Squarespace SEO for People Who Don’t Know SEO
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Squarespace SEO for People Who Don’t Know SEO


I can’t tell you how many people I know who have built or want to build their own site. These are regular people with basic computer skills, not web developer experts. One of the most user-friendly web builders available is Squarespace.

According to Builtwith.com, Squarespace hosts over 1.9 million live websites. Recently they’ve been making a big publicity push, even landing a Superbowl commercial. This past year Squarespace posted an extensive SEO user guide about their built-in functions and how to best utilize each one, making their platform great for SEO. However, this is assuming that the users know what SEO is and how to implement it.

I recognized this problem and decided to write this post. In it, I define the many Squarespace specific words and terms, what they mean as pertains to SEO, and how to best use them. For anyone looking to improve their Squarespace website visibility, improve user experience, or wanting a better understanding of SEO, this post should help.

Squarespace SEO Contents

I would like to note that I am not affiliated in any way with Squarespace. My goal is to help users better understand the platform and general SEO knowledge.

How to Use Keywords for Squarespace SEO

To help your website rank, use keywords in your site title, headings and descriptions. Below I go more in-depth about how to do this, specifically in Squarespace. If you’re already familiar with the importance of SEO keywords and usage, feel free to skip to the section on SEO titles.

Keywords & Ranking

One of the most important SEO tools are keywords, which are words and phrases that searchers enter into Google or other search engines. Keywords that you type into search bar are also called “search queries”. These words and phrases should be researched and planned out for the pages that you want to appear in search results. For a step-by-step keyword research strategy, check out Moz’s Keyword Research guide

Keywords are a big contributor to whether you show up in search results, or “ranking”. If you use accurate, well-researched keywords on your website, it greatly increases the chances of ranking for the keywords used.

Also, keep in mind, you should use different or unique keywords for each page of your website to avoid competition between your pages. For example, if your website sells custom T-shirts and you want to rank for the keyword “custom T-shirts”, the best practice is to choose one page (usually the homepage) for that primary keyword. Then assign other keywords to the other pages. If you have a page for women’s T-shirts, you could use the keyword “women’s custom T-shirts” for that page.

Keyword Research

When researching keywords, sometimes it’s difficult to know which ones will rank and how often a keyword is searched. The search volume (SV) is the frequency that a keyword is used in a query, typically calculated by the number of searches per month. The more often a keyword is used per month, the higher the SV and, usually, the more competitive the keyword.

A good place to start when researching keywords is typing in queries into the search bar to see what pops up. Using our custom T-shirt example, some suggested terms will appear when you start typing into the search bar. This is a good indication of whether searchers are using specific keywords.

Google suggests search terms when you type in keywords

Another tool to use is the related searches section at the bottom of a results page. When you type in “custom t shirts”, scroll to the bottom of the first page and you’ll see a list of other related terms. These are other keywords related to your primary keyword that you can consider using.

Related search terms appear at the bottom of the results page

If you’re still unsure whether to use a certain word for phrase, ask yourself two questions: 1) is this keyword relevant to my page content? and 2) would a searcher use this term if they want to find my website? Often times thinking like the searcher can help you decide which keywords to use.

For other free tools that you can use, check out these keyword research tools on ahrefs.com.

SEO Titles, Site Titles, Page Titles, Oh My!

In Squarespace, the “site title”, “SEO title” and “page title” have different functions and appear on-page, in browser tabs, and on the search results page. To understand the differences, we must first talk about “title tags”.

Title tags are an SEO term. They are HTML elements that indicate to search engines the title of a webpage. The searcher sees them as the blue text in search results. 

Title tags are the blue text in search results page.

Site Titles

In Squarespace, the “site title” is the name of your website, and appears at the top of your homepage. It also appears on the browser tab and search results page. The site title is your default title tag for your homepage.

Where titles appear on-page in your Squarespace website

It’s important to note that SEO does not differentiate between title tags by page type because they all function the same way. However, SS probably makes this distinction to make it more approachable for their users.

Let’s use an example. Our friends at bonjourbitchesblog.com use Squarespace to host their website, and they have agreed to let us analyze their basic SEO features. “Bonjour, bitches” is a pop culture, style and humor blog website. Their current site title reads “bonjour, bitches”, so their default site title comes up in search results as below.

