Squarespace SEO Best Practices: Blogging

Squarespace SEO Best Practices: Blogging

I totally get it. Most people don’t want to blog, don’t know how to “write” posts or don’t have a friggin’ clue what to write about.

Well, I’m afraid if you want to have any kind of online presence, you need to get over it. #sorrynotsorry

Keep reading, because I’m about to tell you everything I know about why blogging helps with your website SEO, from my own personal experience.

(HINT: blogging is a “thing” for a reason, and more than just so everyone has a place on the internet to voice their innermost thoughts. 😉)

Squarespace SEO: Optimizing Images

S1862_SquarespaceSEO-OptimizingImages.jpg

Are you frustrated with uploading large images to your website (but didn’t know there was another way)?
‘I’m pulling out my hair over here!’ 🤬

Don’t know what to name your image files?
‘Is IMG_0321-edit1.jpg is wrong?’ 😨

Think it doesn’t matter what you name your files, or how large they are?
‘Yes, no one can see the file name anyway!’ 😏
(You’re wrong about that, BTdubbs.)

Optimizing images for Squarespace SEO purposes (and the web in general) isn’t actually hard or time consuming, so this’ll be quick, with lots of screenshots!

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Why does it matter?

I hear you loud & clear, all the way from south Georgia where the ‘ol folks don’t want you looking at your phone/computer/tablet screen so much, until they need help with their email because so-and-so sent a picture & they don’t know how to get to it. #salty

Why does it matter if we optimize?
IOW: “How does doing this benefit me?”

It’s beneficial for two main reasons: 

  1. Smaller file sizes help your site load faster. People are impatient & they don’t want to wait on your giant AF images to download, even if they are gorgeous.

  2. Optimizing the image titles helps Google with your SEO. That makes your site rank better in searches if Google knows what your images are & why they’re being used in your content.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way! Ready to move on to the HOW part??

How to save images for web

This part is easy and I’ll show you 2 ways to do this that work for people who have Adobe products, and Mac users who may/may not have Adobe software. (#SorryNotSorry! I don’t have a PC & haven’t used one regularly in nearly a decade, so I can’t give ya a tutorial for that.)

Ideally you are lookin for a web-resolution image (72 ppi = pixels per inch) but at a larger scale so it still looks clear & isn’t pixelated/distorted on screen.

Fun Factoid: 300 dpi (dots per inch) is the lowest recommended resolution for print, but it makes file sizes larger. Putting those types of images on websites will make your site load slower, making your viewers impatient, and causing them to bounce (leave) faster.

If you don’t have Adobe software…

…but you do have a Mac:

  • Open your image in Preview.

  • Duplicate the image & name the copy something different. 

    • I usually just add “-web” before the file format suffix, so I know which ones I’ve optimized for web at a glance.

    • So my file name would look like, “S1862_Example-web.jpg”

  • Click the Markup button (that looks like the tip of a pen/marker)

 Markup button

Markup button

  • Click the Re-size button (looks like a dotted line square with arrows pointing in opposite directions)

 Resize button

Resize button

  • This pop-up window will appear with all kinds of things you can change, in order to make the file size smaller.

 

What to change & pay attention to, within the re-size tool pop-up window. (Click to enlarge)

 
  • Make the changes you want, click “OK” and move on to the next one!

    • If you made changes you don’t like, press Command + Z on the keyboard, or go to Edit < Undo, to undo those changes and start over again until you get what you want.

 

If you do have Adobe software:

Maybe this was taught in one of my many design classes in college and I just missed it, or maybe it wasn’t & I figured it out after starting my own business & hated how long it took to upload “small” files for my own website. 😂

Exporting the normal way does not achieve quite the same results, so I encourage you to use the actual Save for Web process, when saving for web. I know that seems redundant but I’m saying it anyway for the folks who need to hear it. 😉


Aaaaaanyway, here’s how to save your images for Web in Adobe Illustrator (also works in Photoshop, CS6 or CC).

  • In Illustrator, go to File < Save for Web

    • In CC this is under File < Export (if I’m remembering correctly)

 
 
  • You’ll get a big pop-up window (with more options than the Preview app offers) that looks like this:

 

(click to enlarge)

 

In the menu bar on the right, change the same things I mentioned before with the Preview app.

  • Choose your file format:
    If you want a jpeg, select that from the pull down menu, 2nd from the top. Other options are png-8, png-24, & gif.

  • Choose your image quality:
    From the drop down right below the file format options, you can choose between Low, Medium, High, Very High, and Maximum.

    • You can also adjust the Quality percentage, next to that dropdown, to adjust more specifically between quality levels.

