How good is Squarespace with SEO?

The platform may matter for different reasons than you think in achieving the best SEO.

The Wordpress vs Squarespace SEO debate appears to be trending with Wordpress leading as the stronger approach. But appearances can be deceiving.

There's a lot of discussion about how Wordpress outranks Squarespace in SEO capabilities. 20 years of building sites and monitoring Google Algorithm Changes, suggests the harder way of successful SEO is constantly creating and promoting great content. The easier, quicker way is focusing on the configuration of your CMS.  

Not that your CMS isn't responsible for core level of best practices, but pay an SEO expert and they can get your content closer to your audience, right? That's much easier for you and the expert but when sites who've been successful at hitting the top of the search results see a 50% - 90% loss in traffic due to an Google Algorithm changesome going out of business because of it — we lean more away from the tricks and more in favor of the quality of content.

Below, we've cherry picked statements that support a platform neutral, content first approach with SEO but acknowledge that if you want to fully tweak your site architecture with SEO plugins above a content-rich foundation, then yes, Wordpress is more suited to do that

We support a platform neutral, content first approach with SEO but acknowledge Wordpress as the potential leader in SEO plugin capability.
— Hypersite team


If the SEO question can be boiled down to the issue of traffic, then the most important aspect of gaining traffic is content. Content is the biggest influencer for search engine optimization. Google reiterates this in every piece of material they have produced on SEO
— The Truth About Squarespace SEO

Choosing WordPress or Squarespace for your site will certainly influence certain site architecture and HTML elements, but this decision won’t impact your actual content or other off-the-page factors like trust, links, and social media. All these factors work together to impact your overall SEO.

With WordPress, you have the potential to get the very best SEO optimization first. That said, you will need to spend a little time researching the right plugins, downloading these plugins, and installing them. With Squarespace, you’ll have a whole team managing this process in the background for you.

On-site optimization is just one part of SEO. Great content, authoritative links, and social shares/reputation are equally important (if not more so) when it comes to successful SEO.
— WordPress or Squarespace: Which CMS is Better for SEO?

There is a lot of misinformation about WordPress websites always ranking better than websites built with website builders. This just isn’t the case based on our experiences.

I haven’t seen any definitive proof that WordPress websites always rank better than non-WordPress websites. Probably because no such research exists?

Google and other leading SEO experts have confirmed that backlinks and content are the most important factors in achieving higher search engine rankings. Not Which Website Builder You Used.
— Website Builder SEO vs WordPress SEO: Which One Is Better?

 
 

SEO begins with powerful content

Every one of our clients over the past 20 years have asked about SEO and how to do it better. It's an easy question to ask. But when we ask about blogging on a regular basis, the discussions die down pretty quickly.

One of our clients spent a considerable monthly investment to pay a third party content organization (Brafton) to produce content on a weekly basis (we built a daily content importer into their Drupal site - worked great) but they ultimately shut it down because while they saw a huge surge in traffic, it was the wrong traffic with none of it converting to new customers.

When someone asks whether a Squarespace site is good for SEO, I would ask back, do you have a great story? Are you constantly publishing and sharing that story? Are you getting visitors to that story and are they contacting you? 

In our experience, Squarespace (so far) is the easiest way to ramp up into strong and consistent storytelling that drives leads. And with that, SEO will naturally follow.


Update OCT 2017

Shifting to Wordpress dropped this dress designer's SEO

seo_squarespace_vs_wordpress.jpg

We've spent time with designer Mac Duggal on their digital strategy and they recently informed us that their highly cultivated search engine positioning plummeted when they shifted over to the Wordpress platform for their new site (from Drupal).

They went on to say that they suspected it was an aspect of the implementation and have been experimenting with new page designs that have dramatically improved search traffic. 

This is a good example of how you use the tools is more important than the tools you choose.