Many small businesses and start-up’s consider Wix.com for their first foray into a website mainly because Wix is very user-friendly. Wix has made building a nice looking website pretty easy, if you have moderate skills. As a local web design company catering to small businesses, I’ve seen first-hand pretty much all of the popular site-builder platforms out there and I will say that out of all the D.I.Y. site builders, Wix is probably the very best in terms of easy-to-use and overall potential end product. I still prefer WordPress over Wix because of WordPress’ customization, globally-supported plugins (25+% of all websites on the web run on WordPress!) and the technical capabilities WordPress allows a developer or SEO expert to control. WordPress is especially ideal from an SEO standpoint. That said, Wix isn't bad... There's just a big misconception out there that SEO is automatic. Wix mentions throughout their site as well as in their marketing and their customer service/sales tactics that they offer “SEO features” and built-in SEO for all Wix sites. They even have a few premium hosting rates with “advanced SEO” included in their packages. Here are some of those features mentioned. I figured I’d delve into the built-in SEO features that Wix offers and analyze them, while also clearing up some confusion and misinformation that’s out there. All SEO items listed on the Wix site are good, very basic SEO checklist items. The items on the “SEO Basics” tab are important built-in features for the most part that certainly help a site, but are far from enough to make a site rank well. The page load time one I may be able to nitpick with but basically they’re all built-in features being provided. When you click onto their “Advanced SEO” tab, these are all things you have to not only understand well, but you have to do them yourself. For most people attempting to build your own website (likely to save some money in the beginning phase of your business) you’ll be challenged enough just trying to get the site to look like you want it to, let alone learn and master SEO techniques such as drafting the ideal page meta title and custom meta description for each of your pages carefully using your keyword and local city terms in a balanced way that appeals to potential searchers without coming across as spammy to Google. The majority of folks I’ve dealt with who’ve used Wix, basically skim over these important steps and about a month down the road they call me because they start looking up things like “SEO help” and “local SEO firm” on Google. Their nice new Wix site isn’t ranking. I take a quick look and see that all these basic SEO steps have been overlooked on their site. The thing I keep hearing over and over is “Well, it said that SEO was included in my site, so I figured it would rank.. I just don’t know…” Here’s the deal. When Wix says “SEO is included” it’s like McDonald’s saying they sell healthy food. Yeah, they may have apples as a side option on their menu, but they’re not a healthy food restaurant. The same kind of applies to Wix and SEO. Again, of all the D.I.Y. site builders out there, I think Wix is probably the best.. they do give you most of the tools you need to succeed. You just need to know what you’re doing to the level of an SEO professional if you’re going to give your site a good shot at ranking. Wix is not going to do the SEO for you like a good, reputable web designer / web design firm would. All your site’s images need their own customized keyword-rich alt text, custom-written meta titles and meta descriptions for each page, research of what city terminology gets queried the most in your region, in-links, content optimization and structure of page Headings, Sub-Headings, footer text and other little necessary SEO to-do’s. If you’re computer savvy, a little bit creative, and you have a light understanding of desktop publishing then you can certainly build yourself a nice Wix website. If having a site that ranks well on Google is of importance to you, I would just budget a little money to work with a local SEO professional that’s familiar with your market to help ensure all your SEO to-do’s are optimally in place. As a WordPress website designer catering to small businesses and start-up’s, my company offers all basic SEO (the items I’ve alluded to everywhere in this article) included in every site design/build we do. I feel there’s a tremendous value in that. We’re happy to work with anyone’s Wix site they’ve made themselves and help them get it ranking for them too… but if we can save anyone the time and heartache of trying to build a site on their own and failing at SEO, we’re all about offering a better all-in-one solution. A custom WordPress site using top-notch SEO plugins such as All in One SEO Pack or SEO Yoast along with our expertise in optimizing site content, speed and all SEO best practices is the best bet for most folks! -Marc Marc Bethel is Co-Owner of Commonwealth Creative Marketing, a full-service marketing specializing in website design in Virginia Beach, VA. Read more posts by Marc at https://ccm-web.com/blog/.