You know, I miss the show Mythbusters a lot. Spending an hour (or more if there was a marathon going on) with Adam, Jamie, Kari, Tory, and Grant every week was a wonderful way to pass the time. Not only was I entertained, but I also felt like I was learning a thing or two.
The show premiered just as I was finishing up high school. It was perfect timing for me; I felt like I was just beginning to enjoy learning for the sake of learning, and not because I was being made to.
I don’t think I’m alone in saying they had something really special going on with that show. They took commonly held myths and did all they could to prove or disprove its authenticity. It meant thinking critically, testing something a bunch of different ways, and sometimes blowing things up like mad scientists.
I may not have the scientific chops or the building talent they all had, but I sure as heck can bust some myths in my own special way. No, I won’t be blowing up your computer in an effort to persuade you that Squarespace is actually great for SEO. I’ll be breaking down some common myths about Squarespace and why they’re mostly nonsense.
Blogging powers ACTIVATE!
Myth: Squarespace doesn’t offer SEO features
This first myth is the foundation on which all the other myths lie.
I don’t know exactly what it is about Squarespace that makes people (usually “serious” web designers who look down on the platform) say it’s useless at improving your Google search rankings. My guess is that it’s actually not as much of a hassle to do on Squarespace, indeed it’s easy-peasy, so it’s seen as something that’s actually ineffective.
Or they’re trying to mislead potential clients into thinking that paying their web design company is the only way to rank highly in search rankings.
Which isn’t very cool at all.
I’ll say it here as loud as I can: SQUARESPACE OFFERS DEEP AND INTUITIVE SEO FEATURES! They’re easy to get a handle on! No matter what someone says, you don’t have to be an “SEO expert” to figure out how to make it work!
Phew. I hope that’ll help get the point across to the internet.
Yes, Google seems to alter how they weigh their search result rankings on a frequent basis, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a consistent set of methods to increase your site ranking. Plus, Squarespace is well aware of how important it is to get on the first pages of a Google search, so they’re always working hard to make that happen for you.
Look, getting to page one of a Google search isn’t an easy thing to do for anybody. It takes time, patience, and hard work. It’s still possible to get there with a Squarespace website, despite what any other person or company may claim.
Let’s do this again: SQUARESPACE HAS SEO AWESOME FEATURES!
Myth: Squarespace doesn’t offer real SEO customization
To be honest, there’s not a huge amount of steps that go into ranking highly on a Google search result. Yes, you need to take care to use appropriate keywords, structure your site properly, and avoid letting it stagnate, but ultimately there are just a few things on our SEO checklist.
Squarespace does a lot to help you tick off those checkboxes. In fact, they let you go deep with your optimization. Hands down, they offer some of the most comprehensive SEO customization tools out there.
And it’s all without having to install a bunch of plug-ins or requiring a deep knowledge of website coding.
Take the image below:
That’s certainly something real. Squarespace isn’t just giving you a box labeled “SEO, please!” to check. They’re giving you the ability to add custom titles and descriptions for your website. These text fields can include any descriptions you want, filled with whatever keywords you feel are appropriate and representative of your business.
They don’t stop there. That image shows how to add information to your website as a whole, but they also offer the ability to include titles and descriptions for every page of your site. It covers all the bases.
Adding only the words you want ensures that your site reflects you and your business accurately. Without these tools, you’d be left relying on Google to figure your site out for you. Google’s pretty smart, but it can’t read your mind.
The tools Squarespace offers are not only beneficial for your website, but they’re also practical and powerful.
Myth: Squarespace isn’t for serious SEO people
People have made good careers out of understanding how SEO works and what people can do to make their website rank as highly as possible in a Google search. I think that’s fantastic and if they can bring real benefits to their clients, then more power to them.
The issue I take with this particular myth is the false belief that Squarespace is for hobbyists and creative enthusiasts who don’t understand what goes into a “real” website. It’s a lie that’s been spread too often and to far too many people.
You don’t have to be a serious SEO person to be able to 1) have the deepest understanding of how SEO works, and 2) get your website to rank high in a Google search. You just don’t.
I won’t disparage the work anyone does, but I will shake a very stern finger at anyone who claims that only “serious” SEO people can improve a website’s search ranking. Spreading a myth like this one is a harmful act.
In this case, Squarespace’s ease of use can become a double-edged blade. While it may be easier than ever to get a website up and running with them, it can lead some people to believe that it must not have the same power as websites built the “traditional” way.
A common belief in design and tech communities is that complexity = quality. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes complex just equals complex. Just because something is a challenge to learn doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better.
Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you need a lifetime’s worth of experience in SEO and web design to get to page one of a Google search result.
What to focus on
If those myths I’ve spent an entire blog post talking about are truly busted, then what exactly can you do to help your site become more visible to others? I mentioned that the basics of SEO aren’t all that complicated and I’m sticking to that. Focus on the following:
- Content: make sure what you’re putting up on your website is quality stuff. Putting up throwaway cell phone photos and text that doesn’t use any of the keywords you should be featuring for your business is a turn-off for visitors. Take the time and effort to make visiting your site a pleasant experience.
- Inbound links: This a pretty big one. Having other people include links to your website in their own content shows Google that other people think highly enough of you to plug your stuff. Make some good connections with people and have them give you a shout-out.
- Page titles and descriptions: I talked about how to include these items in the second myth, but I’ll mention them again here. Make sure you give your page titles and descriptions some custom text that describes your business well. Bonus points for using relevant keywords that other people may search for.
- Headings: Google keeps track of how the text on your website is formatted. For instance, formatting your website’s top headline as “Heading 1” makes the words in that headline extra visible and important. Don’t overdo it with the headings, though. Your site needs to have a sense of hierarchy. Turning everything into Heading 1 text is the same as making none of it important.
- Keep working on it: Don’t ignore your website. Just because you finished building your website doesn’t mean it’s completely done. You have to keep adding more stuff to it. Google likes to see that a website is active and always gaining new, quality content. So keep blogging or adding new pictures. Keep things fresh.
I've written more in depth about how to improve your website's SEO. It's a great post with loads of valuable information. Give it a read today!
I understand how intimidating getting your website seen by others can be at the beginning. You’re starting out at the bottom rung of a tall ladder in the search rankings and you don’t want to buried after page three.
Starting down low doesn’t mean that you’ll never get to page one and it certainly doesn’t mean you need to pay $10,000 to get your site up there. Frankly, if someone is charging you that much and you’re not, say, Amazon, then they’re probably trying to scam you.
You have all the tools you need at your disposal. All you have to do is put some time and effort into it.
Bust some myths, cats.
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