Squarespace vs Wordpress SEO
We believe there is a conspiracy theory going on right now, with many Wordpress developers trying to convince the world that Squarespace is not great for SEO.
Whatever you are told, I would advise you to first understand what SEO is, what it does and how it works. You’ll then be able to make your own judgment and know that SEO is not platform dependent. It’s the person who builds your website and their understanding of SEO tools, techniques and methodologies that impacts your rankings on google. Plus, your own efforts in maintaining your website content will ensure good rankings.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of techniques and methodologies that help increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your website in search engine results. There are many tactics that can help you improve your SEO. We focus on 3 key aspects of SEO methodology:
• On-site SEO (this is about making sure that your website is designed with SEO in mind)
• Technical SEO (this is about submitting your website to SEO tools and search engines)
• Content SEO (this is an ongoing strategy that keeps your website ranking well)
How does SEO work?
Google (or any search engine that you use) has a robot that goes out and crawls all the text on websites it can find on the internet. The robot brings back all the words and data on your website and creates an index which is then matched with the term that is being searched. This means that if your website is well optimised and includes the keywords that your audience is searching for, google will show your website to those users.
Squarespace vs Wordpress
The way I usually explain the difference between platforms to clients is the following:
Wordpress can be compared to a Windows computer and Squarespace can be compared to an Apple Mac.
Windows is usually loved by the tech savvy crowd who can hack-in, change things, program and alter parameters within the software - it’s very flexible. Apple Macs are loved by non-techy creatives who want their laptops to work well with minimal maintenance and look great!
It’s similar with Wordpress vs Squarespace debate.
Wordpress is usually best suited for developers, programmers and coders - people who know their way around HTML and are able to program it to work the way they want. It’s usually more difficult to maintain Wordpress websites if you’re not an experienced user due to plugins going out of date and easy exposure to cyber attacks. It can also be a real struggle for a novice business owner to update their Wordpress website as the process is not that straightforward. Once you’re website is handed over to you and you decide to opt-out of an ongoing maintenance package with your developers, you’re pretty much on your own. So if anything happens to your website, you’re in trouble.
Squarespace is usually best suited for small business owners, entrepreneurs, creatives and anyone who want to be in full control over their website. It’s super easy to update, fully supported by an award winning Squarespace technical support team available 247 to answer questions and troubleshoot problems and it’s never down or hacked as their hosting is protected by a worldwide team of experts. Once the website is finalised you your designer and handed-over, you’re in full control and still fully supported.
Now we’ve explained differences between platforms, let’s get down to the very topic of Squarespace vs Wordpress SEO and the conspiracy theory attached to it.
The main agent in the Wordpress vs Squarespace SEO debate is a little plugin called Yoast. This plugin is for Wordpress only and that is the reason why some people claim that Wordpress is better for SEO). Yoast plugin indicates to its users whether they did a good job optimizing their website content or blog posts through a traffic light system. If you’ve done a good job, it will show you a green light and if you’ve done a bad or mediocre job it will assign red or orange light to your efforts. It will also give you hints and tips on what to tweak to reach green light.
We personally feel that this is a lazy approach. The thing is with SEO, that once you know what to do to optimize your pages and content, you don’t need a plugin to tell you whether you’ve done a good job or not - you will just know!
So whilst Squarespace doesn’t have an equivalent plugin, you can write yourself a checklist of things to do within each page contents or a blog post to ensure your website ranks high on google. Then keep using the checklist until it becomes a second nature!
Things to include in your checklist are: optimizing H1 tags on each page or blog post, including keywords in image names and descriptions, keyword rich page descriptions, including hyperlinked anchor text in your body copy that leads to pages on relevant topics and so on.
Then there is also a technical side to the SEO but this part is best left to your website designer:
⁃ Clean HTML
⁃ Mobile optimized
⁃ Correct page architecture
⁃ Clean url’s
⁃ Submitting your website to SEO tools and search engines
What I really love about Squarespace SEO is that all the above SEO elements are within your reach and very straightforward to access and update (which isn’t the case with Wordpress, you need your developer to help you out with some of those).
Depending on what you prefer: ease of use or depth of technical customization you might choose to use Wordpress or Squarespace to design your website.
As a company, we choose to use Squarespace for all-in-one solution, ease of use, simplicity, security, support and more. Our clients love it because once we train them on how to use it, they can easily mention and update their own website whenever they like, without having to come back to us.
And as for SEO, I hope that I managed to clear out some misconceptions relating to Squarespace vs Wordpress debate and helped you understand that your rankings on google are not platform specific and depend on 3 factors:
• You purchasing a Web Design Package that includes SEO within it or you buying a dedicated SEO Package on top of your Web Design Package from your Web Design Agency
• Your own up keeping of the website post launch via fresh and optimized content
• Marketing your website to your audience via your channels to drive traffic to it