When you're trying to decide which website provider to use for your small business, you start to research options and then you'll naturally ask for recommendations from others.
At this point you might encounter certain opinions concerning how good Wix / Squarespace are for your ability to be discovered - and we have to be careful who we are listening to and who to trust.
Want to know who I DO trust when it comes to an opinion on Wix and how good it is for your rankings in search? Google itself.
What does Google say about Wix?
Here is what Google's John Mueller has to say about Wix:
You use Wix or Squarespace or one of the other providers, and whereas in the past you would say "if you use one of these providers then you get a really basic website and it doesn't do anything good for SEO"
But nowadays...they (Wix / Squarespace) understand all of these SEO basics, and it works straight out of the box. Which is a really great thing - John Mueller
And it is a great thing - because website platforms such as Wix / Squarespace are putting freedom and control back in the hands of the business owner, which I for one think is a very good thing indeed.
As Google's Search Advocate, John Mueller holds a lot of clout in the website world, so it's worth paying attention to what he says.
It's nice to see Google acknowledging the power of Wix and other website building platforms. It's refreshing and I hope that in time this opinion will flood through the rest of the industry, because there is currently a lot of resentment from many designers who are not open to the alternatives to Wordpress.
But we're not here to talk about that today, we're here to talk about what Google says we should be doing to maximise our chances of showing up.
4 things Google recommends that small businesses focus on to get your website found
What does Google (or John in this case) recommend we do as small businesses to show up in their rankings?
1) Focus on building a strong website first
Build a strong business and build a strong website that supports it. Create great content that is helpful to your audience - put in the work upfront. Google's Helpful Content update means that it will
2) Show Google and your users that you have great content
Put the basics of SEO in place across your website and blog. Use headings, descriptions and titles that are a match for what people are actually searching for on Google, and make sure that you back it up with content that is helpful and relevant for those search terms.
3) Let your business stand out with custom images
Nowadays more searches are based upon Image Search than ever before, so make sure you are your imagery is tantalising to your prospective leads and prompts a click through.
This is how you can stand out in your market and give people an idea of what they can expect when they engage with your brand.
So don't just use the same stock photography that everyone else does (although of course stock photography is a really useful tool for marketing your business).
Showcase your products and personal brand with unique, professional photography to elevate your online presence.
4) Create a clean, easy to follow structure for people to follow
Focus on clarity of message, navigation and usability so that your visitors have a great experience and spend time on your site - if your people are happy, then Google will be happy!
What does all of this mean?
All of this says to me that as Google evolves, the technical side of website optimisation carries less weight, and it is becoming more and more about creating distinction in your brand, content and photography whilst at the same time providing a great user-experience for your website visitors.
This is a short and sweet post inspired by my podcast playlist and musings whilst the gym this morning, I hope you've found something useful in it.
If you need help to create the brand, website or imagery that will set your business apart and empower you to share your message and create ripples in the world, then please do get in touch.
I'm a brand designer, photographer and Wix website designer based in the UK. I help wellness & creative businesses build their brand and online presence through photography and web, brand & human design, so that they can create positive ripples in the world.
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