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14 Cheap & Effective Small-Business Marketing Strategies

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14 Cheap & Effective Small-Business Marketing Strategies

Looking for a good marketing strategy that won’t break the bank?

Call them strategies or tactics, but here are 14 ways you can promote your business that a) work, b) don’t require a large budget, and c) won’t hurt your brand in the long run.

1. Work with your customers to improve your product/service

Before pouring resources into any promotion strategies, make sure your clients are happy with your product or service. Otherwise, you may end up with the leaky bucket effect.

Leaky funnel effect in marketing

The leaky bucket effect is when you spend resources to bring people to your website, but they don’t perform any action on it and don’t come back.

Usually, it happens when businesses focus only on promotion and forget about the value their offer brings the customer. 

Of course, you’ll never be able to turn 100% of website visitors into customers. However, when you’re starting to notice none of your marketing tactics bring results, you need to introduce changes to either how you drive traffic to the website, your pricing, or even what you offer. 

This is your chance to ask your customers what they like and what can be improved. You can use that data to improve your marketing communications or even your product because, chances are, other people will like/dislike the same things. 

Also, as you start talking with your customers, you may even come across candidates for brand ambassadors. 

How to get started 

Reach for some basic market research tools: 

  • Surveys – Can be performed 100% online for free with tools like Google Forms or Survicate. You can use them for measuring customer satisfaction. 
  • Interviews – Allow for face-to-face discussions. Can be performed even without a predefined structure. Often used for exploratory purposes. 
  • Internal data – Draw conclusions from reported issues and online reviews. If possible, interview your customer-facing employees. 

Recommended reading: How to Achieve Product-Market Fit (5 Steps)  

2. Get a Google Business Profile (and optimize it)

In case you haven’t created/claimed your Google Business Profile yet, make sure you do. It’s one of the most important marketing tools for small businesses operating locally. 

Google Business Profile makes your business visible to potential customers in your vicinity in three ways: 

1. Google Map Pack:

Google Map Pack

2. Google Maps:

Google Business Profiles in Google Maps

3. Local knowledge panel (when the search query includes your brand’s name):

Local knowledge panel

How to get started 

Create or claim (option for already created GBPs) your Google Business Profile for free here.

And to make sure your profile is optimized, you can read our guide on the topic.  

3. List your business in relevant directories 

We’re talking about websites that offer listings of businesses like yours, providing basic information like address, operating hours, contact information, website, etc. 

Some directories are free; others are paid. But you may want to consider even the paid ones because directories give you three significant benefits:

  1. It’s the quickest way to get your business to the first page of Google for competitive keywords. 
  2. Your business will show up in search results of those directories.
  3. Citations (mentions of your business) in local directories can increase your chances of showing up in the Google Map Pack. 
SERP dominated by business directories
SERPs for keywords with local intent are often dominated by local directories.

How to get started 

List your business, starting from:

  • Big data aggregators like Express Update and Neustar Localeze.
  • Core platforms like Facebook, Bing Places, Apple Maps, and Better Business Bureau. 
  • Industry and local sites relevant to your business (e.g., FindLaw for lawyers, Tripadvisor for hotels).

You can list your business manually or use a submission service to manage your citations from one place. You can also see where your competitors got their citations and go after the same ones. 

Two resources that will help you in this process:

4. Manage your online reputation

According to a study by BrightLocal, 91% of people regularly or occasionally read online reviews, and 84% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

And it makes sense when you think about it. When dozens of people have tried a product before you, it’s hard to completely ignore their opinions. 

Moreover, positive reviews can impact rankings in the Google Map Pack. 

How many SEOs think reviews are most important ranking factor

How to get started 

Ask your customers to leave online reviews and try to answer all of them (good or bad). This will show existing and potential customers that you really care.

You can ask for reviews whenever you get a chance to contact your customers (personally, via email, via text message, in a thank-you note after purchase, etc.). But you can also use tools for generating reviews like this one from Google.

"Request reviews" tool by Google

You can easily find online tools for managing your reviews. Some examples are Grade.us, ReviewPush, etc.

5. Tap into search demand with SEO content 

SEO content is any kind of content designed to rank in search engines. 

When your content ranks, it can drive consistent, organic search traffic without any additional costs. That’s when you tap into search demand. 

Organic traffic to one of our articles
One of our blog posts gets an estimated 6.9K traffic from search engines a month. We’d have to spend about $4.7K to get similar traffic through ads.

The basis of this strategy is finding relevant keywords with traffic potential. The more relevant the keywords, the higher the chance that the traffic you get will convert into sales or other forms of engagement you need. 

Organic keywords report
Ahrefs shows us that this article ranks for 104 keywords in the U.S. But we only had to target one keyword when creating that article.

It’s good to keep in mind that even when you rank #1, it’s not forever. You may need to revisit your content and update it when your rankings drop. 

