You work hard to write a useful article that you believe your readers will love, but it remains undiscovered at the bottom of the Google search results. What can you do?
This can be a frustrating situation, but fortunately, with a little work and some good keywords, you will hopefully watch that page rise to the top. To make it happen, you must make your page readable-- not only to your visitors but also to the search engine bots that index and rate your content. The search engines must be able to quickly tell exactly what your article is about and associate it with a search.
Our Top Ten Tips for Squarespace SEO that will help to get you found
1. Choose Your Keywords Wisely and Use Them Throughout the Page
Keyword analysis for your website is imperative. Many website owners write their site with the idea that they will do the SEO later. This is a mistake. The best course is to do your keyword analysis first.
Your keyword research reveals what kind of content your readers are looking for and what you should write. You cannot answer reader questions if you don’t know what those questions are.
Keyword research reveals the most searched for terms on your topic. Use these keywords naturally in your title, subheadings, and throughout your article. Use them wisely and sparingly. Aim for approximately 1 to 3 keyword phrases per 100 words of content--no more. Don’t pack them in, just use them where they fit naturally.
2. Use SEO Optimized Page Titles
Using page titles that include keywords helps the search engine understand what the page is about, and it informs the search engines that this article is relevant for the keyword phrase. Craft a great title that catches the reader’s attention and satisfies the search engines.
To assign the page title, open the Home Menu and click on ‘Pages,’ then open the settings menu. Choose the Basic menu and type your page title into the space provided. You can also add a Navigation Title--a short title that will appear in the navigation menu.
3. Give Your Website a Title
Choose a relevant title for your website. It is nice if the title includes a keyword, but not necessary. Once you’ve chosen your website title, inform Squarespace of the title in the ‘Settings’ panel. Select ‘Marketing’ and then ‘SEO.’ Enter your website title in the box provided.
4. Name Your Images
Give your images a filename that identifies the photo. A filename composed of random letters and numbers does not allow the search engines to read them and know what the image depicts. Many website owners skip this step. However, by paying attention to these small details, you can soar past your lazier competition in the ratings.
5. Add a Description to Your Images
This is another small detail that can help you excel. Adding descriptions to your images helps google know what the image and the article are about. This is another good place to use a keyword phrase.
To add a description, click on the image, then the 'design tab.' Here you will have the option to hide the description from your page, if you wish, or keep it visible to your users.
6. Use H1, H2, and H3 Headings
Using headings properly serves several purposes. First, it organizes the page and tells the search engine and the reader what each section is about. It also indicates which information is most important. Use H1 for the title page only. H2 headings are for your section headings, and H3 are used for important point titles within each section. Additional headings can be indicated in bold.
Your headings form a natural outline for the page and allow the reader to quickly find the information they are looking for.
As an example, on this page, the page title “Cheat Sheet - 10 Tips To Improve Your Squarespace SEO” is marked with an H1 heading. H2 headings are the section titles: “Our Top Ten Tips for Squarespace SEO” and “Final Observations on Squarespace SEO.” Each tip listed (1-10) is labeled with an H3 heading. If I included points within each tip, I would title them in bold print. Notice that I used the keyword phrase “Squarespace SEO” in my H1 and H2 titles. It would be too much to also include them in my H3 tip headlines, but I could use different keywords here as long as it described the tip content.
7. Include Your Contact Information
Unless you work out of your home, your website should include your address and phone number. This information adds legitimacy to your business or website and allows Google to know where you are located.
To add your address and phone number, go to the "Settings" menu, and select "Business Information" under the "General" tab. You will find the form there to enter the information. Adding it here is important, even if you also include it on your About page or your Contact page.
8. Submit your Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools
Your sitemap tells Google exactly where each page of your website is located and helps it find all the pages for indexing.
Your sitemap on Squarespace is found at website/sitemap.xml. Validate your website through Google Webmasters and choose ‘Crawl’ and then ‘Sitemaps.’ Enter the sitemap folder location so that Google can crawl your site and find all your pages.
Wait a few days, then check back to verify that Google has begun to collect data. Once your sitemap is set up, Squarespace will add every page to the sitemap automatically, and Google will be notified of new pages.
9. Constantly Optimise
Google webmaster tools give you the ability to make sure that your pages are being indexed correctly and give you information about how visitors are finding your pages. This information is valuable to you in writing and optimizing each page.
Click on 'Search Traffic' and then 'Search Analytics' to see what search terms are being used by your users to find your website. If you have done your keyword research correctly, your keywords will align with the search terms used to find your site. If you find that some keywords are not working, change them or refine your SEO to better optimize them. Sometimes what we think might be the best image name, page title, or search term might not actually be what people are searching for. Constantly check back here to make sure that your site is meeting your user's needs.
10. Write in an Easy to Understand Style
When appropriate, every page should have content on it. Pages that consist of pictures only are not going to be valued highly by the search engines. For most pages, a minimum of 300 words of content is recommended. This content can be an article, page description, or other useful information.
For SEO purposes and a good reader experience, articles need to be easily scannable. This means keeping paragraphs short, no more than 150 words at most. Also, try to limit each section to 300 words or less.
Keep your writing simple and easily understandable by the average reader and avoid overly technical language, even on technical articles. This makes your article more useful and attractive to the average reader.
Final Observations on Squarespace SEO
By following these tips, you will find that your pages are more easily found by the search engines and more often read. You’ve gone to a lot of trouble to create good content for your visitors, make sure they can find it to reap the benefits. Good SEO is essential, but for most applications, you can quickly learn to do it yourself.
Not yet convinced? Try this experiment. Take one of your pages that is languishing in the last pages of the Google listings and record its location. Then do some good keyword research and optimize the page following these tips. Give it a few days and check back to see where it ends up in a search for its keyword. Properly done SEO can land you at or near the top of the listings as soon as the page is crawled.
Where you end up depends on your SEO and your competition. You probably won’t be able to beat one of the large national websites, but you should soar past most of the competition if your content is relevant and well optimized.
Good content and good SEO go hand-in-hand to get your website noticed. Use both and earn top ratings.