Are you trying to get your website noticed? Hoping to reach more local customers? These Squarespace SEO tips highlight a few basic optimization steps to get you started.

Search engine optimization (SEO) encompasses two practices, on-page SEO (optimizing your website itself) and off-page SEO (increasing external signals to gain traffic from search engines). Before you start increasing your site’s authority with inbound links, reviews, citations, and other off-page SEO practices, you need to make sure your website is otherwise fully optimized, or all your hard work may be for nothing.

Below are five simple tips for getting started with SEO on Squarespace — but we truly believe in the power of personalized training to quickly increase your working knowledge. Common sense explanations of ethical SEO practices, and making updates to your website during the session, allows you to move forward with increased confidence. Learn about 1-on-1 SEO training.

Squarespace seo tips:

1. Keyword Research

Before you do anything else, carry out keyword research. This is the first and most important step when optimizing pages. You need to know what keywords to target, so when people search for a particular word or phrase, search engines return your website in the results. The higher your ranking, the better your site's ability to get more organic traffic.

Make a list of keywords you want to target. Then manually search for each keyword on Google and look at your competition to assess the difficulty of ranking. The stronger the competition, the harder it will be for you to rank above them. When assessing the difficulty of your keywords, consider your competition's popularity, authority, on-site SEO, backlinks, and social signals.

2. Keyword Density & content

Long gone are the days when keyword stuffing would get you a good ranking on Google, but many Squarespace websites still do this. While there isn’t an exact keyword density that you should be using as all content is different, a good rule of thumb is to write as naturally possible and not overuse a word or phrase. 

Google has become adept at providing good-quality and on-topic search results, but you still need to use keywords to point them in the right direction. So you might use your keyword once in the title, once in a header and a few times in the main content. Be careful not to over-optimize a page, as this might have a negative impact. Again, when you write naturally for your readers, it should provide search engines with enough information to know what a page is about. You can also mix it up by using a combination of similar keywords that you are targeting. Keep in mind, the content on your website is a large factor in ranking, so whether you are writing copy for a static page or a blog post, it’s critical that you spend effort on it.

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3. Titles, Headers, Meta Tags, and URLs

Make sure you use your keywords in page titles, headers, and URLs. For example, the title of your page could be your keyword, followed by the business or blog name. You can use the following syntax:

keyword + website name

Example: Dog Walking | Man's Best Friend

In this example, the name of the page or post is "dog walking" and the name of the website is "Man's Best Friend."

Your heading tags should contain some keywords too. Use the main title of the page with your <h1> tag. When you have other headings and sub-headings, organize them clearly using the <h2> and <h3> tags.

You can also use keywords in the meta description (or in Squarespace lingo your page descriptions). A long list of keywords could lead to a penalty, so don't go this route. Make sure a description contains your page's keywords, but keep in mind that search engines limit you to about 155 characters and you are hoping to encouraging click-throughs from the SERPs, so again, write naturally.

Finally, in some cases it is desirable to shorten and/or optimize URLs. As an example, a page with the title of "Dog Walking Advice for Pet Owners" will have the following URL structure if you remove unnecessary words:

You can see that the word "for" was removed. Removing words can make the URL shorter and easier to read. And it can also make it easier to share the URL on social networks, especially those with a character limit such as Twitter.

4. Images

Images are often forgotten in Squarespace SEO efforts, but they are important and should be optimized. A fast-loading image will improve the overall page speed, which is a ranking factor for Google and other search engines. If your page loads quickly, it can help you to rank higher in Google, Bing, and other search engines. You can use Squarespace's built-in editing tool to resize images on your site.

And most search engines have an image search function and can show images from your website in these results, which can lead more visitors to your website. However, computers are not good at understanding the content of a picture, so they need to be told what is happening in it. Make sure you use combinations of your keywords in the filename, title, alt text, and caption.

5. Duplicate Content

And last but not least, duplicate content is strongly discouraged. If you copy content from another website, it can result in a penalty. This rule also applies to duplicate content found on your own website. 

There are many factors to consider when auditing your Squarespace website, but the quick tips above outline important aspects of on-site optimization. 

Bonus Squarespace SEO Tip

Check out our blog post about SSL on Squarespace and see what it means for your website!

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