You’re probably asking this question about Squarespace SEO if you’re here. Usually the journey leading up to this question goes something like this.
Day 1: "I need to start a website or some sort of blog."
Day 12, because we all know we drag our feet on everything: "I don't know anything about building a website. Should I do Squarespace or Wordpress? Well, Google is telling me that Squarespace is easier to use. Squarespace it is!
Day 14: "This website-building stuff is really easy!"
Day 18, after researching how to get web traffic: "What in the world is search engine optimization? Can I do 'SEO' with my Squarespace site?
Day 20, after staying up late two nights in row researching via articles and comments: "I can't even."
Ok, maybe your story isn’t exactly like mine. But from my experience and from talking to others, I understand that Squarespace SEO is a topic many website owners are confused about. It seems like the SEO experts can’t come to an agreement either. So after using my information-vacuum superpower to go through an unhealthy amount of articles and comments about Squarespace SEO, and after getting quite a bit of hands-on experience with the Squarespace platform, I made this infographic that I hope helps to clear up some of the confusion and misinformation out there. It lists SEO-features built directly into Squarepace and then gives some simple steps you can take to improve your Squarespace’s search engine optimization. For a truly in-depth overview of Squarespace SEO fine-tuning, make sure to head over to Collaborada and read their take.
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Key SEO Features Explained
Search Engine And Page Descriptions
Squarespace has a nifty feature that allows you to easily create your search engine description. Your search engine description shows up when your site appears in Google search results. Your description can be your mission statement or some other concise, eye-catching phrase that explains what you are all about.
You can edit your search engine description in the configuration screen on your Squarespace site. Click on settings and find the option titled SEO. From there you can see the box where you can create your description.
You get an easy-to-access sitemap with Squarespace. A sitemap is a file that essentially lists the structure and content of your website. Actually, I’ll let the SEO wizards at Moz do the explaining:
Think of a sitemap as a list of files that give hints to the search engines on how they can crawl your website. Sitemaps help search engines find and classify content on your site that they may not have found on their own. Sitemaps also come in a variety of formats and can highlight many different types of content, including video, images, news, and mobile.
Seriously, though, the nice people over at Moz know what they’re talking about. Make them a go-to-resource for all of your SEO information needs!
Don’t know where to find your sitemap? Squarespace has a simple guide on how to find it. Once you find it, head over to another incredible website tool, Google Search Console. There you can submit your sitemap and help Google know how to crawl your page. Crawling refers to Google combing through your website to know how to list it on search engine results. I hope to get a Google Search Console guide up on Startups Genius in the near future.
AMP & Built-in Mobile Optimization
AMP stands for accelerated mobile pages. An AMP is a streamlined, lightweight version of a normal web-page. It’s a lot more minimalistic and barebones than the typical page you’ll view on a desktop browser. This helps to ensure that your web-page will load incredibly fast on a mobile device. Why is this “barebone-ness” necessary? Well for starters, Google claims that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” What this means for you as a website owner is that you better stay on top of your mobile-friendliness. Otherwise, search users won’t want to stay on your site for very long. The reality is that no one has the attention span to put up with elements like long page-load times, cluttered design, and unwieldy images. A recent Google report called DoubleClick provides us with the proof:
Slow loading sites frustrate users and negatively impact publishers. In our new study, “The Need for Mobile Speed”, we found that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.
The good news is that, with Squarespace, making your website mobile-friendly is so simple a rabid squirrel could do it. The payoff from you taking action could be impressive!
According to the same DoubleClick study, websites that loaded in 5 seconds compared to the average speed of 19 seconds earned up to 2x as much mobile ad revenue.
AliExpress reported that they increased their web-page load speed by 36%. Although a direct correlation can’t be proven, AliExpress’s sales volume increased by 10.5% after they made the tweaks.
In 2016, Forbes conducted a fascinating page-speed experiment in which tested how much of an impact slower page-load speeds would have on article readership. They concluded that simply increasing page-load time by 3 seconds decreased the amount of articles viewed by 7.9%.
Ready to benefit from giving your visitors a better mobile experience? This is where Squarespace gives you an advantage over many other well-known website platforms. Many platforms require advanced coding skills or hard-to-figure-out plugins in order to make use of AMP. There are no Squarespace plugins for SEO. With Squarespace, all you need to do is take the following step. Head over to the settings page on your Squarespace configuration screen. Once you’re there, look for the blogging option. Click on it. There you’ll see an option for AMP. Select that option. That’ll enable AMP for all of your articles and posts. The page looks like this.
While you’re at, you can increase your page speed across all platforms (desktop & mobile) by optimizing all of your images. Check out this free online tool called Compress JPEG to shrink your image file sizes. Reduced file size equals faster page-load time!
Squarespace is a fantastic site platform for search engine optimization. Their team is constantly doing their best to make SEO on Squarespace easier for all of their users. With that being said, Squarespace isn’t the be all end all of website builders. Everything depends on what your needs are. Some platforms offer more customization choices than Squarespace. Usually, though, with the increased choices comes higher maintenance. If you don’t mind maintenance, Wordpress is a great option I stand behind! However if your platform needs include easy, flexible customization with a low demand for maintenance (which reflects the needs of many bloggers), then Squarespace is a perfect choice. Go ahead and start optimizing your Squarespace site! Good luck!
Has this email marketing service overview been helpful? If so, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any suggestions for improvement or feel like I left something out, reach out to me, too. As always, thanks for being a reader of Startups Genius. We wish you much success in your endeavors!