How to get started 

First, determine if SEO content is right for your business. This is the case if the answer to at least one of the below questions is yes:

  • Are people looking online for what you sell or do?
  • Are people looking online for solutions to problems your business helps to solve? 

You can answer that using a keyword tool. You can use our free keyword generator to look up keywords that pop into your mind. You can even check their search demand in different countries and four different search engines. 

Keyword ideas for handmade soap via Ahrefs' free keyword generator

Once you determine that SEO is worth it for you, use our detailed step-by-step guide on creating SEO content

6. Encourage user-generated content

Selling something that looks good in a photo or video? 

Ask your customers to share a picture or a short video featuring your product. Happy customers create more happy customers. 

Review with pictures answered by the business owner

How to get started 

Saying something as plain as “share your photo with us” may not be enough. 

You can encourage more user-generated content (UGC) when you make your request more exciting or offer something in return.

For example, brands like Vans or Apple launched an official hashtag for users and fans. Sharing photos under those hashtags creates a feeling of being part of something bigger and gives people a chance to pay attention to them. 

#shotoniphone social media campaign

Brands, such as clothing company Pakker Trousers, launch contests where people can win stuff for sharing a photo of themselves using the product. 

One of the entries for a contest run by Pakker Trousers
One of the entries for a contest run by Pakker Trousers.

7. Create a free resource

Sharing a free resource can attract visitors and give them a taste of your offer. Think ebooks, product samples, online calculators, free courses, free consultations, and so on. 

Fragrance Calculator from Nurture Soap
Fragrance Calculator from Nurture Soap, a small company selling soap-making supplies. One of three free resources on its site (all three bring organic traffic).

If your business relies on direct contact or has a long sales cycle, you can ask for contact information in return for your free resource. This type of marketing tool is called a lead magnet

Free consultation lead magnet

How to get started 

Start with choosing a proven topic for your free resource. 

One of the methods is doing keyword research. Not only will you know what actually interests people, but you’ll also have a chance to rank for relevant keywords and drive organic traffic to your resource for free. 

Here’s how you can do it in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer

  1. Plug in a topic or thing relevant to your business 
  2. Go to the Matching terms report
  3. Limit the results to some popular resource types, e.g., a calculator 
  4. Sort and filter results based on provided SEO metrics, such as search volume, Keyword Difficulty (KD), or Traffic Potential (TP)
Matching terms report with applied filter

You can also find proven topics by analyzing your competitors and studying your niche. See this guide for details

8. Start a video blog (with SEO in mind) 

Video marketing is especially good for two things: 

  • It helps to attract customers – 70% of viewers bought from a brand after seeing it on YouTube (Google). 
  • It helps to educate your audience – 96% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service (Wyzowl). 

And if you combine video blogging with SEO, you get a highly engaging content format with free distribution. 

SERP showing YouTube videos
These videos with matcha cookie recipes show up on the first page for “matcha cookies”—that’s free traffic.

How to get started 

Find video topic ideas with search demand: 

  1. Go to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer and paste “youtube.com” as the URL 
  2. Go to the Organic keywords report 
  3. In the keyword filter, insert relevant keyword(s) for your business and hit “Apply”
YouTube videos about matcha that get organic traffic from Google

From that point, you can adjust the filters and sort the results to fine-tune your research. 

Let’s move one step back because video blogging is not something everybody “feels” like doing. 

Equipment cost, talent, and a language barrier. These are some common objections to doing video marketing. But based on our experience, they are not deal breakers. Here’s what our video marketing master has to say about that:

Recommended viewing: YouTube SEO: How to Rank YouTube Videos #1 

9. Do SEO for your existing content

Sometimes, you don’t need to create new content to get more traffic. 

Your old content may just need an SEO “do-over.” 

Line graph showing updated content experiences spike in organic traffic

How to get started 

You need to find a good candidate for the do-over. Not every page will be a good fit.

To do this, you will need two things:

  • This guide – Go ahead and try everything from this guide, from improving the click-through rate of your top-performing content to going after featured snippets.
  • SEO tools – Data on keywords and backlinks from your and your competitors’ sites can come from a tool like Ahrefs’ Site Audit. And data on your click-through rates from search engines will need to come from a tool specific to the search engine. For Google, this will be Google Search Console. For Bing, it’s Bing Webmaster Tools

10. Repurpose your existing content 

Repurposing content is about taking existing content and “repacking” it for other marketing channels. 

This simple technique allows you to reach a wider audience without the need to create new content from scratch. 

So for example, a blog post can become a video, or a course, or a series of social media posts, and so on and vice versa. 

Article repurposed into a video
On the right is the original article. On the left is the article repurposed into a video. 

How to get started 

You can take your best-performing content and repurpose it for other marketing channels. If it worked in one place, it probably would in other places too. 

