Search Engine Optimization on Squarespace

In this checklist you’ll get and review the tips about using the Squarespace SEO targeting features and other helpful and good tools to increase and improve your website’s visibility to search engine like Google.

Make use of search tools to maintain the updates

Search engines do not typically notice your Squarespace site’s SEO changes instantly. That’s why popular search engines like Google or Bing offer you a wide range of search tools to help you manage your website’s presence on search. That’s why whenever you perform any changes to your Squarespace website it’s better to ask search engines to re-index your website’s content. It can be done with the help of services like Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. 

Customize your web pages and site titles

Search engines tend to prioritize the content from your Squarespace site we’ve described below in the following order:

  • Site title
  • SEO title
  • Page title
  • Blog post title
  • Heading

On Squarespace, you are free to set default title formats for the homepage, collections and collection items. These titles appear in browser tabs and search results as well, so it’s really of high importance to make them look friendly for both humans and search bots. 

Mark the distinction between SEO titles and navigation titles

Each page on your Squarespace website has a SEO title and navigation titles. You can edit them in the page settings. See more tips on them:

  • SEO titles are demonstrated in the search results and browser tabs, and are indexed by search engines. Squarespace recommends you to add an SEO title for each page of your website as these titles are good for promoting keywords for search engines as well. SEO titles can also be added for individual collection items like blog posts.
  • Navigation titles create links in your website’s navigation menus. You’d better keep them short, for example, “About” or “Contacts”.

Remember that on Squarespace, if there’s no SEO title, the page’s title is demonstrated in the search results. In version 7.0 1 websites, page titles appear on your Squarespace site in some templates.

How to find best keywords for SEO

As you fill your website with text, you are welcome to include words and phrases that are matching the search terms people use to look for sites similar to yours as a part of your optimization strategy. These keywords are used to help search engines see your website as relevant for people who are using those search terms. 

Your SEO keyword strategy will depend on your website’s goals and the auditories you’re trying to draw. But still it’s very important to use keywords for optimization in a clear and natural way so that it would make sense to your visitors.

Researching keywords for your SEO strategy

Let’s dive deeper into the keyword research process so that you could come up with a list of relevant words that should be targeted. Applying these tips, you’ll manage to come up with a thorough and good SEO strategy that will help you achieve your goals and improve positions in finding the best matching keywords for your Squarespace website.

Form a list of topics that are relevant to what you know about your business sphere

First of all, think about the topics you want your Squarespace website to rank for in terms of generic buckets. As a result, you’ll get a list of 5-10 topic buckets that might be somewhat relevant to your company’s business sphere and after that you'll use those lists later to choose some specific keywords. 

If you already have a blogging or content creating experience, you may already have some topics you’re talking about most often. Try to put yourself in the place of your target audience while working with optimization and imagine what types of topics they could search. 

Find the matching keywords for your topics lists

After you’ve come up with some topic buckets, it’s time to find some keywords that match them. Commonly, these are phrases you think might be important to rank for on the search results page as your target audience may conduct searches for those keywords. The main point here is to come up with a final list of the keyword phrases you will use for your Squarespace website. 

Another successful optimization strategy here is to find out which keywords your website is already getting found for. To do it, you’ll just have to use some tools like Google Analytics. Look deeper into your website’s traffic sources to identify which keywords people are using to get to your website. Repeat this for as many topic buckets as you’ve got. 

Try to understand the user intent

User intent is now among the most important factors in your ranking on the good positions in search results and SEO strategy as well. Nowadays it’s more important that your website solves the problem that a user was intended to solve rather than simply carrying the keyword the searcher used. 

Keywords carry a lot of meanings under the surface. And as the intent behind the search is of the top importance for your Squarespace website SEO strategy, you have to be really careful with interpreting the keywords you target for.

To understand what a user intended to find on the SERP, enter the keyword he might use in the search box, and look through what types of results will come up. 

Find related search terms

If you’re stuck while looking for some more keywords your potential visitors are using, you can look at the related search terms appearing when you type a keyword in Google search bar. If you type your keyword and then scroll down to the bottom of SERP, you’ll discover the suggestions related to your original input. You can also use these suggestions further on looking for suggestions for them while working on your optimization strategy. 

Take advantage of keyword research tools

There are lots of tools offering you an option of keyword research, for example, Ahrefs or SEMRush. They can help you find more keyword ideas based on exact match keywords and phrase match keywords that are based on the ideas you’ve already generated for your website’s optimization.  

Structure your content

An important part of successive SEO strategy for any Squarespace website is properly structuring the content. You’ve got to use heading text formatting to organize pages. Search engines usually give headings a higher priority, just like titles. That’s why clear and easy to understand headings, describing the content on the page really facilitate the process of detecting the main topics of your website for search engines. Also, they help your website visitors to quickly look through the page and find the info they were searching for. 

Review the following things while working on your SEO strategy:

  • Make sure the heading sizes are used consistently within your pages and across your website in general.
  • Try to avoid using headings to create formatting, such as pull quotes, for example.
  • Do not use the exact same text in multiple headings. 
  • Add keywords to your headings.
  • You are free to use the same type of heading within a page as long as your headings are structured and consistent.

