Krishna Solanki Designs

SEO

An Introduction To Squarespace SEO

SquarespaceKrishna SolankiComment

I set up my website over a year ago on Squarespace and I haven't looked back.  Squarespace is just such a great platform I can't rant and rave about it enough.  Many moons ago I used Wordpress for my website, but I got bored and found it tedious to continuously keep with.
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Since moving to Squarespace I have been so busy working on my business and blog posts that I shamefully (and unintentionally) neglected a really important aspect - SEO.

You have probably heard the word being thrown around between other business professionals, or in that Facebook group, so today I wanted to share an introduction to Squarespace SEO.

Krishna Solanki Designs - An Introduction To Squarespace SEO

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.  In a nutshell, it is the method, action, or steps you take to reinforce how your website is searched for, by search engines like Google.

Why is SEO important?

As a business owner, it is really important if you have a website or a blog as SEO will help you gain traffic and rank highly in Google searches.  People will be able to find you on the internet more easily if your SEO is on point.
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General SEO points

Regards to the above, there are 2 general points I think every business owner should be aware of.  Content and Inbound links.

  1. Content - This is probably one of the most important points of any website.  If the content is "|meaty and meaningful" it will bring visitors to your site.   Google also thinks in this way, so you can improve your SEO by creating rich and relevant content for your audience as well as helping Google find you. That's great news all round I think!
  2. Inbound links - These are links that are on another website but point back to your site.  So for example, if a credible website links to your website then you have a higher chance of increasing your traffic and therefore you are a credible source - which Google will like! So more chance of being ranked higher.

It all really does go hand-in-hand.

Squarespace SEO

In case you were not aware, Squarespace is already SEO friendly (another reason why I love Squarespace).  This means, in my opinion only, that it is already 1 step closer to making my life easier then if I was on Wordpress. I remember the days when I was looking for, and totally confused by trying to find the perfect plugin for my Wordpress site. Thankfully I don't have to worry about that with Squarespace!

Although like I have mentioned Squarespace is already SEO friendly, there are a few things you can do to make sure your site is optimised. for SEO.

1 | Squarespace settings

Under the "Settings" tab, make sure you have filled in the "Business Information" (under General), "Basic Information" (under Website) and "SEO" (under Website > Marketing), with your business name, business description (using keywords), and also your location.

Krishna Solanki Designs - An Introduction To Squarespace SEO - Squarespace settings

This is what I have put under my Site Description and Search Engine Description:

"Krishna Solanki Designs | Cambridge, UK, based Digitial Designer that works with startups, small businesses and side hustlers to build strong brands and beautiful websites.
My name is Krishna Solanki and I’m your lady if you are after any of the following creative types of work: branding, logo design, website design, iPhone & iPad app design, icon design, flyers and posters.
My passion is helping and working with startups, small businesses, founders, entrepreneurs and side-hustlers."

2 | Page settings

Every page you create on Squarespace has the ability to be further optimised for Squarespace.  You will notice that each page has a "settings cog" icon when you hover over that page.  Once you click on the icon, a pop-up will appear which is where you can add the extra detail.
There are a few things that you should definitely populate, and they are:

  1. Page Description - This is what Google looks for and reads when indexing your page (Note: I have populated my page description now, not like in the image!)
  2. Navigation title - This is what shows on your website so can whatever you want to call that page
  3. Page Title - This is what Google will list your page as - So keep this relevant to what the page is about.

 

Krishna Solanki Designs - An Introduction To Squarespace SEO - page settings

Note: Make sure you use keywords and complete sentences that make sense.  Write for people not engines as this will make you more legit in Google's eyes, and therefore easier to be found by a real person searching for you/your services.


3 | Page SEO

Another way to make your pages and website SEO friendly as by using heading styles in your copy.  Clear headings that describe the content, not only make it easier on the eye to read but they also make it easier for search engines to detect what the page and website are about.


4 | Image settings and image SEO

Google can't read images and because of that, you need to make sure there is a relevant line of text (the "alt text") that references every image you put on your website, page, blog post.
Luckily Squarespace provides a few ways of being able to add text to an image.
Using a previous blog post as an example:

  1. In "Edit mode", hover over the image,
  2. You will be able to see a bar that shows an "EDIT" button for the image.
  3. Once you click this a pop-up will appear.
  4. On this pop you should populate the "Filename (Optional)" input box - This is what Google will read as your image so it's important to fill this in.
Krishna Solanki Designs - An Introduction To Squarespace SEO - image settings
Krishna Solanki Designs - An Introduction To Squarespace SEO - filename settings

You will notice your written text appears just below the image.  You have the option "Do Not Display Caption" which basically hides the text so it is not visible.  I often choose this option as sometimes the extra text can make it look messy.

