Understanding Squarespace SEO

 Understanding-Squarespace-seo-in-2018

If your business  has a website, it’s important to understand the basic principles of a smart SEO strategy. In the past, SEO involved just adding the right keywords to your website. Today, it's about letting Google know that your website is the best source of information about the products and services your business offers.

Constantly refining its algorithms, Google is efficient at matching people with the ideal content or business they are searching for. Interestingly, a great match doesn’t rely solely on keywords anymore.

When users enter a search phrase, Google provides results based on the relevance and usefulness to that search. It also factors in the usability of the website in regards to the device being used.

Usability is very important. Over 50% of searches are done on mobile devices in 2018, and almost 50% of keywords in the 1-20 positions rank differently on desktop and mobile devices. Having a mobile-friendly Squarespace website has never been more important to your business.

To get your business website on the first page of Google’s search results, it must contain the exact information your customers are searching for. From Google's point of view this translates to:

  • a clear and unique message
  • regularly updated and relevant content
  • links to other trusted websites
  • enough traffic to indicate real interest from actual humans, which you can drive to your site from your marketing channels

Content marketing (writing on your blog regularly or driving traffic to your site via social media) takes a lot time and effort. Many business owners would rather focus on what they love (their work) rather than struggle through the challenges of maintaining a consistent publishing schedule. We get that. But the return on your efforts is awesome IF you incorporate some simple SEO into your website content.

First, you need to choose the right keywords for your business.

Selecting keywords isn't easy, but thinking about what you do and where you do it is a good place to start.

What will your customers type into Google to find a business like yours?

It pays to be very specific here. Use language and words your customers would use if they were looking to buy what you sell. For example. You might sell resilience coaching. Imagine you are your customer. Would you type resilience coaching into Google? Maybe. Or maybe you’d type something like anxiety relief coach into your browser.

Think about how you search for topics in Google. Often, I’m searching for a solution around what my problem is.

Test your keywords

Make a list of possible keywords and phrases and then type each search term and phrase into Google. Be sure to include your location if you provide a service or product locally. By doing this, you’ll be able to verify your keywords and search terms. If, in your search results, you get a list of businesses similar to yours then you know you’re on the right track with your keywords.

At the bottom of your search results page, Google will offer additional words and phrases people use when searching for services like yours. Keep track of those search terms. There may be some search phrases you hadn’t considered and it’s good to add them to your list of possible keywords.

Squarespace SEO tips for 2018

1. Add keywords to your website’s name configuration.

Having the right keywords in your website name can give you a big SEO boost. This helps Google connect who you are with what you do.

Squarespace gives you two very easy ways to do this.

The first way is to add your business name and keywords to the site title. This method works if your site title is the same as your business name. One thing to keep in mind—this information could display on your website depending on the template you’re using. -If that is not going to work, just use method #2.

Method #1

From the Squarespace HOME menu, go to DESIGN -> Logo and Title

This is how you will want to format your Site Title.

"Keywords related to your business" |  "Your Business Name"

For example:

Pizza Delivery | The Pizza Lab

Method #2

From the Squarespace HOME menu, go to Settings –> SEO

Change the ‘Homepage Title Format' to look like this:

"Keywords related to your business" | %s

‘%s is the name of your business, so your website name should look like this in search results:

For example:

Executive Coaching | Mindy Webster Coaching

Not only will this give you a significant boost in rankings for that specific phrase, your site name will pop out more on the Google search results page.

2. Complete the site and search engine description info.

From the Squarespace HOME menu, go to Settings -> SEO.

Add a short but precise description of what your business does in the Search Engine Description box.

Resist the urge to load this up with keywords. One or two is enough since Google does not give extra points for keyword content here. This is where you want to sell your business to potential customers. This copy is absolutely critical to achieving better click-through rates. The goal of this copy is to get customers to click through to your website. Good click-through rates are an important factor in how your website gets ranked. Take this opportunity to briefly explain what makes your services or products the clear choice.

Add a similar (but not exactly the same) description to the Site Description box. This description will appear on any pages that do not have a defined description.

From the Squarespace HOME menu, go to Settings –> Basic Information –> Site Description.

3. Use keywords in page titles and descriptions.

Page titles and descriptions for each page on your website are easy to update.

From the Squarespace HOME menu, go to PAGES and then access the individual page settings by clicking the gear that appears when you hover over the name of the page.

Each page title should describe what the page is about and be easy to understand at a glance. You can also insert a keyword to make it more relevant.

Each page description should be easily readable, specific to the page, and contain a couple of relevant keywords.

Do not use the same description on every page, or stuff your page descriptions with keywords. Google penalizes that behavior and your customers won’t like it either.

4. Use keywords in page URLs.

From the Squarespace HOME menu, go to PAGES and then access the individual page settings by clicking the gear that appears when you hover over the name of the page.