Of course, organizing the content on your website depends on the type of content you produce.

How to write meta tags for SEO  

Meta title tags is a page title that is shown in search results by Google and other popular search engines. Squarespace recommends adding meta titles to all pages of your website and that is reasonable enough as this is among SEO best practices. According to Google, titles are crucial tags in giving users a quick understanding of the content that some page offers. More than that, this piece of info is used to decide which particular result to click on. That’s why you have to review the guidelines below to create a really unique and eye-catching title that will attract new visitors to your Squarespace site:

  • Create a unique meta title for each page of your website.
  • Try to be concise, but insightful.
  • Avoid creating generic and vague titles.
  • Avoid clickbait.
  • Try to match users’ search intent.
  • Add your target keywords if it’s necessary.
  • Try to keep your meta title under 60 characters.

Your meta description, in its turn, summarizes the page’s content. Search engines demonstrate it in the snippet in the SERP. According to Google’s recommendations, your meta description should generally inform and provide a short summary of a particular page of your website. But you should also know that meta descriptions are not considered as a ranking factor by Google. Below are some best SEO practices you might want to consider in order to create a meta description that will work:

  • You need to create a unique description for each page of your Squarespace website.
  • Summarize your content accurately.
  • Do not use generic descriptions.
  • Do not use clickbait practices.
  • Try to match users’ search intent.
  • try to add your target keywords if it makes sense.
  • Try to keep it under 160 characters.

Keep in mind that meta descriptions help users to decide whether your website is relevant for them. That’s why you should pay a lot of attention to them while working on your optimization strategy. 

What is local SEO

You might also want to optimize your website for some specific local area. It’s especially relevant for those website owners who have some sort of local business like a shop, restaurant, or agency. Applying local SEO best practices will be a good idea for them. 

Optimizing the website of your local business is all about making it visible for people who live in the same area and want to find some new places offline. Applying local SEO strategy you must aim at letting Google know that your business is located in some particular area and you want to be found by visitors in that area. 

The grand-rule here is that you have a proper address in a region/city. If you fulfill this condition, you’ll get an opportunity to create local landing pages. Also, your website has to use the right LocalBusiness Schema markup. It will help you to demonstrate to Google that your business is located in some specific area. Apart from technical and SEO optimization, creating the content that is aimed at local audiences might be a great idea as well. 

According to Squarespace, there are lots of places where a website owner could add their location. For example:

  • Map blocks
  • Business info settings
  • Text blocks on the Contacts page
  • Text Blocks in the footer

Also, you might want to sign up for Google My Business as it will help you improve your local SEO strategy and rankings. On Squarespace, you’ve got an option to create and manage online listings like Google My Business via Location Management Panel as a part of your optimization strategy.

Enable SSL on your Squarespace website

As soon as you enable SSL on your website, the custom URL starts with https. This means that every page on your website can be accessed with a secure connection. Google considered https as a ranking signal and websites still using http may be penalized. If you don’t know if SSL is enabled on your website, go to the SSL panel and set it to the Secure setting. 

Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links, are links from one website to another website. Google and other major search engines consider backlinks as some sort of votes for a page these links lead to. Pages with a huge number of backlinks are awarded with high organic search engine rankings as the more “votes” you’ve got, the higher your website will rank in Google and other search engines. That’s why backlinks must be among the most important parts of your optimization strategy.

Backlinks form the foundation of Google's algorithm PageRank. Google has performed thousands of changes to the original PageRank since it has been launched, but backlinks are still at its core, remaining a key ranking signal.

Here is the checklist on the types of backlinks that are valued the most:

  • Coming from trusted websites. This is also known as the concept of “Domain authority”. The more authority a website that is linking to you has, the more authority it can pass to you. 
  • Including your target keyword in the link anchor text. Anchor here is the visible text part of the link. But keep in mind that these links have to be not overboard with keyword-rich texts.
  • From the site that is topically related to yours. When one website links to another, Google expects to see that these two are topically related to each other.
  • From a domain that hasn't been linked to you previously. In terms of SEO, it’s better to have less links from different domains than a lot of links from just one domain.

Keep these things in mind while starting working on your backlink strategy. 

Reduce your page loading time

Time your page loads is very important for your Squarespace website’s rankings in search. If your pages are slow, it may hurt your SEO, so it’s better for you to think about reducing your page size for faster loading. Here are some practices you might want to take into account here:

  1. It’s better not to use more than 60 blocks per page. 
  2. If the page covers more than one topic, it’s better to split it into multiple pages. This will improve your SEO by providing more structured content for your audience.
  3. Try to reduce the number of videos. Content like Vimeo or YouTube videos can affect page load time, especially on mobile. 
  4. If your blog pages load slowly, consider using blog excerpts instead of demonstrating the full text of the post.
  5. In case your version 7.0 uses stacked Index Pages, try to reduce the number of sections. 

Whenever you think your page loads slowly, use special tools that help you measure the loading speed of your website’s pages.

More SEO help

Keep in mind that your SEO strategy is your responsibility as search engine technologies change every day. Also, every Squarespace website has unique marketing requirements and there is no universal decision that can be applied by everyone. So if you’ve stumbled upon something or have any questions, try to follow popular SEO experts and look for the help of the online community.