Sometimes, you can repurpose content that didn’t perform well in the past (but you have reasons to think it will work elsewhere). For example, you can take your unique, quality articles that just didn’t get enough backlinks to challenge fierce competition on the SERPs and share them in a different format on social media platforms. 

Influencer marketing article's SEO metrics
Example: Our guide to influencer marketing gets only 26 organic visits a month due to low rankings on the SERPs (high keyword difficulty).
Influencer marketing video's video metrics
On the other hand, the video repurposed from that article seems to do a lot better on YouTube.

For the above techniques, follow our full guide on content repurposing

11. Get in front of other people’s audience 

Chances are, your target audience is similar to other websites’ existing target audience. And that’s a good thing. 

You may reach somebody else’s audience with your message through: 

  • Getting featured in podcasts and newsletters.
  • Guest blogging. 
  • Getting featured in relevant rankings and reviews. 
Home organization businesses ranking

Except for newsletters (without a web format), all of the above are also opportunities for getting a direct link to your website—which may help boost your SEO. And even being featured in a newsletter may indirectly lead to links from newsletter subscribers. 

How to get started 

Method 1. Use Google with search operators to find opportunities 

Helpful operators here are: “AND”, “OR”. You can use them to find websites that meet complex queries instead of just one keyword.

Looking for guest posts using Google
This query with operators means “show me websites that accept a ‘guest post’ or ‘guest article’ and contain the word ‘blockchain.’ ”

Then, click through the results, find websites that look like a good fit for your business, and pitch to them.

Method 2. Use Ahrefs to find opportunities and get instant performance data 

Ahrefs’ SEO Toolbar allows you to see performance data of websites as you Google them. So the Google screenshot from above turns into this: 

Looking for guest posts using Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar
Highlighted parts show SEO data coming from Ahrefs. You can look at site traffic, page traffic, DR, and others as you search on Google.

This way, you can easily filter out websites that don’t get traffic or whose links have the lowest chance of impacting your SEO. 

Another method is to see where other websites, such as your competitors, got their links from. This works for any kind of mentions that leaves a trace of a backlink: reviews, rankings, guest blogging, and PR (more on that in the next chapter). 

  1. Go to Site Explorer and paste a URL you want to screen 
  2. Go to the Backlinks report
  3. Search for the kind of backlinks you want to go after; to illustrate, for guest articles, use “Anchor with surrounding text” filter and type the word “author” 
Looking for guest posts via backlink analysis in Ahrefs

Then you can pitch the same website with a personalized and relevant message.

12. Get free press with digital PR

Public relations is not reserved for big brands with entire PR departments on the payroll. Small businesses can get press too. And they can get it for free. 

One of many quotes from this "love and relationship" coach
One of many quotes from this “love and relationship” coach.

There are basically two ways to get free press. 

One is to do something extraordinary (maybe your business is already doing it?) and issue a press release about it. 

The other is to offer your expert commentary, per the journalist’s request. 

It can take some effort, but it’s usually worth it: 

  • PR increases brand awareness. 
  • News websites and magazines can drive traffic to your website. 
  • Being featured by the press is a great chance to earn a link from a high-authority website (and boost SEO).
Links from magazines with a strong backlink profile (data via Ahrefs)
Links from magazines with a strong backlink profile (DR stands for Domain Rating).

How to get started 

If you feel your business is doing something that can make the headlines, tell the press about it. 

Use this guide to write a press release and send it to the magazines where the story is most relevant. 

An effective tactic may be to start with reputable local media. If your story gets featured, you may use it in your pitch to more prominent media outlets. Additionally, other media may pick up the story organically.

As for monitoring journalist requests, use:

  • A service like HARO, Terkel, or SourceBottle. 
  • #journorequest on Twitter. 

These two free tools from Ahrefs can come in handy too:

  • Our free website authority checker will show you the Domain Rating (DR) for any given website. DR is a good proxy for checking the authority of the website and the possible SEO impact of links from it. 
  • Ahrefs Webmaster Tools will show all backlinks you got from PR efforts, among other features. 

Recommended reading: Digital PR: The Beginner’s Guide to Making Your Brand Unmissable 

13. Let others promote you through affiliate programs 

Affiliate marketing programs allow influencers, bloggers, and other kinds of online content creators to promote your products for a commission from sales.

You can find affiliate marketing examples all over the web. Usually, affiliate marketers include links to products inside reviews or some kind of educational content (recipes, tutorials, etc.). Sometimes, they even run their own shops. 

Shop made mostly out of affiliate links
At loveandlemons.com, of the biggest food blogs, you can shop for kitchen essentials and photography equipment. Makes sense because, at one point, the reader will surely wonder what gear its team uses for such great photos.

Affiliate marketing is designed to be mutually beneficial. The better affiliates promote, the more you sell, and the more they earn in return. 

How to get started 

Depends on the affiliate marketing program.

