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SEO Setup Guide for Your Squarespace Website

Bold & Pop : SEO Setup Guide for Your Squarespace Website

One common misconception of Squarespace is that it’s not good for SEO (search engine optimization). That’s a big ol’ lie. You just have to know how to optimize your site properly, just like with any platform! We know SEO can be a complicated topic and really confusing so we’re giving you a step-by-step guide to help you optimize your site so you can rank higher and higher on search engines pre- and post-launch!

Backend Setup

There are several things to update in the settings area on the backend of your Squarespace website prior to launching (if you've launched and haven't done this, don't worry! You can still go in and update now). This includes:

  • Your Business Name

  • Site Description

  • Search Engine Description

  • SSL Certificate

  • Page Titles and SEO Descriptions

Business Name: Chances are you have a logo that you’ll be using on your website but you also want to fill out your Business Name under the business information. If you do have a logo, you’ll want to also consider adding some keywords after your business name. Because you have a logo, these won’t show up on the actual website but it still gives search engines some keywords to crawl right in your website name.

You can edit your business name by going to Settings > Business Information > Business Name

Example: Bold & Pop | Social Media, PR, Branding and Website Design

Site Description: Depending on your template, this may or may not show up on the website but this is a great place to give a succinct overview of what your brand offers. Make sure you include the essential keywords in this section.

You can edit this by going to Settings > Basic Information > Site Description

Search Engine Description: This description is what is used in the search results of search engines like Google. In one or two short sentences, describe your business here. (You can also use the same description as the site description to make life a little easier.) Again, make sure to include essential keywords so these are front and center for search engines to crawl. 

You can edit this by going to Settings > SEO > Search Engine Description

SSL Certificate: Google has announced that SSL-secured websites may receive a minor ranking boost so you want to make sure you have this enabled. Luckily, Squarespace makes this insanely easy and offers free SSL certificates for all Squarespace domains and third-party domains connected to a site.

To make sure this is enabled, go to Settings > Security & SSL > Choose Secure option

Page/SEO Titles and SEO Descriptions: Every single page on your site now allows you to update the SEO titles, page titles, navigation titles and page descriptions. Here’s how these break down:

Bold & Pop : SEO Setup Guide for Your Squarespace Website
  • SEO titles: These appear in search results and are indexed by search engines.

  • Page titles: These are only available on some templates but these can be longer than navigation titles. If there's no SEO title, the page title displays in search results instead.

  • Navigation titles: These are the titles that show up in your navigation. It's best to keep these short, like "About" or "Contact."

  • SEO Descriptions: Similar to your overall site description and search engine description but these are specific for each page on your site. These will display under the corresponding page in search results so make sure to keep these short, relevant, and descriptive.

You can find page titles and descriptions under each page’s settings (pictured above).

Headers

If you didn’t know, Squarespace produces pages with clean HTML markup that is indexable by search engines. This means there’s no need to add <h1> and <h2> tags in HTML. All you have to do is select a Heading style, and those tags are created for you.

Most of the time you’re going to use these Heading styles to highlight your key points on your website and these should include keywords. These headers are prioritized as important pieces of information (in order of Header 1, Header 2, Header 3, and then body text) when search engines crawl your website so you can see why having keywords in these is so important.

Pro tip: If you have a blog, your blog titles are categorized as Header 1 so make sure those are descriptive and include keywords!

Bold & Pop : SEO Setup Guide for Your Squarespace Website

Image Filenames

In Squarespace, images contain proper <alt> and <title> tags, improving search engine indexing. All meta tags for pages and <link> tags for RSS feeds are automatically generated in Squarespace and image descriptions are converted to <alt> tags. Because of this, you need to make sure you give every image on your website a filename.

You can find this right under where you upload the image. It says it’s an option which means it’s often overlooked but SO important for SEO. As with everything else, you want to make sure you include keywords but make sure the filename also provides an accurate description of what the image is (this pops up if the images doesn’t load).

We like to structure our filenames as Company Name :: Keywords/Description

Unlike most of these other SEO tips, this is something you may need to continue to do on a regular basis. If you decide to change an image or add a new one, you need to rename or name those images each time. This is especially important if you have a blog or shop that you update regularly.

Pro tip: This is also the text that is pulled if someone pins an image or graphic from your website to Pinterest! 

Connect to Google Analytics

So how in the world do you know which keywords to optimize? Good news is you can connect your site to Google Analytics and it will pull in the search terms people actually use to find your website!

This will be really important for your ongoing SEO strategy so we highly recommend doing this and checking the keywords on a monthly basis in your Squarespace Analytics.

If you need help connecting your Google Analytics, here’s a guide.

