Those three little letters are enough to cause panic, doubt and frustration in most website owners around. And for good reason, I might add!
We all want more eyes on our Squarespace websites, but once the basic settings have been taken care of, what should you focus on next?
I'm here to guide you through 7 things you can work on TODAY that will instantly improve Squarespace SEO because I want to make that super easy for you.
These tips are meant to be actionable steps you can actually do yourself, because I have zero interest in making you feel overwhelmed or like I'm adding extra work to your plate. SEO takes time and effort but trust me, it pays off.
Once you start working your way through these points, you'll see great improvements to your Squarespace website's SEO in no time at all! And once that's covered, you'll be able to move onto more advanced SEO strategies while feeling confident that you've got the basics covered.
Pull up a seat and open your notebook, it's time to get started!
SEO is an art, not a science, but I've seen many websites get incredible results simply by following a few best practices.
One of the best and easiest ways to improve SEO for your Squarespace website is by setting up permalinks in the best way possible.
Permalinks are also known as URL slugs, and they are one of the factors of good SEO that many people overlook. If they only knew how valuable good permalink structure was, I know they would give it the attention it deserves!
Permalinks don't have the most riveting reputation but they are an element of website development that should never be ignored, especially if you are focused on growing your website through SEO.
I'm going to introduce you to permalinks (aka URL slugs), explain why they are so important, and let you in on the best practices for setting up permalinks for SEO success.
LOL! Ok, that’s not entirely true but I still do LOVE backlinks, mostly because they are fun to build and lead to major SEO goodness.
What are backlinks and why do they matter for SEO? GOOD QUESTION, my friend! Today we are going to do a deep dive into the wonderful (and sometimes shady) world of backlinks and I’m going to show you why they are so important for your Squarespace website’s SEO, and how to build backlinks.
They say that the best things in life are free, but sadly that isn't the case for running your beloved website.
There are inherent costs associated with running, operating and maintaining a website and there’s no way around it - you've got to pay to play.
I get asked a lot about how much it costs to run a website and in all honestly, the answer is that "it depends". I know, I know! You were hoping for a set amount but I just can't give you that because there are so many variables.
What I can do, however, is share with you the set cost of running a Squarespace website (meaning : the expenses you can't skip) AND fill you in on the other expenses that you can expect to pay to keep your site up and running.
Many people are happy to talk candidly about the income their website earns (read : money in) but it's harder to get people to open up about the actual operating costs and expenses (read : money out). Lucky for you, I have no such hangup :) If you've been following my blog for a while, you know I LOVE talking about money (examples here and here) and giving you a behind the scenes look at how much it actually costs to run a website and have an online business, so let's dive right in!
When it comes to your website, are you a lone wolf or part of a team?
In some cases, there’s only one person in charge of running a website. This is especially true if you are a solopreneur or if your website is part of your own personal business. Bloggers, consultants, freelancers and small business owners are often in charge of all things related to their websites.
But that’s not true for every website out there! In most cases, two or more people have access to the website. This could be the business/website owner AND their developer, designer, marketing team, social media person, staff and intern(s), whoever!
When more than one person needs access to the website, it’s important to set up different accounts. With Squarespace websites, this is set up through contributors settings, which I will walk you through below.
Everyone who runs a website dreams of building it up into a money making machine.
We've all heard stories about successful online entrepreneurs who have turned their small websites into legit businesses that bring in impressive amounts of money every month.
Stories about websites that are making bank can be either incredibly motivating/inspiring, OR a depressing reminder of your own website's performance, depending on where you are in your online business journey. If you're struggling to bring in your first dollar through your website, you might be looking for a quick fix, the "secret" that'll bring you that type of success. Maybe you've heard those stories, read the monthly income reports, and tried out a dozen monetization strategies on your own website, crossing your fingers that it eventually works out. If that's the case, I'm guessing that you haven't had much luck.
The truth is, you can't start earning a significant income from your website at the flip of a switch. It takes A LOT of intention, experimentation and a clear business plan to successfully monetize your website.
It's true that some people struggle to monetize their website, but you don't have to be one of them.
Let’s take a look at some common mistakes people make when they try to monetize their websites.
Gather round folks, today we are going to talk about a subject that is a lil’ taboo but oh so popular : MONEY!
Money talk brings out some pretty strong emotions in people, whether it’s good, bad or ugly. Some people get off talking about money and use it as motivation and fuel to reach new levels in their businesses. However, there are loads of people who shy away from the subject because they consider it a private subject, something that isn’t discussed in polite company.
A look at my analytics tab tells me that this type of blog content is super popular, which means that clearly my readers are interested in the subject too :)
As such, today we are going to take a look at how and why you should monetize your website.
There’s money to be made in websites and believe me, you don’t want to leave any cash money on the table because you were afraid to go big and put yourself/your site out there. With a bit of creativity, I truly believe that any website can be monetized and you can start earning money from it in no time at all!
Gather round, my friends, because I have a very important and exciting announcement to make!
I am thrilled to share that my second digital product, the Income Tracker Spreadsheets, is now live and available for purchase exclusively on my website!
This new product came together organically, and was so fun to create - which is why I'm excited to share my story with you. This post gives you a sense as to what the Income Tracker is, who it's for and why I came up with it.
One of my favourite sayings is “What gets measured gets managed” and these spreadsheets will keep you focused and on track to setting and reaching your goals.
Please excuse the cheesy press release style post, I’m just super hyped to share it with you and make sure you know how it came to be :)
Over the past few months, I’ve made a conscious effort to increase traffic to my website. My hard work as paid off and I’m super excited to share how that worked out with you today!
Let me start off by saying that business growth has always been my top priority and higher website traffic is just a channel for bringing in business.
Although my website didn’t experience any “hockey stick” style growth, it DID increase by nearly 30% in less than four months. Page views to my website were UP in April, an increase of 9.5% mo/mo from the month before. That’s something to be proud of!
In this post, I’m going to explain why I care so much about increasing my website traffic and also show you what I did to get these kind of results. I hope to show you that with the right strategies, anyone can increase traffic to their websites and get serious results - without selling their first born child in the process.
Oh heyyyyy, May! Can’t believe you’re here already. Time flies when you’re having fun!
Before we kick off a new month, I’m going to share my April 2018 recap with you. This is the second post in a new series on the blog where I share monthly recaps to give you a “behind the scenes” look at my business and life away from my laptop.
Raise your hand if blogging has ever left you feeling overwhelmed or stressed out!
Oh good, I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one :)
We all know that blogging is a super important part of any website and that is has major benefits for just about every business out there. It drives traffic to our sites, establishes us as experts in our industry/niche, helps us to share our point of view with our audience, and grows our brand and visibility online. It’s worth our time and effort, but why does it have to be so friggin' hard?
That’s a question I used to ask myself but I’m happy to report that I don’t feel that way anymore. In fact, I now find blogging FUN and actually look forward to creating new posts to share with my readers!
All of this changed when I started getting strategic with the content I created and established processes and a checklist make sure that I had every step covered. And let me tell you, it totally paid off.
I’m sharing my process for creating and publishing blog posts with you to show you that blogging doesn’t have to be hard or scary. Blogging doesn’t have to take hours of your time, either! Once you have a process in place, it comes together quickly and easily.
Remember at the start of the year how I announced that one of my goals was to read more? I started strong back in January and I'm proud to say that I've kept it up the past few months!
Reading is something that I love doing and, for the most part, I have no problem powering through the latest thriller or mystery. Take a look at my March 2018 recap to see what I mean haha! I am a fiction junkie and once I find an author or series that I enjoy, there’s no stopping me.
Last year, however, I realized I wasn't putting aside as much time as I’d like to read non-fiction books that will help my business, mindset and continuing education. And that’s a damn shame because I enjoy those books too!
If you're looking for books to read over the next few weeks that will positively impact your business, I hope these recommendations tickle your fancy!
First of all, you have to build the dang thing and that is a serious undertaking. There's so much that goes into the the design, layout, formatting and technical integrations before people can actually visit your site! And once it’s live, the fun doesn’t stop. Running a website is pretty much a full-time job, especially if you are trying to grow and monetize it down the road. Whether your website supports another business or it IS your business, there are so many moving parts to keep track of if you want it to succeed!
Some of us find the technical side of running a website super easy, but have a harder time with the design elements. We can do it, of course, but sometimes the creative design process is a struggle!
One thing that I often hear from my clients is that once their website goes live, they want to use social media to send traffic back to their sites. This is music to my ears because it follows best practices, but it’s also where people get stumped. This is especially true if you aren't a graphic designer who is used to creating design elements every day! I hear my clients lament that they aren’t designers themselves or that they don't have a dedicated designer on staff to whip up all of the social media graphics that are needed to support their sites and blog posts.
Little do they know, they don’t have to be! And they don't have to hire out that design work either.
Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of social media graphic templates available online. There are tons of gorgeous options available and many of them are free to use… you just have to know where to look!
Sharing this as a friendly reminder / motivation / inspiration / kick in the pants for myself and others!
$100K / year is totally doable. It will take a bit of hustle and heart but that income goal is totally reachable. Money doesn’t have to be a scary thing and the more comfortable we are talking about it, the easier it gets to reach our goals.
Do the work, share what you know and charge good money for it!
I was at an event recently where one of the speakers was talking about the “insane, seriously mind-blowing” income you can make from blogging and how everyone should become a blogger. The way he was talking about it, you’d think that blogging was the fastest way to riches. He made big claims and many people in the audience wanted to know how they could go about doing this too.
The whole conversation made me very uncomfortable because in my opinion, this guy was full of hot air and was misleading people with his story. I have no doubt that he (and many other full-time bloggers) is crushing it and bringing in major cash every month from his blog. Top earning bloggers like him have huge followings and their sites receive tons of traffic every day. Because of this, they are able to command very high fees to partner with brands, accept product sponsorships, participate in campaigns, etc.
Sadly, that’s not normal and if truth be told, most people cannot expect those results from blogging.
But don’t panic, all is not lost! Monetizing your blog is totally possible, but it probably won’t happen in the way you think it will. Let’s take a look at why this is.
Gather round, my friends, because today marks the start of a new series on the blog! From here on out, I plan to share a monthly recap post to give my readers a “behind the scenes” look at my business and life.
Up until now I’ve kept the content on my blog strictly professional, focusing on web design & development, Squarespace and business tips. It has been working out well so far but I was thinking about how I want you to get to know me better.
I love getting little glimpses of the personal lives of my fellow business owners and entrepreneurs because it helps me feel like I know them as real people, not just as peers or someone I look up to. Have you ever heard of the know, like and trust factor? Yep, it’s real.
As such, I’m looking forward to sharing the ups and downs of running a website and building an online business with you every month! These recap posts are going to be a mix of business and life away from the computer screen and I hope you enjoy them and get a better feel for who I am :)
Whenever I build and design a website, one of my biggest considerations is how it looks and displays on different devices. Whether someone is viewing the site from a desktop, tablet or smartphone, I want to make sure that everything displays correctly and that the user experience remains unaffected!
There's a super easy way to do this if you're using Squarespace, and it's a trick I rely on with every single website I work with. Responsive design is a feature of every Squarespace template but unless you're a pro, you might not know how the site will end up looking on different devices after your design is complete unless you check it out for yourself.
My friend, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Device View!
If you're anything like me, you like to work hard and play hard. We aren't afraid to put in long hours to build our websites, grow our businesses and expand our brands because we know that it'll pay off in the end. But what's a girl to do when she just needs a little pick me up right now?
