How to grow your site’s visibility with Squarespace SEO

 
How to grow your site’s visibility with Squarespace SEO.jpg
 
 
 

SEO is a marketing function for sure, but it needs to be baked into a product, not slapped on like icing after the cake is baked.” – Duane Forrester

In this blog post I am going to talk about SEO. What can you do to optimize SEO and what settings can you change on your Squarespace website to help you out.

Quick intro to SEO

SEO stand for Search Engine Optimization but what does it actually mean? According to Rand FIshkin (Founder of Moz) it is ‘"The practice of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic that you earn through the organic (not paid) results in search engines"

Search engine’s like Google wants their customers to find the best content online that satisfies their question. Google is forever changing their algorithms in order to send searchers to the best websites.

One thing it does it registers where your website is easy to navigate. When a customer clicks on to your website and within seconds they hit the back button, Google recognizes that as a bad thing. Clearly what the customer wanted was not easy to find on the website or not there at all. Nowadays most people use their phones to search for things so Google also wants to make sure it connects mobile users with an mobile optimized web site. Lucky for you Squarespace comes with a mobile version!

Ranking Signals

Certain factors on a website establish your position in the search engines. So Google is based on loads of ranking signals that form the algorithm for the search engine. Now this is forever changing and nobody really knows exactly what factors decide where you are placed in the ranking of the search results. However there are some main things you can focus on.

Back Links

It is good if you get links back from very popular websites. If I get a link back from my local garage this won’t do much for me because a. the website of the local garage is not high frequented website and b. their content is not relevant to my content. However should Google feature my link on their home page that would be amazing because Google is one of the most visited websites in the world and therefor have a lot of authority!

High Quality Content

Another ranking signal is posting high quality content that is related to your niche market. Google likes long high quality content. Again Search engines are smart and if people click on your blog post and very quickly hit the back button, it indicates that it is not very valuable or a long post. When you write keep in mind that you are writing for humans and not search engines. Write posts that are about 2000 words and use key words when it makes sense!

So if you haven’t yet start blogging, remember you are good enough! Don’t be nervous everyone has to start somewhere. Blog consistently and with time you will become a master in your topic, which is something that Google will pick up as well!

How to optimize the settings on your website

Google Search Console

Sign up for Google Search Console. As per Google the Search Console is: ‘Search Console tools and reports help you measure your site's Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search results.’ Google

This is a very handy tool that you can very easily sign up for.

Here are the steps as per Squarespace.com.

1. In the Home Menu, click Settings.

2. Click Connected Accounts.

3. Click Connect Account.

4. Click Google Search Console.

5. Log into the Google account you want to connect to your site. If you have multiple Google accounts, ensure you select the correct one.

6. Click Allow.

Site Title & Tag line

1. Home

2. Design

3. Logo & Title

In here you want to fill in the title of your site and a short tag line which is a brief one line description of your business.

Search Engine Description

Search Engine Description example.jpg

When someone searches for your website this is what comes up in the results of for example Google.

1. Settings

2. SEO

3. Search engine Description

Business Information

Fill in as much information here as you can and what is applicable to you. If you don’t have a physical address for example don’t fill that in. Fill in what makes sense!

1. Home

2. Settings

3. Business information

Page titles, Page Description and URL Slugs

Search engines prioritize site titles, page, titles blog post titles and headings. You need to write them in a clever way so that you can use key words and make it readily for humans but also for search engines.

To update to your page titles go to

1. Home

2. Pages

Squarespace gear icon.jpg

Hover over one of your pages and click on the gear icon. A menu will pop up where you can update the Navigation title, page title, description and URL slug. Navigation titles and page title can be the same. These titles should be short and to the point and have to make sense.

Make the URL slug basic and what people will actually be searching for. My ‘work with me’ page has the slug of Squarespace-website-design because people will more likely to search for square space website design then for Aaltsje Hiddema or work with me. Another example is your contact page. Instead of having the slug say something like ‘Email me and we will grab a cuppa and chat’ keep it short and simple and just say ‘Contact me’ for example.

Blog post Settings

1. Home

2. Settings

3. Blogging

In here we are going to change the URL format so that it only read %t. When you get there it should look like %y%m%d%t. Y stand for year, M stands for month, D stands for Day and T stands for title of the blog post. We only want the blog post title in the blog post URL so go ahead and delete %y%m%d

The next step we will need to do for every single blog post.

1. Home

2. Pages

3. Blog

Go to pages and then go to your blog. Once you have created a blog post, click on edit and a screen will pop up to edit your post. Click on options and in there you can update the post URL. Again in here it is the shorter the better. So instead of ‘What you need to organise before designing a website’ take out all the unnecessary words and change it to something like organise-designing-squarespace-webdesign

Blog seo settings.jpg
blog post URL settings.jpg

Images

All your images need to be named with a title that reflects the picture. So if you have a picture of a sunflower name it sunflower and not Aaltsje Hiddema Squarepsace web design in the hope that it will improve your SEO, not going to happen. If you can of course add in keywords but again it has to make sense. Also try and keep your images under 500 KB as this will improve your load speed of the website. And the bigger the picture the slower the load speed. Also

HTTPS & AMP

Now when building a new website, it should automatically be secure. To check go to

1. Home

2. Settings

3. Advanded

4. SSL

Make sure ‘Secure’ is clicked.

AMP stand for accelerated Mobile Pages. This optimizes the view of your blog post when viewed on mobile phones. To turn this on go to

1. Home

2. Settings

3. Blogging

4. Click use AMP

In this blog post I covered some SEO basics and how you can easily optimize your Squarespace website. Should you have any question please don’t hesitate to send me an email: Hello@aaltsjehiddema.com or leave a comment below!