How to get your Squarespace website found on Google
Organic traffic finding our website that converts to paying clients... It’s the dream, right?
But if you’re like most, the thought of SEO keeps you paralyzed, right? You would love to improve your SEO, but you're not sure how to make it happen and you don't have extra money sitting around to hire an SEO expert... not when a million-and-one other things have to also be done.
As a Squarespace website designer...
I help my clients implement basic SEO practices every day, and I'm here to show you how to do that for yourself with my free Squarespace SEO Checklist!
So let's break down (into plain English) how basic SEO works...
Google and other search engines use 'bots' to crawl and index your website. They look over ALLL the words you use on your website - header text, body text, image captions, image file names, page names, site descriptions, and on and on - and determine what your website is about and who it should be recommended to based on those words.
It notices words and phrases that you use often and it assumes that THAT is what your site is about.
Pretend we are doing a Google search...
We hop on Google and type in something like "best dog trainer in Kansas City" or "how to build a Squarespace website". Google then pulls the most relevant websites to show us first... they choose these relevant websites based on the site content, how credible the site is (based on how many other sites link to them), how fast the website loads, if the site is mobile friendly, and more.
So you click on the top result... and maybe the next 2 or three results... and you begin learning more about your searched topic.
Now we know how it all works behind the scenes... but how do you bridge the gap? How do you make sure you are landing in the first few spots that Google recommends for a given topic?
In Part 1 of Boost Your Squarespace SEO, I am going to show you some simple site-wide setting adjustments.
Go to your Squarespace website dashboard.
1. Update business information.
Make sure your business name, address (at least city/state if you don’t have a physical address), phone number, email and physical location are all filled in.
2. Update basic information.
The important thing here is to make sure your site description is filled out and relevant. You want to make sure that you are using your top keywords or phrases in this description.
3. Update your built in domain.
If you have multiple domain names, make sure your main domain name is set as the primary. Also, you can and should rename your squarespace built-in domain. I changed mine from a whole string of irrelevant letters/numbers to sandra-houseman-web-designer.
4. Connect accounts.
Iocial media sites typically rank well on search engines, make sure to connect all of your active accounts here.
5. Update marketing SEO settings.
Update your search engine description (make sure to include keyword phrases), title format (I changed mine to “%p - Squarespace Expert” because I want the page title to show up on a search and I want to show up when someone is looking for a Squarespace expert), homepage title format (I changed mine to “Sandra Houseman Squarespace Designer” because I want to show up when someone searches my name and I want to be found when someone searches for a Squarespace Designer).
6. Change blog settings.
Change the URL format. I updated mine to be “%t” because I didn’t want a long and confusing URL. This ensures that my blog post URLs will only be the title. Example: sandrahouseman.com/new-post-title vs sandrahouseman.com/new-post-title8282018 - short and simple is best. Also, select to “use AMP” under ACCELERATED MOBILE PAGES. This will load your blog posts faster on mobile.
7. Optimize security & SSL.
Google likes pages that are secure. In this section, make sure that “Secured (preferred)” is selected.
8. Reduce image file size.
Page load speed matters and large images can really slow down your site. Make sure that all of your images are downsized as much as possible without sacrificing clarity. You can use JPEGmini to help you with this.
Want all the nitty-gritty details + how-to steps?
I’ve created a Squarespace SEO Checklist + Guide where I have compiled all of my best SEO boosting tips. Good news! You can instantly download my checklist + guide by signing up below.