How To Build A Search Engine Optimized Squarespace Website

SEO and Squarespace Websites.jpg

How to Blueprint Your Keyword Strategy Before You Build Your Interior Design or Design-Build Website on Squarespace

One of the best features of Squarespace is that the website building platform has search engine optimization (SEO) built into its design. All Squarespace websites are optimized out of the box, saving you time and the potential costs of an outside SEO expert. That said, you can still take advantage of additional features within Squarespace to further optimize your site and increase its visibility to search engines.

Site Title and Description

Your site title and description are two great places to start enhancing the optimization of your site on Squarespace 7. For search engines, establishing these variables can help search engines better understand the exact contents of your website. This is a great place to focus on the keywords that will connect your site contents with searchers. Within the Squarespace Site Manager, choose Settings then Basic Information. There, you can enter the title of your site in the Site Title field; you can also add a concise description in your Site Description.

Apparently, spammers have exploited these fields to provide inaccurate information in the hopes of a short-term gain on search engine results pages (SERPs). Take our advice: It’s not worth it. Any potential short-term gains can be quickly wiped away. Stick with honest and useful keywords. Once you’ve made all the necessary changes, click Save.

Your Website Meta Description

Your site’s meta description, referred to as the search engine description in Squarespace, appears below the blue link to your website in an SERP. While the meta description is not directly connected to your SEO - it does not factor into any search algorithm - it does help your site stand out once a searcher has reached an SERP. Your meta description should be no more than 160 characters long and provide an accurate description of your site.

You can add or edit your meta description in the Basic Information Settings. Choose “Search Engine Description,” type in your best short-form, keyword-rich sales pitch, and click Save (in the top-right corner).

Individual Page Descriptions

Page descriptions are an extension of your site description - it adds a unique description for each page of your site. This allows you to provide tailored keyword information to help searchers find your page. Remember, anytime you can target Web searchers more intentionally, you increase your chances of earning the click through and turning searchers into visitors, and then visitors into leads and, eventually, customers.

To add or edit individual page descriptions, go to the Settings in the Content Manager. Choose the page you want to edit and then select the Settings button, located in the top-right part of the screen. As with your site description, aim for a one- to the two-sentence description (added to the Description field) and then click Save to keep any changes.

How To Optimize Your Page Titles

There is no one way to optimize the order of your page titles; the process is a little different for every site. Regardless of how your site is arranged, you do have the capacity to order page and individual item titles so that you can give higher priority to individual page content, blog posts, or other single items compared to your homepage. Whether you want to do so depends on your site. Here are your options:

Keep The Site Title First

Keeping the site title first will match the site as a whole against all search terms connected to your content. If you chose to place the site title first in your page title order, you should focus search engine attention on your site title (i.e. your core brand) at the expense of individual pages or items. If you want searchers to come in contact with your company identity, rather than niche pieces of content or other items, this is the way to go.

Make Items Titles First

Making item titles first in your order has the opposite effect. This strategy is ideal for site owners that want search engines to hone in on their individual items or content pieces, such as blogs. If your site is primarily a collection of individual items—like a blog—you’ll naturally want to prioritize finding single topics within your blog rather than a pumping up your site as a whole, which is nothing more than a collection of individual pieces. Adding keywords to the page title and content of your pages will help boost your SEO further.

How to Change the Title Order

To toggle the order of your site title, page title, or item title, go to Settings and choose General. Then, you can enter any of three variables into the Site Title Format (%s), Collection Title Format (%c), or Item Title Format (%i) fields. (You can also hover over the question mark icon in the right of every field to see the supported variables offered for that field.) Once you’re satisfied with your order, click Save.

What is a Site Map and Why It's Important to SEO

An XML Sitemap is nothing more than an organized list of pages on your site. It can help search engines uncover pages that may be hard to find through traditional page navigation. On Squarespace sites, an XML Sitemap is unnecessary, as the site architecture of Squarespace sites makes it simple for search engines to progress through every page on your site. (This is what we were referring to when we noted that many aspects of Squarespace sites are already optimized.) Nonetheless, Squarespace automatically generates a sitemap for your web page, which includes every URL included in your site in addition to metadata of any images, which helps ensure all of your images are accessible to engines. View your Squarespace sitemap here: http://yourdomain.squarespace.com/sitemap.xml. (Replace “yourdomain” with your Squarespace site name.)

Choosing to build your site on Squarespace gives you a head start on SEO, and tweaking the above variables can help extend your visibility to search engines. That said, you’ll still need to work outside of Squarespace to earn the valuable inbound links that will continue to boost your page up the SERPs.


About Michael Conway and Means-of-Production

My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition. Contact me for a free-of-charge consultation and marketing review. It takes about 40 minutes and you'll be provided a list of actionable improvements designed to solve your specific marketing problems. 

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