For example, on ClickBank, you list your product on a public marketplace and wait for affiliates to find you. 

But on platforms like Impact, you can choose affiliates from the platform’s contact list. 

But if you want to spend the least possible time on managing your affiliate program, you can consider a program like GiddyUp. It will even take care of creating banners for you and your affiliates. 

As for the costs, there are usually some small up-front costs paid to the affiliate platform. But other than that, everything is performance-based. 

14. See what works for your competitors 

The oldest advice on the planet, right? Well, it still works. 

While following your competitor’s steps may be harder in the “offline” world, it’s much easier (and cheaper) online. 

By using competitor analysis tools, you can learn things like:

  • What type of content works for your competition. 
  • What do competitors see as a good advertising investment and how they advertise it. 
  • Where they get their backlinks. 
  • Gaps in your content strategy.

How to get started 

Get a competitor analysis tool designed for the type of marketing you want to analyze. Some examples are:

  • Ahrefs – SEO, PPC, and content marketing
  • Moat – Digital ads
  • MailCharts – Email marketing 
  • Brand24 – Brand monitoring in web and social media
  • SparkToro – Audience insight
  • Visualping – Webpage monitoring

So say you want to see which topics you haven’t blogged about yet compared to your competitors. You can check that quickly by pasting your and your competitors’ URLs in Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool.

Content gap analysis
A quick check comparison of three dog behaviorist and training blogs. Our target blog could consider keywords like “what are shock collars” or “second dog syndrome.”

You’ll get keywords your competitors rank for, but you don’t. This way, you’ll save a ton of time on manually going through websites. 

Recommended reading: How to Conduct a Competitive Analysis (Template Included) 

What is the best marketing strategy for a small business? 

The best marketing strategy is the one that brings you results. It’s common to see some strategies working for some and not for others. 

Although it may sound cliche, it’s crucial to take any advice with a grain of salt and simply test things yourself. The best marketing strategy may be the one you haven’t tried yet. 

And when you find a marketing strategy that works for you, double down on it. 

Final thoughts 

As you can see, marketing strategies can be very different from one another. It’s actually kind of mind-boggling to see so many ways of growing a business. 

So a good idea is to prioritize. 

Try the classic “prioritization matrix.” Take a moment to think about marketing strategies you found in this and other guides and put them in one of the categories based on a) the effort they need and b) the value they give. 

Prioritization matrix

So for example, if getting free press may be low effort and high value for you, that will be something to put into action as soon as possible. 

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter



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Google Updates Discover Follow Feed Guidelines

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Google Updates Discover Follow Feed Guidelines

Google updated their Google Discover feed guidelines to emphasize the most important elements to include in the feed in order for it to be properly optimized.

Google Discover Feed

The Google Discover follow feed feature offers relevant content to Chrome Android users and represents an importance source of traffic that is matched to user interests.

The Google Discover Follow feature is a component of Google Discover, a way to capture a steady stream of traffic apart from Google News and Google Search.

Google’s Discover Follow feature works by allowing users to choose to receive updates about the latest content on a site they are interested in.

The way to do participate in Discover Follow is through an optimized RSS or Atom feed.

If the feed is properly optimized on a website, users can choose to follow a website or a specific category of a website, depending on how the publisher configures their RSS/Atom feeds.

Audiences that follow a website will see the new content populate their Discover Follow feed which in turn brings fresh waves of traffic to participating websites that are properly optimized.

According to Google:

“The Follow feature lets people follow a website and get the latest updates from that website in the Following tab within Discover in Chrome.

Currently, the Follow button is a feature that’s available to signed-in users in English in the US, New Zealand, South Africa, UK, Canada, and Australia that are using Chrome Android.”

Receiving traffic from the Discover Follow feature only happens for sites with properly optimized feeds that follow the Discover Follow feature guidelines.

Updated Guidance for Google Discover Follow Feature

Google updated their guidelines for the Discover Feed feature to emphasize the importance of the feed <title> and <link> elements, emphasizing that the feed contains these elements.

The new guidance states:

“The most important content for the Follow feature is your feed <title> element and your per item <link> elements. Make sure your feed includes these elements.”

Presumably the absence of these two elements may result in Google being unable to understand the feed and display it for users, resulting in a loss of traffic.

Site publishers who participate in the Google Discover Follow feature should verify that their RSS or Atom feeds properly display the <title> and <link> elements.

Google Discover Optimization

Publishers and SEOs are familiar with optimizing for Google Search.

But many content publishers may be unaware of how to optimize for Google Discover in order to enjoy the loads of traffic that results from properly optimizing for Google Discover and the Google Discover Follow feature.

The Follow Feed feature, a component of Google Discover, is a way to help ensure that the website obtains a steady stream of relevant traffic beyond organic search.

This is why it’s important to make sure that your RSS/Atom feeds are properly optimized.

