Is Squarespace SEO Friendly?
Depends who you ask. But the short answer is yes. It can be. Squarespace can provide you with an SEO friendly site just as Wordpress, Wix and any other platform can. The answer lies is in how that SEO is implemented on your site. Fortunately you don’t have to be an SEO expert to set up a great foundation for your SEO.
If you ask a Wordpress developer they may say no, Squarespace isn’t SEO friendly. But it is a common misconception that Squarespace is not SEO friendly for a few common reasons.
Many Wordpress users have become accustomed to using the Yoast plugin.
Horror stories about transfers from Wordpress or another platform to Squarespace.
Let’s tackle issue #1 first.
1. Wordpress users accustomed to using the Yoast plugin.
People often assume that the Squarespace platform is not SEO friendly because it lacks a third party plugin like Yoast. Wordpress, on the other hand, provides users with thousands of third-party plugins. But relying on a third party SEO plugin isn’t always the best idea.
Squarespace is predominantly closed source and for good reason.
Wordpress plugins, like Yoast, require regular updates and can often have bugs. Just recently The Search Engine Journal reported in depth on a bug in the Yoast plugin that caused Wordpress users’ sites to drop in rankings.
The problem with all of this?
When you rely on third party plugins, you never truly learn the skills. In this case, SEO. Furthermore, you are at their mercy when things go wrong. Waiting for an update to fix a bug.
In the Squarespace world, the onus is on the user to create a strong SEO foundation for their site. It may be more work upfront, but in the long run, it makes you a more educated professional when it comes to your online presence.
Now on to issue #2.
2. Horror stories of lost SEO rankings when moving a site to Squarespace.
Now we can’t be 100% sure of all the details of these stories and often the details are not given. But if you dig deeper you will find that many times there were mistakes or oversights made during the transition process from the original CMS to Squarespace.
Transferring a site from one platform to another is a detailed process with many parts. Most of which have to be done in a specific sequence in order to not have a negative impact on your site performance and/or SEO.
One such detail is writing redirects for all of the old urls. Skipping this step can be costly with regard to your site SEO.
Every single url from the old site must be redirected to a new url on the new site in order to avoid the dreaded 404 broken link error. Google frowns upon broken links and they are a known factor in a site’s SEO ranking.
Now imagine that site had hundreds of pages.
You can see how just one piece of the site transfer process can lead to a domino effect on a site’s SEO. That’s not to mention the many other steps in the transfer process that may or may not affect site SEO.
The problem with this?
It’s just like a game of old-fashioned telephone. Those sad stories of failed SEO are very intriguing but often times misrepresented with their lack of detail and background story.
Why Squarespace IS SEO Friendly
They are regularly updating and expanding their built-in SEO features to stay up-to-date.
The ability to make your site search engine optimized is all present within the Squarespace platform, you just have to implement it.
Templates are pre-built to be mobile friendly, one of many SEO ranking factors.
Squarespace offers features like AMP to improve blog and article performance on the Internet (read: improves SEO).
All Squarespace sites have the option of an SSL Certificate at no added cost. Google prefers secure sites over non-secure site.
So next time your friend of a friend of a friend tells you to avoid Squarespace because your website ranking will tank think twice. Ask some questions. Odds are a simple mistake was made or a soured relationship or experience could be at the root of the story and not likely being told by an SEO expert.
From everything we know, Squarespace is indeed SEO friendly. It’s just a matter of whether or not you want to rely on a third party plug-in to do the work for you.
There’s no right or wrong answer here, simply your willingness and time availability to learn and implement SEO on your site without a third party plug-in.
SEO E-courses are a great, affordable way to learn SEO without having to commit to the investment of hiring an SEO expert to create and implement a customized plan for your business. It’s often ideal for small and medium-sized businesses.
While larger companies or entrepreneurs with very little spare time on their hands may benefit from handing their SEO planning over to an expert who can develop a bespoke SEO plan for reaching their target audience and growing their business online.
One thing is certain, in the latter half of this 21st century, no website regardless of how beautiful it is will do much for your business without the ability to get found online.