Squarespace SEO Best Practices

by | Apr 13, 2020 | Content Creation

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According to reports from 2019, there are nearly 2 million Squarespace-supported websites on the internet. Is your website one of them? are you wanting more traffic to your website? Read on..

Squarespace is a great platform that can help you put together an eye-catching, easy-to-navigate website. But good design is one thing, getting to the top of Google search results is another.

There are over 200 ranking factors that search engines look at. A lot of these are taken care of by Squarespace, like server speed, but there are many major factors that are left for you to deal with.

Let’s look at some of the essential Squarespace SEO best practices that you ought to implement.

First Things First; What Is SEO?

Search engine optimization refers to a variety of practices that are all dedicated to increasing the quantity and quality of traffic that a website receives. The goal is to help the site rank highly for specific search terms in the search engine results page (aka SERPs).

There are several practices you can use to optimize your Squarespace site and web site content to improve your SEO ranking, including the following:

  • Content optimization (incorporating specific keywords in strategic locations throughout online content to make it more relevant to search engines)
  • Linking to internal webpages (pages from the same website) and external webpages (pages from other, credible websites)
  • Optimizing content length (longer content tends to rank better than shorter content)
  • Using headings and bullet points to break up content and make it easier to read

These days, it’s essential that website owners use good SEO practices if they want to increase the visibility of their site and get people to visit it. That’s why the SEO industry is worth more than $80 billion.

Luckily, you don’t have to spend a fortune to improve your Squarespace site’s search engine ranking. There are lots of low-cost and even free steps you can take, including the following SEO best practices:

Using the Right Keywords

When it comes to optimizing your Squarespace website (or any site, for that matter), it’s important to use the right keywords. This is so search engines know what your site is about and can rank you appropriately.

First, create a list of the keywords for which you want blog posts and other pages on your website to rank for. Simply note down some of the search terms you think people will type into Google to find you.

You can also use more advanced tools like Google’s Keyword Planner, Mangools, or AHREFs to do research and get a better idea of the keywords and phrases you ought to be using.

You can also use the Related Terms section in Contento optimize to see exactly what keywords you should be using in your articles. It also shows you the importance of each term and how many times to include it in your content.

Run your content through Contento Optimize and get insights and SEO recommendations to make your content better.

Put Keywords In The Right Places

Once you’ve found the keywords for which you want to rank for, the next thing to do is make sure you’re putting them in the right places. Some of the most important places to use your target keywords are in the title and headings of your content as well as in the URL and meta description (the short snippet that appears in search results).

Keep in mind, though, that you shouldn’t overuse your target keywords (this is referred to as “keyword stuffing”). More isn’t always better. In fact, keyword stuffing can get your site penalized, which will make it harder for you to achieve a top spot. The ‘rule of thumb’ here is to make your sentences sound natural.

Improve Content Quality

The higher the quality of your website content is, the better off you’ll be when it comes to search engine rankings (and website performance in general).

Long-form content tends to outperform short-form content, but it’s also important to make quality a priority. If your content is wordy and full of unnecessary details and phrases, it’s not going to perform as well as something that’s slightly shorter but better-written.

Before you sit down to write a blog post or another page of content for your website, get clear on what you want people to get out of it. Consider the problem you’re going to solve for your reader so that every word on the page has a purpose.

Optimize Page Titles

Make sure each page has a clear, to-the-point title that also features your target keyword (in a natural, contextual way). Titles ought to be about 60 characters or less, too. This ensures that nothing gets cut off on the search results pages.

Keeping with the readers’ expectations is important. Don’t use misleading or ambiguous titles. Be clear, and to-the-point so the reader knows exactly what they getting into.

Bad: “A road to roam”
Good: “A wanderer’s guide to Bali’s best-kept secrets”

Using Headings Correctly

Break up your content with clear H2, H3, and H4 headings. Using these headings ensures that your content is easy to read. They also provide you with opportunities to organize your posts and naturally incorporate keywords.