Read Google’s announcement of the updated guidance and read the complete Follow Feature feed guidelines here.

Featured image by Shutterstock/fizkes



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Is Wix Good for SEO? Here’s Everything to Know About Wix SEO

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Is Wix Good for SEO? Here's Everything to Know About Wix SEO

As of 2023, Wix provides solid options for a basic SEO setup that will cover most needs but still lacks the flexibility of more advanced and granular settings.

In this article, I go through all the nooks and crannies of Wix SEO options so you can decide if Wix is right for your needs. I’ll also share some tips on how to make your Wix website more search-friendly if you’re already a Wix user.

Does Wix have everything you need for SEO?

Wix has a bit of a bad reputation for SEO. This is because from its launch in 2006 until its first big update in 2016, it lacked many basic SEO functionalities like adding alt text and being able to change URL structures.

However, that is no longer the case. You can now do virtually every on-page SEO task using the Wix platform. It even hired expert SEOs, such as Mordy Oberstein and Crystal Carter, who have pushed for more SEO features and better communication.

Back in 2019, we ran a study comparing Wix SEO to WordPress SEO analyzing over 6.4M websites. We found that, on average, far more WordPress websites get organic traffic than Wix websites. 

WordPress vs. Wix organic traffic

However, we believe that this is due to the website owners, not the platforms themselves. On average, Wix website owners are less tech-savvy (and less educated on SEO) than WordPress users, simply because of the extra learning curve that comes with using WordPress.

Editor’s Note

The study and its methodology weren’t great. Given that there are so many variables involved, we didn’t see a way to rerun it properly. We decided to replace the study with this guide, providing more value to readers and being more fair to Wix.

That said, we had the Wix’s SEO team provide feedback on this article as part of the editing process to ensure accuracy and increase objectivity.

Michal Pecánek

Let’s also see what Googlers have to say about Wix.

Here’s a quote by John Mueller, Google’s senior search analyst, on the topic of Wix SEO:

Wix is fine for SEO. A few years back it was pretty bad in terms of SEO, but they’ve made fantastic progress, and are now a fine platform for businesses. The reputation from back then lingers on, but don’t be swayed by it.

What they’ve done in recent years is really good stuff, including making it trivial to have a really fast site (as you see in the Lighthouse scores — admittedly, speed is only a tiny part of SEO).

If Wix works for them, and they don’t need more, there’s no reason to switch.

John Mueller

So overall, Wix has the majority of features most website users would need to manage SEO. But there’s more to the story…

While Wix has no major SEO issues, it does have three minor issues that may stop you from wanting to use it if you’re serious about search:

  1. Website builders will typically load slower than custom code – Wix inevitably has code bloat from features you will never use. This is true even if you use WordPress and install a theme builder like Elementor or Thrive Architect, so this isn’t exclusive to Wix. That said, it’s only a minor issue, and it already has great Core Web Vitals compared to other CMS types.
  2. Less-than-ideal multilingual support – If you plan on publishing your blog posts in multiple languages, you may want to skip Wix. For example, you don’t have full control over the URLs for different language versions of your site. However, some of these aspects are in its feature requests and may be available soon.
  3. Limited advanced SEO control – Wix lacks some advanced SEO features. For example, it’s difficult to edit the auto-generated sitemap. Additionally, Wix generates cryptic file names for images (e.g., 09a0ab7~mv2.jpg/), which is not good for ranking on Google Images. 

Ultimately, Wix’s SEO features will work for most website owners out there. 

If you are a business owner who wants to focus more time on running your business and less time on learning how to build the perfect website with the best features, Wix is an excellent choice.

To help you decide if Wix is right for you, we made this helpful table of who should and shouldn’t use Wix to build their website:

Type of website Is Wix a great solution? Explanation
Personal website Yes Wix provides all you need for small websites.
Local business Yes Wix provides all you need to create a quick and easy local business website and rank in local search results.
Affiliate website Maybe Wix can handle your needs for affiliate marketing and SEO well. But if you’re aiming to create a big, complex website, it may be worth your time to learn WordPress instead.
Content website Maybe Wix can handle your needs for content used to show display ads. But if you’re aiming to create a big, complex website, it may be worth your time to learn WordPress instead.
Services website Maybe If you offer a service such as SaaS, banking, etc., then Wix may be a good choice depending on the specific features needed. You’ll have to do your own research.
E-commerce website Maybe There’s no perfect out-of-the-box CMS for this. The most common choices are Shopify or WooCommerce, but Wix is a solid option for e-commerce SMBs too. It can handle even some of the more complex e-commerce SEO stuff.

I personally would never build a website on Wix over WordPress for myself. That’s because WordPress has more features and customizability. And even though it comes with a much steeper learning curve, that is something I’ve overcome. (I’ve been building WordPress websites for over a decade.)

