One of the things I love about Squarespace is the fact that there are SO many tutorials out there to help you get your site looking great. Squarespace itself has an amazing online help forum, with answers on almost any topic you could think of. If you’ve built a few Squarespace sites you can join Circle, and that will open up their Circle Forum for you which is filled with even more amazing resources.
There are also tonnes of Squarespace designers like me out there, all offering up loads of great content.
But SEO and Squarespace are one of the most hotly contested subjects out there right now. Is Squarespace good for SEO or not? If you set it up right, then in my opinion it’s great! And easy to do. There are lots of tutorials out there to help you with this, but I found a lot of them are from 2020 and since then Squarespace has changed a few things. Hopefully, the information I outline below is up to date (at least for now!) and will help you get things done right.
Just a heads up, I am ONLY talking about things you can do within Squarespace here. If you want a bunch of tips and tools to improve your ranking outside of Squarespace, jump on over to my blog here, where I discuss just that!
Increasingly, making sure your site is secure (in layman’s terms when your URL starts with https://www rather than http://www) is an important factor in search engine optimisation. Luckily Squarespace makes this easy for you.
You just head on over to Settings > Advanced > SSL and tick the little boxes next to Secure (Preferred) and HSTS.
Easy right! Not so fast!
If you are setting up a new website that hasn’t existed before, or you are updating an existing Squarespace website to be secured, then yes, it is easy, you literally just have to tick those little boxes. But, if you are moving an existing website from another platform onto Squarespace then be careful before ticking those boxes.
Once they’re ticked you will be creating a https://www version of your site and that could affect your SEO. First things first, make sure you register the https:// version of the site with Google Search Console, but I would also be having a long chat with Squarespace support to make sure any necessary 301 redirects are taken care of.
Page titles & meta descriptions
Page titles are one of those things that confuse a lot of people just starting out in Squarespace and so it’s something that can be missed. But it’s vital you have properly formatted and keyword-rich page titles throughout your site.
Let’s start with the home page.
Unlike your site’s sub-pages, with the home page in Squarespace, you now need to input your Page Title and SEO description by heading over to Marketing > SEO
Once you input the information here and see how it would appear in search engines, you will then notice that it has automatically updated the details in your Home Page settings area.
Now for Sub Pages
Unlike the Home Page, for sub-pages you just need to head to the page you want to input the data for and click on the settings cog next to its name in the sidebar.
Then click on SEO and start putting in keyword-rich and relevant page titles and SEO descriptions.
Finally, Blog Posts
In order to get the right meta description for your blog posts you simply click on the three little dots next to each blog’s name, head to Settings > SEO and fill out the Excerpt with a keyword description about your post. Simple!
Using your H1, H2, H3 and H4 headings correctly in Squarespace is vital in creating a well-organised website, and Google LOVES a well organised site. Often people new to creating a website will simply use Bold and Italics for breaking up content on a page, but Google loves seeing your H1 etc tags used throughout the site as it makes sense to them and tells them what is the important information.
So make sure your titles in H1 contain your most important keywords and it will help search engines find you.
Creating image ALT tags
I hope that by now you know that images you upload to your site need to be optimised in terms of being great quality, but also saved in the most efficient manner to make the smallest possible file size. This is vital for website loading times. You can use tools such as tinyjpg to create the smallest possible images.
But so many times I see people not adding alt text to their images. This is super important for accessibility, but also because Google can’t scan an image and know what it is, but it can scan your Alt Text!
And in Squarespace, it’s super simple to add. When adding your image, simply scroll down in the dialogue box to the under the area where you can link the image and you will see the option to add ALT text. Make sure you succinctly describe what the purpose of the image is here.
Creating clean URL’s
In the same way Google likes organised website structure, it also likes clean and relevant URL slugs. By this, I mean the words that appear after your domain.com. When you create a new page in Squarespace it automatically creates a slug of /new-page-1 etc etc. This isn’t helpful at all for a search engine to understand what that page is about.
You don’t need to get fancy here, if it’s your home page, you can simply have /home. However Squarespace does give you three ways you can help Google, and your site visitors, work out if they’re where they want to be. The Page Title, the Navigation Title and the URL slug.
For example, I may want to set it up in the following way:
Page Title: Welcome: Web Design & Branding
Navigation Title: Home
URL Slug: home
For blogs, you need to head over to those three little dots next to each blog again, and update the URL in the Post URL section. Here you might have some more words. For instance, if your blog post is on SEO for Squarespace in 2022 (!!) you might make the URL /squarespace-seo-2022.
Phew! And there you have it. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, for other tips and tricks to help your SEO outside of Squarespace functionality, head on over to my blog post here.