How to Optimize Your Squarespace Blog Posts for SEO
BY BIG CAT CREATIVE
If you’re already writing a Blog, you know the value that it adds to your business. Posting a regular blog can do many great things for your business, including increasing your Search Engine rank (Google loves a regularly updated website!) But, how do we make sure we are doing our best to get those posts read? You’re investing so much time writing Blog Posts (trust me, I know how time consuming it is) that it would be a waste if no one was reading them. So how do we get the best chance of people reading them? It’s all about that Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Because Squarespace is an all-in-one platform, there’s no plugin we can add to do all of this for us. And there’s many myths that Squarespace SEO is not up to scratch or there’s not enough options to add SEO features. But don’t worry, adding SEO in Squarespace Blog Posts isn’t hard, and it’s highly effective. If you know how to do it (which you will by the end of this post), it’s just as simple as adding a plugin!
Read through the points below to learn how to Optimize your Squarespace Blog Posts for SEO.
This is probably the most important, and most difficult step. Keywords are words that are related to your Blog post that the Search Engines can measure. Use more of these keywords in your post and you have a better chance of ranking higher on Search Engines. The Search Engines look for these keywords and match them up to what someone is searching. The more of these keywords, the more relevant the post probably is to the person searching.
This is the same for Keyword Phrases, though these are arguably more important as they are more specific. Stick to one or two Keyword Phrases throughout one post, for a better chance of ranking higher.
For example, Keywords for this post might be: “SEO, Squarespace, Blog, Optimize” etc.
Whereas my Keyword Phrase for this post would be something like “Optimize your Squarespace Blog Posts for SEO” and phrases alike.
The aim is to try to use these Keywords, especially the Keyword Phrases, as much as possible throughout your post. Now, I don’t mean go crazy and add it in every sentence, that’s just going to annoy people, and actually, if you have TOO many, Search Engines will rank you lower.
It's usually it’s pretty hard to get a lot of Keyword Phrases in while keeping the post easy to understand and not annoying readers. Just keep in mind that that having your readers stay and get valuable information from your Blog is more important than adding Keyword Phrases every line, you have to meet in the middle somewhere!
As well as adding them throughout the post, you want to make sure your Keywords and Phrases are in your post title, subtitles, the URL slug and excerpt if you’re using one. Use this Blog post as an example!
Squarespace offers the feature to adjust your automatic Blog URL slug. I definitely suggest you do this.
Go to Settings > Blogging
The standard Blog slug is formatted like this, with the Year/Month/Day/Post Title:
Because Search Engines prefer shorter URLS, I would suggest changing it like I have to just /Post Title:
The good thing about this step is that you only have to do it once. Once you set the URL structure, it will always post blogs in that way.
Another important thing to consider when talking about URL slugs is your Blog post slug. You can adjust this by going to your Blog > Edit > Options
Make sure your Blog post slug contains Keywords or Phrases and is clear, and doesn’t contain any out of place numbers, words or symbols. In most cases it should be the same as, or a version of, the Blog post title.
Title Your Images
Because Search Engines can’t see what images are, they search for the image name in the hopes that the image name will be representative of what the actual image is. This means you have to name all of your images accordingly. Even though you can’t see this name in your post, Search Engines can. I like to use my Keyword Phrase within the image titles.
You can rename your images before you even upload them, or if it’s easier, you can rename them on Squarespace once you’ve uploaded them. Just upload your image via the image block, and then name it accordingly in the space provided, easy!
REDUCE THE SIZE OF YOUR IMAGES
This one is SO important. If your images are too large, they will slow down the loading of your site. Search Engines hate slow loading pages, and this is a sure way to get pushed to the bottom of Google. Squarespace has a lot of automatic image optimization features to reduce file size depending on screen size, which is great for SEO, but you still need to do your part too.
My rule of thumb is to get the image size as small as possible without losing quality. For banner images or large images, I aim for under 500KB. For special portfolio pieces where I want the image large and high quality I sometimes will go over that, but I try not to. Usually in Blog posts I’m using screenshots and smaller images, so these come way under the 500KB mark, usually between 20KB-100KB.
If you are using larger images, try to get them as far under 500KB as possible. If you have Photoshop, using the Save for Web feature is the best way to do it. If you don’t have Photoshop, you can open up your image in the Preview app (on Mac). Click Tools > Adjust Size and adjust the size until it’s under the required KB.
For Banner images I would try not to go under 2000 pixels wide, and other site images between 500-1000 pixels wide depending on where you will use them. For Blog post images like screenshots, I leave them at their original size, and then compress them in Photoshop with Save for Web, or with the method below.
After resizing, you will probably also need to compress your image further. Head to compresspng (You can choose between JPG or PNG). Upload your file here, it will compress it as much as possible, then you can re-download it. Usually it will compress it by a large percentage without losing any quality. This is such a useful tool and I suggest compressing every image you upload with this if you're not using Photoshop.
So, first resize to the appropriate size, then compress if you need to in Photoshop of via CompressPNG/JPG.
This step seems like a lot of work, but let me just say that you would have to do this on any website platform, not just Squarespace, and it is so worth it. If you website is loading slowly, not only will you rank low on Search Engines, but people also won’t stick around to wait for it to load.
Congrats! You made it all the way to the end - phew! That seems like a lot of information to take in, doesn't it? But I promise, once you get the hang of it, it really easy. I do all of these things without even thinking now. It only takes a couple of times before you'll get the hang of it. And it's worth the little bit of extra time it takes.
What are some other good SEO tips you like to implement? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading!