(DIFFICULTY LEVEL: EASY) Google recently revealed their top 3 SEO (search engine optimization) ranking factors, with Links and Content at the top and the new RankBrain bringing up the rear. However, Google looks at literally hundreds of signals, or factors, to determine page ranking so we need to think holistically when implementing SEO on your website. Below is a chart highlighting many of the most important ranking signals that should be taken into consideration when developing SEO.
(source: http://searchengineland.com/seotable. Download a high resolution PDF with descriptions HERE)
Thankfully, Wix has built in numerous features that formerly required more extensive knowledge of SEO. This blog post is going to be a complete front-to-back list of all the steps you can take within Wix to maximize your business website search results. Ok, so lets begin at the beginning shall we?
1. Make sure your Wix site has the search function enabled
The easiest thing to check is if you are allowing search engines - like Google or Bing - to include your site in their search results:
- Click Site at the top bar of your Editor.
- Click Site Settings.
- Click the SEO tab.
- Click the toggle next to Allow search engines to include your site in search results:
Enabled: People can find your site when searching keywords and phrases in search engines (e.g. Google).
Disabled: People cannot find your site when searching keywords and phrases in search engines (e.g. Google).
If you are still using the older Wix editor, then the image below will show you where to find the SEO status. By the way, the new Wix editor is still as simple to use as the older one, just be prepared to spend a little time acquainting yourself with the layout as some features have moved so new ones could be added.
2. Optimize the SEO of each page on your website
Optimizing each page of your website will increase your site's visibility to search engines by giving them key information with which to understand the nature of your website. To define your SEO Page Settings:
- Click the Pages Menu on the top bar of the Editor.
- Click the relevant page.
- Click the Show More icon.
- Click Page SEO.
- Enter your page title as it is meant to appear on search engines results pages.
- Enter a page description: Describe your page’s content to draw users into clicking on it from search results.
- Enter page keywords: Add keywords that are relevant to your page, separated by with commas.
- Click the toggle next to Hide the page from search results to enable or disable the option:
Enabled: People cannot find your page when searching keywords and phrases in search engines (e.g. Google). This is useful if you don’t want to publish your page yet.
Disabled: People can find your page when searching keywords and phrases in search engines.
Enter the page URL under What’s the page URL?. This text becomes part of your site address.
Below is a sample of the old Wix editor layout for each individual page SEO.
TIP: When you are adding your keywords, remember that generalized keywords will have a lot of competition to be seen. For example in my case, as a creative director living in the Greater Vancouver area, some keywords that I may use are; Design, Logo, Video, Vancouver. However, it would be better for me to incorporate more specific keyword terms that identify me and where I'm located; e.g.: Bowen Island Graphic Designer, Bowen Island Photographer, Bowen Island Videographer or Bowen Island Creative Director.
3. Adding H1 Tags
When you are creating your webpages, be sure to include a single H1 or Heading tag. Think of this as the same as a newspapers headline which allows search engines to understand the content on each webpage.
To add your H1 tag:
- Click Add on the left side of the Editor.
- Click Text.
- Click Site Title.
- Click the text element on your page.
- Click Edit Text.
- Edit the text. Easy Peasy!
4. Adding Alt text to your images.
This is an often overlooked way to give your SEO a boost. Your images cannot be understood by search engines at this time, but if you add Alt text, then Google and other engines can 'read' what the image is. Adding Alt text also allows you to incorporate keywords if they are appropriate to the image context.
To add Alt Text to an image:
- Click the image.
- Click the Settings icon.
- Enter a description of the image under What’s in the image? Tell Google.
5. Create new content regularly.
Search engines are looking for original content. This means you will get a higher search engine result from both the quality and quantity of your websites content.
Make sure the content you are adding is relevant, original and of excellent quality. Google now focuses on semantically comprehensive content and what this means is that you cannot just focus on keywords, but have to write content that is relevant context. For example, Google knows that the word 'logo' is relevant in an article in which the word 'design' occurs, while this is not likely true of the word 'carrot'. This is called co-occurance analysis.
Search engines are also increasing ranking higher for long-form content with an average count of 1140 words in top website search results.
Another important factor for search engines is the 'Flesch Readability' score. In this case search engines give higher scores to content that is easy to read. Of course, this is relevant to your audience as a beginners guide would be simpler than content written for the scientific community.
(Source: Searchmetrics - Search Ranking Factors 2015 )
6. Optimize User Experience
Search engines are increasingly counting user experience as a top ranking factor. What this means is if your audience is clicking through search results to your website and are they staying longer and not bouncing away sooner - your SEO rankings will increase.
Again, consider carefully how you structure your website to increase it's comprehension and the ease of use for your audience. As well, when creating new content, be sure to enrich it with relevant images and video. Images and Video dramatically increases the amount of time users spend on your website as well as lowers bounce rate.
7 Make your content sharable
Great, relevant, long-form and media-rich content is more often shared on all social media than short content. Google says that it is not using social sharing signals to rank websites, however the top websites have more than twice as many shares as their nearest competitors. If nothing else, social signals definitely increase direct traffic, brand awareness and the overall online performance of your website.
(source: Buzzsumo )
To set-up your webpage Social Media Bar Links:
- Click the Social Bar element.
- Click Set Social Links.
- Click one of the social network icons.
- Click inside the link field on the right side.
- Select Web Address from the list.
- Enter the relevant URL (this should be your social URL, e.g. http://www.facebook.com/wix).
- Select if you want the URL to open in new window or the current window.
- Click Done.
- Repeat Steps 3-8 for all of your icons.
- Click Done.
At any time you can add, remove, replace or reorder your social media icons.
Be sure to share your social media on your blog articles as well. The process is the same as described above and worth the effort to have your readers expand your reach with their social networks.
Learn more about Google's search optimization guidelines HERE
8. Submit your sitemap to Google
Another great feature of Wix is that the platform automatically builds your sitemap as well as updates it dynamically whenever you make any changes - this saves us a ton of work!
TIP: If you are curious to see your sitemap, just add /sitemap.xml to the end of your domain. eg: www.palbergwerx.com/sitemap.xml
First we have to verify the domain with Google. Go to the Google Search Console HERE and add your site to your managed properties. Then choose the verification method called 'HTML tag'. If the recommended method does not work, use the alternative method given by Google (Google verification support).
Once you have your header code, go back to your Wix editor and add the header codes:
- Access Site Settings from inside the Editor.
- Click the SEO tab.
- Scroll down to More SEO Settings.
- Paste the header codes in the text box under Header Code - Meta Tags.
- Be sure to publish your site afterwards.
As seen in the image below of the old Wix editor the process is similar. Begin by choosing the gear icon on the far left, then select SEO (Google) and then click the Advanced SEO Settings link at the bottom right. Now you will be presented with an area to paste your HTML code into. Again, don't forget to publish your website.
- And lastly, click the Google Verify button at the bottom of the Google Search Console
Ok, now your site is verified with Google the hard part is over and the remaining steps are all down hill.
To submit your sitemap:
Select your site on your Google Search Console home page.
Click ADD/TEST SITEMAP.
Click Submit Sitemap.
Finally, you might want to take advantage of Wix's free SEO Wizard. This app will review your site and give you a detailed report - a great way to double check for errors which could effect your SEO results.