Free SEO Checklist for Squarespace Users
So you’re almost ready for your big website launch but you still haven’t fully integrated your site to be SEO friendly. Or you’ve had your website for a while now but still haven’t had the time to check and see if you’re doing everything possible to optimize your site. No worries! I’ve curated an in-depth checklist to get your Squarespace site SEO ready.
Not familiar with SEO? Not a problem! I want this checklist to help those with little to no knowledge of how SEO works!
WHAT IS SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
SEO is important since search engines are the ones crawling your website. Search engines don’t understand websites like humans do so with SEO it makes it easy for them to crawl your website and index it. Understanding both the abilities and limitations of search engines allows you to properly build and format your web content in a way that search engines can digest it. Without SEO, a website is essentially invisible to search engines.
On another note; you want to get clients or customers, right? Ranking high on search engines will allow you to be in front of your ideal clients. Creating organic quality content and having everything integrated and optimized for your website is extremely important to get your website to rank high on search engines.
Now, let’s start getting you ranking high in search results!
OPTIMIZING SITE TITLE – DESIGN > LOGO & TITLE
Besides your business name make sure to use keywords related to your business.
SITE DESCRIPTION – SETTINGS > WEBSITE > SEO
Squarespace allows you to add a Search Engine Description. Briefly describe what you do and be sure to include keywords about your business as well. This will allow search engines to properly describe what you do when people are searching for something similar.
ADDING BUSINESS INFORMATION – SETTINGS > GENERAL BUSINESS INFORMATION
Make sure to fill out the name, address if you have a physical location, contact phone number, and primary email. This will allow search engines to add it to your online search results.
BLOGGING – SETTINGS > WEBSITE BLOGGING
Squarespace gives you the option to create a standard URL structure for blog posts. The title of your blog post should be the only thing you should be adding to your URL. The URL format that you would enter would be %t. Don’t add all the extra date info as this will hurt your post rankings.
OPTIONAL: Click for AMP, or, Accelerated Mobile Pages, which creates lightweight versions of web pages to help them load faster on mobile devices. AMP works with Google to prioritize results in mobile searches.
SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS – SETTINGS > WEBSITE > CONNECTED ACCOUNTS
Social media platforms rank well on search engines because they’re already well established so connecting your accounts is a no brainer. Make sure to add your website URL on your social media accounts as well because this allows search engines to know that your website is legit.
Page titles need to describe what you have on that page (duh!) so be straight to the point.
Briefly describe what the page is about including keywords that will help search engines understand the page content.
Your page URL slug should be the same as your page title, straight to the point so search engines are able to easily index and read them.
Make sure that all of your images have adequate titles describing them. Since search engines can only read text, describing your images helps search engines know what images are about. Don't make the mistake and leave your images as IMG_2397373.jpg name the images accordingly, such as "free-seo-checklist-for-squarespace-users.jpg" make sure you separate each word with a hyphen if you leave it as one long word Search Engines will not be able to read that correctly.
If you're reading this and you realize you didn't do this step I would suggest making a folder for your website images and naming them accordingly then taking them down one by one and adding the newly named images. I know this process might be tedious but it will most likely give you an SEO boost in the end! Now you know that whenever you add images to your website they need to be named properly.
IMAGE ALT TEXT:
Something that many people don't really know about is alt text which is used by Search Engines to identify the content of a page, this is a quick SEO booster so take advantage. Squarespace makes it easy for you to add alt text to your images, check this out to learn how to add alt text to different images.
IMAGES ARE OPTIMIZED FOR SPEED:
When uploading images make sure that each image is at or less than 500KB this will allow search engines to speed up your site for a better user experience. No one likes a slow site! Most times it’s better to save your files as JPG instead of PNG as PNG’s tend to be bigger in size.
CONTENT HEADING TAGS:
Squarespace has heading tags (h1, h2, h3, Body) that allow search engines to crawl your site and show the most important stuff first, make sure you are using them appropriately.
Squarespace makes your life easy by giving you a mobile friendly site. You still want to make sure you’re double checking that nothing looks funky when logging in through a mobile device. Adding too much content can hurt how your website is viewed on mobile devices so don’t overdo it!
BONUS: THIRD PARTY SEO TOOLS
REGISTER ON GOOGLE CONSOLE:
Verifying your site with Google Search Console helps you manage your website in Google’s search results. You’ll need a Google Analytics account that’s connected to your site in order to use Google Search Console. Learn how to do it here.
INDEX YOUR SITE:
One of the primary uses for Google Search Console is requesting Google to index your site. This forces Google’s bots to review your site and helps Google update search results with your new content. You can find more information here.
SUBMIT YOUR SITEMAP:
Once you’ve registered to Google Search Console you want to submit your sitemap. This allows search engines to find your site’s pages and rank them accordingly. Squarespace makes it easy to find your sitemap. If you have a custom domain, your sitemap URL looks like this: http:www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml
CONTENT CREATION (ONGOING)
Constantly updating your website and adding content (blogging) will increase your SEO. Be sure you’re creating relevant and unique content that users can find valuable! Search engines will recognize that your site is active and increase your search ranking!
It is recommended that posts be a minimum of 500-600 words. Search engines favor longer posts as those are the ones that can gain more traction. Be sure you’re creating organic and valuable posts for your readers. Unique content is favored by search engines. Below are some common practices when creating blog posts:
1. Be sure to include 2-4 keywords and include them in your page title.
2. Be sure to add the keywords to the first paragraph of your post. Use the keywords in your heading tags.
3. Use the keywords in the URL slug.
4. Use the keywords in the alt text for the image used on the post.
5. Share your blog posts to your social media accounts.
CONGRATS! YOU’VE COMPLETED THE CHECKLIST AND YOU’VE SHOWN SEO WHO’S BOSS!
I hope my checklist gave you the confidence you needed to get familiarized with SEO.
Need help or have questions? Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org