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A collaborative Google Docs content template for Wix Blogs

Author: Simon Cox

a graphic of a content template with an author image Simon Cox

There’s always a little bit of apprehension before hitting the “Publish” button on a new piece of content. By this point in the process, the content should have been completed, checked, and approved for release. This prevents issues like accidental publishing or site visitors getting a half-finished article—which could lead to user frustration and make your brand (or yourself, if you’re an SEO freelancer or at an agency) seem unprofessional.


Instead of working directly within the Wix platform, I use a Google Docs content template that I have developed over the years to help me sidestep these issues and ensure consistently optimized, quality content. The template is simply a placeholder for all the elements needed to create a content piece, but it facilitates on-page SEO, workflows (both in a collaborative or solo setting), and distribution.


Let’s first look at why content templates can be such a valuable resource, and then we’ll dive into how to use the Wix content template that I’ve developed.


Better workflows create better deliverables


A template might feel like more work or just seem unnecessary to some, but they enable you to work smarter so that you don’t have to work harder to rectify mistakes later on. Here’s how content templates can help you achieve efficiency while simultaneously keeping everyone on the same page and reinforcing SEO fundamentals:


Support on-page SEO

Consistency is the key, and getting all the elements needed means putting together a process—a template can really help with that.


For example:


  • A missing meta description means that your page may be less inviting to potential visitors on the search engine results page (SERP).

  • A missing social media image can result in the default image being shown, which is probably not optimal for getting traffic to your content.

  • Improper formatting can make it more difficult for search engines and users to understand your content, which is bad for search visibility and won’t help you move users down your sales funnel.


In my template, I have repeated some of the recommendations that are in the Wix blog fields and added some of my own. This not only saves time, but subliminally trains others in the art of SEO as well.


Enhance collaborative capabilities

I find it easier to collaborate via a Google Docs template as I often work with subject matter experts (SMEs) who discuss the content’s finer details by leaving comments, suggestions, and edits in the Doc. The SMEs can track changes and edit without compromising anything on the website, and I can then edit the document to ensure it reads well, is optimized for search, and then get a final OK from the SMEs and other stakeholders.


This also means people can be invited to contribute to the article without having to give them access to your Wix website.


Improve content quality with a reliable approval process

Once the template is completely filled out, you can submit it to the relevant parties for approval so that you can publish your content. That process will be unique to your situation—if you’re responsible for the final approval, this would be a good time to stop, work on something else, and then come back to the article with fresh eyes and conduct your final review.


Once the content is approved, I can then quickly copy and paste all the relevant details into a Wix blog post. This template can also be used for pages on Wix websites, but you will find it most useful for blog posts.


The content template


I keep a locked version of the template in my Google Drive and make a copy to use for new content, usually naming the file with the title and date for future reference. Your naming system is up to you, but you’ll want to stick to it, so make sure it includes all the details you need at a glance.


Here’s my Google Docs content template for Wix—please make a copy and improve it for your own use.


an image of a blog optimization template. the text reads "enhance on-page optimization for your blog posts"

The content template breakdown


Now, let’s take a look at what the template includes.


Campaign:

The name of the campaign this piece of content belongs to. This helps with organization and focus.


Title:

(100 character limit, including spaces)


This is terribly important as it’s the title of the page. This will also end up being the post's URL slug (spaces get converted to hyphens automatically and some special characters will get dropped).


The title should be unique, on topic, and capture the imagination of your intended audience.

A screenshot of the title field within a Wix blog post. The field reads “add a catchy title”

You may well want to come back to this and rewrite it after you have completed the actual post—this is why I like to get everything approved before it goes into Wix as it makes sense to have the URL resemble the final title!


Summary / meta description:

(140 character limit, including spaces)


I use the Summary / Meta description field (in the template) to populate the description field (within the Post Settings in the Wix Editor), which is used as the description in the blog listings page.


What you enter into this field also automatically populates the meta description field in your SEO Settings. The page’s meta description is picked up by the search engines and may be used as the page description in the SERPs.


A screenshot of the Post Settings – Advanced – Description. This will populate your blog listing on the site. It will also automatically populate the SEO Settings Meta Description.

You are limited to 140 characters for the post description, but the SEO meta description field allows up to 500 characters. You may want to enhance your meta description to improve your click-through rate in the SERPs.


Google has been known to adjust the amount of content it shows in the SERP description of the page and will also rewrite this depending on the search term used, so the current best practice is to ensure the main marketing message and topic for this page are mentioned in the first 140 characters.


A screenshot of the SEO Settings – Meta Description You are able to include up to 500 characters in this field but ensure the main marketing message for this page is in the first 140 characters.
The meta description field within the SEO Settings of Wix blog posts.

Meta Image URL:

(square - shows on news list page)


I usually use the Magazine layout for the list of posts on a Wix site, so this needs a square image. Change this to match the Wix list format your site uses.


This field is for a URL to the image—don’t add the image into the doc as it is really annoying to extract an image from Google Docs for use in your article!


Add the image into the appropriate folder in your Google Drive and put the link to it here. This will enable others to quickly open and see it. Alternatively, someone else can add the link to the file, enabling you to download it and upload it to your site for use in the article.


A screenshot of the Post Settings Display Cover Image

Social Image URL:

(1200x630 pixels)


As with the meta image, this is a link to the image you will use.


