The following article covers 8 steps with details on improving SEO inside of Squarespace. Including details on adding Site Titles, Descriptions, Image Alt Tags, NAP (Name address number), Importance of Page Descriptions and Titles, and more.
With so much talk around SEO we wanted to make sure that you are guaranteed the basics for your Squarespace site. The following article is a first part of a quick guide to Squarespace SEO and will cover some key points and tips on how to optimize your Squarespace SEO, including optimizing content, images, and adding relevant keywords.
NOTE! that this list is not exhaustive, there are huge amounts of resources online and this is only a basic get started guide. It does not guarantee improved performance, but it will allow you to at least apply the basics required to be recognized by search engines.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is "the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of the traffic that you earn through the organic (not paid) results in search engines" Rand Fishkin, Founder of Moz.
Basically it's a method that allows your content to be easier to read by search engines such as Google and Bing, which will mean they can index your site and present it to users based on relevant search terms.
What are keywords?
A keyword is a word or phrase that is used to make your page found by end users. Using correct keywords will allow you to rank higher. When considering keywords, think about what you want to be found for, it could be a number of keywords, as each page will be different. For example "Dublin Wedding Photographer" is a keyword phrase that may be useful, although it could be a difficult keyword to rank for.
Try using tools such as Google Keyword Planner to find keywords and phrases that may be useful for your pages that's relevant to your audience.
SEO on Squarespace
This section will provide you with 8 steps with details on improving SEO inside of Squarespace. Including details on adding Site Titles, Descriptions, Image Alt Tags, NAP (Name address number), Importance of Page Descriptions and Titles, Structuring your content and more.
1. Site Title, Tagline and Description
This is an important factor for SEO. Using your keyword phrase in the site title will greatly help you rank for that phrase. For example Dublin Wedding Photographer - John Doe is a good example.
To set your Site Title and Tagline, you can do so by going from Home > Design > Logo & Title:
Also adding a relevant site description about the site will allow users to understand what your site is about before clicking into it. Again the keyword or phrase can be used here for relevance.
You can set the site description by going from Home > Settings > Marketing > SEO:
2. Image SEO and Adding Image Descriptions
Before uploading images to Squarespace you should take careful consideration of how they've been named. For example an image 0290129002.jpg will not provide any benefit for SEO. Take time to rename images with relevant keywords before uploading. A good example would be for a wedding photographer that has taken weddings in a particular location i.e. jane_and_tom_wedding_castle_leslie_ireland1.jpg. It includes the description of the image and the location.
Adding descriptions to your images is very important for Google as it allows it to understand what the image is about. Using keywords and relevant descriptions of images will greatly improve how people find your site. For example you could use “Dublin Wedding Photographer About Me” for your about image. This means if someone searched for the term “Dublin Wedding Photographer” and goes to Google images, it's likely the images will be shown here. The more specific the term used the more specific images are shown.
You can edit any image uploaded to any page on Squarespace. Go to the page or post and simply go to the image, click edit and add the file name.
3. Image Optimization
Not necessarily a way of improving your on Site SEO with Squarespace, but it's often something that isn't considered. Page sizes affect speed, which directly affects SEO.
Thinking about image optimization should be a huge consideration for anyone running a site, especially those that are image heavy. It's best to optimize images before uploading to your site. If using Lightroom or Photoshop for image editing, make sure to export the images in 72dpi, at around 70% quality. Make sure the file isn’t full size i.e. 4000x3000px. If the image is going to be shown at 100px upload an image of max 200px in size (for retina displays).
You can learn more about optimizing images and the importance of image optimization from Yoast.
4. Add Name Address Number (NAP)
Adding relevant NAP information will help improve your Local SEO standings. Google often ranks information based on a person's Geolocation, and it can use this information to improve your ranking for users in your area.
In the home menu go to Settings > Business Information and here you’ll be able to add your Business Name, Address, Phone and Contact Number, and Physical Location:
You can learn more about NAP directly from Squarespace here:
5. Page Descriptions and Titles
Adding relevant page titles will help search engines to relate content to search results. To view page titles, go to pages > then for each page, click the gear icon, and then you can set the description for the page. You’ll want to use a descriptive title for each page (up to 70 characters). Also make sure to add a relevant description to describe the page (up to 156 characters). It's also beneficial to use a slug (thats the URL for the page - up to 50 characters) that is related to the title or keyword:
6. Structured Content
Structured content will allow you to greatly improve the SEO on your site. Using Scheme mark up allows you to structure your information in a way that's readable by search engines. Examples would be to use H1, h2, and h3 tags on your page.
These headings will be given more weight by Google, so using keywords here will also help, but don’t just add it for the sake of it. For example you could use the h2 tag (h1 is reserved for page titles) and have the following:
<h2>Dublin Wedding Photographer</h2>
Add some description about being a Dublin wedding photographer here, your services etc.
Just highlight the text you want to use and then select the heading option for the text dropdown:
Learn more about using headers in your content from Yoast.
7. Linking Social Media
Adding social media to your site doesn't directly impact on site SEO. However it does allow search engines to link related and relevant content to your site. In affect your page can rank higher due to it being trusted by Search Engines which is an important factor for SEO. Its also a great way to get some free marketing for your social platforms. More users on social media can allow for more shares of your content, creating more quality back links to your site.
To add social media accounts, go to Settings > Connected Accounts > Connect Account, then select from a number of account options:
8. Using Friendly Permalinks
Using friendly permalinks makes your URLs more easily readable by search engines, and it makes more sense for the end user. To enable friendly permalinks on your blog, go to settings > blogging > post URL Format. To see the possible options, check out the ? to the right hand side of the box.
You’ll want to use %t for just post title, as this will cut down all the necessary information such as year, month, day from the url:
Switching from WordPress? We suggest setting up the same permalink structure before making the switch. Alternatively review Squarespaces guide on what links to re-direct to maintain that SEO juice. Maintaining SEO Structure when switching from WordPress.
This concludes the 8 easy steps and the first part of our SEO guide for Squarespace, that will allow you to improve your search engines ranking factors inside Squarespace. Of course these aren't the only factors that will lead to better rankings. Creating quality, shareable content is one of the most important factors that will affect how well your site ranks. Stay tuned for Part 2 of Squarespace SEO Best Practices.
Ready to upgrade your Squarespace site? Use FRIDAYMUSE40 code to get 40% off any Squaremuse design kit (code available till end of November). Go to Shop now.