magic. They're never told that Wixsites created using the Wix ADI feature are hopelessly out of touch with both SEO best practice and Google guidelines and are, at most, only useful for advertising campaigns. They cannot be optimized and will never bring organic traffic.
Finally, the third type of site owner I see are the unluckiest. They choose a site designer to create their website for them and burn through a significant marketing budget as a result. Because site designers are not SEOs, the site owner not only ends up with site that is poorly optimized, they are also left mystified and frustrated as to why they aren't getting organic traffic.
If any of the above sounds like you, it's not your fault. Throughout the buying process, Wix invariably promised you a "Stunning Website" and that's what you have. They just never really highlighted the fact that there is a direct trade-off between beauty and discoverability. In fact, I only know of one place on their entire Wix website where Wix barely acknowledge the link between beauty and bad SEO.
Therefore, before you choose your Wix template, remember that not all Wix templates are created equally and give some extra though to the SEO of each. For example, does the template allow for text to be placed in the above-the-fold section of the page (the part of the website that is visible when the page first loads and before you scroll down)? If not, avoid it. Google expects to see text in this space and goes directly to it to learn as much about your site in as short a time as possible. If you only have a beautiful image or a large logo there, you're simply playing a game of Guess Who with them.
Does the site have an array or beautiful galleries, sliders and animations? If so, avoid it.
These absolutely kill your load speed, and if there is one thing Google dislikes it's a slow loading site. Wix websites are naturally slower to load than 'regular' HTML sites (that's the price you pay for the convenience of 'drag n drop' design over earning a computer programming degree), so they'll always be at a bit of a disadvantage, but when you add to the burden by placing all of these extra moving parts on your site...you really are tying one hand behind your back.
Is it a one-page website? If so, avoid it. There are certain pages Google simply expects to see, so that they can learn as much about your business and products or services as quickly and efficiently as possible. Those are an About Us page and a Contact Us page. If you don't have these but your competitors do... it's a bit of a stretch to expect Google to rank you ahead of them.
Instead, search for Wix website templates which are multi-page but low in moving parts and allow a significant amount of text to be placed in the above-the-fold section.
If you follow the above steps, you'll be on the right track. I'm going to write a whole other article specializing on how to make your Wix website design more Google-friendly. But for now the main take-away I want you to have is that before you choose your Wix template, remember that there is a direct trade-off between beauty and good SEO.
Author: Tom Nelan. Wix Partner SEO.