Note: Again, make sure you use keywords and complete sentences that are relevant to your image.  Something I recently learnt is that this text is also what is shown when anyone "pins" the image on Pinterest!

Before I finish off this post it is worth noting that all of Squarespace's templates are built being mobile optimised and SEO friendly.  This means that your Squarespace website will be ready to be found even before you make the extra additions/updates with the tips above.  Saying that, SEO optimisation is an on-going strategy, so it's best to learn about how to update, maintain and improve your website SEO sooner rather than later really.

What steps did you take to ensure your website is SEO friendly?


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Do I Need A Blog? - 7 Reasons Why You Do

Startup, My Business, Side HustleKrishna SolankiComment

I started blogging just over a year ago when I decided to take my freelance business more seriously and officially set up as a small business.  Before then I had a blog, with my old portfolio, and I loved writing but I found I never kept up with posting as much as I wanted, and so I stopped blogging altogether.
That was a big mistake!

Looking back at that time and also taking on board the learnings of the past year as a small business owner, I wanted to share 7 reasons to why you should blog.

Related: 3 things I have learnt in my first year of business - plus free printables!

 

1 | Shows expertise

As a small business owner, there is only a certain amount of networking, connecting with other like-minded business owners, or ways to inform my clients that I "know what I am on about"- without sounding big headed or salesy!  Ultimately I find that blogging helps to show my expertise in branding, design and being a small business owner as that is what I blog about the most.  For other businesses or bloggers, the aim is to show you are an expert in your field and writing a post or an article can really help reinforce that.

Not so long ago I wrote an article about repeat business, can you read that article here - Repeat business: 5 ways to reap the benefits of your existing client base.
This article was found by another blogger who was composing a blog post for Shutterstock about making the most of new client relationships.  Can you imagine the excitement when I was asked to be an expert voice for that blog post, all because of my article! -  I was thrilled!!

Read the Shutterstock article here : How Creative Freelancers Make the Most of New Client Relationships

2 | Builds credibility

Following on from above, blogging can help build credibility.  Look at it this way, if you are looking to book someone's services, and you are on their website, you will naturally look for verification, testimonials are great for that reason, but so is blogging.  By being confident in your blog posts, researching and reporting data with credible facts and figures and also links from other bloggers will also boost/build your credibility.

3 | Shareable content

Blog posts are one of the easiest ways to create shareable content.  Together with social media, you are able to get your voice, teachings, learnings, expertise to a wider audience than those that are currently already in your network.  Creating pinnable blog post graphics and sharing this on Pinterest is a great way to share your content.

4 | Website SEO

Blogging is a great way to increase your website SEO, especially if you write your blog post and you also optimise it.  This will help ensure your website is more visible to people who have searched google (or other search engines)  looking for keywords that are associated with your product, service or brand.  For example, when I write a blog post about branding I will always aim to use that keyword in the copy of the article itself, but also in the title and URL of the blog post as well.  By increasing your website SEO, your website can attract more customers, clients of followers.

5 | Enhance client relationship

Blogging can enhance your client relationship.  Once a project is complete I wrote a blog post about it.  I share my work and details about the project from start to finish and enjoy letting everyone know - Not only does this help promote my business, but it also helps promote my clients brand/website as I share it on social media.  This definitely enhances my relationship with my clients as I am sharing their business to my network.

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6 | Blog through any pain points

Often blogging about my experiences, or the design decisions I make, or my process for a branding project can be really useful content.  Being able to answer common questions by writing an in-depth blog post can also help solve or steer any future clients or customers.
Providing quality content or answers, and blogging about relevant topics that will directly affect a potential client's decision to work with me is another reason to why I enjoy blogging and why I believe blogging is definitely a good idea as it builds trust.

7 | Writing opportunities

Last but not the least on this list is writing opportunities.  If this is something you as a small business owner are interested in then what better way to start then on your own blog.  Many moons ago, when I set up my old portfolio and blog, I was headhunted to write for a well-known web design and development online magazine - Onextrapixel.  I gained further exposure to my blog, I received recognition and appreciation from the design and development audience and I gained acknowledgement for each article reinforcing my expertise.

Related : Read the articles I wrote for Onextrapixel here: www.onextrapixel.com/author/krishna-solanki


Ultimately, it's really important to remember to keep your blog on brand.  Your tone of voice and your brand values must be in line with your blog.

Now it's your turn! Have you pondered about if you need a blog or not? What decision did you make?