The Kicksmith Rough Guide to SEO Proofing your Squarespace Website

The Kicksmith Rough Guide to SEO Proofing your Squarespace Website - Kicksmith Blog - Squarespace Courses for Creative Entrepreneurs

Today, we're gonna SEO proof your Squarespace website. I'll show you how to set up your Squarespace website to give you the best chance to rank higher in Search Engines. And while this isn't a definitive guide, it will give you what you need to add the necessary bits to your Squarespace Website that Search Engines look for.

 

 

SEO, Search Engine Optimisation aka the Dark Arts, is a murky and often misunderstood part of being online. While I claim I’m not an expert, I can still ensure that your Squarespace website will have the best chance to be picked up by Google if you add and tweak a couple of things.

I recently had a Client who was explicit about how they required their site to have "good SEO" so I went over and above to get their site in shape to rank higher in Google. So, this is the exact process I use to get my Client’s websites ready for Google and other search engines.  

There are two basic parts to setting up your Squarespace website for SEO - On Page and Off Page Optimisation. In Part One, we’re going to focus on On Page Optimisation which is the stuff you can do on your Squarespace Website. In Part Two, we'll go through adding your Squarespace Website to Google for Off Page Optimisation.


Part One
On Page Optimisation for Squarespace

 

1. Site Title

Name your website correctly

First of all, let's get your site named and described properly. You may have already done this but double check it over at

  • DESIGN -> LOGO & TITLE -> SITE TITLE / TAG LINE

Add in your tagline too.

 

2. Description

How you appear in Search Engine Results

This is the blurb that appears in Google when you appear in search results that gives your Reader a clue to whether to click on the link.

 

 
Kicksmith Search Results what show up on Google Search | Kicksmith Blog - Squarespace Courses for Creative Entrepreneurs
 

 

You get 160 characters and two sentences to get your message across so make it count! 

  • Go to SETTINGS -> BASIC INFORMATION / Site Description

 

3. Page Title, Page Description, and URL

They all can affect SEO too

There is a delicate balance when you are naming pages. Long page titles are great for SEO because of the keywords but rubbish for site navigation so Squarespace gives you the option to have a Navigation Title that shows up in your navigation, a Page Title that shows in your browser bar and a URL Stub. Google has a 55 character limit for Page titles that show up in search results so make it useful and relevant for your Reader. 

You can do this in the Configure Page Box like this for each of your pages - 

 

 
How to change your Navigation Title, Page Title and Description in Squarespace for SEO | Kicksmith Blog - Squarespace Courses for Creative Entrepreneurs
 

 

You get 160 characters and two sentences to get your message across so make it count! 

  • Go to SETTINGS -> BASIC INFORMATION / Site Description

 

4. Content

Your SEO secret weapon

Content is simply what your customers or audience come to your website to see so here's the thing - MAKE IT GOOD!

Make it useful, make it relevant and make it appropriate.

I’m going to assume that your content is decent and you care about your readers so you're not going to make it a load of rubbish and put any old thing on your website. Google wants to connect the people who are searching for something with the most relevant information. Keeping this in mind is like a North Star when you write. For example, this blog post is for people wanting to set up their Squarespace website so it has the best chance of being ranked higher in search that is around "Setting up your Squarespace Website for SEO Success". 

 

5. Headings

Use Relevant Headings for SEO

Two things here;

  1. Search Engines give headings (H1 and H2) a higher priority meaning that if your headings contain relevant keywords/phrases you want to be ranked for then Search Engines are gonna love you. 
  2. It's always great to give your Readers a helping hand with they're reading your content so they can scan your content. Happy Readers means they'll come back for more meaning that the search was successful. 

 

6. Blogging

more content means more useful and relevant results

Ah, blogging... what can I say about blogging that hasn't already been said well here's some food for thought. Search Engines rank pages not websites. 

Ta da, there's your motivation to start blogging! The more (quality) content on a specific subject you release is a good indicator that you are an expert, you’re relevant in search and also, you’ve got more chance of being shared.

