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

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Squarespace On-page SEO Check

Final up to date on February 1, 2022

That is the second put up in our collection the place we take a look at the on-page search engine marketing of the world’s hottest CMS techniques.

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

Learn on to find:

  • how effectively arrange for on-page search engine marketing Squarespace is out the field,
  • how one can configure your Squarespace website 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 principal attraction for small enterprise house owners is its fast and straightforward, “level and click on” manner of organising a web site. No technical data 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 probably not a CMS designed to be tinkered with. It’s designed to get your small business up and operating on the internet. Quick. And it does that very effectively.

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

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

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

You possibly can 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 the whole lot that you simply can’t do to optimize your Squarespace website is one thing {that a} competitor on a unique CMS may have the ability to do to achieve a bonus.

search engine marketing is warfare. And also you don’t need to go using into battle on a horse when your opponent is advancing in 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 website on a Squarespace marketing strategy.

squarespace plans

We selected a preferred theme and loaded the positioning with demo content material.

And we additionally examined two of the most well-liked themes listed right here.

The checks included guide evaluation, operating the Squarespace websites by way of our personal search engine marketing audit software, and testing utilizing third celebration instruments equivalent 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 number 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 actually 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 critically 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 explicit purpose) in relation to format. 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 fashion for every tag. However not less than 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 just isn’t excellent. But it surely’s undoubtedly not the worst we’ve seen.

Good: Easy integration with Google Search Console

Google Search Console may give you helpful perception into:

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

However for non-technical customers, organising and verifying Google Search Console could be a little difficult. Squarespace makes it straightforward.

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

google search console integration

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

Unhealthy: 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 won’t be a problem. However we’d actually like the choice.

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

Ugly: Squarespace websites are more likely to fail Core Net Vitals

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

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

google page experience

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

And the unhealthy information is that — whereas ticking the UX and safety bins — our take a look at website (and the favored themes we examined) all failed Core Net Vitals large fashion.

squarespace core web vitals

Whereas Cumulative Format Shift could also be fixable, the velocity points are more likely to be tougher to beat as they’re primarily brought on by blanket loading of core scripts and types, even when not utilized.

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

unused scripts

Backside line:

Out the field, Squarespace websites are gradual and more likely to fail Core Net Vitals. We imagine that may have an more and more adverse 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 number of the basic 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

Word: having management of an search engine marketing rating issue just isn’t equal to its optimization. search engine marketing audit instruments like Seobility provide recommendation on the way to correctly optimize every aspect and discover errors in optimization which can be holding again your website. See our search engine marketing audit information for extra data on the way to totally optimize your web site.

search engine marketing Titles and Meta Descriptions

Management in Squarespace: sure

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

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

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

squarespace titles and descriptions

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

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

All good to this point. However we do have a minor(ish) grumble.

Squarespace enables you to arrange templated title codecs to your pages. Beneath you possibly can see we’ve this set to “web page title (%p) — website title (%s)” which is the default.

Advertising > 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?

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

…effectively, you received’t have the ability to do it.

Which is somewhat annoying.

Study extra about search engine marketing Titles and Meta Descriptions

Web page slug / URL

Management in Squarespace: sure

We advocate 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 possibly can set the web page slug for every web page in your Squarespace website within the “Common” tab beneath settings.

URL slug

Essential: in the event you change the slug for a web page, you’ll have to arrange a 301 redirect to level the previous URL to the brand new one. This information from Squarespace covers the way to do it.

Study extra about URL slugs/permalinks

Canonical URLs

Management in Squarespace: no

On smaller websites, you in all probability received’t want to fret about this.

However when you have a collection of comparable pages in your website — i.e. focusing on the identical key phrases, or with very small variations in content material — there could also be occasions whenever you’ll need 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 website routinely, there’s no solution to edit it. Which type of makes it a bit pointless….

¯_(ツ)_/¯

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

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

Squarespace enables you to add a noindex robots tag to an everyday web page by checking the “Conceal 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 purpose, they’ve taken an “all or nothing” method within the weblog. Your solely choice is to noindex the whole lot.

squarespace noindex blog

Not precisely splendid.

