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HomeSEOExamined: Is Squarespace Good For search engine marketing In 2022?

Examined: Is Squarespace Good For search engine marketing In 2022?


Squarespace On-page SEO Check

Final up to date on February 1, 2022

That is the second submit in our collection the place we check the on-page search engine marketing of the world’s hottest CMS techniques.

Partly 1 we lifted the hood on Wix (conclusion: it’s getting higher for search engine marketing). This day trip we’re specializing in Wix’s primary competitor within the “click on and go” small enterprise web site world; Squarespace, a CMS that presently powers 1.8% of internet sites globally (as of February 2022).

Learn on to find:

  • how nicely arrange for on-page search engine marketing Squarespace is out the field,
  • how one can configure your Squarespace web site to rank increased in Google,
  • the technical search engine marketing points we discovered on the platform

Let’s get began with a abstract.

In Abstract: Is Squarespace good for search engine marketing?

Like Wix, Squarespace’s primary attraction for small enterprise homeowners is its fast and straightforward, “level and click on” approach of establishing a web site. No technical information required, simply click on by way of the setup wizard and you’ll be on-line in a matter of hours.

squarespace home page

It’s not likely a CMS designed to be tinkered with. It’s designed to get what you are promoting up and working on the net. Quick. And it does that very nicely.

However for these of us who wish to tinker — in search of the flexibility to optimize each aspect of a web site — that’s an enormous downside.

So let’s get this out the way in which:

Should you’re severe about search engine marketing, Squarespace might be not a sensible choice.

You may management some search engine marketing fundamentals. However there are both large gaping holes or (we really feel pointless) hurdles to leap if you wish to get extra superior.

And every part that you simply can’t do to optimize your Squarespace web site is one thing {that a} competitor on a unique CMS may be capable to do to achieve a bonus.

search engine marketing is battle. And also you don’t wish to go using into battle on a horse when your opponent is advancing in the direction of you in a tank.

We’re going to cowl intimately how Squarespace handles management of the search engine marketing fundamentals.

However first, right here’s a abstract of our findings.

Squarespace SEO Scoring

How we examined the search engine marketing capabilities of Squarespace

We arrange a small web site on a Squarespace marketing strategy.

squarespace plans

We selected a well-liked theme and loaded the positioning with demo content material.

And we additionally examined two of the preferred themes listed right here.

The exams included handbook evaluation, working the Squarespace websites by way of our personal search engine marketing audit device, and testing utilizing third social gathering instruments comparable to Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix.

Squarespace search engine marketing: The great, the unhealthy, and the ugly

Earlier than reviewing Squarespace’s management of on-page search engine marketing components, let’s run by way of a few of the search engine marketing highlights (and lowlights) of the platform.

We’ll kick issues off with a constructive.

Good: Squarespace’s HTML code is (comparatively) clear

It’s definitely not an search engine marketing deal breaker. However we imagine there’s a bonus to having clear, bloat-free code on the entrance finish of your web site.

Visible web page builders can generate some severely ugly code. Wix is especially unhealthy for this.

Nonetheless, we have been happy to see that the HTML code Squarespace generates is comparatively clear.

There’s nonetheless a little bit of “DIVception” (DIVs inside DIVs for no specific motive) with regards to structure. However for content material, a paragraph is a paragraph, and a heading is a heading.

squarespace HTML code

We might do with out the duplicated inline type for every tag. However at the very least there’s no bizarre wrapping every paragraph in a div, and the textual content inside it in a span like this sizzling mess from Wix….

wix code bloat

Squarespace’s HTML code will not be excellent. However it’s positively not the worst we’ve seen.

Good: Easy integration with Google Search Console

Google Search Console may give you useful perception into:

  • the key phrases driving visitors to your web site
  • any points Google discovered whereas crawling it

However for non-technical customers, establishing and verifying Google Search Console is usually a little tough. Squarespace makes it simple.

