Not sure if creating a site on Squarespace will give you the SEO optimisation you want? How will it affect your businesses chances of obtaining organic traffic and potential sales from search traffic? You may be worried, but SEO for Squarespace sites is easy, well optimised and customisable.
If you’re just getting started with SEO, you may be wondering what it is and why it is so important.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It is the process of optimising all online content in order to rank highly in organic, unpaid search.
To obtain organic traffic from search engines that are targeted, relevant and often potential sales leads.
SEO occurs in both on-page and off-page optimisation. One -page SEO refers to the experience of your website for both users and search engines. Including factors such as your website’s content, website speed, metadata, and user experience. Whereas Off-page SEO includes building quality backlinks, authority and bounce rates.
Setting up a website on Squarespace may leave you with concerns about your on-page SEO. Is there enough customisation? Will you be able to address all elements needed for complete search engine optimisation?
SEO for Squarespace sites
This beginners guide will show you how to optimise your Squarespace website effectively and successfully for search engines. Here are the various SEO options available when you create a Squarespace website.
Custom domain and URLs
One of the first things you do when setting up a Squarespace site is choosing your domain. Paying for a custom domain will be worth the investment so that your brand is recognisable and easily searchable.
Squarespace also generates automatic URLs based on the page title. This avoids any links that are full of random letters, numbers or symbols. If you want to edit the URL, this can be easily done using the page configuration section.
Instead of random slugs, the URL will reflect the content. This is excellent for SEO as keywords can be placed in slugs and recognised by search engines as relevant content to search queries.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a secure and encrypted version of your website. This is an important feature of SEO as search engines have established this as a ranking factor. Therefore, without it, your website may be penalised and lose out on traffic.
Luckily, SSL certificates are offered to all Squarespace domains. You can also turn on HSTS in settings so that only the secure version of your site loads. Resulting in all pages of your Squarespace site being optimised for SEO.
Titles and Headings
Additionally, Squarespace has more customisation when it comes to titles. This includes the site title, often your brand name, page titles and SEO titles. These are important in order for search engines and potential visitors to identify the content’s relevance to their query.
The benefit of having customisable page titles and SEO titles means you can tailor your content to your audience and search engines. The SEO title is presented in SERPs and is often to the point and keyword optimised. Briefly telling the audience what content they will find.
The page title can be longer in order to attract attention, encourage visitors to read and engage with the content. In addition, Squarespace offers 3 headings to be used to structure your content. These are both good for visitors to skim your content and search engines to evaluate the relevance of the content to the topic.
Therefore, Squarespace provides the customisation to target both visitors and search engines for SEO.
In addition to titles, descriptions are also important for search engines and potential visitors. These are also shown in SERPs under the titles and describe the purpose of your content.
This is important for SEO as meta descriptions (site, page, and product) are great for placing keywords. This feature can also be found in Squarespace’s page configuration section. A good meta description contains 155 characters or less and you want to specify this in order to optimise your content.
Image alt text
Similar to meta descriptions for pages, images also have alt text. This attribute is shown if an image does not load correctly or for blind and visually impaired in order to describe the image. Image alt text is also important for SEO.
Search engines use the alt text to understand what is on the image and evaluate it’s relevance to the surrounding content. This is a continuous task and best practice for SEO for Squarespace sites. So remember to always add it and optimise your images for search too.
Squarespace sites are highly beneficial for local SEO. If you have a physical business, you can use your contact page to add your location as well as a map of your location.
Additionally, Squarespace integrates with Google My Business and you can manage the My Business listing from your website easily through ‘location management’. This means your business has the opportunity to show highly in SERPs when queries are local to the area.
Squarespace has a feature called, AMP, accelerated mobile pages. This means your site is mobile-ready at all times and this setting can be turned on or off. However, AMP can mean that certain elements such as fonts and buttons will not display.
Although, every Squarespace template comes with a mobile version. So that all content automatically resizes and is functional with touch navigation. Therefore, AMP may not be needed but mobile-friendly practices are encouraged. Such as reduced file and image sizes to limit loading times.
Integrated social media
Squarespace has the option to link over 30 social networks. Allowing visitors to easily share your content which contributes to off-page SEO. As well as allow you to post the same content on your website and on your social profiles.
Submit sitemap to search engines
This step is done manually by you. But, Squarespace makes it easier as it creates the sitemaps automatically. Meaning you can easily submit the sitemap to Google search console and Bing webmaster tools using ‘/sitemap.xml’ at the end of your custom domain.
This is essential SEO for Squarespace sites as your website can be indexed faster by search engines. Therefore, providing the opportunity to show in SERPs sooner rather than later.
If you do not know how to set this up, head to our technical SEO starter guide.
Link Google Analytics account
As well as integration with Google My Business. Squarespace offers integration with Google Analytics.
Once your analytics account is set up, head to ‘external services’ in advance settings and add your analytics number. This provides in depth analytics into your websites traffic all from the Squarespace site.
Limitations of Squarespace
There are some limitations when it comes to Squarspace sites.
Although there are many customisation options, Squarespace may not offer all you need for SEO. If you are proficient in coding and advanced SEO, you can get Squarespace to do anything you want. So, it can make it difficult for the SEO beginner.
Additionally, there are no plugins that you can install to do things automatically. For example, WordPress sites have the Yoast plugin that offers many prompts to optimising each page of content.
Other plugins can help with adding head tags, pop ups, or subscriber boxes etc. All of these features are built in with Squarespace and therefore, can be more limited for your needs.
Final Take away
Although there are limitations, not everything can be perfect.
SEO for squarespace sites does look promising and relatively easy to implement. The customisation of URLs, titles, alt text and meta descriptions provide an excellent base to build on.
Squarespace also has many integrations with Google which can help you manage everything from one dashboard rather than many. The ease of creating a beautiful website and mobile friendly site can be extremely appealing and beneficial for SEO as it contributes to user experience.
The rest of SEO is up to you. Including keyword research, creating relevant and high quality content, and using internal links to continue to strengthen your Squarespace site’s on-page SEO.
If you need help with off-page SEO, Outreach lab can help to improve your website’s SEO visibility.