Submit Sitemap to Google

The great news on this piece is Squarespace automatically generates and links a proper sitemap.xml, which enumerates every URL and image metadata on your site with proper priority for perfect indexing even if you use a Javascript-heavy template.

So while Squarespace does this automatically for you, you still need to submit your sitemap and verify your website with Google. Luckily, this is also super easy and Squarespace provides a step-by-step guide.

  • How to verify your site with Google Search Console

  • Once you verify your site, you can click the option to submit a sitemap. Basically your sitemap can be found at http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml. So just enter the sitemap.xml into the space provided and submit!

And there you have it! A lot of little steps but all very easy and doable to help boost your SEO. If you want to learn more about the other built-in SEO features Squarespace offers, check out their overview.

Pro tip for ongoing SEO:

While taking care of all of these backend SEO pieces prior to launch is always a top priority for us, we also always suggest adding a blog and updating it regularly. This gives search engines fresh content to crawl on a regular basis. Trust us, this is not an opportunity you want to miss out on. Consistently blogging has probably been one of the biggest pieces to boosting our SEO.

If you decide to add a blog or if you already have one, there are plenty of steps to take to make sure your blog post is in tiptop shape before you hit publish. Luckily, we have a whole checklist for you in our content upgrade library! Sign up here or below to get access with our super duper top secret password.

P.S. Exciting news! We launched a free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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6 Homepage Must-Haves to Grab your Website Visitors’ Attention

Bold & Pop : 6 Homepage Must-Haves to Grab your Website Visitors’ Attention

Last week we decided to offer free mini website audits to five random members of our Facebook group and we were kind of blown away by the interest in these! After doing our first batch of audits, we noticed a trend in some of the feedback we were providing and it got me thinking… what are the top few pieces of information websites must have on their homepage to grab their visitors’ attention to keep them on their website? Well that’s exactly what I’ll be talking about today so let’s jump right in!

Overview

Your homepage is the first impression you make for people visiting your website (assuming they aren’t landing on your blog or another page from other marketing efforts) so you want want make sure they get to know your brand immediately. That means your who, what, and where should be front and center. This should include:

  • A short description and/or bio of your brand that provides an overview of the purpose/mission of your brand

  • Featured products/services or latest blog posts to show your visitors what you have to offer

  • Location (if applicable) which will help local customers/clients find you

This seems fairly simple and straightforward but many times brands don’t have this information or it’s just not as clear as they think.

When you’re so close to a project, sometimes it’s hard to tell if you’re being clear or not… it happens to the best of us! You might want to consider asking family, friends or any biz besties you have (anyone that will actually be honest with you!) to look at your homepage and let you know if it’s clear who you are, what you offer, and where they can find you. This can help you refine your overview section if needed.

Call-to-Action (CTA)

This is one of the easiest things to forget to add but can have the most impact on directing your site visitors to the information they are looking for. Your CTA will depend entirely on the information on your homepage as well as where you want to direct your visitors but a few examples include:

  • Learn more and have it linked to your About page, Services page, etc.

  • Shop now and have it linked to your shop page or specific products

  • Read more and have it linked to your blog

  • Check out our work and have it linked to a portfolio page

One of the best ways to do this is by having the CTA as a button in a brand color that will stand out. It will draw your visitor’s eye to the button so they know (either consciously or unconsciously) to click there as the next step.

Pro tip: Add CTAs to all your pages where it makes sense to help guide your visitors to different parts of your website so they can easily access the information they are searching for.

Opt-In

Most people aren’t necessarily going to purchase from you the first time they visit your website. Not impossible but for the most part this is true so you want to make sure you capture their information with an opt-in. This way you can stay in contact with visitors that are already interested in your products/services/blog. You can either lead them through a sales funnel or simply provide advice and remind them of the value you may be able to provide them in your email newsletters.

However, don’t just throw up an email signup and hope for the best. Have some sort of free offer they receive for signing up… something that will be of value to them! Maybe a percentage off their first purchase or a free workbook to help grow their business. It will all depend on your particular business and your target audience but just make sure you offer something enticing and valuable.

Pro tip: Test your opt-in with different offerings. You may be surprised by which offering resonates the most with your audience. You may also want to do seasonal or holiday specific offerings too. Think about what could benefit your audience most and see what works best!

Social Media & Contact Info

Similar to why you want to have an opt-in, you want to make sure you have social media icons and your contact information all linked and visible on your homepage (preferably in the footer or header so it’s on every page!). Again, they may not purchase from you right away but love when you have to offer so you want to make it as easy as possible for them to contact you if they have questions or stay connected with you on social media!

This will help cultivate a better relationship and trust ultimately leading to an increase in sales.

