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Why Wix Is Bad At SEO
Karlie Kloss Creates a Website with Wix.com

Why Wix Is Bad At SEO

It has become recently fashionable in the SEO sector to kick Wix, sorry to pile on, but Wix SEO is a bit of a joke frankly and I’m getting pretty annoyed with their practices and a particular YouTube campaign they are running.

Wix has been bombarding me (anyone else?) with ads from Karli Kloss about her new Wix website. It’s multiple times a day, often back to back. Very annoying. Set a frequency limit for your YouTube campaign, please? Thanks.

I had no idea who she was, and why would this attractive young woman be shilling free websites for Wix?

So, instead of just Googling it for myself I took out my annoyance on the Wix Twitter account. I really should have just Googled her, much more on that later.

Sorry Karlie, I spelled your name wrong in my Tweet. I still have no idea who you are aside from the basic bio. One question for you, if you can code, why are you using Wix for your website? You could do so much better on your own.

When I Googled Karlie Kloss, her website doesn’t show up on the first page of results.

Wait what?

Yes, karliekloss.com doesn’t rank #1 for “Karlie Kloss.” In fact it’s not even on the first page.

Wikipedia is number one, Instagram, Facebook, modeling profiles, Kode with Klossy, but the exact match domain is nowhere to be found. When you Google, “karlie kloss website” the exact match domain is #5, and it is behind a Karlie Kloss fan site. Not even on the first couple of pages. What’s going on? Ms. Kloss is a Victoria Secret model and runs a organization to help teach girls to code (which also runs their website on Wix). She seems very intelligent and admirable but she has hitched her wagon to the wrong team.

You really need to own your branded search. This is more like getting pwned.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the SERP. Don’t laugh, I still use Market Samurai, it’s great for quick and easy analysis of a SERP.

“Karlie Kloss” SERP Analysis

I had to add the domain to the analysis because it isn’t on the first page, it wasn’t ranked #1 just in case that looks confusing.

Couple of things that really stand out here: Index Count, Referring Domains, and Domain Age. The age of the domain is older that Kode with Klossy but has fewer domains linking to that site (omg the ad is playing on YouTube right now!), probably because of the recent launch. Index Count allegedly doesn’t matter that much, but large authoritative sites like Wikipedia and Amazon always seem to rank well.

Even so, the exact match domain should really rank better for that search term.

What really stands out is that Market Samurai can’t read the title, URL, meta description, or heading on the site. Highlighted in red on the spreadsheet. Google had this problem with Wix’s indexing, and this is a big problem. Screaming Frog was able to read those elements, so it’s probably more about Market Samurai’s crawler than Wix, but given Wix’s history with crawlers, it’s a safe bet that there are crawling issues.

This commenter was having the same issue with external crawlers on Wix. Also has two h1 tags like Karlie’s site.

Another major no-no is how the h1 tag was implemented. There are two tags when there should be one. There is a stylized ‘K’ and the h1 is tagged “alrie” and the second one is tagged, “Kloss.”

https://gist.github.com/keepkalm/4a3b36124cdd1749afb20004bbe5032e

It’s weird that the ‘K’ comes after in the code, it’s a jumble of nested divs so it’s difficult to tell what is going on with the layout. It’s not worth figuring out in my opinion, it’s not exactly web standard. There are ways to change the first character using CSS, it would be a lot cleaner than how it is now.

https://gist.github.com/keepkalm/4a3b36124cdd1749afb20004bbe5032e

I don’t want to count all the spans and inline styles and tell you how wrong it is. I really don’t. Not to mention the inline styles.

There is zero reason to code things like this. It just makes my head hurt and I am starting to think Wix is doing this on purpose. Even when you use the escaped fragment for AJAX, the code is not much better to read. The “Arlie Kloss” multiple h1 really sticks out.

So, there is a lot of content devoted to Karlie Kloss, 310,000 allintitle results. She is a model after all, people pay her to appear in their content. It’s not too unreasonable higher authority publications will outrank a recently launched website.

So let’s dig into the the results when you search specifically for “karlie kloss website?” The results are almost worse.

“Karlie Kloss Website” SERP Analysis

The press releases announcing the website launch are outranking the website.

That just shouldn’t happen. Even the investor blog for wix (running on ASP) is outranking the Wix site. And still getting beat out by the fan site. At least it is on the first page. Karlie, if you are reading this you might want to change your site title to, “Karlie Kloss | The Official Website of Karlie Kloss.” I can’t SEO that any more without looking really silly.

Although it may not help much if the title tag can’t be read by a crawler.

This is a superficial analysis that isn’t digging very deep into other issues like page speed or schema. You don’t graduate to the next hurdle when you trip over the first and when your code looks this bad there isn’t much point in further investigation. But I did anyway. No rel=”canonical” set. And the crawling/indexation issue still looks like it is a problem.