Any social media shares or links (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) pointing to the page will automatically pick up the social image if you have included one. If you don’t upload a social image, users on those platforms will get the default image. If you are using a square image for the meta image, then you will need to create a second landscape image for social.


It is a really good idea to coordinate this image with your social team—the social image should be crafted to grab attention and bring traffic to the page.


Wix will use the first image in the content of a page for both meta images by default, and that’s often not what you want. Upload the meta image first and then the social image. If you upload the social image first, this could get overwritten when you add the meta image.


A screenshot of the SEO Settings Social Share image

Primary Page Location:

This is the location of the page. I use this not only for blog posts but also for static pages, so it’s important to understand where this content fits on the site so that you can ensure there are internal links to the main page.


Link to the Primary Page Location from:

Edit this section of the template to include a checklist of the main pages on the site. “Other” can be used as a catch-all for anything that isn’t a main page.


Categories:

(Tick all that apply - will appear in these category news/article pages)


You will likely have categories set up in your blog—here is where you can tick those that need to be assigned to the article. It also allows the person writing the content to see what categories are available on the site, which is also quite handy.


A screenshot of the Post Categories list - assign suitable categories to your article

Related Posts:

(max 3 - these appear at bottom of the page - Please provide post title, not the URL)


By default, Wix will show the three most recent posts after this content. However, there might be other posts you want to link to and this is where you can add up to three. Add the title of the related posts (not the URL) to make it easier to search for.


A screenshot of the Post Settings Related posts

Publish date/time:

This field gives everyone an ETA for when the content is intended to be published. It can also be used to discuss when to schedule the post to publish (by leaving comments in the Google Doc).


A screenshot of the Post Settings Publish Date

Credited Author:

Choose who the article is attributed to in Wix. You can choose a writer from the dropdown menu or set up a new one. The author can be listed on the blog template and blog lists.


A screenshot of the Post Settings Writer

Social:

(Add # or @ tags that must be included)

This field helps your social team target the right audiences with the appropriate hashtags and mentions.


Final URL:

I use this field when I am building out the post in Wix—not before. It is already filled out with the default URL and post structure (https://www.example.com/post/) so the post URL can be easily appended to it.


A screenshot of the SEO Settings URL Slug

You can grab the final URL before you publish a blog post by going to the SEO Settings (as shown above), copy that and paste it into the field in the template Doc. Adding the URL here can make internal linking easier and enable your social team to access the URL as they are building and scheduling new social posts to attract traffic back to the site.


Newsletter Groups:

Oftentimes, there are different audiences or lists that your newsletters will go to. Document who is targeted here so your newsletter team has the right information to work with.


Call to Action:

To complete your content, consider adding a call to action (CTA)—see Lazarina Stoy’s “Beginner’s guide to CTAs” article on this for a great amount of in-depth advice.


Post Body Content

When creating a new post in Wix, you can add the headline but you cannot save the post or add things like the cover image until you have something in the main text body. Using my template, you will of course have this, but if you are not using it, you need to type something even if it is just placeholder text.


Sometimes I do this while others are still working on the template to meet a looming deadline—I will ready the page for the finalized copy and wait for the nod from my team to grab the content and copy/paste it into Wix.


More fields in Wix


I have covered all the main fields that are in the Wix blog system, but not all. There are some that may be part of your workflow and you can easily add these to the template to suit your needs by adding extra rows.


Tags

Separate multiple tags with a comma. You can add up to 30 different tags per post. Tags appear at the end of your post and will also auto-generate a tag list page with a list of posts on that tag topic.


Structured data markup

Wix blog posts already have really good structured data built into them, but you may have some additional requirements. Add this row to the table so that you can insert your custom Schema. This is a handy place to refer back to it as well.


A screenshot of the SEO Settings Advanced including Structured data markup, Robots meta tags and any Additional tags you may want to add

Robots meta tag

Yes, you can hide the post from search engines—but then, no one will be able to find it in the search results. There are use cases where this might be important to you, though, and using the noindex tag at the page level is the best way to do this.


A screenshot of the SEO Settings Advanced Robots Meta Tags for instructions to search bots on page indexing requirements

Other options are also available to prevent snippets and archiving (as shown above).


Templates allow you to “measure twice, cut once”


Creating a manageable workflow for publishing content is a key discipline that saves time and provides consistency. Templates are an important element in this process.

My template was created for my purposes, but it can also serve as a jumping-off point for your needs. However, if you decide to change the template, keep the following in mind:


  • Put together a workflow that suits your environment and conditions.

  • Use Google Docs to enable coordination between subject matter experts and editors.

  • Use the Google Docs version history to keep track of the changes.

  • Template the elements you need to be able to publish an article and ensure they are completed before the article is submitted for approval.


Although templates add a layer to your workflow, they also enforce discipline in the publishing process and provide you with all the content elements you need, as well as a track record of changes so that you don’t have to miss opportunities for greater visibility or spend extra time optimizing posts after they’re already live.


 

Simon Cox

Simon Cox has been building, managing, optimizing, measuring, and taking websites apart since 1995. In-house at a global financial corporate for many years, he now freelances, bakes bread, and crafts technical SEO audits. Find him at simoncox.com.

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