SEO checklist: do not miss these important steps

After creating a Squarespace website you can be sure that it was built for clean indexing by popular search engines. Of course when it comes to the content you’re adding on your website it’s not that simple as it plays a big role in how easy it is for people to find you. So, before your website goes live, look through the checklist below and make sure you didn’t miss anything.

Before you publish your website

Below are important steps you wouldn’t want to miss while working on your website.

Text recommendations

  • Add site title.Site title is the name of your website. It can be your own name, your business’s name, personal brand, and much more. It usually appears in the header top corner of each page of your website. In some cases it can be replaced with a logo. But even if you prefer to use a logo, the title should be present as well - the text might be indexed by search engines. The basic recommendation here is to keep your title under 60 characters, and also include a keyword.
  • Add description.This text appears in the search results if the search engine does not find on your website content more relevant for the user’s search term. Your site description should be short - from 50 to 300 characters, relevant, and easy-to-read.
  • Add SEO descriptions.Don’t forget that each page of your website should contain SEO description as well. It must be 50-300 characters long and provide a summary of the content on the page.
  • Review your page and title format.Monitor how your page titles appear and look in browser tabs, social media and search results. You are free to set them for homepage, page titles, blog posts and products.

Social Media recommendations

  • Don’t forget about sharing on social media. Social sharing is an important part of any SEO strategy as it helps you set one more channel of connection with your auditory. So make sure you’ve provided users with ways to share your content and also update your social media accounts on an ongoing basis.
  • Use social sharing images.These images can be seen when someone shares a link from your website on social media or messengers. Adding these images may seem an optional thing but it’s a good way to strengthen your brand image across social media. So we’d recommend you use sharing images even if the page people linking does not include them.

URL and domain recommendations

  • Use a custom domain.A domain name is the URL or web address where users can find your website. Using a custom one instead of built-in URL gives your site a professional look and simplifies finding you on the web for your potential clients.
  • Select your URL format.In case you have a blog, make sure you’ve checked how your posts URLs are created. Regardless of what you choose, it’s better to have the title of your post included in the URL.
  • Add your location and publish it online.Adding your location increases the chances of your website to appear in the search results for your area. In case your business has a physical location, create a Contact us page and mark it there. Also, you might want to create a Google My Business listing and connect it to your website.
  • Re-examine your URL slugs.It’s always better to have URLs that reflect the content of your page. But if you’re saving a post before adding a title, your URL slug will turn into a random string of characters. So make sure all of your URLs contain real words.
  • Use redirects.If you’ve changed some URL on your website or even removed it, you must create a redirect so that users who go to the old URL could be forwarded towards the correct page.

Recommendations for images

  • Add a browser icon.A browser icon, also called a favicon sometimes, is an image displayed next to your site’s title in the browser tab. It is aimed to give your website more visibility and make your brand more recognizable. By default, squarespace websites are created with cube favicon. So if you don’t want to show that you’re a part of this community, you’ve got to replace it with your website’s custom icon.
  • Provide your images with readable file names.File names may be used as alt text, which is also useful for search engines identifying content on your site.

You might also want to:

Form a custom 404 page

It’s better to include links to the popular areas of your website to the 404 page. This prevents users who’ve encountered a broken link on your website stay with you longer and discover new areas of your website.

Enable SSL

Double check your SSL panel is set to secure. Elsewise, your newly made website may be penalized.

BONUS: 80+ Elfsight plugins for Squarespace

After your website goes live

Right after you publish your website, it’s better to run through the following practices:

Apply Google Search Console to verify your website

It’s an important step that is not to be missed. After you verify your website with Google, you’ll be able to manage its presence in the Google SERPs and monitor how your website is viewed and how your visitors find you.

Request Google to index your website

You can ask Google’s bots to review your website manually using special tools such as URL Inspection Tool. After inspection, your search results will be updated with new content.

Use Bing webmaster tools to verify your website

To ensure your website’s presence in Bing’s and Yahoo’s search results, you’ll have to verify your website with Bing webmaster tools.

Start using Google Analytics

You’ll definitely want to know everything about your website’s audience and traffic, that’s why it goes without saying that you have to connect it with Google Analytics tool.

Consider enabling AMP

Using AMP feature for your blog website allows you to create a stripped-down version of your website that loads much faster on mobile devices than the regular version of your site.

Working with content

Use keywords

It’s really important to keep an appropriate level of keywords on your website. Make sure all your texts include phrases and words similar to users’ search terms. Don’t forget that page titles and descriptions should contain them as well.

Structure your content properly

Your pages should be structured with headings so that it would be easier for search engines to navigate your content.

Use tags and categories

Use categories and tags to organize your blog posts, products and any other content on your website. This will simplify your website navigation for your website visitors.

Use content links

If it’s relevant, link your website’s content to connect the pages to each other. This will also facilitate the website’s navigation for users and search engines.

Create snippets

Make use of various snippets to get more traffic. Search engines support video, product and other snippets. To easily create a rating snippet, use an intuitive Squarespace Google Reviews plugin.

As it was mentioned above, using analytics tools is highly important for your Squarespace website. You must not only integrate with Google Analytics, but also visit Search keywords panel, Activity log, Popular content and other analytics panels.
Don’t forget to provide regular content updates - it helps search engines see your website as an active one. You may also consider starting a blog on your website which will become a source of fresh content on a regular basis.