Squarespace SEO: How To Optimize Blog Posts Before Publishing [A Checklist For SEO Blogging Success]
But I haven’t told you exactly how to do this.
A lot goes into optimizing a blog post.
Blogging for SEO seems to be the hardest thing for my clients to wrap their head around.
My clients are professionals and makers, creatives, entrepreneurs; they’re too busy to become SEO specialists, too.
This is why I offer an ongoing monthly Squarespace SEO service which includes SEO blogging, but not everyone can make that investment.
I want my clients to succeed, so I decided to write a comprehensive blog post full of graphics and a detailed checklist of alllll the things you need to do to create SEO-optimized blogs using the Squarespace platform. (This should be mostly applicable for those of you using other content management systems, too).
This isn’t for the faint of heart - a good blog post takes hours, even days, to create. But, if done right, the payoffs can continue for years to come.
Let’s get started!
How To Write SEo Friendly blogs on the squarespace platform
Step 1: Keyword research
A common statement from my clients when I advise them to begin a blog if they want to grow their SEO footprint is: “I have no idea what I’ll write about…” To which I respond: “You don’t have to know! Keyword research will tell us what you should write about.”
This isn’t a post to teach you how to do keyword research to generate blog post topics that will perform well for you. I offer this as part of my Fundamental SEO Service, though, if you’re interested.
For the sake of this guide, let’s use this post I’m writing right now as our example.
I knew I wanted to write a post about how to optimize blog posts for SEO using the Squarespace platform so that I can 1.) direct my clients to this post and not have to create individual documents for every single client and 2.) offer value to the general Internet public who might be trying to figure out how to blog for SEO.
So my keywords for this post ended up being: squarespace seo expert, squarespace seo 2018, squarespace seo 2019, how to optimize blog posts for seo, does blogging help seo, blog seo tips, blog seo checklist, how to write seo friendly blogs, blogging for seo success, blogging for seo 2019, squarespace seo checklist, optimize seo squarespace, how to write blogs for seo, writing for seo in 2019, Tiffany Davidson, Squarespace expert, squarespace web designer
You’ll see I have a fondness for long-tail keyword phrases, with a few standard keywords thrown in that I want to rank better for, such as my name and occupation. I find long-tail keywords to perform better.
Before you do anything else, figure out what you’ll be writing about and the corresponding keywords for that topic.
STEP 2: outline your post using header text
Once you’ve done your keyword research, it’s time to start writing the actual post.
I recommend using the keywords themselves to outline your post before you start writing it to help structure the post and optimize it for SEO.
Google places more importance on Heading 1 and Heading 2 text, so using your keywords as Header 1 and 2 text is ideal.
Again, using this post as an example, note how I’m using Header * 3 * text to list the actual Steps because they aren’t keywords and header 3 text is less important to Google bots. But, throughout the post, notice how I’ve wordsmithed my keywords into Header 2 text to act as titles of sections.
Step 3: Write the actual post
It’s up to you to create the content for your post. But I can give you some really important guidelines to keep in mind.
Use a lot of white space. In this post, you’ll see I rarely have paragraphs over three lines of text before incorporating white space. Like it or not, our online psychology likes to keep moving, taking in as much information as possible. Using generous amounts of white space allows your visitor to scroll often, which helps keep them engaged. Do not use walls of text. Ever. Unless you want your users to click away from your site.
Use a variety of media. Be sure to include with your text and white space plenty of visual fodder - from simple lines to divide content, to graphs and charts, photos, videos, bolding certain text, using bullet lists, different headers, quote blocks… these are all ways to keep the human brain interested. Just make sure everything is on-topic with your post. (We’ll talk about how to SEO optimize these files next).
step 4: Optimize files within your post
When you upload an Image to your post, always do these three things:
Resize and compress all images before uploading to Squarespace, making sure the file size is always 500KB or less.
Edit the filename of the image.
To do this, just hover over the image, click Edit, delete the current filename and replace it with a keyword rich filename. For example, in this post, I’m going to edit the filename of all Images with the title of this blog post plus another keyword phrase, then click Apply.
3. Edit the caption of each file.
Copy all of your keywords for the post (separated by commas as shown in Step 1), click on the image, then paste those keywords in the caption box that appears below the image.
That’s not all, though. You don’t want your caption to show, so the next step is to click Edit at the top of the image, choose the Design tab, from the drop-down menu select Do Not Display Caption, then click Apply.
Now those SEO keywords are stored on your sitemap for Google bots to crawl, but your visitors won’t see them.
step 5: Add Tags To The Blog Post
This step is very simple.
Copy all of your keywords separated by a comma and paste them into the Tags field. Be sure to hit Enter so that they all save.
step 6: Optimize the blog post title & URL
In my experience, the title and URL of a blog post are really important for ranking. So I make sure to optimize the heck out of them.
To optimize your title, just make sure to be succinct and use at least one keyword phrase. If you can incorporate more keywords without it sounding cheesy, do so.
The title of this post is “Squarespace SEO: How To Optimize Blog Posts Before Publishing [A Checklist For SEO Blogging Success]” which touches on four different keyword phrases I’m targeting yet it still flows and makes sense.
When it comes to optimizing your URL, you don’t have to be so concerned with the flow of it. URLs are more for machines and programs to read, not humans.
Two main points for optimizing the URL: keep it short and keyword-focused. I recommend removing the date just so there’s no unnecessary text, and be sure to separate each word with a hyphen.
This is also when you would upload a thumbnail image for your blog post, which I recommend doing. I like to create simple graphics using Canva.
Step 7: Publish the Post!
Woohoo. Sometimes this part seems like it’ll never come.
Check your post over, be sure everything flows and looks good, add a sidebar if you want (I’ll have to write a whole other post about that), and once all of your T’s are crossed and your I’s dotted, publish the dang post!
Of course, now it’s time to promote and all that (see Step #3 in this other post), but give yourself a pat on the back, stand up, stretch, get something to drink, and feel good about the SEO snowball you just contributed to.
Please leave a comment below or contact me if you need any help with Squarespace SEO or Design!
Hey there! I’m Tiffany ~ a Web Designer & SEO Specialist. Here on the blog I write about web design, SEO, and running an online business. I hope you’ll find some nuggets of knowledge and inspiration and that you’ll stop by again and again. If you’re interested in Squarespace SEO or starting your own online business, you might want to sign up for one of my email lists below:
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