That said, I built my dad a website for his remodeling business using Wix. I did this because it’s much easier for him to go in and edit things himself than it is with WordPress. And he’s able to rank for local keywords just fine on the Wix platform. The website is fairly new, and I will come back in a few months to update this page with the progress of his rankings.

One last thing to keep in mind is that switching your content management system (CMS) can be a massive pain. So whichever tool you choose, be ready to stick to it for a long time.

Five tips to make your Wix website SEO-friendly

Deciding to stick with Wix? Here are five Wix-specific tips to help you make sure your website is search-optimized:

1. Complete the Wix SEO Setup Checklist

Wix has a really easy-to-use SEO Setup Checklist built in its platform. To use it, navigate to the Marketing & SEO page, then click Get Found on Google.

Wix SEO Setup Checklist

From there, you’ll be asked a few questions to get started, such as your business name and the top three to five keywords you want your website to rank for. If you’re not sure which keywords to target, I highly recommend reading our guide to keyword research.

Once you answer the questions, you’ll see a screen with steps you can take to optimize your website for search engines, starting with your homepage.

Wix's steps to optimize site for search engines

SEO Setup Checklist will guide you through the process of updating your pages’ meta tags, making your website mobile-friendly, and more.

Go through each of these steps, and you’ll be well on your way to a search-optimized website.

2. Set up Google Search Console and Analytics

You’ll notice one of the steps is to connect your site to Google Search Console (GSC). This is Google’s suite of tools designed for website owners like you to more easily monitor your search rankings and find issues preventing your pages from being indexed by Googlebot

Performance report, via GSC

You can set up GSC with the click of a button using the SEO Setup Checklist. If you want to learn more, check out our complete guide to Google Search Console.

Wix SEO Wiz connecting Google Search Console

Once GSC is set up, you can connect Google Analytics (GA) to your website to get more insights into where your traffic is coming from and which pages your visitors are going to.

To connect GA, navigate to the Marketing Integrations tab under Marketing & SEO. It’s the first box that appears—click Connect.

Wix marketing integration with Google Analytics

Wix will instruct you on how to create a Google Analytics Property ID and connect that ID with your Wix website. If you need more help, we also have a guide on Google Analytics 4.

Once it’s set up and your website starts getting traffic, you’ll be able to see traffic and webpage reports. This can help you identify which pages may need improvements or how many conversions you get from organic traffic.

Google Analytics traffic report

That’s it—you’re done with step #2.

3. Create search-optimized content

If your website just has the basic homepage, as well as “about” and “contact” pages, chances are you won’t be able to rank well for much (if anything).

A crucial step in SEO is creating content that can be crawled and indexed by Googlebot. That means creating service pages if you’re a local business and possibly also creating blog content targeting relevant keywords to your industry.

Rather than making this whole article about content, I will leave you with a resource. Go check out our guide to SEO content to learn more.

4. Add internal links

Backlinks—links from another website pointing to your website—are one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. However, they can be difficult to obtain.

Internal links from one page on your site to another on your site are almost as important as backlinks. But they are much easier to add. You just highlight some text and add the link in.

If you have pages on your website that you want to rank better, simply add more internal links to that page and you’re already on the path to higher rankings. Obviously, just adding some internal links won’t suddenly make you rank #1 for a keyword. But it’s an important—and often overlooked—step on the road to better rankings. 

To add an internal link with Wix, simply highlight the text you want to add a link to, click the “chain link” icon, then choose the page you want the link to point to.

Wix internal link settings

Check out our internal linking guide to learn more about this important SEO task.

5. Schedule regular SEO audits

Once your Wix website is set up and optimized, it’s important to schedule regular SEO audits to keep tabs on your rankings and make sure nothing gets broken.

While you can do this manually, it is time consuming and easy to overlook something. 

For example, you may not realize one of your pages broke and is now a 404 page, or that a certain blog post isn’t showing up in your sitemap, or that you’re missing metadata on a certain page… the list goes on.

Instead, you can use Ahrefs Webmaster Tools to automatically run weekly or monthly audits of your website. This free tool will give you a health score from 0 to 100 on how “healthy” your website is from an SEO perspective.

Health Score overview, via Ahrefs' Site Audit

You can then see specific tasks you need to do in order to fix these issues on your site. Go to the All issues report and check the issues we found while crawling your website.

All issues report, via Ahrefs' Site Audit

You can click the error and see exactly what it means and how to fix it.

Issue details, via Ahrefs' Site Audit

From there, you can click “View affected URLs” and go to those pages to fix the issues. Easy peasy.

Final thoughts

Overall, Wix is a perfectly capable website builder for SEO. While it isn’t as advanced and capable as more complex CMSs like WordPress, it’s plenty good for people who just want to build a website and don’t have the time for or interest in a giant learning curve.