Site titles that are not changed will show in search results like this

SEO Titles

You can add a separate “SEO title”, which as the name implies, is for SEO purposes. If you add an alternate title here, it shows up on the browser tab and in search results. In this case, the SEO title becomes the title tag for that page.

Why should you add an SEO title to your pages? This is where keywords come into play. Using well-research keywords in the title tag can 1) help the website show up in search results, and 2) increase likelihood of searchers clicking on the page. 

Using keywords in the SEO title signals the search engine what the website is about. We’ll do a quick keyword search for “bonjour, bitches” website to see what they could use as their primary keyword. When we type in “pop culture blog” into Google some potential keywords show in the search suggestions and related searches. From these, we can get a better sense of what searchers might use as search queries.

Suggested keywords for “pop culture blog”

“Pop culture blog” related search terms

SEO titles also help searchers understand what a webpage contains. If the site title remains unchanged, visitors who are unfamiliar with the “bonjour,bitches” brand won’t know what the website is about, which means they will less likely click on their link. But if we use keywords in the SEO title it will help searchers understand the website content. 

If we change the SEO title to “Pop Culture, Style & Humor Blog | bonjour bitches”, searchers will see the below in the results page. They will have a better sense of what to expect when they click on the link.

More descriptive site title helps users and search engines understand your website

Page Titles

In SEO, page titles and site titles (title tags) are synonymous. In Squarespace, page titles are the titles that show on each page of your website (not to be confused with “on-page titles” or more commonly known in SEO as “heading 1” or “header 1”, which we will discuss further below). 

On the Squarespace website, they explain that “some templates” will display page titles, and if you do not add an SEO title then the default page title appears in the browser tab and search results. As previously discussed, if you want different text to show on page versus search results, then you have to manually change it.

Heading Tags

We mentioned on-page titles earlier, which in SEO has a different name: “heading 1” or “header 1” (h1). SS also has a headings function that their users can customize on-page. They briefly explain heading tags and why it’s important for SEO, but their users also have to know to add this function. I would postulate that many SS users, especially ones with little SEO experience, don’t know they should do this, which is why this point is so important. Heading tags, especially h1 tags, are crucial for better visitor experience and help improve your website ranking. 

Let me explain a little bit about how h1 tags work. When you add a heading 1 (h1) on your webpage, the site visitor will see it as an on-page “title”, because it’s usually at the top of the page with the most prominent or bolded text. Search engines see a corresponding <h1> HTML code in the website’s source code, with the same h1 text that’s on-page. Essentially, both the visitor and search engine see the same h1 for that page, but in different formats. 

Keeping this in mind, it’s best practice to have a keyword-rich, unique h1 for each page of your website. If you have the same or similar h1 tags for multiple pages, the search engine will be confused about which page matches the visitor query best, which means your pages will be competing with each other. 

How to Add Heading 1 in Squarespace

To add h1 tags in Squarespace you will have to go into each page and change the formatting of the on-page text. Yes, this can be a lot of manual work, but keep in mind that you most likely will only do this once for each page, and every new page you add to your website.

An important thing to note is that many of Squarespace website templates have built-in heading tag features. This means that when you fill in on-page content like site titles and blog post titles, it will automatically generate h1 tags for you. However, not all templates do this, and SS provides a table of which template families are the exceptions.

Squarespace template table shows which have built-in heading tags

Using our example again, the “bonjour, bitches” website uses the “Skye” template. Unfortunately we can see that Skye is NOT one of the templates that automatically generates h1 tags. The site title on the homepage does not create an h1 tag, which means you have to manually add one to the page. 

Squarespace Skype template has no built-in h1 tags

bonjour bitches homepage has no h1 tag

For individual blog pages on the website, the Skye template will generate h2 tags from the on-page titles. This isn’t necessarily bad for SEO, but search engines deem <h1> more important than <h2>. Think of it this way: if the webpage were a book, the h1 is the book title and the h2 is a chapter title within that book. The search engine sees that h2 tag without any context, so it’s much harder to understand what the webpage is about.

The key takeaway here is this: if your Squarespace template does not have built-in h1 tags, then you should manually insert them on each page. Or, if you haven’t decided on a template yet, choose one that has built-in h1 tags to make your life easier.

SEO Site Descriptions and Page Descriptions

Squarespace uses the terms “SEO site description” and “SEO description” to talk about that short description you see in search results underneath the title tag. In SEO this is called a “meta description”. Meta descriptions are good for SEO because it affects the click-through-rate for your website, which indirectly affects how well you rank.

Meta description is what you see underneath title tags in search results

Click-through-rate (CTR) is a percentage of how often a link is clicked on when it appears in search results. Web pages that have a high CTR signal to search engines that the page is highly relevant to the search query, which means it will rank higher.

From a recent study, pages with meta descriptions get 5.8% more clicks than those without a description. So it’s important to have keyword-rich, highly relevant meta descriptions for pages that you want to rank and searchers to click on.

In Squarespace, both “SEO site description” and “SEO description” are the same as meta description. The distinguishing factor is, SEO site description represents your homepage, while the SEO description represents all other pages. SS probably differentiates between pages for better user comprehension, but in SEO, meta descriptions on all pages are treated the same.

Missing meta description in search result page

In Squarespace, you must manually add the SEO site descriptions and SEO descriptions, or that content will be missing. As above, meta descriptions affect CTR for your web page, so it’s best practice to add them for every page.

Manually enter SEO site description for your homepage. Image taken from Squarespace

Some templates in SS also have “page descriptions”, which appear as on-page text and will show up in search results as the meta description for that page. Not all templates have page descriptions, so check this table to see if yours does. 

Website Navigation: Building a Site Header

SS uses the term “header” and “site header” to describe the on-page navigation, which should not be confused with page headings (h1). This is where your site title, logo and website navigation will live, including links. In SEO, the main navigation should be clear, concise and intuitive. The more easily a visitor can navigate and find what they’re looking for, the better the overall experience and more likely they will return to your website. You can read more about website navigation basics here.

SquareSpace SEO Words to Know

For reference, I have created a table of “SquareSpace SEO” terms and their SEO industry equivalent (or close match). These are all the Squarespace terms we’ve covered in this post.

SquareSpace (SS) Term SEO Term Where it appears Meaning
Site title Title tag At the top corner of each page. It also appears in the browser tab and can appear in search results page This is the name of your website homepage or main page. It is also the search results title by default. This can be text, a logo or thumbnail image file
SEO title Title tag or Page title In the search results page and browser tabs (if the user adds it) This title replaces the site title when you want different text to show in search results. You can add this to all pages on your website.
Page title Title tag or Page title *some pages at the top of page For *some templates, this shows on individual pages and in search results if there’s no SEO title assigned
Heading tags Headings, Headers (h1, h2, etc.) On-page at the top of page (e.g., blog post title) Headings are the on-page titles that also show up in the page source code as <h1>, <h2>, etc. They help visitors and search engines understand the page content
SEO site description Meta Description

*homepage*

Search results page Short description that appears in search results that says what that page contains.

*in SS this is only for the homepage*

SEO description Meta Description *all pages* Search results page Short description that appears in search results that says what that page contains

*in SS this is for individual pages or collection pages (products, blog posts, etc)*

Page descriptions Meta Description

*on-page description*

On-page content and

search results page

On-page description on individual pages, this will also appear in search results if SEO description is not added

*in SS only some templates have this feature*

Header (Navigation) Navigation Bar

or

Main Navigation

On-page, usually at the top This helps website visitors find what they’re looking for on a website. It usually includes anchor text/links to other pages on your website

There are many other facets of SEO that aren’t covered here, but I hope this helps users better navigate Squarespace and improve their website visibility. For those who want to learn more about SEO best practices, I’ve listed some resources below to help you get started.





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Sans Forgetica - Makes Sure You Don't Forget
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Sans Forgetica – Makes Sure You Don’t Forget



• 2 minutes READ

It seems like sci-fi, but it is a true story. Apparently, Australian researchers developed an amazing solution for all students around the globe. They have created a font which will improve students capacity to remember certain information.

RMIT University from Melbourne´s behavioral business lab and a design school gathered and came up with an excellent idea – “Sans Forgetica” font that enhances your memorizing ability.

How does it work? According to them, this font was made based on psychological and design theories to aid memory retention.

Sans Forgetica

What makes this font specific?

First, this font has already a pretty memorable name. But, if we take a closer look, we will notice that the letters are leaning in the opposite direction than italics, a little bit rightward. Furthermore, the parts of the letters are looking a little bit dislocated, and some are even missing.

All of these features are providing the wanted effect – a reader has to pay closer attention to determine what is going on the page. What is he/she exactly reading?

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Being more mindful and concentrated on the written sentences implies that there are higher chances that the student will pick up more information after reading. This kind of psychological “trick” is called – desirable difficulty. However, they haven´t made it impossible to look at. The students are supposed to engage more – that is the main and only purpose.

“Sans Forgetica” vs Arial – what has study showed?

Sans Forgetica - Makes Sure You Don´t Forget

After they have made the font, researchers decided to test its functionality. They have invited 400 Australian students to participate in an online experiment. One group of students read the text in Arial font and the other in Sans Forgetica.

Those who read Arial text recognized 50% of the information, while Sans Forgetica readers gathered 57% of the data.



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Don’t Expect Many Brands to Embrace April Fools’ Day in 2020 – Adweek
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Don’t Expect Many Brands to Embrace April Fools’ Day in 2020 – Adweek


Apparently not, if you check Twitter, where commenters have been proactively warning brands for at least the past week against pulling any April Fools’ Day pranks.

“Many of you typically have big plans,” wrote @amaliaefowler, a Vancouver tech company marketing director, mirroring much of the sentiment on the platform. “I beg of you, put them away this year. You will be remembered for launching them, and it won’t be in a good way.”

Marketers, already trying to tread lightly and sensitively with their communications in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, seem to have read the room. Brands, including Google, SodaStream, Honda, T-Mobile and Giphy, are skipping the annual “holiday,” even as they’ve made it a perennial and high-profile part of their advertising.

There will be exceptions (see Poo-Pourri), but the spring tradition of companies unleashing a flurry of fake products, epic misdirects and clever (or cringeworthy) hoaxes doesn’t appear to be happening. Not en masse, anyway.

“When times are good and brands want to show their humor and personality, it can be positive. A good stunt can humanize a brand,” said Joe Baratelli, evp, chief creative officer at Los Angeles-based RPA, whose client Honda says it will opt out of the holiday. “When things are serious, it’s probably not the time to be messing with people.”

Execs at Poo-Pourri respectfully disagree, and they’re willing to swim against the prevailing tide this year. But they think consumers will immediately understand that their candle called This Smells Like My Poop is a gag, so to speak, meant simply to get a chuckle from the public, says Nicole Story Dent, the brand’s svp, creative.

If the Goop-inspired name doesn’t give it away, then its description (“evokes rich, warm and familiar aromas”) and price tag, $41.20, certainly should, she says.

“We think it’s important to continue to bring some levity to those that need it most,” Dent said. “It’s an uncertain and devastating time, no doubt, and if we can bring a little bit of joy to people right now, we are all for it!”

Poo-Pourri isn’t actually selling the odiferous swag, but giving away a handful of them via Instagram. (This was not a mass-produced item).

Companies seem to be erring on the side of caution, like SodaStream, which already had its 4/1 campaign locked in place but will not go forward with it. The planned video revolves around a fake product and, like much of the brand’s ongoing advertising, focuses on environmental and social messages.

“It was a hard decision because April Fools’ is a beloved tradition with us and this would’ve been our fifth year,” said Karin Schifter-Maor, the Pepsi-owned brand’s global CMO. “But now is not the time for pranks.”

SodaStream will likely use the spot later, Schifter-Maor says, calling it “a unique and disruptive idea.” For now, the brand will continue to adapt its social media and marketing to reflect the current crisis. “It’s not just business as usual,” she noted. “All the messages we put out right now are about how you can make your life easier.”

Google has been a legendary player in the April Fools’ game for more than a decade, with goofs that range from a faux high-tech, low-carb “smart drink” called Google Gulp to a Morse code keyboard. The company, via a recent internal memo from CMO Lorraine Twohill, put the kibosh on stunts from any and all departments.

“Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people,” she wrote in the email, “so let’s save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one.”