In fact when I ran My Free SEO Audit (embedded below) it found more indexation issues. No headings no images! What? Something is not right here.

Indexation is critical! You can only rank for what Google can read.

Wix is well aware of their SEO defiencies, their little “SEO Hero” straw-man stunt was enough to show how sensitive they are to that persistent criticism. But when your new spokesperson can’t rank an exact match domain, I’d say there are some serious SEO issues and there should be a healthy dose of embarrassment to go around at Wix HQ. They have had plenty of time to fix these issues and Wix SEO has not gotten any better.

Bad GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Wix is much better at marketing than they are at websites. They are almost as good as GoDaddy at making themselves seem like a respected tech company. Wix has really targeted small-business owners with their messaging directed at pain points: finding a web designer, direct expense, and technical ability.  They are quite effective from based on feedback I hear from clients. They always bring up Wix as a website option when we meet, and think WordPress is “just a blog.”

I find the WordPress ads for SMBs are more aspirational/inspirational than focused on pain points of business owners. I’m glad Automattic is advertising and I hope they keep at it and tweak the messaging slightly to let people know that WordPress is an easy and affordable option for a business website.

What good is a website without visitors?

Your presence on Google is key to that discovery. Google drives the vast majority of Internet traffic to websites. 25% of Internet traffic is just Google and more than 64% of total traffic to the rest of the web.

Even if Wix is free website builder, it’s still a poor value for your business and a big waste of time to figure out. The other cost is lost opportunity, missing out on additional traffic, and the time spent building something that cannot be expanded upon. You can’t run Google Analytics on Wix’s free version, you need to upgrade for that feature.

Wix isn’t really free.

Here’s our audit comparing the two Wix sites, if you can run your own SEO Audit for your site and keywords here.

Karlie Kloss Wix SEO Audit

Karlie Kloss Wix SEO Audit

If I were auditing this site I would fetch and render with Google Search Console to see what exactly Googlebot can crawl on this site. My suspicion is that it will be very enlightening on what is actually readable by Google. The variety of issues I encountered with my crawlers should be enough to raise anyone’s suspicions.

Something tells me not to trust Wix’s own SEO crawler, I am getting a premonition of a hardwired green lights. All is well, move along.

Just a final note, really want to be clear that this isn’t about Karlie Kloss, it’s about Wix. It’s not her fault that Wix is annoying people with their advertising practices on YouTube. And it’s certainly not her fault that Wix is Wix and is bad at SEO.

I’ll donate any ad revenue from this post to Kode With Klossy and even instruct a session on how to verify Google Search Console and install Google Analytics. Or even better, how to code this site from scratch.

So please share this post and stop building websites with Wix. Think of the children.

UPDATE: Google is deindexing karliekloss.com, there are two results for “site:karliekloss.com” and none of them are the actual home page.

UPDATE: Wix SEO Review f0r 2018, it’s not Wix, it’s your “developer.”

Google de-indexing karliekloss.com

Kyle Alm

Kyle Alm is CEO and founder of SEO Bandwagon, developing and executing online marketing strategies beyond Search Engine Optimzation for Fortune 500 companies, Mom & Pop businesses, and non-profit organizations.

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. What a load of Tosh
    Every one of my 30 odd Wix Website rank page 1 for their search term/s
    Haters will hate

    1. I feel like I was pretty thorough in my audit, factors not haters. If you want to list a couple of your search terms and I can make my next blog post about them.

    2. I’m sorry, but I instantly dismiss anyone who objects to anyone by calling them “haters.” It’s lazy and stupid and says so very much about the poster, none of it good.

      1. Ad hominem attacks are usually proof you were right all along.

  2. Let me explain, http://www.emeraldtrading.org.uk is built on wix ranking page one for keyword site clearances up against biffa which is the uk’s largest waste company. So please explain your non factual comments? This was achieved in less than 3 weeks.

    1. You’re position 45th….

  3. Ok I do the same as you local search
    I cover here Lowestoft is Suffolk’s second largest town (second to Ipswich) with an estimated population of 58,560 in 2010. Including the suburban areas of Oulton and Carlton Colville, which are part of the wider urban area, brings this population to 71,010

    Search Term “Fencers Lowestoft” “Fencing Lowestoft” Both page 1 position 1 respectively https://www.fencinglowestoft.com/
    Search Term ” Damp proofing Lowestoft” “Damp control Lowestoft” Page 1 https://www.dampoutltd.co.uk/
    Search Term ” Car valeting Lowestoft” “Car Detailing Lowestoft Page 1 https://www.autoshinelowestoft.co.uk/
    These can be crossed checked on my site
    I could go on every site bar none ranks page 1

      1. Your nit picking now Kyle Alm Wix sites rank OK

  4. If there are only seventeen pages with “fencers lowestoft” in the title, it probably isn’t that competitive or well trafficked.
    “Landscaping lowestoft” is a lot more competition, how well do you rank for that? It’s also in the title for your client.