    • For example, if Maximum is too large of a file size, Very High is small enough but maybe slightly too pixelated, try choosing Very High and bumping the quality percentage up by 5 or 10%.

  • Choose your actual image size & resolution:
    You can dictate the size of the image (width and height) in pixels or inches or whatever works for you, based on whatever you’re using in that document profile. (This image is using pixels, specifically for my Pinterest images for this blog post.)

  • Keep an eye on the stats at the bottom LEFT.
    The numbers on the bottom left will tell you what the new file size will be, so pay attention as you make changes & before you save!

  • Preview the newly resized image in your browser:
    If you click the Preview button (down in the bottom left corner) it will open the image with the current resizing options in your browser window, so you can see it as it will appear on the web.

  • Want to see a before & after?
    Use the “2 Up” feature (click that tab at the top, center) to see the original image on one side, and the newly resized image side-by-side.

  • Save your changes:
    When you get the image resized the way you want, click Save and re-name your image something SEO friendly (use your newfound knowledge from my last post: SEO Best Practices: Using Keywords)

    • Watch where you’re saving. I’ve noticed this particular save pop-up window doesn’t remember where you opened that file from, it opens to the last place you saved instead (typically).

    • If you save it without checking the location first, don’t worry: just search your computer for the file name you gave it, and move it to the folder where you intended to save it.

In Photoshop, the options are a little different:

Photoshop allows you to figure out exactly how quickly the image will load in a web browser, which can be pretty handy!

To look for that, check the bottom LEFT corner, within the Save for Web (Photoshop) pop-up.

 
 

See where it says “2 sec @ 2 Mbps” under the file size? That’s where you want to be looking for the loading speed.

That means on a connection of 2 Mbps, the image will load in 2 seconds. If you want to change the speed, click that menu icon to the immediate right of that line of text; you’ll get this pop-up:

 
S1862_Squarespace-How-to-Optimize-Images-Using-Preview_Screenshot_SaveForWebOptionsLoadingSpeed.png
 

You can also preview 2 or 4 at a time, similar to Illustrator:

 

2-Up (side by side; each image’s stats are at the bottom LEFT)
Select the one you want to edit, by clicking on that image, then changing the options in the menu bar on the RIGHT.

4-Up (side by side; each image’s stats are at the bottom LEFT)
Select the one you want to edit, by clicking on that image, then changing the options in the menu bar on the RIGHT.

 

Once you’ve gotten the newly resized image the way you want, click Save and remember to check your save location before you finish!

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These tips fall under SEO Best Practices, because they’ll help you:

  • Name your images with SEO in mind

    • (no more file names like: IMG_0756.jpg!!)

  • Create higher, web-ready resolution images, that load faster (which Google likes!)

It’s easier than it seems, just play with the options until you figure out what you like, and by then you’ll develop go-to numbers you can plug-in super quick. The more you do it, the faster you’ll be. 🙌🏻 

Did today’s post help you? Please let me know in the comments!

 

Squarespace SEO Best Practices: Using Keywords

Squarespace SEO Best Practices: Using Keywords

Have you’ve been wondering whether Squarespace is SEO friendly? I'm sharing best practices for how & where to use keywords for your Squarespace website's SEO. 

Search Engine Optimization is an incredibly expansive topic, so I'm breaking this up into more bite-sized pieces! 

Stay tuned, because I'm also covering these topics in later posts & additional content:

  • A tutorial for optimizing images for websites

    • (smaller file sizes = faster load times)

  • Which types of pages have big SEO opportunities

  • Why Blogging is great for SEO

  • Social Media & SEO (focusing on Pinterest)

  • Helpful Tools & Resources

Truth? I'm not an SEO expert and don't claim to be one. That being said, when I first started my website back in 2015 (first of all I had no idea what SEO was or that I needed it in order to have a successful website), I couldn't afford to hire an SEO expert, so I learned everything I could about how to do it myself.

My efforts are paying off; Google has ranked me on the top of page 1 for several of my keywords. Now I'm sharing what I've learned with you!

How to Schedule Squarespace Blog Posts

How to Schedule Squarespace Blog Posts

Life pulls us in all directions, doesn't it? It can be so unpredictable, especially for business owners & entrepreneurs. Anything we can do to make our business more predictable, for the people who invest their time in us, makes the experience more positive, right?

But I know blogging can be a time suck; I totally get it. Especially when you're first starting out.

To solve that problem, you can batch like-tasks (blogging & posting to social media, for example) & schedule ahead, so that throughout the days/weeks ahead, you don't have to think about it on the day-to-day. Who's got time to post live, anyway???

You've got enough on your plate already; don't add even more unnecessary stress to your day!

