Squarespace SEO is Better Than You Think: 6 Essential Strategies to Rank

Squarespace SEO is Better Than You Think: 6 Essential Strategies to Rank

Use these 6 essential Squarespace SEO strategies to rank your content! Squarespace SEO gets a bad rep, but as an SEO consultant, I want to share just how powerful Squarespace SEO is. Their built-in SEO combined with a dedicated content strategy & a few tweaks will give you everything you need to optimize your site.

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SEO 201: How to Optimize Images, Alt Tags + Page Speed

This post originally appeared on The Lean Green Bean blog, as part two of a series. If you missed part one, I recommend checking that out first- SEO 101: How to Increase Organic Search Traffic for Blog Posts. All caught up? Let’s dig in to part two.

You’ve installed an SEO plugin and fill out your title tags religiously. You spend time coming up with a catchy title and include at least one image with each post.

Now what?

alt text example SEO 201: How to Optimize Images, Alt Tags + Page Speed

Alt tags Even if you made a pretty title image, Google can’t read the text. So if you want it to show up in search, you have to help the search engines by filling in the alternative text. I like to do this as soon as I upload the photo so I don’t forget. If you want to go back and fill in alt tags for old photos, you can either click on the photo in each post, or go to your media gallery.

Don’t stuff this area with keywords! Either use your post title or a relevant phrase or sentence.

If you use a share button for Pinterest, the alt text is often what will show up in the description for the pin, so this is another great reason to be filling it in!

Photo Name This is an often overlooked area of optimization. Just like you want to optimize the URL for your blog post, you want to optimize the name of your photo, which turns into a URL of its own once it’s hosted on your blog. The name should be short, simple and related to your post.

Title + Description What you fill in here will show up when you hover over the image or while the image is loading.

Caption You only need to fill this out if you want a description to show up under your photo in your blog post.

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Compressing Photos

Images are one of the biggest culprits for slow page load time, which affects everything from reader retention and engagement to SEO rankings.

Here are three ways you can shrink your images and optimize them for the web:

Plugin options Install the WP Smush.It plugin to optimize your images. This plugin will optimize each new photo you add behind the scenes, and you can also run all existing photos through the plugin in your media library.

smush it plugin SEO 201: How to Optimize Images, Alt Tags + Page Speed

Manual Options Save your images as PNG files and upload to http://www.tinypng.com. Then download and upload to your blog. If you’re creating your image with Picmonkey, like many bloggers these days, you’ll see the formatting option when you hit “save.”

tinypng SEO 201: How to Optimize Images, Alt Tags + Page Speed

Save for Web If you’re using photo editing software like Photoshop, you can choose the “save for web” option.

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Page Load Time

According to Kissmetrics.com, “40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.”

Test your load time with GT Metrix. GT Metrix also gives you a detailed report of what you can do to improve your speed. I recommend having a developer take a look and help you make the changes. Some of them can be technical and require understanding code.

WordPress can install the WP-Cache 3 plugin. “W3 Total Cache improves the user experience of your site by increasing server performance, reducing the download times and providing transparent content delivery network (CDN) integration.”

Here are 26 other tools to improve your site’s speed.


Want to expedite your blog rankings and traffic? Join my brand new, FREE 6-day Challenge

I’m hosting my very first online challenge and I’d love for you to join us.

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Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!

SEO 101: How to Increase Organic Search Traffic for Blog Posts

This post was originally a guest post for my friend Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean Blog. She's a Registered Dietitian with amazing recipes, weekly ideas for Sunday Food Prep and great health tips, so make sure to check out her blog! With that said, let's dig in!

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What is Search Engine Optimization? This means optimizing your posts for search engines like Google and Bing so they can better understand what the post is about and what questions it will answer for readers. A nicely optimized post will rank better and reach a wider audience. “Organic search traffic” means visitors who find your blog through typing a query into a search engine.

When you’re thinking of optimizing your posts, you should be thinking of how to help your target audience, not just how to rank better or reach more people in general. Start thinking like your audience. What do they want to know? What questions are they asking?

How to optimize your posts:

First, let me stress that shareable, engaging content is more important than keywords. However, following a few easy steps can help increase your organic traffic and reach more relevant readers.

1.  Keywords: Choose a keyword phrase or two that best represents your post idea.  Ex: “How to cook spaghetti squash”

a. Use Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends to find the most popular (most searched) way to phrase your keywords. Compare multiple phrases to see which has the highest traffic (low-medium competition is best). There are tons of keyword tools out there, but these are quick, easy and free, so start here.  For the example above, other search phrases might include “best way to cook spaghetti squash” and “how to bake spaghetti squash”

Google Trends Example

2.  Title: Your post title is possibly the most important aspect of your blog post. This will entice people to click, shows up in social media sharing, is usually your H1 tag for SEO, etc. Titles with the most clicks often include: “How-to”, “Mistakes,” “Secrets,” Questions (people are typing full questions into Google more often now) and lists. Examples include: “3 Ways to Cook Spaghetti Squash,” “The secret to cooking perfect spaghetti squash,” or “4 mistakes people make while cooking spaghetti squash.”  Keep your title under 60 characters and be sure to include your keyword phrase. This will most likely be used for your title tag.

3.  Title Tags: Google will show about 60 characters. Include keyword phrase(s), but don’t overdo it.

4.  URL: Include your keyword phrase(s) — you can shorten it to use just the main keywords, use dashes rather than underscores, and use all lower case letters.

5.  H1 tags & Header tags: The H1 tag is usually your post title. Make it engaging and include your keyword phrase(s). Secondary headers are a great way to break up the content. They also cue readers (and search engines) in on what your post is about if they quickly scan it. Use closely related keywords in the header tags.

Header Tag Example

6.  Meta-description: Google shows about 160 characters. The meta-description is not used for ranking in search engines, but what you put here will encourage people to click on your link. Use an alluring snippet from your post, a call to action, or write a short introduction to the post, such as, what problem will reading your post solve for readers? Google won’t always use what you enter. Sometimes it will pull text related to the search query, but it can still be a good idea as a backup.

7.  Content: I mentioned having engaging content. Make sure you also use your keyword phrases within your blog post. You only need to use a few related phrases once or twice. Focus on your writing and don’t keyword stuff*.

Bonus Tip: Use phrases to link to other posts you’ve written, too. This will keep the reader engaged in your blog longer and will signal to search engines that your blog is cohesive and organized. Make sure to have the link open in a new window.

8.  SEO Plugins: If using WordPress, grab a free SEO plugin. Yoast All-In-One is highly recommended.

Visual Example:

When searching for “how to cook spaghetti squash,” this is what the post looks like in Google. Lindsay appears on the first page for this search.

SERP Example

In no time you’ll get the hang of optimizing your posts and be able to draw more organic traffic to your blog!

*A note on keyword stuffing: Keyword stuffing is when you use your keyword phrase as much as you can. Not a good idea! Google has evolved and it’s now recommended to use similar phrases so Google can get an idea of what your post is about.


Want to expedite your blog rankings and traffic? Join my brand new, FREE 6-day Challenge

I’m hosting my very first online challenge and I’d love for you to join us.

SEO Made Simple Free Email Challenge to Boost Website Traffic

3 Comments

Danielle Zeigler

I'm Danielle, an SEO and Digital Marketing Strategist on a mission to help creatives and entrepreneurs harness their strengths, personality, and energy to easily + authentically market their work to exactly the people who need it.
I specialize in SEO and content marketing as ways to attract clients TO you. I'm extremely introverted, so I'm allll about the inbound marketing!