Simply head over to Analytics > Search Key phrases, click on the button to attach with Google, enable entry, and also you’re completed.

google search console integration

Right here’s the total (extremely easy) course of.

Dangerous: Lack of management over superior search engine marketing options

Need to edit your sitemap?

Can’t do it on Squarespace.

How about your robots.txt file?

Nope.

For many small enterprise websites this may not be a problem. However we’d definitely like the choice.

And usually, we discovered the platform to be missing with regards to management of any (even semi) superior on-page search engine marketing components.

Ugly: Squarespace websites are prone to fail Core Net Vitals

Google’s “Web page Expertise” replace rolled out on cellular in summer season 2021 and will come to desktop as nicely beginning in February 2022.

To recap, Web page Expertise assesses a number of UX and security measures (HTTPS, mobile-friendly, no intrusive interstitials) and measures velocity and structure stability by way of three “Core Net Vitals” metrics.

google page experience

You may learn our full rundown on Core Net Vitals right here.

And the unhealthy information is that — whereas ticking the UX and safety bins — our check web site (and the favored themes we examined) all failed Core Net Vitals large type.

squarespace core web vitals

Whereas Cumulative Format Shift could also be fixable, the velocity points are prone to be tougher to beat as they’re primarily attributable to blanket loading of core scripts and kinds, even when not utilized.

Certainly unused JavaScripts accounted for over 3 seconds of complete load time.

unused scripts

Backside line:

Out the field, Squarespace websites are gradual and prone to fail Core Net Vitals. We imagine that can have an more and more unfavorable influence on rankings over the approaching months and years.

On-Web page search engine marketing Fundamentals: How does Squarespace measure up?

Now let’s flip our consideration to manage of a few of the elementary on-page search engine marketing components.

Does Squarespace cowl all of them?

No. There are large gaps. And on high of that, sure on-page search engine marketing duties are tougher to do than they need to be.

Right here’s our abstract once more.

Squarespace SEO Scoring

Observe: having management of an search engine marketing rating issue will not be equal to its optimization. search engine marketing audit instruments like Seobility provide recommendation on how you can correctly optimize every aspect and discover errors in optimization which can be holding again your web site. See our search engine marketing audit information for extra info on how you can absolutely optimize your web site.

search engine marketing Titles and Meta Descriptions

Management in Squarespace: sure

A web page’s title continues to be some of the essential on-page rating components. And a well-written meta description might help you get extra click-throughs (though Google gained’t at all times use it).

Squarespace allows you to add and amend the search engine marketing titles and meta descriptions for every web page in your web site.

Simply click on the gear icon subsequent to the web page you wish to edit, then choose search engine marketing.

squarespace titles and descriptions

You may edit your web page’s title and outline, and preview the way it will look in search.

Tip: for extra superior previewing (together with cellular preview), take a look at our free SERP Snippet Generator device.

All good thus far. However we do have a minor(ish) grumble.

Squarespace allows you to arrange templated title codecs on your pages. Beneath you’ll be able to see now we have this set to “web page title (%p) — web site title (%s)” which is the default.

Advertising and marketing > search engine marketing > Search Look > Pages

squarespace default title formats

That is helpful. And usually together with your model in your titles is a good suggestion.

So what’s the issue?

Nicely, you’ll be able to’t overwrite this title format on particular person pages. And if there’s a web page the place you wish to go for an extended, keyword-rich title and take away your model title to keep away from truncation…

…nicely, you gained’t be capable to do it.

Which is relatively annoying.

Be taught extra about search engine marketing Titles and Meta Descriptions

Web page slug / URL

Management in Squarespace: sure

We suggest creating quick, descriptive, 2-3 phrase slugs, together with the first key phrase (or phrase) for every web page. Use hyphens to separate phrases.

You may set the web page slug for every web page in your Squarespace web site within the “Basic” tab beneath settings.

URL slug

Necessary: when you change the slug for a web page, you’ll must arrange a 301 redirect to level the outdated URL to the brand new one. This information from Squarespace covers how you can do it.

Be taught extra about URL slugs/permalinks

Canonical URLs

Management in Squarespace: no

On smaller websites, you most likely gained’t want to fret about this.

However when you have a collection of comparable pages in your web site — i.e. concentrating on the identical key phrases, or with very small variations in content material — there could also be occasions if you’ll wish to set a canonical (grasp) URL.

This helps to keep away from duplicate content material points.

Sadly, whereas Squarespace will set a canonical URL for every web page in your web site routinely, there’s no technique to edit it. Which sort of makes it a bit pointless….

¯_(ツ)_/¯

Be taught extra about canonical URLs

Index management (robots meta tag)

Management in Squarespace: partial

The robots meta tag instructs Google to both index (1), or to not index (2) a web page:

  1. <meta title=”robots” content material=”index, comply with”> – index this web page please Google
  2. <meta title=”robots” content material=”noindex, comply with”> – ignore this web page please Google (however comply with the hyperlinks on it)

You don’t really need the primary one as (assuming your web page meets their high quality requirements) indexing is Google’s default motion. However it doesn’t do any hurt to have it in place.

Squarespace allows you to add a noindex robots tag to an everyday web page by checking the “Disguise Web page from Search Outcomes” field.

squarespace noindex

However they don’t allow you to noindex particular person weblog pages…

squarespace noindex blog

For some motive, they’ve taken an “all or nothing” strategy within the weblog. Your solely choice is to noindex every part.

squarespace noindex blog

Not precisely best.

Be taught extra about index management

Heading Tags (h1, h2, h3 and so on)

Management in Squarespace: partial

Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, and so on) assist Google perceive the construction, and matter(s) of your web page.

They need to be correctly nested.

For instance, an h1 tag would usually be the primary matter (stage 1), an h2 might be a subtopic (stage 2), and an h3 might be a sub-sub matter (stage 3), and so on:

<h1>Pets</h1> (matter of the web page)

<h2>Goldfish</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring on your goldfish</h3> (subtopic of goldfish)

<h4>Clear your fish’s tank usually</h4> (subtopic of caring on your goldfish)

<h2>Cats</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring on your cat</h3> (subtopic of cats)

Squarespace means that you can set heading tags from h1-h4.

squarespace heading tags

Whereas this could cowl most content material, there are positively occasions if you may wish to go all the way down to h5, and presumably even h6.

So the platform setting this tough restrict might stop you from absolutely optimizing your content material.

Be taught extra about heading tags

Structured knowledge (aka schema)

Management in Squarespace: sort of

Structured knowledge (also referred to as schema) might help Google perceive:

  • the kind of content material on a web page (i.e. recipe, evaluation, product, article),
  • the entity behind the web site (i.e. group),
  • and may also be used to point out further search options (wealthy snippets)

Should you’re not acquainted with structured knowledge and its influence on search engine marketing, we suggest studying our wealthy snippets information.

You may add customized schema markup to an everyday web page on a Squarespace web site. However you’re going to need to do it utilizing their “code injection” performance, which you’ll discover beneath “Superior” in web page settings.

schema

Observe: you’ll must generate the schema markup your self. We suggest this free device.

Slightly unintuitive, however at the very least it’s attainable.

The unhealthy information nonetheless is there’s no code injection choice for weblog pages. Which suggests you gained’t be capable to add customized schema (for instance FAQ or HowTo schema) to a weblog submit.

Be taught extra about structured knowledge and wealthy snippets

Picture search engine marketing

Management in Squarespace: sure

The three most essential components of picture search engine marketing are:

  • Alt textual content (description of the picture for display screen readers and engines like google)
  • File dimension (smaller = sooner = higher)
  • File title (we suggest utilizing descriptive file names)

Let’s begin with a constructive.

