FAQ: Squarespace Search Engine Optimization (including 7.1)

With the release of Squarespace 7.1, we’re seeing more and more people revisiting questions about Squarespace, and Squarespace 7.1 specifically, and search engine optimization (SEO). With the release of 7.1, Squarespace has made it a bit easier to properly optimize the content on your actual pages and in general do more things “right,” with regard to SEO.

We get a lot of questions about Squarespace SEO—check out the answers to the most common questions we receive! (This includes both Squarespace 7.0 and 7.1.)

Does Squarespace have SEO?

Sure thing! It’s just implemented somewhat differently than in WordPress. You’ll want to keep an eye out for the SEO panel in your page and post settings to ensure you’re implementing proper search engine optimization throughout your site.

Is Squarespace Google-friendly?

Squarespace can be very Google friendly when set up correctly and paired with a high quality content marketing strategy. I do see Squarespace sites affected more by common SEO mistakes than I do other platforms—but that’s just anecdotal evidence.

Is Squarespace 7.1 better than Squarespace 7.0 for SEO?

It’s debatable if Squarespace 7.1 is inherently better than 7.0. There are a few significant advantages that 7.1 may have for the average user in terms of setting you up for success with Google:

  1. Squarespace 7.1 has a fourth heading (heading 4) which allows for an improve heading structure.
  2. Squarespace 7.1 has four additional text types so you have more design flexibility, negating the need to inappropriately use headers for exclusively design reasons.
  3. Squarespace 7.1 includes only one template (the “templates” you see in the template store are all the same, just styled differently), which means you won’t be selecting a template that has serious SEO issues (there are several that we cannot work on because of their problems, including Ishimoto and Montauk, among others).
  4. Squarespace 7.1 does away with index pages, which sometimes cause odd SEO issues regarding duplicate content and section “pages” showing up in Google.
  5. Image blocks in Squarespace 7.1 allow you to set text styles and headings within the copy, which may prevent some of the strange image description issues we see with Squarespace 7.0 image blocks.

Is WordPress better than Squarespace for SEO?

This question isn’t all that useful! Selecting a website platform should be done with a holistic perspective, not just which can potentially be “better” for SEO. I’ve seen sites on Squarespace rank well, I’ve seen sites on WordPress rank poorly, and vice versa. I would argue that whatever platform will allow you to continually create content, that’s your best bet for SEO.

With that said, certain search engine optimization tasks are more straightforward in WordPress, particularly implementing Schema.

Read about common Squarespace SEO myths here.

Is Yoast SEO Plugin compatible with Squarespace?

Yoast, a popular plugin for WordPress, is not compatible with Squarespace. As a platform, Squarespace does not allow for any third-party plugins that modify their core infrastructure. If you’re coming from a WordPress setup, this workflow may be a big change, but you can still do many (not all) of the same things Yoast can in WordPress.

How do I do SEO on Squarespace?

There are many steps involved in optimizing Squarespace for Google searches and you can get a free step-by-step guide from us over here. (No download required.) However, here are the basic steps to keep in mind:

  1. Do keyword research.
  2. Add title tags and descriptions
  3. De-index unnecessary categories, tags and pages
  4. Make sure there aren’t headings that only serve a design purpose on your site
  5. Create a blogging plan around your targeted keywords
  6. Ensure you’ve correctly redirected any removed content on your site
  7. Make sure your imagery has clear descriptions
  8. Submit your site to Google in Google Search Console

Where do I put keywords for SEO in Squarespace?

Your Squarespace website’s page and post SEO go under each page or post’s settings area in the “SEO” section.

Your Squarespace site’s SEO description are added following these instructions:

  • In the Home Menu, click Marketing, then click SEO.
  • In the Search Appearance area, click the Home tab.
  • Edit the SEO Site Description field, then click Save.
Squarespace Website SEO Description
Site SEO in Squarespace

Keep the site’s description relatively short, around 60 characters if possible. Keep in mind, this is also your homepage description! And always be sure to use natural language, not strings of keywords (which is keyword stuffing).

How do I add title tags to Squarespace?

Title tags are very important in Squarespace (and all other websites)! These help Google and other search engines to see your page or post’s primary topic. In Squarespace, this is call the “SEO Page Title” and is added in the SEO panel of your page or post.

