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As you add text to your site, include words and phrases that match the search terms people use to find sites like yours. These keywords help search engines see your site as relevant to the people looking for those search terms.
Your keyword strategy will depend on your site and the visitors you’re trying to attract, and it’s important to add keywords in a clear, natural way that makes sense to humans.
You can set default title formats for the homepage, collections (like blog, products, and event pages), and collection items (like blog posts and events). These titles also appear in browser tabs and search results, so it’s important to write them so they’re friendly to both humans and search bots. To learn more, visit Changing title formats for SEO and browser tabs.
Differentiate SEO titles and navigation titles.
When SSL is enabled, the custom URL starts with https. This means visitors access every page of your site with a secure connection. Search engines consider SSL important and may penalize sites that don’t have it enabled.
Search engines typically prioritize the following content from your site in this order:
Use heading text formatting to organize pages. Like titles, search engines typically give headings a higher priority. Clear headings that describe the content that follows make it easier for search engines to detect the major themes of your site. At the same time, they help visitors skim your page and quickly find the information they’re looking for.
When adding alt text, ensure you follow our alt text best practices.
As a general rule, you should use headings in descending order to funnel visitors from the broadest information to the most specific. Keep in mind:
This guide shows you how to use Squarespace’s SEO-targeting features and other tools to increase your site’s visibility to search engines.
Customize page and site titles.
You can add SEO descriptions for your site, individual pages, and certain collection items. These descriptions may appear below the title/link in search results, depending on the search terms used.
Search engines use alt text to identify the content of a page, since bots can only read text. Adding alt text to images lets search engines understand what the image is so they can include it in relevant searches.
How you organize your site depends on your content, but here’s one example of a well-structured page:
Search engines won’t notice changes to your site instantly. Google and Bing offer search tools to help you manage your site’s search presence. Whenever you make major changes to your site, you can request that a search engine re-index your content by using these services:
Use search tools to maintain updates.
Alt text is text associated with an image. This text displays when people hover over it, and makes your site more accessible.
When adding blog posts, use tags and categories, and structure your posts with Heading 1 and Heading 2 formatting. Squarespace automatically gives blog post titles Heading 1 formatting on all version 7.1 sites and most version 7.0 templates.
Search engines scan tags and categories to identify what products, blog posts, or gallery images are about. Adding tags and categories that accurately describe the item could help it appear in search results. Tags and categories also help visitors use your site, and appear in your site’s search results.
If you’re unsure if SSL is enabled for your site, check the SSL panel and confirm it’s set to the Secure setting.
You can add a blog to any Squarespace site. Blogging frequently helps search engines see your site as active. Even if you’re a business and not a blogger, adding a blog page and updating it regularly with relevant content could potentially benefit your SEO while building your brand.
Always describe your image and video media using alt tags, or alternative text descriptions. They allow search engines to locate your page, which is crucial—especially for those who use text-only browsers or screen readers.
When designing your website, each page contains a space between the <head> tags to insert metadata, or information about the contents of your page. If you have a CMS site originally produced by the UMC web team will have pre-populated this data for you. However, it is important for you to review and update metadata as your site changes over time.
You’ve probably noticed that we feel pretty strongly about content . Search engines do, too. Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy , so be sure to keep it fresh. Audit your content on a set schedule (semesterly for example) and make updates as needed.
Description metadata is the textual description that a browser may use in your page search return. Think of it as your site’s window display—a concise and appealing description of what is contained within, with the goal of encouraging people to enter. A good meta description will typically contain two full sentences. Search engines may not always use your meta description, but it is important to give them the option.
Don’t forget to use bold , italics , heading tags (especially an H1), and other emphasis tags to highlight these keyword phrases—but don’t overdo it. You still want your language and writing style to read naturally. Never sacrifice good writing for SEO. The best pages are written for the user , not for the search engine. Read more about SEO marketing to help you find new content opportunities.
4. Have a link-worthy site.
Quality, authoritative content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings and there is no substitute for great content—this is especially true when doing SEO marketing. Quality content created specifically for your intended user increases site traffic, which improves your site’s authority and relevance. Fine-tune your web writing skills and present yourself as an authority on the topic you are writing about.
For those with a CMS website, the web team has developed an automated system for creating the meta title for each webpage based on your page title. This adds to the importance of using well-thought-out page titles rich with keyword phrases .
If you want to rank for multiple keywords phrases with your website, you will need to make a separate webpage for each keyword phrase you are targeting.
Improve your authority and credibility by adding relevant links within the text. Instead of having “click here” links, try writing out the name of the destination. “Click here” has no search engine value beyond the attached URL, whereas “Michigan Tech Enterprise Program” is rich with keywords and will improve your search engine rankings as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to. Always use descriptive links by linking keywords—it not only improves search engine optimization, but also adds value to your readers, including those with disabilities or who are using screen readers.
Writing additional content, rich with keyword phrases, on your departmental news blog can also boost your search engine rankings. Blog posts can even be shorter updates about the specific topics you are targeting. Interlink your related CMS webpages and blog posts when it helps give the reader a better picture or additional information about the topic.
A webpage which is content-rich, authoritative, unbiased, and helps visitors learn more about what they are interested in is most likely to attract links from other websites, which improves your search engine optimization.
Identify and target a specific keyword phrase for each authoritative content page on your website. Think about how your reader might search for that specific page with search terms like:
Follow these suggestions to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and watch your website rise the ranks to the top of search-engine results.
Title metadata is responsible for the page titles displayed at the top of a browser window and as the headline within search engine results. It is the most importan t metadata on your page.
Beyond page URL, title, and headings, content is most influential on search engine rankings. Repeat your keyword phrase several times throughout the page—once or twice in the opening and closing paragraphs, and two to four more times throughout the remaining content. Be authoritative. Strategically link to relevant sources and additional information—both within your organizations broad website and even to other websites which are useful.
It is very difficult for a webpage to achieve search engine rankings for multiple keyword phrases—unless those phrases are very similar. A single page may be able to rank for both “biomedical engineering jobs” and “biomedical engineering careers”. Ranking for “student affairs” and “dean of students” or “gender discrimination” and “violence reporting procedures” with a single page is unlikely.
Answering yes to these questions can improve your search engine ranking. Be natural and user-friendly , though. For instance, you do not want the word “engineering” to show up three or more times in the URL or have the phrase Northern Lights repeated in the page title and also every heading. Readability and usability still trump search engine optimization.
Once your keyword phrase is chosen for a given page, consider these questions:
Keyword metadata is rarely if ever used to tabulate search engine rankings. However, you should already know your keyword phrases, so it doesn’t hurt to add them into your keyword metadata. You’ll want to include a variety of phrases. As a general rule, try to keep it to about 3-7 phrases with each phrase consisting of 1-4 words. A great example would be “computer science degree.”
These are only a few of the many methods for improving your search engine ranking. If you want to learn more, we recommend the following resources: