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5 Squarespace Hacks To Improve Your Search Engine Optimization

Is Squarespace bad for SEO? I hear this question a loooooot. Here’s the deal: not paying attention to SEO is bad for SEO. But wait, wait: what’s SEO?

SEO is internet-speak for Search Engine Optimization, which basically means can the Google robots understand your site enough to make sure it shows up organically when people search relevant topics.

For whatever reason, Squarespace gets a bad rap when it comes to SEO, but there are actually quite a few measures you can take to help your SEO (that you should be doing regardless of your preferred platform). I’m going to cover 5 specific ways to improve your SEO on Squarespace today.


SITE TITLE

First things first, when you’re setting up your Squarespace website you’ll see a left hand panel with a few options to click. I’m not sure if it’s everyone’s instinct, but mine was to click “Design.” From there the first option you see says “Logo & Title.”

The menu that opens up from there is an important one. The very first section asks you to fill out your Site Title and Tag Line. This is the first area I want you to highlight what you do by using keywords that relate to your business.

With SEO it’s important to have things “make sense” and not be completely ridiculously obvious that you’re trying to win over the Google robots. I recommend putting your business name here and then a few essential key words. Mine says: “The Crown Fox | Branding Design, Logos, Websites, Strategy for Online Business.” There are quite a few words that people will search for that relate to what I offer I there, but it reads as a sentence that makes sense and is fluid.

Just a side note: I included logos because I understand a lot of my potential clients start off thinking that they “just need a logo” and will search that term over “branding.” For your own business take the time and research (my favorite way is to just ASK people) what they would search in relation to your business. If you are a local business that works primarily in your town, definitely be sure to include that.

The Tag Line is another area to throw some more keywords in, but be wary that on most templates this does show up somewhere so I wouldn’t sacrifice the look/feel of your website for a huge string of words. Mine is simply “branding design + strategy.”


SEARCH ENGINE DESCRIPTION

Once that’s done and saved, travel back to the main menu (click the arrow in the top left panel that will navigate you back through the different menus). This time I want you to scroll down to Settings > Marketing > SEO.

The first section here is another huge SEO booster. This is what people will actually see when they search for you or if you come up as a result: the 1-2 lines underneath your website name.

Again, focus on making real sentences or at least fragments that make sense versus a jumble of keywords. I incorporated my services and my mission statement into this area: “Cohesive Branding, Website Design, Brand Strategy | I create cohesive branding for small business owners, to they can find their success, become influential, & stand out as the authority in their industry.”

So I have words that I think people will search for plus a small bio about my business that encourages the click through if someone is a small business owner who wants these different things. Only the first portion of this actually shows, so there’s not a huge benefit to making it excessively long.


PAGE DESCRIPTIONS + TITLES

The next focus should be on each of your pages within your website. If you head back to the main panel, the first option says “Pages.” This is where every page for your Squarespace website is housed. Each one has the option of being optimized.

If you hover over a page a small gear icon appears to the right. Clicking that will bring up a window that allows you to change the “Navigation Title” (what actually shows on the top of your browser), “Page Title”, and further down a “Page Description.”

For each page you should take notice of these areas and make sure they have keywords and content in them. SEO Robots look here when they index your website, so leaving it blank is a missed opportunity. This might take a little bit of time if you have a ton of pages, but is worth it. Maybe you have a sales page that has slightly different key words or something that someone might be able to find separately from your overall website! There could be a gold mine hidden in there that you’ve never taken the opportunity to grab.

Don't miss these SEO Hacks for your Squarespace site! [Tweet That!]


IMAGES (NAMES, SIZES, DESCRIPTIONS)

Another huge SEO misstep is not paying attention to your images. The SEO robots (does anyone else actually picture little robots? I do!) can really “see” pictures so instead they look at the actual size of the picture, the name of the picture file, and the description you’ve attached to it.

The size of the file and naming the file comes before you even upload it to your website, so take care of that first. The size should be web friendly which means it doesn’t need to be a huge 300DPI image, but rather 72DPI. This will let it load faster and overall improve your website.

If you’re confused about this just make sure you are exporting files for web use or look for free websites that will shrink your files. A good website designer will take care of this initially for you too.

The file name itself should be something relevant with keywords. For my blog post graphics I usually use 2-3 words from the blog title that are also keywords (maybe like ‘brand’ or ‘blogging’ or ‘online business’) and then my website name. This also matters when it comes to pinning your blog post graphics [link] so you’re really killing two SEO birds (robots?) with one stone.

When you upload an image to Squarespace you have two places that you can enter a description. First is as a caption, second is in a spot they (misleadingly, in my opinion) call ‘filename’.  I fill out a lengthy description in the ‘filename’ area that describes the image (and also doubles as the Pinterest description whenever I pin it). Even if you’re not on Pinterest still take the time to add some essential keywords into either the caption or the filename so you’re not missing another great SEO-boosting opportunity.


BLOGGING

This one might be obvious, but blogging is hugely beneficial to your SEO. It’s filled with relevant key words, made up of real sentences (not an obvious ploy to boost your ranking), and is a loooot of content, right?!

I understand that blogging might not *~be~* for everyone. So even if you do podcasts or videos or periscopes or whatever, create show notes that contain relevant words so that the robots can process that (similar to an image, they can’t listen to or watch other forms of content).

If you think about a website with 5 pages of content that features relevant key words, that might seem like a lot. But then picture those 5 pages + 50 blog posts! That website will instantly be able to rank higher because there is so many more variations of keywords, pages for other websites to link to, etc.