I still use Wix for certain client sites and to build sites for friends and family who want a website where they can still make small edits themselves. It’s my favorite website builder compared to other tools like Squarespace or WordPress.com (not to be confused with WordPress.org, which I use all the time).

One more benefit to using a website builder like Wix is that it’s a complete solution and takes care of the hosting and security. In fact, John doesn’t recommend self-hosting your websites. 

That said, if you want more advanced features and to dive deeper in SEO, I suggest learning WordPress.

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Top YouTube Videos, Shorts, And Ads of 2022

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Top YouTube Videos, Shorts, And Ads of 2022

Examining YouTube’s list of the top trending videos and top Shorts of 2022, as well as the YouTube Ads Leaderboard: 2022 year-end-wrap-up can teach content marketers, content creators, and digital advertisers some important lessons that they can apply in 2023.

But, it helps if you have a secret decoder ring to decipher why there are three lists – and why each one uses a different methodology to come up with the rankings.

YouTube unveiled its first list of the 10 most-watched YouTube videos back in December 2010. Unfortunately, that list taught many marketers that “view count” was the only metric that mattered.

But, I got my secret decoder ring back in October 2012, when YouTube started adjusting the ranking of videos in YouTube search results to reward engaging videos that kept viewers watching.

In other words, YouTube replaced “view count” with “watch time.”

This was a significant shift, because “watch time” gives you a sense of what content viewers actually watch, as opposed to videos that they click on and then abandon.

In December 2012, YouTube shifted from unveiling its 10 “most-watched” videos of the year to unveiling its “top trending videos,” based on time spent watching, sharing, commenting, liking, and other factors.

In other words, “watch time” and “engagements” were now the metrics that mattered.

Today, YouTube’s algorithm rewards “viewer satisfaction.”

In other words, YouTube doesn’t pay attention to videos; it pays attention to viewers.

So, rather than trying to make videos that’ll make an algorithm happy, focus on making videos that make your viewers happy.

This brings us to YouTube’s lists of “trending videos” and “top Shorts” for 2022.

To learn important lessons that can be applied in 2023, we need to realize that YouTube’s discovery system uses both absolute and relative watch time as signals when deciding audience engagement.

Ultimately, YouTube wants both short and long videos to succeed, so relative watch time is more important for short videos, and absolute watch time is more important for longer videos.

Top 7 Trending Videos Of 2022

1. “So Long Nerds“ By Technoblade (6:32 long, 88.3 million Views, 10.2 million engagements)

In this moving tribute, the father of beloved Minecraft creator Technoblade reads a farewell letter from his son.

The gamer lost his battle with cancer in June, but his legacy remains on YouTube.

2. “Watch The Uncensored Moment Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock On Stage At The Oscars, Drops F-bomb” By Guardian News (1:24 long, 104 million Views, and 1.8 million engagements)

It was the smack heard ‘round the world: Academy Award winner Will Smith went off-script and slapped Chris Rock, live on-stage, at the film industry’s most prestigious event.

3. “Hi, I’m Dream” By Dream (5:42 long, 48.5 million Views, and 4.7 million engagements)

Dream’s ingenuity within Minecraft has led him to become a top creator with a devoted fanbase.

But no one knew what he looked like IRL, until now.

4. “ Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar & 50 Cent Full Pepsi Sb Lvi Halftime Show” By NFL (14:41 long, 146 million Views, and 3.5 million engagements)

Lose yourself in this epic Super Bowl halftime show packed with some of the biggest artists in hip-hop history: Dr. Dre, Snoop, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lama, and 50 Cent.

5. “I Built Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!” By Mrbeast (17:01 long, 132 million Views, and 5.1 million engagements)

In a “Willy Wonka” inspired warehouse, MrBeast challenges contestants to traverse a chocolate river, climb a candy wall, compete in confection-themed games, and indulge in their sweetest fantasies.

6. “Pranks Destroy Scam Callers- Glitterbomb Payback” By Mark Rober (26:41 long, 55.9 million Views, and 2.2 million engagements).

Engineer Mark Rober exacts dazzling revenge on a scam call center in the latest version of his glitterbomb series.

7. “Being Not Straight” By Jaiden Animations (15:22 long, 17.8 million Views, and 1.7 million engagements)

In this coming-out video, Jaiden Animations depicts a personal journey from adolescence to adulthood, sharing how they discovered their sexual identity along the way.

Top 7 Shorts Of 2022

1. “Diver Cracks Egg At 45 Ft Deep #Shorts” By Shangerdanger (0:56 long, 251 million Views, and 12.3 million engagements)

The ocean floor is a mysterious place. It’s full of unknown sea creatures, strange plants, and…chicken eggs?!

Join Shangerdanger as he cracks up the internet and dives egg-first into the blue depths.

2. “Sarah Trust Challenges” By Hingaflips (0:31 long, 142 million Views, and 6.5 million engagements)

Better than parkour? This is Trampwall: an epic sport where acrobats defy gravity and leap off a wall, onto a trampoline, to pull off mind-blowing aerial stunts.

