Squarespace doesn't have an analytical SEO checklist plugin to scan your site and posts for keyword strength. So how do Squarespace users overcome this? Easy ... do what I did. Create an SEO checklist printable based on the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin's SEO tips.
10 ways I optimize My Squarespace blog posts
When using WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin helped me understand how Google analyzed my posts. It'd show how my post would appear in Google and provided analysis on how well I used my focus keyword. Here's a screen shot from the Yoast SEO plugin's offical page:
This plugin seriously made it easy to optimize my posts. When I first switched over to Squarespace I didn't focus enough on my SEO. Partially because it used to be so easy and now I'd have to work at it. That's so not the case. I was just being lazy. After I took a half hour to analyze what I'd been neglecting to do I realized it's not hard to optimize my posts. I then created an SEO checklist so that I'd never neglect optimizing my posts in the future. My checklist keeps me on track and only takes a few minutes to fill out while creating my blog post. Here are the 10 tips I follow in my checklist to optimize my blog posts:
1. Research keyword
The first step before writing any blog post is to check the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Don't make the mistake thinking you know what keywords people are searching for. Do your research. Type in the word or phrase you are thinking of writing about. Search for keywords with a medium competition score. You don't want to use a keyword that scored high because the paid campaigns are using those words and it's unlikely that your unpaid post will outrank them. Now that you have your keyword or key phrase you're ready to write your post and optimize at the same time.
2. Place keyword in the blog post title
One of the first things Google searches is your page title. So your page title (in this case your blog post title) needs to include your keyword. (See the orange dot in the screen shot above). Keep your blog post title between 40-70 characters in length. To view/edit your title in Squarespace click on the Edit button to the right of your blog post. Your title is right at the top. You can also edit your title in the post itself.
3. Add keyword to the posts URL
Your keyword also needs to be present in your post's URL. Squarespace automatically takes your post's title and adds it as your post's URL. However, be aware if you change your post's title your URL will still say the old post title. You'll just need to edit it. To view/edit your post's URL go to the Edit -> Options. Your post's URL is in the box labeled Post URL.
4. Add keyword to the first paragraph
This should be easy because your first paragraph explains what your post is about. Placing your keyword in this section is something you already do without noticing that you're optimizing your post. Yeah!
5. Place keyword in headings and subheadings
Have you ever scanned through a post just reading the headings to see if you're interested in reading the whole thing. I do it all the time. So placing your keyword in the heading (H1 tag) and subheadings (H2 or H3) tags makes since. Google does the same thing. Try and place it in at least 2 of your headings.
6. Write keyword 4 times throughout body copy
You want to continue writing your keyword at least 4 times in your post's body copy. This is called your keyword density. Some people write their keyword nearly 20 times. I think that's just crazy. The recommended amount is around 4 times but try to keep it under 10. Adding it too may times may cause Google to think your post is spam. And nobody wants that.
7. Add keyword to image alt tag
I know it seems redundant but even your images should be optimized. Squarespace makes this step easy. After uploading your image write your keyword in the filename section. The filename is your Alt Tag.
8. Add keyword to the meta description
Your post's meta description is the copy underneath your post's tile on Google. If you look at the Yoast SEO plugin screen shot above the meta description is the sentence that says, "Choosing the right focus keyword for your post ...". You can edit the meta description in Squarespace by clicking Edit -> Options. Write your meta description in the Excerpts box. Keep your meta descriptions between 150 and 160 characters. You can write a longer meta description but Google will cut your words off at 160 characters.
It's important to note that placing your keyword in this section optimizes your blog post for Pinterest as well. Have you noticed that when you post your images to Pinterest your Alt text is the image title and your excerpt is the description under your image. It's a 2-for-1 deal.
9. Write more than 300 words
Writing longer blog posts is good for your SEO. It's ironic because everything else these days wants you to write short, to the point, concise copy. When blogging, its better to go into more detail, hence the 300 word minimum.
10. Don't reuse keywords
Pick a different keyword or key phrase for each blog post. Writing posts with the same keyword is not good for SEO. It will make you appear spammy to Google.
Squarespace bloggers! Use my blog post SEO checklist.
I hope after reading this you have a good understanding of SEO and that it doesn't intimidate you anymore. When using my checklist I'm confident that my posts are optimized without needing the Yoast SEO plugin. Sharing is caring! Feel free to use my SEO checklist when creating your blog posts! To access the checklist all you need to do is subscribe to my FREE resource library. My library contains helpful worksheets, printables and guides.
Do you think my SEO checklist is helpful? Let me know in the comments section.