Boost your Squarespace SEO with one simple step that you probably haven’t heard of!
In terms of experts in Squarespace SEO, Kerstin Martin is right up there at the top of the list. Kerstin is a fellow Squarespace website designer, and educator, with a number of courses all centred around Squarespace.
I asked Kerstin to write a piece for y'all because I know she has some amazing SEO tips up her sleeve that we can all benefit from, so thank you kindly Kerstin for sharing your wisdom with us all!
I'm sure you'll agree, Kerstin knocked it out of the park with this very much so lesser-known Squarespace SEO tip!
If you're ready to up your Squarespace SEO game, here's Kerstin...
You can sign up for a free trial of Squarespace here and I also got ya a little off the price, use code PAIGE10 for 10% off your first year. (Yes, that's an affiliate link!)
What are you doing to optimize your website for the search engines?
If I am really honest, I used to feel quite intimidated by SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and overwhelmed by memories of Yoast from the good old Wordpress days – a plugin that I found vastly confusing because I didn’t understand half of what they were talking about.
When I became a professional web designer three years ago I still kinda ignored SEO, partly because Squarespace already takes care of a lot of it but also because there is so much information and noise out there that I didn’t even know where to start.
This year I noticed that more and more clients said they found me on Google.
(Are you using a contact form on your website? Make sure you include a mandatory field for “How did you hear about my services?” – such a goldmine for good marketing information!)
This made me curious and when I looked into it I saw that I am ranked on page one when you google Squarespace Web Designer! Wow. I did not expect that.
I re-launched my business website from scratch two years ago and my social media footprint is still very small, so how did I end up on page one??
Blogging definitely had a hand in this. While I don’t blog as much as I probably should, I have a handful of posts that are getting a lot of traction and even bring students to my e-courses and these posts regularly push my name to the top of Google. Thank you!
However, a deep analysis of my website and online habits revealed that my site was more optimized than I had thought, simply by being true to my German nature and following recommended settings and keeping it overall tidy and organized! And I am not even joking 😊.
The analysis really helped me get a better understanding of how SEO works and when Paige asked me to share some of the tips from my brand-new free SEO mini course, I thought why not offer her lovely readers an easy tip you probably don’t hear too often, but that can be very effective for your SEO?
What is it?
Clean up your Not-Linked section!
Maybe your site was complex from the start or has grown over time, either way you are likely to end up with quite a few pages in the Not-Linked section.
Google actually likes big websites because lots of useful informative content creates a good user experience. However, it doesn't like duplicate content, or dead pages that are not linked to from anywhere.
Google indexes everything in the Not-Linked section as well, and a lot of junk in there can affect your ranking negatively.
So have a good look at your Not-Linked section and do some housekeeping:
Disable pages that you want to keep but are not using. I do this with old pages where I still want to hang on to some of the content, or with test pages where I try out different Squarespace features and custom CSS. Click on the Page Settings Icon next to the page name and uncheck “Enabled”. Also, put all your disabled pages into a folder to declutter your Not-Linked section.
Delete pages that you know you'll never need again. Pssst.... you can recover deleted pages for up to 30 days by clicking on the trash can at the bottom of the Not-Linked section. Delete a page by scrolling to the bottom of the page settings, or by clicking on the page name in the Not-Linked section and then the trash can that appears to the right.
Add a password to pages that are private and that you don't want to be crawled by the search engines. You can add or remove the password in the page settings. You can also style the lock screen that prompts site visitors to add a password by going to Settings > Design > Lock Screen
Stop indexing. Do you have pages with valid content but would prefer to hide them from the search engines? Go to your page settings, click on the Advanced tab and enter the following code into the Page Header Code Injection field: <meta name="robots" content=“noindex”>
Bonus Tip: The bigger your site the more likely that there are some URL’s that will throw the 404 “Page Not Found” error, for instance if you deleted a page that still has links to it floating around the internet. I highly recommend creating a nice custom 404 page, with a photo, a search block and a few links to important pages. This will encourage your visitors to stay longer on your site and give them a much better user experience, both of which are things Google recognizes and loves. Design your new page, call it “404” and then go to > Settings > Advanced > 404 Error / Page Not Found and add your custom 404 page from the dropdown list.
Kerstin Martin is a Squarespace Web Designer & Educator. Originally from Germany (still with the accent!) she’s lived in four countries and travelled to more than 40 before finally settling down in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her American husband and fluffy grey cat. Her professional background in the travel, IT, finance and education industries eventually led her to starting her own business as a web designer in 2014. She’s been using Squarespace since 2008 and still remembers the fabulous style editor in version 5! As a passionate and experienced design professional she guides and teaches small businesses and creative entrepreneurs in all things Squarespace.
Betcha hadn't thought about that tip right?!
Well, it's safe to say the Not Linked section of my website has become a junk drawer, so I'm off to go tidy it up with Kerstin's tips! You too?
If you want more of Kerstins fabulous SEO knowledge bombs, be sure to enrol in her free SEO mini course!