opt-in

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!


3 Ways To Customize Your Squarespace Footer

When you think about your website you focus on things like sidebars, home pages, and showcasing your services or offering. An underutilized place in most websites is the footer.

The footer is way, way, way down there at the bottom of each page. Today I want to show you ways to customize your footer in Squarespace and make sure it’s working for your business.

First things first: decide what your goal for your footer is going to be. Are you trying to recruit clients, promote your lead magnet, grow a social media following, or something else? I think your footer can do all of that (and more) if you design it well.

My footer houses a secondary navigation, because it’s important to me to have a clean cut top navigation with very direct purposes. But, I have a lot more going on than just my services or my blog and I want those things to be accessible from any page, so I manually created a secondary navigation. Some templates in Squarespace allow for an automatic secondary navigation (you’ll see the option in the pages panel), but if yours does not you can create links manually using a text block. The only other purpose my footer has is to connect with people via social media.

You might wonder why I don’t have a lead magnet in my footer. The truth is: I have a lot of lead magnets and it’s heavily promoted on my home page and my blog (my two most popular pages), so I didn’t feel the need to include it again. Plus three of those links down there lead to opt-ins and one leads to a sales page. Your design and user flow might work differently, but keep in mind as a general rule: if someone’s made it that far down, they’re going to be interested in your opt-ins or offerings.

Squarespace makes it incredibly simple to update your footer, all you need to do is hover over the footer area and an option to edit will pop up. Clicking that will highlight that area and gray-out the rest of the page, so you know where you are working. Then, using that same teardrop tool we talked about yesterday you can start to add blocks and elements to complete your footer.


SOCIAL MEDIA

There are a few ways you can add social media to your footer. Once you click that teardrop shaped tool a box will appear (same as editing a page or a blog post) and have options for blocks to add. The last area in this box is social media related. My footer includes the regular social links block that pulls the information I’ve previously connected in a neat and orderly way.

If you wanted something more detailed, you could easily connect a Twitter or Instagram feed by clicking either of those two options. There are some customization available for how those pieces of information show and like any element you can drag to resize (and see the results in real time). It's a popular look to have the Instagram feed stretch the width of your website, which is a nice idea if you have a beautiful Instagram to showcase.


POPULAR OR RECENT POSTS

Another option for your footer would be to use the summary block we discussed yesterday and showcase some of your popular posts or recent posts. This would be a great option to drive traffic to blog posts, especially if your blog posts are important to getting customers, clients, or subscribers.

Use the summary block to drive traffic to your old posts in #Squarespace [Tweet That!]

I like this solution rather than an obvious opt-in form because it allows visitors to access something of yours for free first and see if they like your content and want to subscribe from within the blog post instead. It helps you to make sure your leads are warm leads that connect with you, versus a random visitor.

To save space in the footer I would recommend only showing the blog post title and graphic, but turning off the excerpt or any metadata. Footers should not be overwhelming or too busy, but rather like a nice piece of chocolate after dinner.


YOUR SIGNATURE OPT-IN

If you have a main lead magnet or opt-in that is very popular or successful, I would consider including that in the footer. Something like Claim Your Clients would do well in that area. Why should it be popular or successful? So you can include some sort of blurb that says, “Join over 500 people who have already started doing XYZ” or something along those lines.

I say that because if someone is opting in through your footer they might have not read multiple blog posts yet and understand that you are an expert with real value. So, use that opportunity to prove it even more by stating some statistics or social proof or real results that come from using your opt-in.

If you have multiple opt-ins, like me, it’s important that the one in your footer is your main opt-in that drives your business (whether it be a funnel or a warm lead list for a product) versus an opt-in that is simpler/only created for a blog post. You want this to be a “wow” moment and really knock the socks off whoever subscribes.



Squarespace Design

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!