Ten Tips to Improve your Squarespace SEO to be Ranked on Google
YOU GUYS. I landed a client last week who found me on... *drumroll please* GOOGLE! I realize this seems like a very normal thing, but for me it’s totally not. All of my clients come from referrals or social media. No one has ever found me from a Google search before.
When I got an email from my Squarespace contact form and the field that says “How did you hear about me?” was answered with “Google," I almost fell out of my chair. I am happy to say though, that this was no accident. Just a few weeks prior I did a total overhaul to my Squarespace site's SEO and made sure everything was up to the highest standards possible.
Until recently, I hadn’t focused at all on my website’s SEO. I figured there was too much competition. I didn’t think optimizing my site would matter because I was such a small fish in a big pond. I didn’t think Google would ever be very helpful for me until my business grew more and I could keep up with my competition. Luckily I am here to tell you I WAS WRONG! Dream big my friends, because you too could score an entire real, live client solely through Google by just following these same steps.
Many believe the rumors that Squarespace sites don’t rank as well on Google in comparison to Wordpress sites. That is simply untrue. In fact, in a lot of ways Squarespace has more integrated SEO functions than many other Website builders (including Wordpress). Squarespace SEO just isn’t written about as often, which is why I wanted to share all of my tips and tricks with you today!
Squarespace SEO Tip 1 | Have appropriate Site Titles
Sometimes it’s fun and cute to creatively name your page titles; like having your food blog’s deserts page be called “something sweet.” This can help influence your branding, but it doesn’t help your SEO. Being as clear as you can with your page titles help Google understand what the page is about.
If you really want to keep your fun names, there is a workaround you can implement in Squarespace. In the “Advanced" tab of your "Page Settings", paste this code into the "Page Header Code Injection" box:
<meta name=“description”content=“your page description goes here”/>
Squarespace SEO Tip 2 | Add a Search Engine Description
Because Squarespace is so integrated with SEO functionality, it allows you to add your own search engine description directly on your Squarespace site. By going to the “Settings” panel, selecting “Marketing” and then “SEO,” you’ll find a section where you can write 1-2 sentences to summarize your website. This will be the description displayed on Google when someone comes across your site.
Use as many keywords as possible here, while still keeping it short, sweet and to the point. Notice I use the keywords logo, brand, website, design, and Fayetteville, AR. Also note that my description states who I help and how I help them.
Squarespace SEO Tip 3 | Add a Site Description
This is very similar to the previous SEO tip, but this time your description can be a bit longer. By going back to the “Settings” panel, then selecting “Basic Information” under the "Website” section, you will see a box for your site description. This should be fairly consistent with your Search Engine Description, but with a little more room for extra keywords. Here, I personally put my most important information first, that being my job title and my location, and follow with a brief sentence about my business.
Here’s what mine says:
Freelance Graphic Designer | Fayetteville, AR 72701 - Serving small to medium sized businesses and entrepreneurs with logo design, visual branding, web design and print design.
Squarespace SEO Tip 4 | Add Page Descriptions
In the “Pages” menu, click on the gear icon next to the page you want to add a description to. Adding descriptions to your pages tells Google what that page is about in 1-2 sentences. Fill these descriptions with keywords that are relevant to the page.
I recommend beginning every page description with one consistent keyword or phrase. You may want to begin each page description with your local area/city, or your job title (or both!). This will help increase your chances of showing up with those keywords if it is consistently added to each page.
For example, my "About" page description is: Fayetteville, AR - About Graphic Designer, Mariah Althoff. This is because I want to be ranked on Google when someone searches for a graphic designer in Fayetteville, Arkansas specifically. Pick one thing you want to be searched for, and add it to every page description.
Squarespace SEO Tip 5 | Name all your Images
Naming all of your images a relevant title is extremely important with search engine optimization. Don’t just leave your image titled photo1234.jpg when you upload it to your site. You want these images to give Google more context as to what that webpage is about, and more specifically, what the actual image is of. For example, the Show Me The Yummy logo in my portfolio is named “Show Me The Yummy - Logo Design.”
You can either name these images appropriately before uploading them to your site, or you can change the file name of the image once its already on your site. You can do the latter by clicking “Edit” on the photo and enter the new image title in the "Filename (optional)” field that appears on the image editor screen. This way, if you already have all of your images uploaded to your Squarespace site, you don’t need to re-upload newly named photos. You can just change the file names of each photo on every page of your website instead!
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Squarespace SEO Tip 6 | Add Captions to all of your Images
This goes hand in had with Tip 5, but is a less obvious and an easily missed step. Adding descriptive captions is another way for Google to help identify your images. I recommend having this description be similar to, but not the same as your image filename. Here is a good place to add a longer description (1-2 sentences) of the image, which gives you more chances to add in relevant keywords.
To do this, edit the photo, and click the drop down menu directly below the image on the image editor screen. Here, choose “Caption Below” and click “Apply.” Now you can edit the image caption on the actual page. Once you’ve written your caption, go back into the edit screen for that same image and click the same dropdown menu, but this time choose “Do Not Display Caption.” This way, your caption is hidden, but still embedded into your website and linked to that image. Google still can see that information, but your readers don’t have to.
Squarespace SEO Tip 7 | Use H1, H2, and H3 Attributes when Appropriate
As you can see from my blog posts, I will break up my content with headers. Not only does it make posts easier to read by breaking up content into smaller pieces, but it also helps with SEO. Google will prioritize your information based on whether it is header text or paragraph text. Having a few headers (H2 or H3) within your posts will help call out important keywords and information to Google.
Squarespace SEO Tip 8 | Use Keywords Throughout the Entire Page
Before you start drafting a blog post or writing your About Me page, jot down a list of keywords you want to incorporate. Use these keywords several times throughout your page, without being over the top and annoying for your reader.
If you need ideas as to what keywords people are searching for in relation to the topic you’re writing about, do some research using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. While sifting through these results, you will want to find the most frequently searched keywords which also have a medium to low competition rate.
Squarespace SEO Tip 9 | Include your Address and Phone Number
Adding your address and phone number to your Squarespace site helps Google know where you’re located. Taking advantage of your local SEO is important because depending on your niche, local searches may be your best shot at getting on the first page of Google. This is especially true if you are just starting out.
To add your personal and contact information, go to the “Settings” menu, and select “Business Information” under the “General” tab. Fill out as much of this page as you can. The more information that Google can use, the better!
Bonus Tip: By adding and verifying your site as a Google Business, you can also show up in local searches easier.
Squarespace SEO Tip 10 | Upload your Site Map to Google Webmaster Tools
By adding your site to Google Webmaster Tools, you will be able to upload your sitemap by adding www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml to the “Sitemaps” page under the “Crawl” tab. This helps Google index your site properly, and improves your SEO ranking accordingly.
Implementing these ten SEO tips for your Squarespace site will dramatically increase your chances of being ranked on Google. With that being said, this process takes a lot of time and a lot more goes into the crazy Google SEO formula than what I covered today. Implement these tips, give yourself time for your business or blog to grow and keep putting out quality content and your clients will find you!
Have any other useful SEO tips for Squarespace site owners? Leave them in the comments below!