How to Boost your SEO on Squarespace (and what happens automagically)

 There's a huge misconception that Wordpress is inherently better than Squarespace for SEO. This is a MYTH. In this post, I'm laying out 7 simple steps to optimize your Squarespace SEO.

In case you didn’t know, I offer on-demand Squarespace support and customizations. And, as a Squarespace Circle member, I often get THIS ONE question:

“If I switch from Wordpress to Squarespace, will I hurt my SEO?”

I hear this kind of thing ALL THE TIME. And so here's my answer.

There’s a huge misconception that Wordpress is inherently better than Squarespace for SEO.

This is a myth.

In some ways, Squarespace makes good SEO much easier with all their built-in features.

Squarespace automatically generates a sitemap, clean HTML code that is readable and indexable by search engines, alt tags, title tags, and meta descriptions. Squarespace makes it easy for you to customize your URLs making them easy to read for search engines. And, re-directs are a piece of cake in Squarespace.

Looking to Customize your Squarespace Site?

Squarespace templates are already mobile-friendly.

This is a HUGE one when it comes to search engine rankings because Google penalizes websites that aren’t responsive. This means that, if your site doesn't look good on mobile, not only are you losing visitors but you're also hurting your SEO.

There are some things that you can do to increase your site’s search engine visibility.

Integrate Google Analytics with your Squarespace site. This one is easy peasy. All you have to do is log into your Google Analytics account, click the “Admin” tab, go to “Property Settings”, and copy your Tracking ID (it looks like UA-12345678-1). Then log into your Squarespace dashboard, click “Settings”, then “Advanced”, and select “External Services”. Then just paste in your Tracking ID and voila!

Have Google index your site. You do this by logging into your Google Webmaster tools account, clicking “add property”, typing in your website URL, and clicking “add”. Google will prompt you to verify your website. (You can do this easily in Squarespace if you have Google Analytics integrated with your Squarespace site. ) Simply click the tab labeled “Alternate methods”, select “Google Analytics”, and click “Verify”.

Do some keyword planning. Think about your ideal clients. When they’re stuck, frustrated, and searching Google for an answer, what would they type in that search bar? What do you want to be known for? Remember you want “long-tail” keywords rather than short ones because the more specific you are the easier it is the rank higher in search results.

Now that you know your keywords, make sure to put them in these key places. BUT, I don’t want you to go “keyword stuffing” here. You want to use these terms naturally and in complete sentences.

  1. Your Page Title (this is different than the Navigation title). The page title is what appears on your browser tab and is indexed by search engines.
  2. Your headings (in Heading 1 or Heading 2) because search engines give these a higher priority than other body content. It’s also a good idea to keep paragraphs short and use headings to make your content easy to scan.
  3. Your image “alt text”, which is the same as your image caption in Squarespace. You can also add them in the filename field when uploading your image.
  4. Your website title. In the Settings menu, click “Marketing” and then select “SEO”. There you can adjust your site title and how blog post titles are displayed.

Start blogging. Seriously. The best way to get Google to rank you higher in the search results is to consistently generate quality content that gets shared by your readers. Having “backlinks” (different sites linking back to your site) is a boost for SEO.

Optimize your images. If your website loads slowly, you’ll be penalized by search engines. I use the free app ImageOptim to optimize all graphics and images before uploading them to my site. You can also use a free online image optimizer like Kraken.

Remove Javascript from your header. Prepare for a techie moment. Javascript code in your header blocks the rest of your page from loading until it has loaded. So it’s best practices to keep any Javascript to your site footer. Common culprits are third-party analytics like GoSquared or SumoMe. (*Note, SumoMe doesn’t work if you put the script in your footer so, if you’re using SumoMe, you’ll have to put that one in the header).

And that’s about it. There’s no magic plugin for improving your SEO. But by following website best practices and creating consistent content that people love to share, you’ll automatically improve your SEO.

Remember, if you need some pro Squarespace support or help with a one-off Squarespace customization, I do that ;)

Today’s post was inspired by Sue from Successful Blogging.