H1’s are reserved for your article title, while H2’s are commonly used for subheadings.

Headings are especially important to use when your content starts getting longer. Subheadings are a nice way to break up your article into a skimmable format for your reader, while also making it more understandable to search engines.

Simplify Page URLs

Squarespace allows you to change the URL for each webpage you create for your website. Be sure to take advantage of this feature and update the URL before publishing to make it as simple as possible.

The page URLs are also called permalinks (permanent URLs).

The simpler the URL is (meaning it’s short, easy-to-read, and echoes the title of the page), the better your chances are of getting a higher search engine ranking.

Use hyphens in between words, too, for better readability and check that no random letters or symbols have been added.

Keep your permalinks to numbers, letters and hyphens.

Optimize Your Images

When you’re adding images to your Squarespace site, you’ll see an option to add alt-text to them. Alt-text is displayed when someone hovers over the image and it helps to make sites more accessible to those who have vision impairments and use special tools that describe images to them.

Alt-text is also referenced by search engines and is another chance for you to include your keywords.

Be sure to add alt-text to the images on your site. Describe the images using short, easy-to-read terms. Just a few words will do.

Get Rid of Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is a huge no-no for SEO. Duplicate blocks of text make it hard for search engines to rank your individual pages. Pages with the same copy i.e. two pages wth the same article on two different domains can be perceived as plagiarism. Google will rank the one it believes came first and will penalise the other. In extreme cases, entire domains will be bared from search results pages.

There are cases in which you’ll have similar content needing to be used across multiple pages i.e. similar products in your online store. A neat fix for this is to use Contento’s free article rewriter tool. This nifty tool will auto rewrite your copy into something unique so you can avoid duplicate content.

Turn on SSL

Squarespace currently offers free SSL (short for Secure Sockets Layer) certificates. If you have a new Squarespace site, SSL is turned on by default. For older sites, though, you may need to switch to this manually.

Enabling SSL changes your website’s URL so that it starts with HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Google encourages HTTPS connections instead of HTTP for more security, and enabling SSL on your site will help you to boost your ranking.

Search engines are actively encouraging all websites to use SSL. Make sure you have SSL turned on.

Share Your Location

It’s a good idea to show you are a real business with a physical location on your Squarespace site.

This is especially important if you’re trying to attract more local website visitors. Sharing your physical location helps more people to find your site and can even increase foot traffic if you have an actual storefront.

Squarespace provides several options for you to share your location. These options include the map blocks, your business information settings, and on your contact page. You can share it in the footer on your site, too.

Customize the 404 Page

In a perfect world, visitors to your site would never run into a 404 or “broken link” page. As your site grows, though, these pages become almost inevitable. People might mistype URLs, for example, or they might click on a link that you changed and forgot to update.

You can’t avoid 404 pages altogether. You can at least change the default page, though so that it features your logo and helps people get to the right place instead of clicking away from your site.

Squarespace allows you to customize your 404 pages and redirect users so they can find the content they’re looking for. You could include a link to your blog on the 404 pages, for example, or a search tool that lets users look for a specific post or page.

This helps increase your chances of having happy customers and site visitors. It keeps people on your site longer, too, which further boosts your search engine ranking.

Key Takeaways

  • There are over 200 ranking factors. Focus on what you can control. Run through the list above.
  • Focus on creating really great content that your readers will love. Share your knowledge.
  • Optimize your articles and website pages with keywords and subtopics to make it the best it can be for search engines. Contento Optimize will help you do this.

As you can see, there are lots of steps you can take to improve your Squarespace SEO and boost your website’s search engine rankings. Implement these SEO practices and you’ll have a better chance of ranking high in search results pages.

More Resources:

See Squarespace’s SEO checklist for a comprehensive list of SEO tasks here
Hire a Squarespace expert to help you implement some of the more complicated SEO tasks here

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