Should you neglect to make use of a descriptive filename, Squarespace will allow you to change it. Which is a pleasant contact.

squarespace image filename

In relation to optimizing your photographs although, you gained’t get a lot assist. Whereas Squarespace will routinely create numerous sizes for you, they gained’t compress or optimize your photographs.

And as for including alt textual content…

Nicely, you can do it. However they’ve made it a ridiculously convoluted course of.

It’s not fairly so unhealthy for inline photographs. They’ll use the caption (which you’ll be able to disguise) because the alt textual content.

For another sort of picture, you’ll must seek the advice of this information.

Wouldn’t an alt textual content subject have made issues just a little simpler @squarespace?

Be taught extra about picture search engine marketing

HTTPS

Does Squarespace run over HTTPS? sure

HTTPS has been a confirmed Google rating sign since 2014.

And in 2022 there’s actually no excuse for any web site to nonetheless be working over HTTP. However any search engine marketing advantages, it’s unsecure.

So we’re happy to say that each Squarespace web site (whether or not on a customized area or not) runs on HTTPS.

Be taught extra about HTTPS

Robots.txt file

Management in Squarespace: no

A robots.txt file means that you can cease search engine bots from accessing sure areas of your web site.

For instance, you may need a bit with user-generated content material that you simply don’t need crawled or listed by Google.

Sadly whereas Squarespace will create a default robots.txt file on your web site, there’s presently no technique to edit it. We want to see them add this performance sooner or later.

Be taught extra about Robots.txt

XML Sitemaps

Generated by Squarespace: sure

An XML sitemap helps Google discover (and index) all of the pages in your web site.

Squarespace routinely units up and maintains an XML sitemap on your web site (pages, weblog posts, and so on), nonetheless, there isn’t any technique to edit it.

Be taught extra about XML Sitemaps

Is Squarespace mobile-friendly?

One phrase reply: sure

When designing your Squarespace web site, there’s a very good likelihood you’ll be specializing in the way it seems on desktop.

However cellular visitors overtook desktop visitors in 2017. And Google now prioritizes the cellular model of your web site for crawling and indexing.

The excellent news is that Squarespace websites are absolutely responsive, and (velocity points however) work nicely on cellular.

Simply ensure that to preview how your web site seems on each desktop and cellular. And keep in mind it’s the cellular model of your web site that Google will index and rank. So when you have a characteristic that shows on desktop however not cellular, then Google gained’t take it under consideration for rankings.

You may change to cellular view by clicking the cellphone icon within the Squarespace editor.

squarespace mobile view

If Google does discover any points with the cellular model of your web site, they’ll let you recognize in Search Console.

mobile issues - google search console

So preserve an eye fixed out.

In conclusion: Squarespace will not be really helpful for web site homeowners who want to absolutely optimize their web site

We don’t like to speak negatively a few platform.

However on the finish of the day, technical search engine marketing evaluation (and naturally suggestions for enhancements) is what our device is all about. So it could be remiss of us to suggest a CMS platform the place you’re unable to totally optimize your web site.

There are simply too many holes. And sure optimization duties (like including alt textual content to photographs) appear unnecessarily arduous to finish.

However with that being stated:

Should you’re on Squarespace already, whilst you may not be capable to absolutely optimize right now, there’s nonetheless loads you are able to do to enhance your rankings.

So our recommendation could be to:

Within the different elements of this collection, we reviewed the on-page search engine marketing of Wix, GoDaddy, WordPress, and Joomla. And we’ve in contrast the search engine marketing professionals and cons of every CMS in a ultimate roundup submit, the place we additionally revealed the very best CMS for search engine marketing in 2022.

PS: Get weblog updates straight to your inbox!

David McSweeney

David is our chief editor for skilled search engine marketing content material at Seobility. Unsurprisingly he loves search engine marketing and writing. He combines 20+ years of expertise in search engine marketing with the eagerness for instructing you guys how you can optimize your web sites the appropriate approach.



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