Within your blog it's a great idea to use hierarchy to point out to the robots what is super important to pay attention to. I covered other things to include on your Squarespace blog yesterday!



SEO Squarespace Designer

I’m Kaitlyn, your design assistant! I work with successful creative entrepreneurs to create cohesive, clean, and compelling visuals for their businesses. You can keep being the #girlboss you are (but with more time to focus on growing your empire)! Let's set up a time to chat!


6 Essential Elements To Add To Your Squarespace Blog

Blogs are a really huge part of online businesses. Continuing on the trend of discussing all things Squarespace this week, I wanted to talk about what a great platform Squarespace is for blogging for your business. Blogs help build SEO organically, showcase your expertise, educate potential clients or customers, and build trust with your audience. I can attest a large amount of my success to this blog and the content I post weekly.

Squarespace makes blogging extremely easy. One of my favorite parts about the blog post area is the ability to customize each post in the same way one might build a page (using that teardrop tool). You can add basically anything to a blog post to make it work best for you and your business. I have a routine of what I add to each of my posts and wanted to share some ideas with you about what you can add to yours.


HIERARCHY

The first thing to focus on is hierarchy within the content of your blog post. Creating hierarchy simple means to use different tags like your <H1> (header 1), <H2> (header 2), and <H3> (header 3), quote block, bold, italics, etc. Squarespace makes it easy to highlight a portion of each post and label it as such. I follow a simple plan for using sub titles within my blog post to make it more easy navigable (H3), click to tweets (H1), and bolding other relevant parts.

Hierarchy is a word that designers throw around a lot, but you don’t have to be a designer to use and understand it. 

Hierarchy makes blog posts easier to read and boosts your SEO! [tweet that!]

Why is it important? The search engine robots that crawl through your website pay more attention to wording that is labeled as a Header, so putting keywords into those categories is super beneficial for your SEO.

Outside of the technical standpoint, it’s also an easier way to divide up text and make things more legible. Reading on a computer screen is difficult; the more breaks you give your reader, the better. You’ll notice online the average paragraph is a lot shorter than what you learned in school, and that’s because huge blocks of text are less appealing to readers.

If you outline your posts before writing (which I highly recommend) it’s also a lot easier to think in the way of “title” and “4-8 subtitles” first and then go ahead and write the content later. I cover more about that here.


BLOG POST IMAGE

Another key thing to include in your blog posts are blog images, so that people can easily Pin your post (or share on other social media platforms). I add mine right at the top, like a title image, but you could add yours near the bottom if you prefer (I have other information at the bottom, and didn’t want it to feel too cramped).

In Squarespace you can use that teardrop tool to add an image block. Your file name for your image is important for SEO, so make sure you name it something relevant (not img5667_final_forreal.jpg). You can also add information into the filename area or the caption that will carry over into your Pinterest description (Squarespace will choose the caption first over the filename. I leave my caption blank and input all the Pinterest appropriate description in the filename area).

You can resize the image if you don’t want it to be so big, or add spacing blocks to either side. Spacing blocks are great for this sort of work, you add one the same as any other block, and then click and drag it to the left or right side of an image and can resize to whatever size you need.

For more information about creating great Pinterest-worthy graphics, click here.


CALL TO ACTION/OPT IN

Every blog post should also contain some sort of call to action or subscriber opt-in. I usually choose one or the other, as not to overwhelm a reader. Opt-ins are great for growing your list, especially if you create a relevant lead magnet that also fits your overall brand vision (read more about that here).

However, I sometimes skip the opt-in and go straight for the call to action to get people to look into a product or service I am offering. This is only if the blog post feels relevant to that.

What you don’t want is a blog post that has no real purpose or gain for you and your business. I’ve been slowly going back through my older blog posts and making sure they have relevant opt-ins or CTAs. It’s a lengthy process (I wish I would’ve just started off on the right foot, but hey, live and learn… and teach others) but worth the increase in subscribers.


AUTHOR BIO

If you have more than one writer on your blog this is SUPER important, but even as a solopreneur I still like doing it. It’s a fun way to introduce yourself to new readers, which is important because chances are new audience members are landing on a random blog post from Pinterest or something.

I recently started adding a little bio, my picture, and a consultation form to each blog post. I’ve seen an increase in client inquiries, which is amazing, but also an increase in shares on social media. I can’t say definitively, but I think having the picture helps build that trust and the “hey I’m a real person, really running a business” vibe is always a good one to put out there.


SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Social media links are an important part of any blog post. I use SumoMe (you can create an account here and add the code into your “code injection” menu in Squarespace. Go to settings>advanced>code injection).  Squarespace also comes with their own share buttons that automatically appear at the bottom of each post.

Besides the sharing buttons I also include regular social media links so that anyone who is interested in following me can easily do so. I do this by using that teardrop tool to bring up the different blocks I can add and scroll all the way down and add social links (the information is pulled from when I initially connected my social media accounts).


RELATED BLOG POSTS

I discussed this the other day when we covered the summary block, but the reasoning is this: you got a reader to go through your whole entire awesome blog post… now what? As far as user experience goes, you want to direct them to the next thing to read or do, so they stay on your website longer.

You can add a summary block and use the tag or category filter to make sure it’s relevant blog posts that show (for example, this blog post will show related ‘tutorial’ or ‘guide’ posts).



Squarespace Blog Designer

I’m Kaitlyn, your design assistant! I work with successful creative entrepreneurs to create cohesive, clean, and compelling visuals for their businesses. You can keep being the #girlboss you are (but with more time to focus on growing your empire)! Let's set up a time to chat!