Best Squarespace SEO Practices and Features to Drive Your Ranking
One of the major reasons I swear by Squarespace is their SEO targeting features! Squarespace SEO?, YES. There’s this myth that Squarespace SEO is not as robust as some other platforms and tools out there. I beg to differ. I think Squarespace SEO is straightforward to implement on your website. Think of the millions of Squarespace websites out there, everyday creatives are using it and getting results. What good is your beautiful Squarespace website, with your thought-provoking content, and valuable products be, if your potential customers could not find you when they do a search on Google?
I know SEO may sound complicated and even scary, but it isn’t and with time, you will get comfortable and start moving up those pages in Google and Bing! Keep reading to find out some of the best practices you can start using today to improve your SEO.
1| How Squarespace SEO works to drive Search Engine Optimization
The first step is simple! If you haven’t created your website yet, Squarespace is my recommendation because their subscription plans come stocked with SEO-friendly features already built in! Squarespace shares our common goals, as business owners, to have our websites be seen in as many search engine results as possible.
The features Squarespace provides have been used successfully by creative entrepreneurs to increase their website’s visibility and boost their rankings. Squarespace applies best practices to their platform to ensure search engine optimization throughout your website.
Here is a list of Squarespace features used for search engine optimization:
- Automatic Redirects
- Clean URLs
- Mobile Optimization
- Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- SSL Certificates
Don’t get turned off by all these nerdy words (having listed them here, it is not a bad idea to get familiar with their words either!). In simple terms, everything has been done for you by Squarespace, all you have to do is follow the steps I will list out here to help you get one step ahead.
If you can see the value in Squarespace’s built-in SEO-friendly features like I do, then How to get started with Squarespace will a great read for you. I’ve included a checklist to help you skim through your website and find those areas where you might need some tweaking.
2| Use Strategic Headings and Titles
Why is that important you might say? It simply is. Remember I mentioned sitemaps? Well, this is how search engines quickly scan or index your site looking for keywords in your heading, title, and your content. If it finds what it looking for, chances are good that your content may surface in someone’s search results. Let’s take a look.
Squarespace comes with built-in SEO-friendly tools, but the work doesn’t end with them. There are many things you can easily do to drive your website’s SEO. Search Engines, for the most part, prioritize search results by the page titles, site titles, and blog post titles.
My advice is to title your pages and posts exactly how you would search for them on Google if you were looking for the information yourself! For example, if I wanted to learn some tips for teaching my toddler to tie their shoes, I’d type in: “How to teach a toddler to tie their shoes,” or “Tips for teaching a toddler to tie their shoes,” or “Teaching a toddler to tie their shoes.”
The results that the search engine provides for you will have titles that closely match your search terms. I would most likely click on the first few pages that match my results, finding the answers that I need, and I’d probably never get to see the post with the same, if not more useful content, titled “Bunny Ears, Bows, and Loops.”
Although the title is cute, and the content is likely the same, it would be unlikely that anyone would search for that title specifically. If you don’t want to have to worry about coming up with a format for your titles every time, you can create default title formats so that your titles are formatted consistently every single time.
The connection between the headings that you give your content and search engine visibility works almost exactly that same way as with your page titles, site titles, and blog post titles. Search engines are more likely to give your headings a higher priority than the body text on your website. Don’t ignore those either. As you use headers through your website, remember to use strategic keywords in your Heading 1 and Heading 2. Doing this helps search engines pick out the theme of your content and decide where to place you.
3| Start a blog page with relevant content
I know for some of us, blogging doesn’t always come so easy. I am one of them. We cant ignore this though as much as you desperately want to. Blogging is a strategy by itself that will allow you to rank higher in search engine results. By blogging, you are actively showing search engines that you’ve got content to share and the more relevant your content is with well-placed keywords, the greater you are to ranking higher. People will find you and share your content on Pinterest, where others will see you and before you know it, you not only continue to rank higher, but you also have increased traffic to your site!
As much as blogging may not be your most favorite thing to do, active blogging does help with SEO and even elevate your brand.
Heard of Batching? This is a process where you set aside a day and only focus on writing blog posts. You may write 4 posts in one sitting and that will cover an entire month. How is that! Imagine sitting down and cranking posts and then not having to worry about it for another month. I know you can do!
4| Get your website verified
This one is probably the most forgotten piece a lot of new entrepreneurs make (no fault of their own, they simply don't know about this). If you are reading this and have no clue as to whether your site is verified or not, make sure you follow and check out the links here.
Squarespace offers a super simple process for getting your site verified with Google Search Console. I think everyone should check this out. I made this mistake when I started, not with each client I work with, this is a process that I complete for their website so it is done and taken care of.
Once verified, you will be able to notify Google of any changes you make to your website that may impact your search engine visibility! The reason I recommend updating them is that search engines don’t recognize changes immediately, so this will help you stay on top of your SEO by letting them know your content needs to be re-indexed.
Although Google is the primary search engine that people use, I suggest verifying your website with Bing Webmaster Tools as well so that you can notify Bing of any changes as well!
5| Add Alt Text to your images
Search engines used Bots to read texts. Bots are search engine tools used to scour the web for information. Unfortunately, these bots aren’t the type of artificial intelligence that you imagine when you think of robots. These bots can only read texts which makes it difficult for websites that primarily use images to drive their SEO. That is why using alt text is so important. The text used is read by these bots and helps your images appear in relevant searches.
I make a habit of adding Alt text to any images I add to my Squarespace site. Alt text is the text that pops up when you hover over an image with your cursor. Adding this text to your images in the form of short and descriptive terms will allow bots to include your fantastic photos in their searches.
6| Put your business on the map
If your business has a physical location I can’t stress enough how important it is to “put your business on the map.” I suggest adding a contact page with a map block and your business information clearly displayed, a footer with your contact information, or both if it works with the design of your website! This will help to increase your local search ranking, targeting potential customers who are searching for similar products in your area. Squarespace recommends signing up for Google’s My Business Service to increase your local search ranking as well.
Do you plan to use these Squarespace features and practices to drive your SEO? I’d love to hear from you!
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