    1. Page 1 for Landscaping Lowestoft

      1. Not from what I can see. Checked Google.com and Google.co.uk, can you link that SERP?

          1. By the way, you now can write your own code with WIX

  5. I have no idea what you are talking about, but her Wix website is ranked 3 in the first page right after Wiki and Twitter. I’m sorry but it looks like you are just a hater and not a respected SEO person

    1. Yeah Jonathon “Karlie Kloss” search term, Page 1 pos 2 under Wiki
      So what are you talking about KYLE?
      Karlie Kloss | Supermodel & Entrepreneur
      https://www.karliekloss.com/

      1. Rankings have been known to change over time. That is exactly what SEO is. Pretty sure I addressed that specifically in my post due to the recency of the launch of that site, not surprised that they have moved up in SERP, but by all rights that domain name should be #1.

        I’ll have to check and see if they made any changes, I know that I’ve been getting a lot of traffic from Wix HQ. I’ve got her ranked at #4 behind Wikipedia, Twitter, Instagram.

  6. I have done SEO since 2005 and I have built WordPress Sites since 2005. I am now a Certified Wix Trainer and Webmaster and I am moving my small business clients to Wix and OFF of WordPress. At the end of the day, remembering who our clients are, small to medium sized business owns who don’t have time for all that back end maintenance of WordPress. Sure WP may be better for SEO if the site owner knows SEO. Knows how to implement it on their site, understands how SEO plugins work, and has time to update their site, themes and plugins.
    Most biz owners don’t know squat about SEO, they get hacked and lose business. My last few clients WordPress Sites were hacked and one even lost his site to malware.
    So at the end of the day small to medium sized business owners find all this SEO mumbo jumbo gibberish all they want and need is a website that works, works well and offers the dedicated support that WP does not, that most of you all reading this, will charge the client for if they call to bother you.
    That said, WIX has spent not only millions improving their SEO, they also offer SEO Wizards right on the website that a normal business owner would know nothing about using WordPress, but Wix offers step by step instructions on how to use it.
    So you can knock Wix all you want but since clients are happy and their sites are ranking, well you can keep pumping your missinformation, but looking at my assessment of your website using my SEO tools , maybe you should take care of your own back yard and leave Wix to the professionals.

    1. Wix and professionals don’t belong in the same sentence together. There is ZERO misinformation in this post and it was 100% accurate at the time of publishing. Obviously rankings have changed over time.

  7. Thanks for the share Kyle, great article.

    I have one question.

    What are other bad sites like Wix?

    Kind regards,
    Filip

    1. I’ve not used Weebly personally, but I’ve heard a couple of bad stories since I’ve written this article. I haven’t used a platform other WordPress or Shopify unless a client comes to me with a site.

  8. My personal experience with Weebly has been great- ranked 20+ sites in the first position for my keyword and a few others. Wix has been a horrible experience, I could have done a case study just now showing what switching platforms did to my landscaping site. After almost a year and spending thousands on Backlinks, my site still would barely show up in Google. We re-built the same website in Weebly with a bit more content, and suddenly it started the Google Dance like no tomorrow- Page 8 the first day it indexed for targeted keywords, then page 12 the next day, then page 7, page 3, page 8, page 5. We’ll see what happens…

  9. Kyle – to support your argument, scraping websites built with Wix tools is indeed difficult. At our search engine iheartunique.com, we threw in the towel on Wix. Sure, we can use the headless browser tool ‘Selenium’ but that takes a lot of crawler time waiting for page loads (read that as Wix is also slow) so we put Wix sites on the future TO DO list. With that being said, Wix technology has handicaps when compared to the many other excellent site building tools, so why use it? A simple Google search on ‘Wix SEO’ turns up many hits most of which throw shade.

    1. Thanks Glen, and your final question is the most important. Why would anyone use Wix?

      I think they have been very successful in marketing to small-business pain points for web development: finding a developer, paying a developer, maybe getting a site, possibly not. There is a lot of uncertainty in a web development project. I’m still waiting on pictures and copy from clients who didn’t want to pay for that, so I think there is a general unpreparedness to make a website. Free is a great price point, and people will feel more personally invested because they made it. Sunk Cost Fallacy can apply to free products as well. I’ve even found “Wix Developers” who are charging $75/hour for development work. Unreal.

      So I don’t know. Even a free Google My Business at brand.business.site would have a better chance of ranking than anything on Wix. But if people don’t understand how websites get traffic and just think, “I need a website,” could possibly pick Wix without doing any research.

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