Everyone wants to rank first on Google for their own keyword as soon as they create a professional website but here’s something you should hear first-hand. It’s not possible right away. Search engine ranking is something that improves over time based on your SEO work, website visitors, bounce rate (how often people click back from the search engine without exploring your site), and even your social media presence. The good news however is that despite these issues, Squarespace does a lot right when it comes to SEO, and it is perfectly possible to optimize a Squarespace page effectively for search and to achieve a high ranking for it.

Squarespace is a great option if you have a basic understanding of the process of SEO. Not you? Then get ready to learn everything you need to know about Squarespace and SEO best practices in this guide.

Step 1: Create an ‘SSL’ version of your site

Using HTTPS for your website is now an absolute requirement. If you don’t use HTTPS, Google actually gives your website visitors a warning that your website is not secure. So let’s get that SSL installed (it’s free and super easy on Squarespace). Go to SETTINGS > SECURITY & SSL and click the radio button beside SECURE (PREFERRED).

Step 2: Simplify URLs

Clean URLs are short, simple, and intelligible: as an example, if you were selling red guitars, it would be advisable to use a URL of “www.yourdomain.com/red-guitars” rather than “www.yourdomain.com/prd/p223.php?ref=1456_red_gtr”
It’s very important that all of your website links are clean. If you accidentally made 2 home pages and then removed one, make sure the link on the one you’re using isn’t “/home-1”.

Step 3: Ensure you’re formatting your website title and description correctly

One of the most essential elements of a web page is its title tag — search engines treat it as a key piece of information when indexing a page, and your title shows up as the largest component of a search result (as well as at the top of browser windows). So, you should ensure your page and post title tags are never vague and ideally, start with your ‘focus keyword’ – the phrase you want to rank for in search.

To edit this, head on over to SETTINGS > BASIC INFORMATION and fill it into the field for SITE DESCRIPTION. Also, copy and paste the same text into SETTINGS > SEO and the SEARCH ENGINE DESCRIPTION field.

Step 4: Setup Image alt text properly

There are many reasons why you should add alternative text to your images. Search engines use it to categorise your content, and additionally, if your image fails to load, a description of it will still be displayed for your site user.
The first thing we want to do is for every image we upload, add a custom filename. Put keywords into this filename as well so something like “Squarespace-SEO-for-images.jpg” if those are the keywords you want to rank for. Also, make sure you insert a caption, you can hide the caption by changing it from CAPTION BELOW to DO NOT DISPLAY CAPTION, but always insert a caption even if you’re going to hide it.

Adding alt text to image blocks

To add images to ‘normal’ Squarespace images — i.e., those inserted via the Squarespace ‘image block’ — you need to:

  1. Hover over the image block and click Edit (or the pencil icon in Squarespace 7.1).

  2. Click the Design tab.

  3. Click Inline.

  4. Ensure that the ‘Caption Below’ option is selected.

  5. Add a caption below the image (this caption then becomes the alt text).

  6. Click Apply.

Step 5: Add High-Quality content to your site

Search engine algorithms continue to become more sophisticated, so providing quality content is one of the most important factors to rank in search. You must provide exceptional, unique content that answers the questions of your potential customers. Behind every successful SEO campaign is a solid content strategy emphasizing top-notch content. So, Focus on quality over quantity.

Step 6: Register and index your website to Google and Bing.

once your Squarespace site has been designed and optimized for SEO (following the advice above), it’s time to register your site with Google.

Before you do that, there are a few things you need to make sure you’ve done.

If you’re using a third-party domain, make sure it’s connected properly – Squarespace recommends waiting around 72 hours after you’ve connected your domain before you register your site with Google.

You want to make sure you nudge Google and Bing to know that your website is out there! The next step are letting them know.

Do you have a question or concern about Squarespace SEO or need personalized help? Feel free to contact us.