Traffic solves most problems when it comes to websites and online stores.
And SEO helps driving traffic to your website.
More traffic means that more people are finding and visiting your website. This results in more leads and eventually more customers.
Search is the number one driver of traffic to content web pages. The organic search is beating social media by an astounding 300%. This means that is it really important that search engines know about you and your services so that people find and visit you.
In my previous SEO post I outlined 7 tips on how to help Google and the other search engines to do so.
In this part I will show you how to implement 3 of those tips specifically on your Squarespace website.
1 | Submit a sitemap
A sitemap includes the URLs for all pages on the site and image metadata for SEO-friendly indexing.
A Squarespace website automatically comes with a sitemap, so there is no need to create one manually. It gets automatically updated with any pages you add or remove. You can view your site map by adding /sitemap.xml , e.g. http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml.
To submit, we will create an account with Google Webmasters to submit your sitemap for a project. In general it is worth having an account as Google's Search Console keeps monitoring your website's performance and notifies you if there are any problems or suspicious activity.
This is how you do it:
1. Go to Google Webmasters and sign in with your Google account. If you don't have an account, it will prompt you to create one. Once you signed in, you will enter the Search Console.
2. Next you add a property which means you are entering the URL of your website. Click ADD.
3. After a little bit of processing, you will need to verify your ownership. There are several methods to do this. I like to add a HTML tag to Squarespace. For that click on ALTERNATE METHODS and then HTML tag.
4. This opens up a section with the meta tag that we will need to copy into our Squarespace website. SELECT the line and CLICK Ctrl+c to copy the text to the clipboard.
5. In a browser new tab, login to your Squarespace website. In the left hand panel, click on SETTINGS -> ADVANCED -> CODE INJECTION
6. Paste the meta tag into the header section on the top by clicking Ctrl+v and SAVE the changes on the top left corner.
7. Now go back to Google Search Console where your ALTERNATE METHOD tab should still be open. Click VERIFY. Google Search Console will now try to find the meta tag in your website. This could take a few moments. Just refresh VERIFY until you get the message that it succeeded.
Now we can add the sitemap:
1. CLICK on SITEMAP. It is the last of the three sections in your dashboard.
2. Add a sitemap by CLICKING on ADD/TEST SITEMAP, a red button on the right. In the newly opened dialog just add sitemap.xml. This is where Squarespace keeps your sitemap. CLICK SUBMIT.
3. In the reloaded page CLICK REFRESH THE PAGE.
4. You should see your analysis about your newly added sitemap.
Google will now get notified about your new sitemap and will start crawling your website.
If you make important updates or add/change pages you can always resubmit the sitemap to make sure Google has got the latest version.
This will help the search engine to stay on top of your website structure and to list your content for the relevant search terms.
2 | Give your pages meaningful and specific TITLES
Squarespace is really great in that it has all the functionality for efficient SEO included. No plugins needed. This also includes editing and setting up page titles.
There are two places to do this:
- There is a SEO section in the SETTINGS where you can set the site-wide page titles and description.
- Each page offers a section where you can customise your page title and description.
The SEO section
In your Squarespace account go to SETTINGS -> SEO to open the SEO section for your website. This is where you edit page titles and descriptions that apply to the whole website.
The first field allows you to add a website description. This is what search engine will display in the search result page underneath the page title and URL. One option is to include your main areas of work and your location.
Then three sections follow where you can customise the
- page title format
- homepage title format:
- collection title format.
The page titles appear when you hover over the browser tab and help the search engines to put your website and pages into the right drawer so it can be retrieved when relevant.
You can use variables in these fields:
- Type %p to add the page name set in the settings panel of each page,
- %s for the title of your site and
- %i for the name of a collection item such as a blog post.
"%p — %s Webdesign for small businesses | Brisbane" results in "Blog — On Port 80 Webdesign for small businesses | Brisbane" on my website.
The page settings
Each page gets assigned a name. By default Squarespace uses the navigation title as the page name. So if your contact page is called CONTACT that is what the page name will be as well.
Go to the page you would like to change the page title and open the settings panel by either hovering over the page and clicking on SETTINGS in the black banner that appears.
Alternatively you can click on the cog next to the page name in the list of pages.
The page title can be edited in the second field.
Make sure the title is descriptive of what the user will find on the page. This is one of the main clues search engines use to decide what your page is about and when and where to get it in front of users.
Remember that the pattern for the page titles can be set in the SEO section introduced before. You can then keep the page title short in the Settings Panel.
You now know how to customise the page titles for your website. They are important for Google and other search engine to decide where to file your pages in their cabinet.
3 | Name all your images
In addition to page title, make sure you also name all your images.
In this blog post all my images contain keywords about the content, my area of business, the business name and location. This just means that Google gets an abundance of clues that confirm that this page really deals with Squarespace, SEO and it is provided by On Port 80 located in Brisbane.
And this is how you do it:
In editing mode, hover over any image in your website. CLICK on EDIT to open up the image dialog.
You can then edit the image name in the Filename field in the CONTENT section of the IMAGE POPUP. By default Squarespace takes your original image name.
Describe your image and then CLICK APPLY. Then SAVE the changes.
Squarespace has got you covered technically in terms of optimising your website for search engines. By hosting and experimenting with millions of websites, they have implemented various strategies to help your website appear in search engine result.
It is really important to help search engines categories and store your website content correctly.
This article covered 3 ways to help search engine finding your website and for your pages to rank higher:
- submit a sitemap
- use meaningful and specific page titles and
- name your images.
This will significantly improve the SEO of your website. The clues help search engines to find your pages for relevant searches. The more you use keywords and emphasise what you do, the higher you will rank in search results. And the most important thing is that this will happen for the right reasons.
Remember that SEO requires a long term strategy and patience. It takes Google up to six weeks to re-visit websites, especially if they are slow with providing new content.
SEO and Squarespace - Overview | Squarespace
What is your experience with SEO? What has worked for you?