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Pondering the Power of Disruption and Risk in Content Marketing [The Weekly Wrap]
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Under Pressure? Don’t Worry, Stop Overthinking [The Weekly Wrap]




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Don't Forget These 7 Tips to Get More Search Traffic
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Don’t Forget These 7 Tips to Get More Search Traffic




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Don't let good CX get lost in translation: 3 tips on localization
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Don’t let good CX get lost in translation: 3 tips on localization


Localization is the process of taking the context of an original message and transforming it into something comparable in a new language.


If you’ve ever watched your favorite movie dubbed in another language, you know how tricky (and sometimes hilarious) translations can be. And while it can be merely a source of entertainment (or a mild annoyance) when you’re watching a movie, it can be disastrous for customer experience (CX).

And not surprisingly, customer experience has become so important that more than 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for a great one, according to research by Capgemini. The challenge then, is: how do companies with great CX expand into global markets where prospective customers won’t speak their native language?

Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as translating your website and collateral to the desired local language. That would be too easy. And language is complex. From vastly different cultures, values, idioms, and senses of humor, truly building content and messaging fit for a new market requires going further than translation. The process required is localization.

What is localization?

In order to define localization, it’s important to understand how it’s different from translation. The two terms often get confused, but they’re definitely different.

Localization definition

Translation is simply taking one word and converting it to a similar word in another language. Localization, however, goes one step further to take the intent of a word and its meaning in the context of an overall message and then translate it to appropriately capture the essence of the original content. In other words, localization takes the context of the original message and transforms it into something comparable in the new language. Everything from cultural norms, regional sayings, and even religious traditions are taken into consideration when localizing content.

Tips for your localization strategy

Using an automated translator or outsourcing low-cost translation services may be a quick solution. But direct translations aren’t always enough to ensure your message hits the mark with global audiences. This is why localization should be a key piece of your CX strategy if you have customers whose native language is not the same as your own. (And chances are you do, even if globalization isn’t your top priority at the moment.)

Via Unbabel

While the top language used on the internet remains English (for now), the number of users living in non-English-speaking countries far surpass those where English is the native tongue.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get serious about improving your CX through localization. 

Here are three tips for getting started when localizing your own content:

1. Great localization begins with great writing

Bad copy is bad copy, no matter how well it’s translated. If your site or app (or even brick-and-mortar signage) isn’t written clearly and with your customer in mind, it’ll only get worse when you try translating your copy to different languages.

Before you even think about how to translate your copy for other languages, make sure you’ve got it right for your native tongue. Run user studies on your copy to ensure users not only understand what you’re writing but get the underlying message and tone, too. Once you’ve got that nailed down you can start thinking about localization.

2. Context is important

One of the biggest benefits localization has over a simple translation is the consideration of context. Localization digs deeper into a message to uncover its intent, then creates a translation with that context in mind.

For example, you might use the word ‘field’ in your form’s microcopy to denote a section that needs to be completed. But a translator may interpret that to refer to your area of expertise, or even a literal field out in nature.

If you use the word ‘field’ to describe a section of a form that needs to be filled out, how would that translate in other languages without proper context? Make sure you’re providing the appropriate context so that whoever is helping with localization knows exactly how you mean to use that word or phrase.

3. Localize accessibility, too

Just like written and verbal language differs between regions and cultures, the language we use to communicate with those with disabilities varies too. As you’re localizing your site, be sure to apply the same considerations to the accessibility of your site. Everything from font styles and sizes to alt text and image choice can impact the experience your customers with disabilities may have with you.

How to test if your intended message will be understood

The biggest challenge with localization is making sure you’ve got it right. You don’t just need someone to understand what’s been translated, you need to make sure that the translated message mirrors the original.

Fortunately, remote usability studies can answer this for you quickly and easily. Conduct a study with bi-lingual users in each of the languages you’re localizing. Start by having them review a page on the newly-localized site and speak their thoughts out loud in your native language. 

Then have them review the original content. Ask them what worked and what didn’t. Be sure to ask about any cultural references or cues you may have missed. If time permits, Live Conversation interviews may be useful so you can ask follow-up questions in real-time. Use all of this feedback to revise your content until customers all over the world are getting the same message.

Craft a universal customer experience

While there’s no universal language, the desire for a great experience is universal. No matter where your customers live, no matter what language they speak, they all want and deserve to be treated with the same level of care and respect you give to the folks in your home country.

Keep these tips in mind as you localize your experiences and your customers will always feel right at home.



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