Wix SEO Competition

Nowadays, the battle for online presence is intense, and without a high-quality website, no business can hope to survive or prosper. But what about the platforms used for building websites? We might not always think about it, but the battle behind the scenes to provide these platforms is just as fierce. One organisation, Wix, has steadily been building its reputation and is currently preparing a publicity drive in the form of a competition to rank searches for ‘Wix SEO’ on Google.

A large amount of prize money is available to the winner, and the people at Wix are doing their best to get everyone talking about it. Here, we take a look at the Wix SEO competition and why the emergence of Wix may be challenging the established order in the web design community.

What is Wix?

So let’s start at the beginning – what is Wix? Wix is a web development platform that is designed to allow novice and expert web designers alike to create slick and professional-looking websites with a minimum of fuss.

The basic service is free and includes customisable templates, offers the possibility to add advanced features such as an online store or online bookings, and is now optimised for all devices including laptops, tablet and smartphones.

The platform offers a user-friendly drag-and-drop interface and offers over 500 ready-made templates to choose from. Features like Artificial Design Intelligence then allow the user to personalise their site to make it stand out from the crowd.

Wix also offers a number of premium features available to subscribers only – which is how the site makes its money.

Wix has been around since 2006, with the beta version first appearing in 2007. However, in the early days, Wix had a reputation as being an underperformer in terms of SEO. Which brings us to…

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and in the simplest terms – in a world where there is really only one search engine that counts – this relates to how well sites rank on Google.

If you own a business, you want people to find you when they do a Google search for the service you provide or the product you sell. Research has shown that 95% of clicks come from the first page of Google results – and 58% come from the top three.

The implications are clear: if you want people to find your business, you need to rank highly when people search for terms relevant to your business. When people are searching for your service or product, you need to do everything you can to make sure you are the first result that shows up.

SEO, then, is the art and the science of boosting your ranking on Google. Through the use of SEO keywords – and a lot more technical stuff we don’t need to dip into here – you can help your website climb the Google rankings. You can increase your visibility, and in doing so, give your business a huge boost.

Is Wix bad for SEO?

So as we said, the old Wix had something of a poor reputation in terms of Google rankings. It was generally thought that if your site was built on the Wix platform, you were putting yourself at a big disadvantage because the way Wix was set up made it much more difficult to improve your SEO and your search results.

For example, there were no SEO tools or a Wix app that allowed a search engine preview to see how your site was performing. It also didn’t offer the ability to work with an SEO plugin like Yoast for WordPress.  Furthermore, Wix URLs used to include a ‘#’ symbol, which couldn’t be read by search engines, essentially making your site invisible. In short, the ‘old’ Wix made it practically impossible to have a joined-up and coherent SEO strategy that would allow you to boost your visibility online.

But things change.

Those were the old days. Wix has evolved since then, and nowadays, at least as far as Search Engine Optimisation is concerned, Wix is a completely different beast.

Wix now offers users a service called Wix SEO Wiz, something that can be seen as the Wix equivalent of a plugin like Yoast.

For beginners, Wix SEO Wiz provides a step-by-step guide to boosting visibility and improving a site’s ranking on Google. It also helps new users understand the importance of each action the site prompts them to take, so by using it, you don’t only improve the visibility of your site, but you also increase your skill level at the same time.

As an extra bonus, it also includes a checklist for the greenest of website design rookies to help them avoid missing any vital steps.

The guys at Wix have made several other improvements to the way the platform runs too, but in a nutshell, the site no longer deserves its former reputation as being an SEO dead end.

And having made these improvements, the smart people running Wix wanted to think up a way to let everyone know how much better their platform had become.

What was the SEO Hero competition?

As a way of making some noise, Wix came up with a smart plan to advertise their platform’s increased levels of SEO performance: they launched a contest – the SEO Hero competition.

The premise was simple. In order to demonstrate the SEO potential of Wix, the company challenged competing web designers and SEO experts around the world to make their sites – built on any platform – rank higher than Wix’s site for the search item ‘SEO Hero’.

And to make sure they had everybody’s attention, as well as to keep the contest as competitive as possible, they offered a prize of $50,000 to the winner.

What’s happening now?

That was all back in 2016, and the winner, Paris-based SEO consultant Walid Gabteni, was announced as the winner of the competition in April 2017.

For Wix, the competition was a success. They made waves in the world of SEO, created a buzz around their platform and largely consigned their unfavourable reputation to the past. The platform is now much more respected, and experts generally accept that the platform is a viable alternative to more traditional options like WordPress for building your company’s website.

However, it appears the people at Wix are not satisfied with the progress they have made. Since 2016, their platform has continued to evolve and improve, and the guys at Wix have obviously decided that the time has arrived to demonstrate their progress to the world once again.

And so now they are preparing to launch the second edition of their competition.

This time around, the competition is a little different – it’s taking the form of a Wix Lovers vs Wix Haters SEO battle. The new SEO keyword will be ‘Wix SEO’, and the competing teams will attempt to rank this keyword as high as possible, the Lovers using the Wix platform and the Haters using any other platform of their choosing.

Not just anybody can join the contest. The participants will be selected by Lukasz Zelezny, a well-known SEO keynote speaker, social media marketing expert and author. However, it’s well worth getting involved if you’ve got what it takes and you’re feeling competitive – the prize money for the second edition is $25,000 for the winning team and $10,000 for the losing team.

The deadline to enter was 6th June.

Wix pricing – how does it work?

Here’s some more information about how Wix works.

Basic access to Wix’s suite of tools that allow you to design and build your own website is free. However, they also offer four subscription packages that provide a number of extra services.

The ‘Connect Domain’ package costs €4.50/month and gives you 1Gb of bandwidth to allow you to incorporate more sophisticated media into your site, 500MB of storage and the ability to connect your own personalised domain name. However, with this package, your site will still display Wix brand ads.

The ‘Combo’ package, at €8.50/month, gives 2GB of bandwidth, 3GB of storage, the ability to connect your domain name, removes Wix ads, gives you a $75 ad voucher and allows you to upload up to 30 minutes of videos.

The most popular package is the ‘Unlimited’ deal. For €12.50/month, you receive unlimited bandwidth, 10GB storage and the possibility to upload one hour of videos – along with the $75 of ad vouchers. You also get a site booster app and a visitor analytics app, worth $60 each.

The ‘VIP’ package has everything in the ‘Unlimited’ package but just bigger, including 20GB of storage, as well as a professional logo (worth $50), VIP support and more.

Best Wix websites

Let’s have a look at a couple of Wix websites to see the kind of thing the platform allows you create – check out these links to see for yourself some of the possibilities.

This website, Beardtamer, is a simple but highly effective Wix site that is uncluttered, easy to use and highly professional. The site, in German, introduces the product – a type of beard oil – and the important ingredients. The site incorporates a number of high-quality photographs of some immaculately cared-for beards, and the content is uncomplicated, capturing the essence of the product being sold.

This second Wix website, Takenaka Bento Box, is slightly more sophisticated. It features a front page filled with colourful but minimalist photographs of the product, clearly projecting the image the company wants to convey. The site then offers a number of other tabs and drop-down menus with links to pages containing further details about the different products available as well as a blog and an FAQs section.

As you can see from just these two examples, choosing a Wix site gives you plenty of scope for creativity and allows you to demonstrate your product and company ethos in a unique and original way that will help you stand out from the crowd.

Wix vs WordPress

How does Wix fare against the competition? Let’s compare it with probably the most popular web platform there is – WordPress.

Although Wix has been gaining in popularity in recent years, it still can’t touch WordPress for sheer numbers of users – WordPress is the platform behind around of third of the world’s websites. However, Wix and WordPress are actually very different tools, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.

While Wix is a website builder, WordPress is a Content Management System (or CMS for short). WordPress is also open source, which means anyone can use it, modify it or produce plugins that work with it.

Without going deep into the details, the result of these major differences is that Wix is far more user-friendly and easier for a beginner to pick up and start using while WordPress takes longer to learn but offers more flexibility and customisability.

Furthermore, while WordPress offers far more features, themes and possibilities, there can often be compatibility issues, and it can often be a headache trying to get a particular plugin to work the way you want it to.

On the other hand, the options, features and themes available on Wix are much more limited in number – but you know they will all work together the way they are supposed to. With Wix, you know you aren’t going to lose whole afternoons pulling your hair out trying in vain to make your site work properly.

And then there’s the issue of support. Wix offers a full range of support options, including phone, chat and email. With WordPress, you might be able to get support for a particular plugin you’ve bought – but there’s no central help system to turn to if you get stuck.

This is a very brief comparison of two very different systems, but to summarise, Wix is great for the less experienced web designer who doesn’t want anything too unusual and who just wants a website that works. However, if you need more flexibility to include special features not so commonly seen, WordPress is the platform that will let you do it.

To put it another way, Wix has been designed to let anyone create their own professional-looking website without the need for in-depth knowledge or professional-level skills. Instead of relying on experts, just about anyone can open a Wix account and make their own high-quality website for free.

And in terms of SEO? Let’s wait until we know the results of the second competition!

Will Wix succeed in changing the landscape?

Wix has grown hugely in recent years, and the services provided have evolved into something far superior to what was being offered not so long ago. The second competition is clearly designed to help the company shed its old reputation as an inferior platform for web design. While Wix is still a long way from challenging the ubiquitous but more complicated WordPress, the results of the competition may suggest a bright future for this fun and intuitive site builder. And if you think you’ve got what it takes to win the contest, why not try building your own Wix SEO site to see how you do?