This tip applies only to your regular website pages—not your blog pages. Once you’re in the page settings, scroll down to the URL slug and include a keyword phrase. Try to keep your urls as short as possible. In this example, ‘squarespace seo' has been added to this URL:

www.simpleandsoulful.com/services/squarespace-seo  

There is a different method for adding keywords and SEO to your blog posts which we have explained in great detail in this article: How To Add SEO To Your Squarespace Blog Posts

5. Use keywords in your heading tags and copy.

Google checks for keywords in the heading tags and copy on each page of your website. The first 100 words on your website are considered the most important to SEO. This is where you want to place your most important keywords for each page. The trick is to work keywords into your titles and copy without sounding spammy. This step is really important and if you struggle with this, you might consider hiring a professional copywriter. I happen to know are really good one.

6. Be sure and use keywords in alt text and titles on your images.

Google doesn’t have time to look at every one of your pictures and decide which words best describe them. Alt text is what Google uses to index the photos on your website. The alt text also displays in browsers when the image is not available. Alt text can provide a good SEO boost as long as the words you use are relevant to the picture. Again, don’t stuff keywords.  

When you upload an image, change the filename to something descriptive to include a keyword or phrase. Separate a collections of words with hyphens.

The captions in image blocks are converted to alt text, so be sure to fill in the caption of every relevant image on your website. If your design looks cluttered with displayed captions, you can choose not to display them.

Galleries have their own method of adding alt text to images. Here's an article from Squarespace about adding alt-text to your images. We also wrote a blog post a while back about using images on your blog.

7. Register with Google My Business.

Google likes knowing you are a legitimate business before they rank your website. The easiest way to show them your are legit is to register with Google My Business. Verifying your business information is done by requesting a code on a postcard from Google and then entering the code into the Google My Business website once you receive it.

Additionally, if your business and website design allow it, we suggest displaying your address on both your contact page and in the site footer. You’ll also want to add your location to the Business Information settings panel on the backend of your Squarespace website.

From the Squarespace HOME menu, go to Settings -> Business Information. This is totally worth doing even if you don't sell products or services from your business address.


 Understanding Squarespace SEO

8. Index your website with Google Search Console.

Google Search Console allows you to verify your website and then check that Google can see all the pages on your site.

You can also submit a sitemap to help Google understand how to display your Squarespace website in search results. It can take a little while for Google to crawl your website and index your pages, however, you can speed up the process by requesting a crawl via the Google Search Console. You should do immediately after launching your Squarespace website and whenever you make significant changes to your site. Here’s where you can learn more from Squarespace about using Google Search Console to verify your website.


9. Write on your blog regularly.

  • Add new blog posts on a regular schedule, it’s great for SEO. The more high quality content you publish, the better your website will rank.
  • Great blog posts provide helpful information about a particular subject. You are the resident expert on how your products or services can solve problems for people, so demonstrate your expertise and be the definitive source they seek.
  • Update your existing posts and pages regularly. Keeping older blog posts up-to-date helps them build their search rank steadily over time.
  • Link to other trusted sites from your posts.
  • Use tags and categories on your blog. Here’s a whole article about tags and categories if you need help.
  • Provide value and unique insights to your customers. 2000+ word articles perform better in search results than shorter ones.
  • Use relevant images, bullets, and numbered lists in your content because these help your readers digest your content more easily.

10. Link your social media accounts and share your website content.

Posting to your social media accounts can help drive good quality traffic to your website, Google loves seeing well qualified traffic go to your website from social media platforms and it does great things for your SEO ranking. After you’ve them linked, it will be easy to push your new blog content to your social media accounts. Squarespace makes it simple. Read more about it right here.

We know how technical and complicated SEO seems to the average Squarespace user. The reason so many business owners choose Squarespace in the first place is because it’s relatively uncomplicated to set up and manage. However, having even a basic understanding of effective SEO is important. Educating yourself and implementing some of the basics of Squarespace SEO will empower your business goals and promote your business on the web 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—all around the world (especially helpful for location independent entrepreneurs like us).

A good SEO strategy is absolutely worth the investment. While today’s tips aren’t hard to implement, they do involve a commitment of time and energy. If the daily realities of running your small business don’t allow you to tackle these SEO enhancements, feel free to inquire about our Squarespace SEO services. We can configure the basic settings for you or provide a more in-depth, customized quote that includes an editorial strategy and ongoing consulting to help you start moving up the search engine rankings more efficiently.

Other resources you might enjoy:

Why SEO Is So Important To Your Business
How To Add SEO To Your Squarespace Blog Posts
15 Super Easy Blog Ideas For People Who Hate To Write
I Have A Website, Now What?
How I Became A Better Writer For My Business


 Moses Ward-Simple & Soulful Creative

About the author:

Moses Ward is a entrepreneur who enjoys helping business owners get more customers and grow their businesses with custom digital marketing strategies and beautiful Squarespace website design. Moses has started several successful small businesses and worked extensively as a consultant for a wide range of online and offline businesses. He joined his beautiful and talented wife Deana as a partner in Simple & Soulful Creative in 2015 and has fully embraced the unique joy and fulfillment that comes from running a sucessful small business with his best friend. 


 
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