How to build your Free Resource Library in Squarespace

How to build your Free Resource Library in Squarespace

My own Free Resource Library has evolved a lot over the last year. It was password protected for most of that time, and I never really felt right about that. 

I don't know about you, but I like to see the resources before I decide to sign up & grab one; ya know? 

So recently, I decided to open it up to everyone.

That meant no more password!

But how do those freebies still work as opt-ins, if the page isn't password protected anymore?

Well my friend, that's a great question! 

I'm going to walk you through how to set up your own Free Resource Library on Squarespace right now, that will still work as opt-ins, but without the pesky password.

How to use an Acuity paid plan for FREE with Squarespace

How to use an Acuity paid plan for FREE with Squarespace

If you've been following along for the last several months, then you probably already know I use Dubsado for my business. In fact, I'm kind of obsessed with it!

They introduce new features constantly, and on their to-do list is a calendar/scheduling feature like Calendly or Acuity. As of now, it's just in the planning stages though. Since it's not ready yet, I use Acuity because it integrates well with Squarespace and it has a lot of features, like the ability to take a payment when a client makes certain types of appointments.

Acuity has a free plan, but it allows limited customization among other limitations. At first that was fine, because I knew I wouldn't be using it longterm (since I plan to switch over to Dubsado's version as soon as they release it).

However, it has recently come to my attention that if you're a Squarespace user, you can upgrade to the Emerging Entrepreneur Acuity plan, FOR FREE.

That plan is valued at $15/month, allows more customization, and I'm going to show you how to get it FREE in today's quick blog post. #thankmelater

5 quick, not-so-obvious Squarespace tips

5 quick, not-so-obvious Squarespace tips

When a website project is complete and I hand over ownership to the client, he/she can choose whether to add me as an Admin on their site in case they need any hands-on help while they're learning to use Squarespace. Basically, that just allows me to use my own login to view & edit their site on an as-needed basis, if they ever need any help.

My Admin status can be removed at any point, whenever my client feels comfortable enough with the platform, and can be reinstated if help is ever needed again.

Because I'm an Admin for a growing list of my client's Squarespace sites, I get questions now and then about how to do simple things that aren't so obvious. So today, I'm going to walk you through 5 not so obvious Squarespace tip & tricks.

How To Use Another Heading Style in Squarespace

How To Use Another Heading Style in Squarespace

Today, I'm going to walk you through how to use a new heading style in Squarespace. Whether you're new to SS, or you've been around a while, you've probably noticed there's only 3 Heading font options in your Text Block. I don't know about you, but sometimes I just need 1 more! And not just one more static option, but one that's changeable as needed.

Nowhere that I've ever seen, does the Style Editor offer you 1 more font choice for the headings, and even if it did, it would be a static choice that can't change per use, depending on where you want to use it. So how do you go about getting another one? You use the Markdown Block.

What is that, by the way? It's just another way of writing in more customized text. It's more customizeable than the Text Block and it does use a little code, but don't let that scare you away!

I'm going to paste it in here for you, and tell you which parts to edit. And if you're afraid you'll mess up your entire site by "coding it wrong," then don't worry! Anything you put in Markdown will not effect the rest of your site, it only effects what you put inside that block. So if you do it, and you don't like it, just delete that block, or erase the content inside that block's edit window, and start over. No harm, no foul!

TIP: Go ahead and open up a new document in Word (or Pages) so you can paste in the code I'm giving you. That way you can refer back to it easily later on, AND you can paste in your own Markdown language there to grab later. That will keep you from having to recreate it every time!

How to get the most out of your Squarespace Style Editor

How to get the most out of your Squarespace Style Editor

Ever add a new element on your site, only to realize it doesn't match the style of your brand or your website? On Squarespace, HOW DO you make the most out of your Style Editor?? How do you catch those little things? And why didn't you see them before?

To get the most out of your Squarespace site, you’ve gotta really dig into that Style Editor page. But what you may not realize? The editor won't allow you to style some things that aren't on the page you’re viewing when you enter the Style Editor! 

So today’s Squarespace Tip will walk you through setting up a Style Guide page, to help you get the most out of your Style Editing!

Comparing Squarespace vs. Weebly

Comparing Squarespace vs. Weebly

These days a dated, cluttered or confusing website with old information and unprofessional layouts can make or break your business "cred."

SOO much of business, sales & marketing is done online now, so staying up-to-date is a must! But how? Hiring a designer to build a website can be very expensive!

There are cheaper DIY options now, but with all the different platforms out there, how do you know which one really fits your needs as a business owner? Which one will be easiest to use if you're not a designer or maybe not even very tech savvy?

Good news, my friend! I've used both the Squarespace & Weebly platform myself, so I've created a list below of Pros & Cons for each, that may help you nail down the one that's right for you.