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UPDATED: March 17, 2016
Back in October of 2015, we warned you about the downfalls of free websites. We get a lot of inquiries about the free site building platform Wix specifically.
Late last year, Google confirmed that Wix websites were not being indexed and ranked by Google. However, Google is now ranking and indexing Wix websites. While this is good news for business owners who promote their goods and services through the platform, we still don’t recommend using Wix. And here’s why:
Wix websites use hash-bang URL structure, which is not exactly SEO-friendly.
This tag is mostly used to tell search engines that a given page should be treated as though it were a copy of the main URL, and that all the metrics the engines apply should actually be credited toward the original URL.
Because Wix uses rel=canonical tags, the authority of each service or product page built on a Wix website ultimately suffers, decreasing the SEO value of all web pages aside from your home page. When your SEO value is negatively affected, this can result in lower search rankings and, in turn, fewer leads generated from your website.
ORIGINAL POST: October 15, 2015
We warned you about the real cost of free websites before, but things just got a whole lot uglier for business owners who chose to use the free site building platform, Wix, for their company’s website.
Yesterday morning, Google confirmed that Wix websites are currently NOT being indexed and ranked by Google and that the issue first cropped up about two weeks ago.
Two weeks?! Not being indexed or ranked in Google search results means no organic website traffic (and therefore no organic website leads and sales) for TWO WEEKS. For anyone investing in SEO—where rankings, organic traffic, and organic leads and sales are the goal—that’s absolutely devastating.
Search Engine Land reported that Google’s team is working to fix the indexing issue and that “the best bet for anyone using a Wix website is to just wait it out.”
Why I Would Lose My Sh*t If Google De-Indexed My Website or One of My Client’s Websites for Two Weeks
Here’s the problem with waiting it out with your Wix website. For many businesses, their website is their #1 source of new business. So when you cut off organic traffic from the largest search engine to your most powerful lead generation and sales tool, that’s going to hurt all the way down to your bottom line.
Let me demonstrate just how much it might hurt.
If you typically generate $125,000 in revenue each month from SEO (about $4032 a day) and your Wix website has already been de-indexed for two weeks, that’s $56,448 in revenue you’ve already lost. Furthermore, for every additional minute you “wait it out” to see if Google is going to re-index your Wix website, you lose another $2.80 in revenue from SEO. FOR EVERY FLIPPIN’ MINUTE!
Let’s Use This Wix/Google Catastrophe to Learn a Very Valuable Lesson
The current Wix/Google catastrophe is not the only reason I would advise a business owner against using a free website builder:
- DIY websites aren’t going to look as good as professionally designed ones. Free website builders have gotten more advanced over the years—it’s true—but if your website is the first impression someone has of your business, don’t you want the design to look as polished and professional as possible?
- Do you like customization? Too bad. You’re going to have pretty much the same template and features as everyone else, which could be a problem depending on the type of look and functionality you’re aiming for.
- Unless you’re good at SEO, you’ll probably have poor search engine visibility for your DIY website (or in the case of Wix for the last two weeks—no visibility at all!).
- What about content? You need well-written content to not only rank in search engine results but also to educate consumers on your products and services. Are you going to write that yourself? Wix certainly isn’t going to write it for you.
- Who’s going to troubleshoot your site code and structure issues? Or your website downtime problems? Or if your website gets hacked? Are you going to spend that time sorting through the FAQs in the Wix help center? Wouldn’t you rather just have a dedicated webmaster you could call? Here is one of ours—he’s the best.
I understand that the cost of a new website can seem steep in the short term. But what about how much revenue it’s likely to generate for you in the long term? For most of our clients, their website is their #1 source of new business. Many of our clients are small-to-medium-sized home service businesses who generate around five figures worth of revenue from their website alone every month.
Is a free website better than no website at all? Yes. But my guess is you’re going to eventually realize that your website-centric marketing activities (SEO, PPC, etc.) produce the lowest cost per lead and the highest ROI and you’ll eventually decide to go all-in with your website. Why not just do it now?
About The Author:
Blue Corona is a data-driven online marketing company with offices in Gaithersburg, MD and Charlotte, N.C.
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