Since I’ve switched my website from Wordpress to Squarespace and put my clients on to Squarespace as well, I’ve been asked which one is the most "SEO friendly" quite a few times.
Once clients get their feet wet with their first website they tend to ask should they make the switch. Here’s my opinion below...
If you’re not a coder, tech savvy, or have the patience to maneuver Wordpress, here are my top reasons why you may want to stick with Squarespace.
Squarespace is an easier platform to handle than Wordpress.
Plus, If you’re already using Squarespace it’s not that easy to transfer your entire site over to Wordpress either. You can switch your blogpost and images over with a plugin ( most of the time not all images cross over) but as far as the design of your site, it would have to be rebuilt. If you don’t know anything about coding, you'll basically need someone to design your site completely over again to get the same look. If you have products, you'll need to figure out what plugin will work best for your business.
If you switch to Wordpress, be prepared to do quite a bit of editing.
Every link that you’ve ever posted to Pinterest, Twitter, or any other social network for that matter to share your blog posts or products will no longer work. So, the followers you did have or those who find those same links later on will now be forwarded to broken links. Sure, you may be able to go back and edit some, redo your links on Pinterest images, delete them, or just say forget them, but why? That requires so much time and the loss of potential followers/customers. Again, be prepared to also update blogpost just in case images and links to crossover correctly.
Unless you plan on having a graphic designer/coder on hand, be prepared to deal with Wordpress plugin issues and website maintenance.
Wordpress does not have customer service people to help you get your site back up and running if there is a mishap/crash. You’ll have to try and get help from whomever created each plugin used. Take note, that sometimes plugin-creators do not always update their plugins when Wordpress updates their platform. Squarespace has their own customer service and even though they don’t have as many integrated apps to use with their platform as Wordpress has plugins, you’ll rarely have issues with any website glitches.
Wordpress has great SEO capabilities, I can’t lie.
Their community of creatives offer so many plugins to help you with managing your SEO, such as Yaost SEO, Google Keyword Planner, and Broken Link Checker. It's no doubt that Wordpress is considered the top SEO friendly platform around. Not only do blog post boost your SEO there but they also consider each image that you upload as its own post as well, meaning more exposure of your site to feed to search engines. Although Wordpress is SEO Friendly it's not always "user friendly". There's plugins for almost everything but remember they are designed by various creators who sometimes fall short of updating them and they often can cause glitches on your overall site. Squarespace has customer service when something goes wrong, Wordpress not so much. It's more so the wordpress community and those who create the specific plugins who are there to help you figure things out.
I choose Squarespace over Wordpress because of its simplicity. Wordpress offers so many choices, it's easy to get overwhelmed.
Don't count Squarespace out. They have made quite a few changes to make their own sites SEO Friendly. Although they are still adding on more SEO capabilities, some find the platform to work for them quite well. Squarespace SEO features include: clean HTML mark-up so pages are easily indexed by search engines, auto-generated site maps and full control over page titles and descriptions. Every Squarespace site is automatically created with a site map which is very important for SEO. Site maps help GOOGLE crawl your website in order to understand what it's about.
With any platform, it's what you do with the features you are given that determines your SEO value and how you are found in the World Wide Web.
So, if you are already on Squarespace, here's a few suggestions before you decide to make the switch to Wordpress. You may find that you haven't been doing any of these suggestions, which is why you're not getting as much traffic as you think you should be getting. These same tips should be done on Wordpress and any other blog platform as well.
Go on Squarespace and take note of your current stats, than go through your entire website, blog, even your shop and start making changes.
1. Give each image a title in its "Alt Text" or " Title Text" I usually name images whatever I put in the blog post title or product title and add a dash with lovetlhayden.com on the end of it.
2. Go through your post and use your "Header 1" and "Header 2" text formats to structure your content. Like titles, search engines look at headers as high priority factors to figure out the important topics in your post and blog (see how i structured this post). This also helps visitors scan your page and quickly find the information they're looking for.
3. Go through your categories and tags and make sure you're using key words that accurately describe your post and products. Do not use keywords that have nothing to do with your post or product. Search engines do not like that and it can hinder your SEO.
4. Make sure to add relevant descriptions to all your site pages and products. Make sure your overall sites' search engine description is relevant too. Here's a snapshot of mine. Go to settings and then SEO, to edit yours.
5. For more tips go here: Increasing your site’s visibility to search engines
6. Make sure each time you write a post they are set to publish to your social network feeds Just go to the "SOCIAL" option in the editor of your blog post and choose the ones you want.
7. Once you've made all these changes continue to do them and post "rich" content on a consistent basis. Then go back and check your stats after a few months. These changes can help alot.
In Summary, if you've got the patience and help for a Wordpress site, by all means go for it. They can be built to do lots of unique things because coding is involved. It's all about preference. If you'd rather have simplicity, a great looking site up quick with basic SEO, choose Squarespace.
Hope this helps and has inspired you to level up your SEO strategy!!!