Wix, the Israel-based DIY website company, is running an SEO competition with a generous cash prize to anyone who can build a website and have it rank first in Google’s search results for the term “SEO Hero” by March 17.
Wix launched the competition in November in order to face down persistent rumors that the company’s build-your-own website platform is weak in terms of SEO. That reputation, they say, is simply false – any website can have excellent SEO, regardless of the platform it’s built upon. SEO value is entirely in the hands of a website’s creator, and anyone can achieve success in search results if they work hard and use the right techniques.
The winner of the competition will earn $50,000. If Wix’s own site ranks first by the contest deadline, the company will donate $25,000 of the cash prize to charity and then split the remaining half among the contest’s second, third and fourth place runners-up. You can check out their entry at giftedseohero.com.
Regardless of who wins, Wix has done a pretty effective job with this competition of getting people to talk about SEO and what makes for great website search results. Thousands of websites have entered the competition, the contest has earned a lot of press, and it’s also getting some nice buzz within the SEO community.
Wix launched the competition on Nov. 16 and gave all contestants four months to make their way to the top of Google’s search results. Since we’re now just days away from the March 17 deadline, we decided to check out some of the top competitors.
We have to admit: We were surprised to notice that a lot of the top competitors were actually built on Wix. But Wix has made a lot of recent updates to its SEO platform – technical features like easy verification through header codes; Google indexing; XML sitemaps and more, as well as an SEO wizard on all sites and the option to add alt text to all images – so that could explain the success of these sites.
One standout competitor built on the Wix platform is this site: www.wix-seo-expert.com. It’s chock full of useful info for optimizing your website, including “top tips” like:
- Make sure each page has a unique title tag
- Incorporate your keyword phrase in the first 100 words in your page’s content
- Research keywords that people are searching
The site also has a tab filled with SEO resources, Google Keyword Planner; a blog with lots of useful posts, and our favorite, a forum where users can ask questions and discuss SEO best practices.
So what’s the takeaway? Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter what platform you use to build your site, be it Wix or WordPress. If you want your SEO game to be strong, then you have to make sure your site is properly optimized for the search engines, according to the guidelines that Google sets.
If you are using WordPress and you want to optimize your site, one of the best ways is by using an easy plugin. Here are a three of our favorites:
- Yoast SEO: This is the go-to plug in for WordPressers, with more than 1 million downloads and growing. Yoast has lots of easy features for boosting SEO: You can assign keywords to your blog posts, it comes with XML sitemap for your WordPress site, and gives you a snippet view so you can keep an eye on how search results will look for each post. Best of all, it’s free.
- SEO Ultimate: This plugin goes beyond the basics, allowing you to edit the meta description for your posts and attachments, and puts all the control in your hands: you can tweak and change graph titles, images and content types on every single item that you post. You can also easily add rich snippet code to give search traffic a jumpstart.
- Premium SEO Pack: For those looking for SEO assistance at the next level, this plugin might very well be worth the cost. It comes with a range of features, including rich snippet integration and video sitemap. It provides local SEO, which for small businesses looking for a leg up on the competition can make a major difference. It also monitors the growth and reach of your social network.