3. “Come With Me To Shave My Fluffy Dog! #Doggrooming #Grooming #Goldendoodle” By Brodie That Dood (0:52 long, 108 million Views, and 6.8 million engagements)

For years, his long fluffy fur has made Brodie one of the most iconic dogs on YouTube. So, the heartbreak was real when it was decided that he needed a close trim.

4. “Dave and Busters Bet Me 1000 Tickets I Couldn’t Do This…” By Chris Ivan (0:59 long, 83.6 million Views, and 6.3 million engagements).

No one does trick shots like creator Chris Ivan. In this Short, he attempts to land a plunger on a Dave & Buster’s sign.

The prize? 1,000 tickets … if he can pull it off.

5. “That Gap Between Your Car Seat and Center Console” By Jay & Sharon (0:58 long, 182 million Views, and 6.4 million engagements)

We’ve all lost something in the dreaded gap between the car seat and the center console.

In this comedic sketch, creators Jay & Sharon show us what’s really going on down there.

6. “Welcome To The Stomach #Shorts” By Adrian Bliss (0:34 long, 118 million Views, and 7.0 million engagements)

In this bite-sized skit, witty creator Adrian Bliss brings to life all the characters trying to gain entrance – and party in – his space-limited stomach.

7. “This Magic Trick Explained (America’s Got Talent)” By Zack D. Films (0:34 long, 97.4 million Views, and 5.6 million engagements).

How did he do it? The judges of “America’s Got Talent” were confounded by this magic trick.

But not internet-sleuth Zack D., who unveils its clever secret.

Top 7 YouTube Ads Of 2022

Meanwhile, YouTube uses an entirely different methodology to determine the top YouTube ad for its 2022 year-end wrap-up Leaderboard. This makes sense.

The top ads are generally the ones with the biggest budgets, which drive up view counts, but not always engagements.

1. “Amazon’s Big Game Commercial: Mind Reader” By Amazon (1:31 long, 69.7 million Views, and 25,700 engagements)

The creative agency for this ad was Lucky Generals and the media agency was IPG – Rufus.

The ad’s description asks, “Is Alexa reading minds a good idea? No. No, it is not.”

2. “Welcome To Clan Capital! Clash Of Clans New Update!” By Clash Of Clans (1:20 long, 52.9 million Views, and 212,000 engagements)

The creative agency was Psyop, and the media agency was in-house.

The ad’s description says,

“Welcome to the ultimate clan destination! A place where you and your clan can BUILD and BATTLE together! A place called CLAN CAPITAL!”

3. “Goal Of The Century X BTS | Yet To Come (Hyundai Ver.) Official Music Video” By Hyundaiworldwide (4:08 long, 40.5 million Views, and 886,000 engagements)

The ad’s description says,

“Our ‘Goal of the Century’ can’t be achieved by one individual alone, but we can achieve it if we all join forces and unite.

Just like football players come together as a team to score goals, we aim to use the power of football to go forward together in pursuit of the greatest goal – ‘A united world for sustainability.’”

4. “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return To Hogwarts | Official Trailer | HBO Max” By HBO Max (1:58 long, 27.3 million Views, and 739,000 engagements)

The creative agency was in-house, and the media agency was Hearts & Science.

The ad’s description says,

“Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts invites fans on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time as it reunites Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and other esteemed cast members and filmmakers across all eight Harry Potter films for the first time to celebrate the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”

5. “Introducing iPhone 14 Pro | Apple” by Apple (4:20 long, 23.8 million views, and 571,000 engagements)

The ad’s description asks, “What lies beyond a traditional smartphone? Let’s find out. This is iPhone 14 Pro.”

6. All of Us Are Dead | Official Trailer | Netflix” by Netflix (2:35 long, 22.6 million views, and 518,000 engagements)

The creative agency was The Refinery, and the media agency was in-house. The ad’s description says,

“All of us will die. There is no hope.” The school turned into a bloody battleground and our friends into worst enemies. Who will make it out alive?”

7. Sally’s Seashells (Extended) | Big Game Commercial 2022“ by Squarespace (1:07 long, 21.6 million views, and 67,600 engagements)

The media agency was in-house. The ad’s description says,

“See everything that Sally sells in this extended cut of our 2022 Big Game commercial. Starring Zendaya as Sally and narrated by andré 3000.”

Most Important Lesson That Marketers Can Apply In 2023

Looking back at YouTube’s lists of top trending videos, top Shorts, and top ads for 2022, there is a meta-lesson that marketers can learn: one size does not fit all.

Different metrics matter when measuring different types of video, and different types of ads are better for different marketing objectives.

Or, as the British say, “There are horses for courses.”

Now, that’s a lesson that all of us can apply in 2023, and beyond.

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