We know everyone wants to rank first on Google for their keyword as soon as they create a 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.
Buying traffic is a terrible idea because it has the potential to eventually get your website blacklisted from search engines, and building backlinks through online backlink generators actually do more harm than good.
So what can you do to move up the rankings? Well, besides the obvious (advertising, blogging, etc.), here are some on-page factors that you can fix which will give you an edge. This will only take a few minutes to do so it’s definitely worth it in our books.
1. Fill in Your Website Description
This is what will appear underneath your website name on search engine results.
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.
2. Fill in Your Business Information.
Go to SETTINGS > BUSINESS INFORMATION and fill in as much information on this page as you can. Google will sometimes pull information from here if these fields are used to fill in contact information for your website footer (which many templates on Squarespace do).
3. Turn on Social Sharing / Pin Buttons.
Go to SETTINGS > MARKETING and then click on SHARE BUTTONS and choose what method you want your visitors to have the option to use when sharing your blog posts. Then go back one screen and then go to PIN IT BUTTONS and enable this option. Pick a style that fits in with your website since the style won’t make a difference to SEO.
* This will allow visitors to share your website, blog posts, and images, so that you get more exposure.
4. Turn on SSL / HTTPS
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).
* Please note, this may give some visitors a security warning for a few hours until your certificate is created (if your domain has been connected to Squarespace for a while, your certificate will already be prepared so there won’t be any waiting time). You can keep updated on the process of your certificate on this page at the top where it says CERTIFICATE STATUS (Just above the radio button you clicked).
5. Make Sure Your Blog (If You Have One) Allows for Comments
Go to SETTINGS > BLOGGING, and then click on COMMENTS SETTINGS and enable it globally. While you are here, scroll down on the BLOGGING page and click on AMP ENABLED so that the radio button is filled in. AMP creates alternate views of your blog posts that load super faster, to be used for mobile devices. Also on this page, at the top where it says POST URL FORMAT, make sure it just shows “%t”, there’s no need to have the date in the URL, it’ll just make it hard for users to memorize and share (shorter links are almost always best).
6. Fill in Tag Line
Head on over to DESIGN > LOGO & TITLE and fill in your Site Title with your company name, and the tag line with your tag line. This is how the website will be displayed on search engines so this is especially important. If you want (recommended), you can include a keyword in your tag line to help rank for that keyword but make sure it fits into the flow of the tag line well. The tag line isn’t used in all templates, the newer templates let you hide it from the page.
If you want to rank for “make-up” for example:
Good: Make-up products and tutorials you can count on!
Not so good: Make-up, cosmetics, Olay, Love, Skin, Guide, Tutorial, Natural
7. Clean URLs
It’s extremely 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” and that it is in fact “/home” for example. Go through your website to make sure any references to pages are updated as well if you change page URL slugs.
Images are such an important part of the web these days so we definitely want to make sure we do this right. Adding tags to images will help display them when people search for images specifically. 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. Some templates output the code for the caption even if it isn’t used, and Google can see that code so it helps to have something there to give you a little boost.