Study extra about index management

Heading Tags (h1, h2, h3 and many others)

Management in Squarespace: partial

Heading tags (h1, h2, h3, and many others) assist Google perceive the construction, and subject(s) of your web page.

They need to be correctly nested.

For instance, an h1 tag would usually be the principle subject (stage 1), an h2 might be a subtopic (stage 2), and an h3 might be a sub-sub subject (stage 3), and many others:

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

<h2>Goldfish</h2> (subtopic)

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

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

<h2>Cats</h2> (subtopic)

<h3>Caring to 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 undoubtedly occasions whenever you may need to go all the way down to h5, and presumably even h6.

So the platform setting this difficult restrict might stop you from totally optimizing your content material.

Study extra about heading tags

Structured information (aka schema)

Management in Squarespace: type of

Structured information (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 indicate further search options (wealthy snippets)

If you happen to’re not accustomed to structured information and its influence on search engine marketing, we advocate studying our wealthy snippets information.

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

schema

Word: you’ll have to generate the schema markup your self. We advocate this free software.

A bit of unintuitive, however not less than it’s attainable.

The unhealthy information nonetheless is there’s no code injection choice for weblog pages. Which implies you received’t have the ability to add customized schema (for instance FAQ or HowTo schema) to a weblog put up.

Study extra about structured information and wealthy snippets

Picture search engine marketing

Management in Squarespace: sure

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

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

Let’s begin with a constructive.

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

squarespace image filename

In the case of optimizing your pictures although, you received’t get a lot assist. Whereas Squarespace will routinely create numerous sizes for you, they received’t compress or optimize your pictures.

And as for including alt textual content…

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

It’s not fairly so unhealthy for inline pictures. They’ll use the caption (which you’ll cover) because the alt textual content.

For some other sort of picture, you’ll have to seek the advice of this information.

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

Study 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 website to nonetheless be operating over HTTP. However any search engine marketing advantages, it’s unsecure.

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

Study 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 website.

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 to your website, there’s at present no solution to edit it. We want to see them add this performance sooner or later.

Study extra about Robots.txt

XML Sitemaps

Generated by Squarespace: sure

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

Squarespace routinely units up and maintains an XML sitemap to your website (pages, weblog posts, and many others), nonetheless, there is no such thing as a solution to edit it.

Study extra about XML Sitemaps

Is Squarespace mobile-friendly?

One phrase reply: sure

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

However cell visitors overtook desktop visitors in 2017. And Google now prioritizes the cell model of your website for crawling and indexing.

The excellent news is that Squarespace websites are totally responsive, and (velocity points however) work effectively on cell.

Simply be certain to preview how your website appears on each desktop and cell. And keep in mind it’s the cell model of your website that Google will index and rank. So when you have a function that shows on desktop however not cell, then Google received’t take it into consideration for rankings.

You possibly can change to cell view by clicking the cellphone icon within the Squarespace editor.

squarespace mobile view

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

mobile issues - google search console

So preserve an eye fixed out.

In conclusion: Squarespace just isn’t beneficial for web site house owners who want to totally optimize their website

We don’t like to speak negatively a couple of platform.

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

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

However with that being mentioned:

If you happen to’re on Squarespace already, whilst you won’t have the ability to totally optimize at the moment, there’s nonetheless a lot you are able to do to enhance your rankings.

So our recommendation could be to:

  • run a full search engine marketing audit (you possibly can observe this information),
  • allocate time to fixing points and optimizing your website (the place attainable),
  • give attention to creating high-quality content material that helps your customers and totally solutions their search queries,
  • construct your website’s authority by incomes prime quality backlinks (take a look at our beneficial hyperlink constructing ways right here)

Within the different components 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 execs and cons of every CMS in a last roundup put up, the place we additionally revealed one of the 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 educating you guys the way to optimize your web sites the best manner.



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