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

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


Squarespace On-page SEO Check

Final up to date on February 1, 2022

That is the second publish in our collection the place we check the on-page search engine optimization of the world’s hottest CMS programs.

Partially 1 we lifted the hood on Wix (conclusion: it’s getting higher for search engine optimization). 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 the moment powers 1.8% of internet sites globally (as of February 2022).

Learn on to find:

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

Let’s get began with a abstract.

In Abstract: Is Squarespace good for search engine optimization?

Like Wix, Squarespace’s principal attraction for small enterprise homeowners is its fast and simple, “level and click on” manner of establishing an internet site. No technical data required, simply click on by 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 online business up and working on the net. Quick. And it does that very nicely.

However for these of us who prefer to tinker — on the lookout for the flexibility to optimize each ingredient of an internet site — that’s a giant downside.

So let’s get this out the best way:

Should you’re critical about search engine optimization, Squarespace might be not a good selection.

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

And every thing 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 optimization 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 optimization fundamentals.

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

Squarespace SEO Scoring

How we examined the search engine optimization capabilities of Squarespace

We arrange a small website on a Squarespace marketing strategy.

squarespace plans

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

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

The checks included handbook assessment, working the Squarespace websites by our personal search engine optimization audit device, and testing utilizing third occasion instruments reminiscent of Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix.

Squarespace search engine optimization: The great, the dangerous, and the ugly

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

We’ll kick issues off with a optimistic.

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

It’s actually not an search engine optimization 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 dangerous for this.

Nevertheless, 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 motive) on the subject of format. However for content material, a paragraph is a paragraph, and a heading is a heading.

squarespace HTML code

We may do with out the duplicated inline fashion for every tag. However no less than there’s no bizarre wrapping every paragraph in a div, and the textual content inside it in a span like this scorching mess from Wix….

wix code bloat

Squarespace’s HTML code shouldn’t be good. But it surely’s undoubtedly not the worst we’ve seen.

Good: Easy integration with Google Search Console

Google Search Console can provide you useful perception into:

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

However for non-technical customers, establishing and verifying Google Search Console generally is a little difficult. 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.

Unhealthy: Lack of management over superior search engine optimization options

Wish 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 on the subject of management of any (even semi) superior on-page search engine optimization components.

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

Google’s “Web page Expertise” replace rolled out on cell in summer time 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 pace and format stability by three “Core Internet Vitals” metrics.

google page experience

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

And the dangerous information is that — whereas ticking the UX and safety packing containers — our check website (and the favored themes we examined) all failed Core Internet Vitals massive fashion.

squarespace core web vitals

Whereas Cumulative Format Shift could also be fixable, the pace points are more likely 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 more likely to fail Core Internet Vitals. We imagine that can have an more and more damaging influence on rankings over the approaching months and years.

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

Now let’s flip our consideration to regulate of among the basic on-page search engine optimization components.

Does Squarespace cowl all of them?

No. There are massive gaps. And on prime of that, sure on-page search engine optimization 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 optimization rating issue shouldn’t be equal to its optimization. search engine optimization audit instruments like Seobility supply recommendation on tips on how to correctly optimize every ingredient and discover errors in optimization which can be holding again your website. See our search engine optimization audit information for extra info on tips on how to totally optimize your web site.

search engine optimization Titles and Meta Descriptions

Management in Squarespace: sure

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

Squarespace permits you to add and amend the search engine optimization 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 optimization.

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), try our free SERP Snippet Generator device.

All good up to now. However we do have a minor(ish) grumble.

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

Advertising and marketing > search engine optimization > 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…

…nicely, you gained’t have the ability to do it.

Which is somewhat annoying.

Be taught extra about search engine optimization Titles and Meta Descriptions

Web page slug / URL

Management in Squarespace: sure

We suggest creating brief, 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: should 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 tips on how to 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 website — i.e. concentrating on the identical key phrases, or with very small variations in content material — there could also be instances while 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 mechanically, there’s no strategy to edit it. Which type 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, 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 need 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 permits you to add a noindex robots tag to a daily web page by checking the “Cover 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 thing.

squarespace noindex blog

Not precisely splendid.

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 typically be the principle matter (degree 1), an h2 might be a subtopic (degree 2), and an h3 might be a sub-sub matter (degree 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 commonly</h4> (subtopic of caring on your goldfish)

<h2>Cats</h2> (subtopic)

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

Squarespace lets you set heading tags from h1-h4.

squarespace heading tags

Whereas this could cowl most content material, there are undoubtedly instances while you may need to go all the way down to h5, and presumably even h6.

So the platform setting this difficult restrict could forestall you from totally optimizing your content material.

Be taught extra about heading tags

Structured information (aka schema)

Management in Squarespace: type of

Structured information (often known as schema) may help Google perceive:

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

Should you’re not conversant in structured information and its influence on search engine optimization, we suggest studying our wealthy snippets information.

You possibly can add customized schema markup to a daily web page on a Squarespace website. 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.

Somewhat unintuitive, however no less than it’s potential.

The dangerous information nevertheless is there’s no code injection choice for weblog pages. Which implies you gained’t have the ability to add customized schema (for instance FAQ or HowTo schema) to a weblog publish.

Be taught extra about structured information and wealthy snippets

Picture search engine optimization

Management in Squarespace: sure

The three most vital components of picture search engine optimization are:

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

Let’s begin with a optimistic.

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

squarespace image filename

With regards to optimizing your photos although, you gained’t get a lot assist. Whereas Squarespace will mechanically create varied sizes for you, they gained’t compress or optimize your photos.

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 dangerous for inline photos. They’ll use the caption (which you’ll be able to disguise) because the alt textual content.

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

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

Be taught extra about picture search engine optimization

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 working over HTTP. However any search engine optimization 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.

Be taught extra about HTTPS

Robots.txt file

Management in Squarespace: no

A robots.txt file lets you cease search engine bots from accessing sure areas of your website.

For instance, you may need a piece 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 website, there’s at the moment no strategy to edit it. We wish 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 website.

Squarespace mechanically units up and maintains an XML sitemap on your website (pages, weblog posts, and so on), nevertheless, there isn’t any strategy to edit it.

Be taught extra about XML Sitemaps

Is Squarespace mobile-friendly?

One phrase reply: sure

When designing your Squarespace website, there’s a superb 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 (pace points however) work nicely on cell.

Simply make certain to preview how your website appears on each desktop and cell. And bear 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 gained’t take it into consideration for rankings.

You possibly can swap to cell view by clicking the telephone 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 recognize in Search Console.

mobile issues - google search console

So preserve an eye fixed out.

In conclusion: Squarespace shouldn’t be really helpful for web site homeowners 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 optimization evaluation (and naturally suggestions for enhancements) is what our device is all about. So it might be remiss of us to suggest a CMS platform the place you might be unable to totally optimize your website.

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

However with that being stated:

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

So our recommendation could be to:

  • run a full search engine optimization audit (you possibly can observe this information),
  • allocate time to fixing points and optimizing your website (the place potential),
  • 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 (try our really helpful hyperlink constructing techniques right here)

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

PS: Get weblog updates straight to your inbox!

David McSweeney

David is our chief editor for knowledgeable search engine optimization content material at Seobility. Unsurprisingly he loves search engine optimization and writing. He combines 20+ years of expertise in search engine optimization with the fervour for educating you guys tips on how to optimize your web sites the precise manner.



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