Testimonials/Reviews

Now if you’re a newer business and don’t happen to have any testimonials or reviews, that’s ok but just keep this in mind for later down the road! You also don’t need all of your testimonials on the homepage. Choose 3-5 that you can highlight in a creative way (a rotating slideshow is a favorite) so they don’t take up a ton of real estate on your homepage but your visitors can read them to get a better feel for your business and what you’re offering. You can also add a CTA for visitors to read more on your actual testimonials page if you have one of those too.

This is just another way to start building trust with your website visitors so they feel comfortable working with you or purchasing from you.

Photo of You or Your Team

This one is mainly for service providers but it can also apply to product-based businesses as well. Along with having images of your work or products, having a photo of you and/or your team puts a face(s) behind the brand. This is becoming increasingly more important as the demand for H2H (human-to-human) type businesses grow. (The movement of people wanting to get to know the people behind the brand and work with actual humans rather than automated services, etc.) Just like with the tips above, this instills trust in website visitors and helps them feel like they know you better.

Also, if you’re a service provider meeting with clients, this can also help make customers more comfortable since it will let them know who they will be meeting with.

And there you have it! But one very, very important thing to remember is that every single website and business is different and what works for one might not work for another. So you want to figure out what works for your particular website and go from there. Take away some of these or add more to your website… you know your business and customers best!

Want us to look over your website and give you some personalized feedback? Join the #BoldBossTribe for a chance to be chosen to receive a mini 15-min audit only available to our members.

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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Why You Should Hire a Designer for Your Squarespace Website

Bold & Pop : Why You Should Hire a Designer for Your Squarespace Website

There are a lot of reasons we love Squarespace at Bold & Pop -- Visually driven designs, responsive design, and versatile built-in features being just a few. Our top reason we love the platform (and our clients do too) is how user-friendly the back-end is compared to some of the alternative options. Afterall, it is this aspect that draws a lot of people to design their websites themselves on Squarespace. So that being said, if it's user-friendly and DIY-focused, why would you want to work with a web designer? We're taking on that topic for today's blog!

Taking Your Website Beyond Templates

While you can create a beautiful website straight from the templates on Squarespace, working with a designer allows you to go above and beyond. As Squarespace designers, we know the ins and outs of the templates and the options each provides. It's more than just selecting a template and filling in the blocks with your content, rather we select templates based on core features and then build you a completely custom and unique website. Designers can also assist you with optimizing your user experience and helping you organize and make the best use of your messaging and assets.

Beyond your template selection, one of the key things that can help set your Squarespace website apart from the templates is custom graphic elements. This is where a lot of people get held up on their DIY designs. Working with a designer will provide you with graphic design assistance and allow you to take your design beyond the standard templates. Consider creating custom slideshow or banner graphics, sidebar graphics and dividers.

Last but definitely not least, working with a designer will give you additional options for your website with custom coding. We use custom CSS coding on all of our client websites to tweak the features and get the result our clients are after. This can also be a consideration if you're using programs and other services that aren't directly integrated with Squarespace -- like ConvertKit. This is often another snag for DIYers where designers can add a lot of value to. 

Maximizing Features & Optimizing Website

Because web design is our specialty, working with a designer will help ensure that you are taking full advantage of the features and uses for your website. You might not know the best way to highlight similar posts in your blog, or how to build an archive using summary blocks.. but your designer will! We can advise on the best set up for what you are trying to accomplish and then make it happen. There's a lot more than meets the eye of the basic features and settings and your designer will make sure you're getting the most out of your website.

Something else that is imperative with your website design is optimizing your responsive design and SEO. Squarespace is great because templates are automatically responsive, which means the designs with automatically adjust for best use whether your user is viewing your website on their desktop computer, tablet or phone. Same goes with your SEO. Squarespace has a lot of great built-in SEO features and a designer will be able to make sure everything is set up to help increase visibility for your business. 

Freeing Up Your Time

One of the top reasons to work with a designer on your website is to free up some of your time. You know, so you can focus on running your business! While you can certainly build a beautiful website on your own in Squarespace, it takes time. Often more than some expect!

A lot of times, people will realize they're in a little over their head after going to DIY route, or they're simply not getting the look or feel they're after. Don't be afraid to call in the pros! While there will be a bit of an investment, we've found our clients have felt a huge relief when deciding to work with a designer which will save you a lot of headaches in the long run. Hiring a designer allows you to focus on the things you're best at, and let us take care of some of the heavy lifting to get the features and design where you'd like it. Then when everything is wrapped up with a nice little bow, we'll train you on the back-end of your website and the features included so you feel empowered to make minor edits yourself. That way, you're still getting the perks of the user-friendly platform of Squarespace that you'll be able to update on your own in the future, while also making the most of your time now.

Need help with a revamp or a full Squarespace redesign? Give us a shout so we can chat about how we might be able to help!

P.S. Exciting news! We launched the free #GoingBold Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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