If you want more reasons why Blogging is great for your Business, head over to my http://www.kicksmith.com/blog/why-blogging-is-good-for-your-business blog post.

 

7. Categories and Tags

Categories and Tags make a difference too!

Search Engines can scan your tags and categories of your blog, products and galleries for keywords so use specific terms like “Fashion Blog Tips”, “Photography for Instagram” or "Women's Everyday Jumpers". Now this sounds a bit mental to be that specific but accurately describing your items can aid with Search Engine ranking. 

 

8. Using Share Buttons

They increase your Social Proof

Share buttons make it easy for your Readers to share your content on social media sites. This creates a backlink and these are kinda like social proof for your website. If it’s shared on a big website then kudos to you and your site. Search Engines love that because it's an indicator that what you are providing is credible. 

 

9. Using Location and Business Details

... for Local Search results

Let's say you have a physical shop and people are searching for your address or opening times. There are four pieces of information you can add to your website to help your customers and (depending on your template) will show up on your website.

  • Go to - SETTINGS -> BUSINESS INFORMATION

Fill in your

  • Contact Phone Number
  • Contact Email
  • Physical Location
  • Business Hours

While I've not tested to see if this is picked up by Google, it is still good practice to add this information to give your Customers the most relevant answers if they are searching for your opening hours. 

PRO TIP - If you do want to show up as a physical business on Google, download their 'Google My Business' from the App Store and fill in your details. 

 

10. Mobile, Tablet and Responsive Sites

Google released a statement in April 2015 that mentioned that their latest changes would rank responsive (mobile and tablet ready) websites higher. And good news, Squarespace automatically makes your site responsive AND reduces images sizes so your site loads faster. All of these attributes make your site more appealing to your Reader so you will have a good chance of ranking higher in Search Engine results.

AND Squarespace also ensures that your website is built with a simple and minimal HTML and CSS structure meaning that it’s easier for Search Engines “read” your website. 


WANT THE SEO CHECKLIST?

Part Two
Off Page Optimisation for Squarespace

 

This is a quick fire round up of Squarespace, SEO and adding your site to Google. Again, SEO is a subject that is huge but these are the recommended steps to take to enhance your Squarespace website.

 

11. Verifying your Squarespace Site with Google

First, we have to tell Google that you own the domain you are trying to add and we do this by heading to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools and logging into your Google Account. Click on ADD PROPERTY and add the FULL url of your website. 

 

Google Search Console Configuring your Squarespace Website Page for SEO - Kicksmith Blog - Squarespace Courses for Creative Entrepreneurs.png

 

Click CONTINUE and you’ll arrive at the Verification Screen. Squarespace prefers to use HTML Tag on the Alternative Method Tab. 

Head back to your Squarespace website and navigate over to SETTINGS -> ADVANCED -> CODE INJECTION and paste the whole of the code into the HEADER Box and click SAVE. 

Then go back over to the Verification Page and click VERIFY. 

DONE!

 

 

12. Submit Your Sitemap

Once you have added your site to Google Webmaster Tools, the next thing is to add your sitemap. This gives Google a heads up to a list of pages that it can access to crawl, navigate and index your website.
Here’s how - On the Search Console main page, click on the property (website) you’d like to submit the sitemap for. Then navigate to CRAWL -> SITEMAPS then click ADD/TEST SITEMAP
Squarespace sites already have a sitemap built in so all your have to do it type sitemap.xml in the box like below and click SUBMIT. There you go, done!


13. Fetch as Google

Google is not a dog but Google does use robots. I never thought I’d be typing that today!

Ahem, anyway… Fetching is where you can investigate how Google renders (sees) pages from your website on different devices. 

You can find their Google Webmaster Tools under CRAWL -> FETCH AS GOOGLE

 

14. Submit your Content to Google

You can ensure that Google picks up your site by submitting your site over at Submit your Content.


Hope you enjoyed learning about Squarespace Templates and if you're interested in learning more about Squarespace...

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