pinterest

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!


Create Optimized + Shareable Pins For Pinterest

Pinterest is the favorite tool for many bloggers and online business owners. It’s a powerful social media platform that works as a search engine and drives people to your website – if you create the appropriate graphics and pins.

In The Shop (launching September 1) you can get high quality but affordable templates for blog graphics that will work amazingly on Pinterest. Follow this guide with your new templates to create Pins that will boost your blog views and make Pinterest your number 1 referral site in no time! 

In the meantime, here’s the anatomy of a perfect Pinterest pin in five easy steps.


VERTICAL

First and foremost, make pins vertical. Think about how you actually use and view Pinterest: it’s a grid that you scroll down through. Vertical images take up more real estate in that regard and will be seen for much longer of a ‘scroll’ than horizontal ones. The same applies with using Pinterest on your phone or tablet. Vertical = better.

The width of a pin is best at 735 pixels, though the height can be whatever you choose (most people’s come in somewhere around 1100px, though I know there are some pins that are much longer). In The Shop I’ve created templates to get you started creating your own Pins that have varying lengths so you can test out what works best for you. ** Updated in 2018: the new recommended size is 600x900 pixels!

Action Item: if you have old pins circulating on Pinterest that are more horizontal than vertical, take time to create new images for them and start getting those out there too. It’s definitely okay to have multiple pins (and images) per blog post, so unless your old pins are drastically underperforming, I’d leave them up. Chances are your newer, more optimized pins will start getting more re-pins, likes, and click-throughs a lot quicker and the older pins will start to fade away.


LARGE READABLE TEXT

In the actual Pinterest image you create the text should be large and readable, to quickly gain attention of someone scrolling through their feed. What I mean by this is:

leave the curly, swirly, elaborate fonts alone and pick something that's easy to read for Pinterest [Tweet That!]

In my own graphics I like to emphasize parts of the title of blog posts by bolding a portion of the title that is most important (like the words ‘business’ or ‘branding’). I also include a small detail that shows if there is some sort of free download, like a worksheet or checklist, to gain attention and build the probability of a click-through. 

From a branding standpoint, I need to make sure I take a moment and tell you to use consistent fonts, colors, and styles on your graphics so that you begin to make a cohesive presence on Pinterest and become quickly recognizable by someone seeing multiple pins from you.

Action Item: Look through your old pins and evaluate if the text is large and readable or if you need to create newer, more legible graphics.

Are your current pins all unified enough that they’re obviously from the same blog or business? [Tweet That!]


USE RICH PINS

Rich Pins are an awesome and easy way to direct more people to your website and give a more polished, professional vibe on Pinterest. What are rich pins? They’re the small details you see beneath pins (you’ll see them beneath my pins) that include your website name and favicon, as well as the blog post title and description.

Rich pins are awesome from a visual standpoint, but they also make it easier to get noticed during a scroll, which in turn can lead to more click-throughs and traffic to your blog. You’ll end up taking up more vertical space and having more of an opportunity for key-word rich descriptions.

Action Item: Get rich pins set up on your blog ASAP. Squarespace makes this SO easy. After you’ve connected your Pinterest account under settings>connected accounts you can head over to this validator and put in one of your blog posts to enable it. No code necessary!


SEO-FRIENDLY DESCRIPTION WITH CTA

Besides the actual pin itself you want to spend time crafting a great description that is SEO-friendly (Pinterest is a search tool first and foremost) and includes some sort of “Call To Action” to help people want to click through.

I usually say something like “Click through to read the five ways to best optimize your Pinterest graphics (and get the free download)” at the end of the description because that’s straightforward and has some more key words in it. I’ll include my website name and small mention of what I do (like “Branding Design + Strategy”) just to set people up for what they will see when they travel to my site.

As far as the rest of the description, it’s usually some portion of the beginning of my blog post, because I’ve already worked to get some key words in there. I don’t try to make it more work on myself – work smarter, not harder right?

Action Item: Go through old blog posts and update the description that will show up when someone pins your blog post (In Squarespace it’s either the caption you use, or the “filename” field if you don’t use captions). That way, from here on out anytime someone pins your blog post they are adding your new, updated, awesome description. If you are feeling really productive then go and update some of your pins on Pinterest (I’d start with the ones from your website’s content board, since that’s probably where a lot of re-pins come from).


MAKE SURE YOUR LINK WORKS

Lastly, the best-optimized pin is a pin that actually leads to the blog post you say it will. Nothing makes me sadder than thinking I am about to read some awesome post I found on Pinterest to find it only leads to www.whateverwebsitetheysaid.com/blog and shows their latest blog post instead. What a buzzkill!

Branding is all about creating an experience and that’s a bad first impression that someone could have with your business. Make a habit of double checking yourself when you pin from your website!

Action Item: On your website’s content board, at least, go through and check your pins and make sure all the links are correct. If they aren’t, take time to edit and correct the link!



Blog Growth with Pinterest

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!