- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Architecture Analysis
- Content Evaluation
Search Engine Optimization for Squarespace
Jennie Lou Art is a remarkable small business in Denver, CO, specializing in live wedding paintings, event painting, and custom commissioned artwork. The founder of Jennie Lou Art, Jennie Pitts, had done a great job of promoting her business by using social media and creating a good, small-business, do-it-yourself website, but she needed help acquiring more customers through search engines. After our initial audit of Jennie Lou Art’s website, we uncovered lots of room for improvement. There were issues on a number of different levels inhibiting the website's search engine visibility.
Customer & keyword research
The key to ensuring that your potential customers can find your business on search engines starts with having an understanding of who your customers are, what problem your business solves for them, and in what context they would be looking for your services. Understanding these three factors helped us make some important strategic decisions about the keyword phrases that Jennie Lou Art’s customers would use when searching for her services online. Next, we compiled a list of likely search terms, collaborated with Jennie to add some additional terms, and then dove into our keyword research tools to see where our strategy and the raw data aligned.
The structure of a website is incredibly important and has an often underestimated impact on your placement in search engine results. Search engines don't visually see your site as it is but instead read certain tags that informs the algorithm how your page is built. Each tag has a meaning and is valued differently in terms of its importance. It's crucial to follow best practices when creating your webpage. Custom designed and developed websites by Ascend are created keeping this in mind, but in Jennie Lou Art's case, she was using a Squarespace site, which has limited capabilities in this aspect.
Title tags & meta descriptions
Title tags are an important part of the HTML structure of your website because these tags are used to inform search engines of exactly what each web page is about. While platforms like Squarespace allow for some editing of title tags, it’s not inherently obvious to "do-it-yourselfers" just how important this aspect is. In addition, the default settings in Squarespace are woefully inadequate and can actually do more harm to search engine performance than good. Utilizing the research-based keyword list we created with Jennie Lou Art, we were able to create a structure that aligned the search terms to the appropriate pages on their website.
Google defines duplicate content as “substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar.” Because manipulative “marketers” have used this technique to artificially boost their website traffic in the past, Google has cracked down on these tactics. It's not to say that you can't have the same "contact us" information or “call to action” blocks across multiple pages, but in our evaluation of Jennie Lou Art’s website, we found out that her Squarespace site was actually generating individual pages for each section of a page. That meant that dozens of duplicate pages were getting indexed by Google, negatively impacting her ranking. We painstakingly mapped out all of the duplicate pages and manually corrected each one, resulting in a big boost in rankings and traffic.
Sitemap and "index-ability"
It's important to make sure you have a good sitemap in place. A sitemap lists all the available pages to be crawled by Google and Bing. It's then suggested to sign up for Google and Bing's respective tools (e.g. Webmaster tools) so that you can get a complete view of how your site is performing, which keywords have the most weight on your site, structural data, and much more. After making our corrections and adjustments to Jennie Lou Art's website, we re-submitted it to both Google and Bing to ensure that both search engines could properly index and rank the website.
Jennie Lou Art SAID:"With Ascend, I was guaranteed not only professional assistance with my business, but an authentic relationship and individualized investment in myself and my company. So grateful for all of you!" Jennie Lou, Owner & Founder