Try to keep your SEO Page Title under 60 characters so that it will be viewable in Google on most browsers.

Squarespace Blog Post SEO Panel

How do I add meta descriptions to squarespace?

Meta descriptions are the short string of content that is inserted into a page or post describing your content. This impacts search engines’ understanding of your site, but also helps humans understand if the content on your page will answer their question.

To add meta descriptions to Squarespace, go to the SEO panel in your page or post. Squarespace calls this the “SEO Page Description.” There are a variety of techniques for writing SEO Page Descriptions in Squarespace, but I like to keep it relatively short, 50–160 characters, but will go longer if it’s needed to provide context. (Not everyone agrees with this technique, so do what’s right for you.) I also recommend including a friendly call to action in each description, when appropriate.

Remember, keep your language natural—you’re speaking to real people, not just Google!

How do I increase SEO on Squarespace?

There are five primary steps to increasing your Squarespace website’s SEO:

  • Ensure you’re writing quality SEO Page/Post SEO Titles and Descriptions
  • Make sure your Squarespace site is free from common SEO errors such as duplicate content, inappropriate headings, thin content, and missing headers
  • Compress your images and eliminate unnecessary code to help speed up your website
  • Give all your imagery a descriptive name
  • Build quality content clusters to bring in traffic to your website

Why isn’t my Squarespace website ranking well in Google?

There are many reasons your Squarespace website isn’t performing well in Google. Some common reasons we see are the following:

  • You haven’t followed the steps outlined in our 10-Step Squarespace SEO Setup Guide (these are the basics, make sure you’ve done them!)
  • You need to de-index certain pages/categories to reduce duplicate content problems (read more here)
  • Your website suffers from “thin content,” especially your homepage. This means that your website simply doesn’t have enough text for Google to understand what it’s all about.
  • You’ve targeted too broad of keywords. We see a lot of people aim to rank well in too competitive of terms. You can’t beat out Trulia or Houzz or other major sites, so target narrower terms! (Bonus: This will create more targeted leads, hooray!)
  • You haven’t implemented a thoughtful, strategic content strategy on your website. This means ongoing content additions that build your authority online. (Fun fact: Building authority is the overarching theme of our super-affordable marketing membership program.)
  • Your site is just too new! We get a lot of panicked emails from folks who’ve just started a website and aren’t found in Google immediately. This is fine and normal! Give it time before you stress out.

How long does is take for my Squarespace site to start ranking in Google?

It depends! I wrote a lengthy newsletter about this awhile back, but it’s highly variable and unpredictable. If you have done all the right things and your site has been up for awhile and you’re making no progress, that’s likely a sign that you need to focus on narrower keywords.

Is Squarespace slow? Does this impact SEO?

Yes, Squarespace can be slower than other platforms, especially since there isn’t a built in image optimizer to speed up that piece of your website. We use and recommend ShortPixel for both WordPress and Squarespace websites to help ensure your images load as quickly as is feasible. We also encourage you to not “bloat” your Squarespace website with unnecessary code. It’s extremely common to take a look at a Squarespace site and see many extra external code snippets on the site, which leads to slowness and other performance issues.

Does Squarespace’s tendency toward slowness impact SEO? It most certainly can! You are unlikely to have the world’s fastest website with Squarespace and if you’re in an extremely competitive field, that may influence your decision on what platform to use, however it shouldn’t be your only consideration.

Can I implement Schema on Squarespace?

You sure can implement Schema on Squarespace! However, the bad news is that you have to do so manually. We cover this in depth in our marketing membership and Pillar Post Workshop, but the short story is that you need to create the code and insert it as a code block in your posts or in the header of your page. It sounds hard, but it’s fairly simple once you get in the routine.

FAQ Schema in Google

As you can tell by this Squarespace SEO FAQ, there are pros and cons to using Squarespace in terms of how the system can impact SEO. And, keep in mind that your decision on platform shouldn’t be ruled by only your potential for being found in Google—you should make a list of all of your priorities and decide what the most important factors are for you.


Check out our live workshop on Squarespace SEO Hacks!

Live Training: Squarespace SEO Hacks

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