How to Get Started with Squarespace SEO
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Today I have Charlotte of charlotteohara.ca and we are going to share with you how to get started with Squarespace SEO. She is a Squarespace expert we're going to start it off really easy today and just go over how you can get started. So if SEO is one of those things that you've been avoiding because it feels way too technical, we are going to make it easy for you!
*all text is Charlotte unless specified
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and basically that's just a fancy way of saying ‘how to make sure that your website shows up in front of the right people.’ So how can you get the content on your website - whether it's web pages or blog posts or even other things like YouTube videos, to show up in search results when people type in a certain thing.
Louise: Exactly. So it's super important. In all my trainings on Squarespace, I'm like, okay, you have to make sure that you're optimizing it so that people are actually coming to your website. It’s free traffic! You don’t have to pay for each person.
Exactly - you don't have to pay for it. SEO is so useful too because if you have this amazing website and content you've worked so hard on like why wouldn't you want to get it in front of the right people? That's where SEO comes into play.
Louise: It's really not as hard as it seems. I mean, it took me a while to to like it, but once you actually just dive into it, it's really not that difficult.
Totally. And I think when it comes to SEO, there are a lot of misconceptions that everything is long term strategy, that nothing will happen for months on end. The fact is that there are some tweaks you can do specifically within the Squarespace platform that are more like quick wins. You fill out certain settings and make sure that certain things are connected (that won't take you that long to do) that will have a big impact. And then from there, once you've got all the basics covered, you can move on to some of the longer term strategies.
How to Get Started with Squarespace SEO
If you're just getting started with Squarespace and you've never even thought about SEO before, the very first thing that I want you to do is go and log into the back-end of your Squarespace website and fill in certain settings.
1. Fill in your Site Title field
This is under Design > Logo & Title > Site Title.
2. Fill in Page Descriptions
Go through every single page that you have on your blog and your website and make sure that you have filled in all of the page descriptions and SEO page settings.
To access this, click on the gear icon next to your page title and go into the Basic and SEO tabs.
This provides so much valuable information to Google directly and where you're telling them exactly what each page is about. This information will show up in search results and you want to do that for every single page that exists on your website.
How does someone know what keywords to use?
When you're first getting started, if you're like, ‘oh, I don't know what keywords are, I haven't even researched it yet.’ Think about natural language and ask yourself, what are some of the main topics that you talk about? Who are you serving?
lifestyle blogger focused on x
landscaping services for Seattle, Washington
attorneys in upstate New York
Keywords are a bit more advanced. Just start with thinking about what natural language you would use and then incorporate that into your website and into these SEO and description fields.
Louise: Yeah. I mean I love that Squarespace has given us so many opportunities to add in these descriptions that Google will pick up.
Totally, exactly. Squarespace and Google have this partnership - like they're saying, here's the exact field that is integrated with Google. Fill these out and this will already take you ahead of so many other websites.
Louise: It's so true. Sometimes it’s just as simple as fill it in!
SEO For Physical Businesses
Another thing that I wanted to talk about quickly is if you have a physical business, you will want to fill out the Physical Location field.
If you're a physical business, you're going to want to make sure that you fill this out and put your actual address in.
This is under Settings > Business Information > Physical Location.
This is helpful for a couple of reasons. For one, it means that Google is going to pick up that you're a physical, brick-and-mortar kind of business or that you have a real location, which is good for showing up in Google results. Second, it also means that you will show up more in local results.
For example, let’s say someone types in ‘upstate New York lawyer’ and you’ve filled in your New York address, you will be pulled up because they've got your physical location as well.
SEO For Online Businesses
If you're an online business, you're probably not going to fill in the location, but there are still other things that will be super helpful for you.
1. SSL field
Without getting too technical, SSL is a security setting that you can turn on so that when people are browsing your website, it locks in content and makes sure that if there's any personal or payment information, it's all secured.
So with the SSL field, this is for anyone, whether you're an online business, physical location, any type of Squarespace website, you're going to want to make sure that you're looking at the SSL field and check that off.
This is under Settings > Advanced > SSL > turn on “Secure (Preferred)”
Once you do that, it shows to Google that this is a website that's taking SEO seriously and they will reward you for giving a more secure experience to people that visit your website.
2. Page Structure
When it comes to Squarespace SEO, a big factor is how you structure the pages and blog posts on your website. It’s pretty basic really!
For example, using titles and headings correctly. So with Squarespace, you have heading one, heading two, heading three and you've probably styled each of those differently. Either way, it's indicating a hierarchy of content to Google, saying to them that heading one is more important than the others.
So make sure that you're actually using headings to break up the content on your website.
3. IMAGE FILENAMES
With images, fill out the Filename field. You don't want to have something like picture.0001.png. Name the image something specific. For example, something like Charlotte O'hara Headshot or something so that when Google is viewing the image, they have an idea of what it is. Google cannot read your images unless you tell them what it is. You have to tell them exactly what the image is.
Again, this is another instance of Squarespace making it really easy for you. When you add an image to your Squarespace website, there will be an Filename field. Just fill that out, tell them exactly what the image is and this will send the information directly to Google.
Thank you Charlotte for sharing such awesome SEO tips with us!
Hopefully now you feel more confident with how you can get started with Squarespace SEO, but of course, there is so much more that we could teach you. Charlotte has a Squarespace SEO checklist, so make sure to go and grab that. This will help you improve your site even more.
And definitely make sure to go to Charlotte's website, where you can find tons of Squarespace SEO tutorials!
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We're actually going to be posting more Squarespace SEO videos so make sure that you hit subscribe so that you don’t miss it. If you have an SEO question for Charlotte, put that in the comments below!