Squarespace is a trusted website host that offers their own search engine optimization (SEO) guidance and support, but do you know what the Squarespace SEO tactics are? And are you using them to meet your highest SEO potential?
Squarespace provides numerous strategies for the sole reason of getting your website to appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs), so even if you’re not a super technical type of person (us neither), Squarespace SEO has some tricks up its sleeve.
We’re going over Squarespace SEO in this blog post, giving you the ins and outs of how to use it and use it well (i.e. get you that ranking power). Here’s the breakdown of what we’re gonna cover:
- What Squarespace SEO provides automatically
- Some quality Squarespace SEO tips, guidance, and tools
What Squarespace SEO Has to Offer
Like most website hosts out there, Squarespace offers some basic SEO-friendly features that you’ll want to be sure you’re taking advantage of.
It’s important to keep in mind that if you don’t optimize for best results, you won’t receive the best results. So, yes, this top-notch SEO list is fantastic, but there’s some work that should be done on your end, too.
- Site map. Squarespace creates and links a sitemap.xml, allowing all of your URLs to be prioritized for accurate indexing.
- SSL. All Squarespace domains are offered an SSL certificate. This tells your users that you’re a safe site and the search engines love it.
- HTML markup. Don’t worry about adding headers like <h1> and <h2>, etc. to your HTML, Squarespace will do it for you if you select the style of heading you want to use.
- Tagging. Squarespace SEO will generate all the proper tags automatically. So you don’t need to bother with <alt> tags, <title> tags, and <link> tags.
- URLs. All of your URLs will read nicely for your audience and the SERPs.
- Redirects. Squarespace will redirect users and the search engines to the proper, effective page if you have more than one domain.
- Descriptions. Your title tag (the clickable title of your page that pops up on the SERPs) and page description (the copy found under your site title that pops up on the SERPs) can be easily edited and optimized.
- Mobile. Squarespace works with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to help your site pages load faster on hand-held devices. It also provides automatic mobile optimization.
- Rich results. Create effective copy and use effective images using meta tags so you’re more likely to be bumped up on the search engines.
- Meta tags. This allows you to add important and relevant info to your site description.
- Google Analytics. You have easy access to this tool (after you setup your Google Search Console, which is also easy to do through Squarespace) that will enable you to check data on how your keywords are performing, among other things.
These are all excellent built-in SEO tactics that Squarespace offers, but it’s up to you to set them all up correctly and optimize (we know, we said it before, but it can’t be overlooked).
Even when some of these items are done automatically, you’ll want to review and be sure they’re all working to your advantage.
Increasing your ranking with Squarespace SEO isn’t difficult and they have some tricks of their own on their site that will walk you through it all.
If you’re wondering if the template you’ve chosen has all of these SEO tactics built-in, the answer is yes. It doesn’t matter what you choose as a template, Squarespace gives you all of these SEO basics.
Quality Squarespace SEO Tips
The Squarespace SEO basics are great and they certainly help, so let’s get more in depth about what you need to pay close attention to when you create your website in order to achieve SEO success.
Here’s our tips:
The SSL Certificate
This handy little number is going to help all who see (or crawl) you, like you better. It tells them that you’re a secure site and works really well with the search engines. It means your site has HTTPS in front of it (not just http).
Squarespace makes it easy to set this up right away when you’re creating your new website. While you’re there, hit HSTS Secure also, this allows only the most secure version of your site to open.
Another cool thing: Squarespace uses HTTP/2 for all of their secure sites automatically, so your site will be prone to run smoother and faster. We’ll take it.
Note that if you’re moving your existing website from another host to Squarespace, just pushing the SSL button, may not work. It’s best to contact support to make sure you don’t do something wrong and end up losing credibility on the search engines.
Now that you’re a safe site, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
Your Google Search Console and Google Analytics
These work similarly. Allowing you to see data like keyword ranking and they give you cool tools that will tell you how your site is working with the search engine. They also allow you to submit your sitemap, which is a must (more on that in a bit).
Now get your Google Analytics up and running because this tool will get you important intel on how your website is fairing out there on the wild wild web. Get it going right away so you can study your history when you need to in the future.
After you’ve verified your site with Google and Bing, get them your XML sitemap so they can index you quickly and correctly. It’s super easy, go to your dashboard, click on “sitemaps”, and take it away.
Squarespace will create your sitemap automatically. Your URL will be www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml. Just give this link to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools and you’re all good.
The Content Side of Things
Yes, we know, we’re always going back to content. That’s because it’s the be-all, end-all when it comes to SEO.
These rules below are best practices with any website host, but you’ll be smart to keep them in mind when creating and optimizing your Squarespace website.
No matter how well you’ve optimized the other Squarespace SEO features, if your content is crappy, you’re not getting the rank you want. Full stop.
So here’s what you’ve gotta do:
You want to focus on what users are searching for and the popularity of those keywords. Ask around, you may be too close to this and not have a fully opened mind.
Make a list of what you think are the best searched words in order to find you or your competitors.
There are also great free tools you can get your hands on like keywordtool.io that will help in this endeavor by telling you each word’s search volume.
If search volume is really high, that means you’ve got a bunch of competition out there with that word.
Speaking of competition… Once you have your keyword list, start searching Google and see what comes up.
You can then compare your domain authority (DA) with those who are populating on page one of Google and see how you measure up.
At first, it’s smart to use keywords whose SERP has websites with DA in the teens, you can get more competitive with difficult keywords as your brand becomes more visible.
And if you’re a new business, start with long-tail keywords, too.
This should go without saying, but we’re gonna go ahead and say it. Target the keywords that are relevant to your business, your website, what you offer.
Meta Tags and Descriptions
So, your title tag is important. It tells the search engine what your page is about and it provides info to the user which will either entice a click (yah!) or a scroll (boo).
Use the best keywords and language to let the search engine know what you’re providing the user within your page.
Your meta description is also important, even though keywords aren’t as crucial here. The endgame is to get the user to click. Use as close to the 155 character allowance they give you to offer the most insight.
And, we can’t forget to optimize for your images. Google can’t see an image the way we can, so allow it to do so through your brief description of the image using keywords.
When you write this, be aware that if your image doesn’t load for some reason, the user will see the words you used to describe it instead.
Squarespace gives you simple access so you can generate the best possible meta tags and descriptions for each of your pages and images.
Always a good rule of thumb is make your pages super navigational through the use of headers. It helps readers read, it looks prettier, it helps the search engines understand your page and index properly.
Squarespace understands this and made it really easy. All you have to do is pick the header size you desire from the dropdown window, and the code is optimized accordingly.
Page Load Times
You already know this is an important part of your user’s experience, as well as your relationship with the search engines. Take the proper measures to be sure your website is up to speed.
- Check image size and use compression tools, use JPGs instead of PNGs
- Don’t go crazy with your fonts, Squarespace recommends using only two throughout your site
- Use web safe fonts like Google Fonts- you’ll find these within Squarespace
- Set up your Squarespace SSL
- Switch your AMP on
Squarespace Link Building
Like they do with any hosting platform, the search engines will look for inbound links to your Squarespace website. Why? Because they want to understand your relationship with other credible sites.
You can generate links organically through supplying off-the-chart content that’s unique, relevant, trustworthy, and informative- and the masses will come, and they will link.
Squarespace Web Design
The design of your website will contribute to you SEO success, too. Your site MUST be easy to navigate so you enable a killer user experience (UX).
A good tip: be sure your color pallet is on brand and enticing, keeping in mind your target audience.
Squarespace has gorgeous templates to choose from. Go with sleek, go with whimsical, go with simple, go with uber-professional- whatever, but always go with good content.
You’re Ready to Nail It With Squarespace SEO
You’ve got all the tools to kick your ranking into gear now. Just follow these tips, tricks, and rules and you’ll be headed in the right direction.
Always remember that you no matter your platform, Squarespace or otherwise, you need to optimize, have high-quality content that inspires engagement, and be patient. SEO is a long game, so allow your content the time to make its impact.