That's where cheap thrills come in.
No, I'm not talking about the Sia song (although it's super catchy), instead I'm talking about ways you can treat yourself without breaking the bank.
Having a website is all the rage right now. It seems like everyone and their cat runs a website, has a blog, or is growing an online presence in some way or another. There’s no shortage of projects to work on or ways to tinker around on the internet, and a website is one of the most obvious ways to do that.
I’m a huge fan of people having their own website, whether it’s for business or personal reasons. Maybe it's a lifestyle blog, a portfolio, a place to write about your thoughts on current events, or a way to share stories of your life with others. Your website could also be part of a bigger side hustle, for example if it’s an e-commerce site, a place to sell your services, a monthly membership site, whatever - the sky is the limit. Side websites can act as a creative outlet but they can also turn into lucrative side-hustle when done properly.
I know loads of people who work a regular 9-5 and have a website that they run on the side and let me say, I friggin’ LOVE that. Own your place on the internet, yo!
But if you do decide to work a regular job AND run a website on the side, make sure you do it right and don't get fired! Take a look at things to consider so that both can coexist happily from here on out.
It’s no secret that people spend HOURS everyday online, browsing the internet on their phones and computers. In fact, a recent study estimate that the average American adult spends over 12 hours a day consuming media in some form or another. That stat is absolutely bonkers, but the craziness doesn’t end there. Because we are spending so much time online, we are also doing more shopping online and online sales are estimated to reach $39 billion in Canada alone by 2019.
Businesses of all types are realizing that they NEED to get online if they want to profit from all this traffic because if they don’t, they risk being left behind and missing out on untold amounts of money.
Most businesses know that they need an online presence of some sort and more often than not, that comes in the form of a website. They (mistakenly) think that all they need to do is throw something together and that they will get around to fixing it later. But will they actually?
As a web designer/developer, I see people and businesses make this mistake all the time and it truly breaks my heart! Because here’s the thing: “later” doesn’t always happen. The updates to the starter website keep getting pushed further and further and further back and before you know it, it becomes a major undertaking. While a business might have created a starter website with good intentions, the truth is that it can actually do more harm than good in the long run.
In this post, I’m going to give you my professional opinion on starter websites, go over the pros and cons, and let you in on everything you need to know about them before you get started. You might not share my opinion but I hope see my perspective and that it gives you something to think about if you’re considering a starter website of your own!
Today’s post was inspired by a recent conversation I had with a client where we discussed which Squarespace template to use for their new website in order to present their content in the best way possible. I love it when a real-life situation or question comes up as a topic that I can share with you all here on my blog!
In this post, we are going to dive DEEP into one of the hottest web design trends. You might not have heard of it but you definitely know it when you see it. That’s right, it’s parallax scrolling!
There’s a ton of information here because I want to make sure that you have everything you need to decide if parallax scrolling is a design feature that makes sense for you to use on your own website. If you decide to use it, I’m also going to show you how that works with Squarespace and walk you through you exactly how to get started with it!
Consider this your #nerdalert and keep reading if you’re ready to get technical!
You put in the hours and are now the proud owner of a brand new website. Your business has an online home and you should be thrilled that you made it happen! Kudos, my friend.
Getting your new website up and running is just the tip of the iceberg because once it’s live, the real fun begins. Now you get to share the exciting news with your audience (even if it’s just your best friend or pet, we’ve all gotta start somewhere) and celebrate in style. You spent loads of time and money on your new website and you want to make sure that you kick things off with a bang, am I right!?
I’ve worked with loads of clients on their new websites at this point and I always love seeing how creative they are in celebrating the launches. There are loads of ways to celebrate the launch of your website and let everyone know that the latest version is live, and these 10 tips and ideas are some of my favourite!
I'm a sucker for seeing how people work and what goes on behind the scenes. I can't help it that I'm curious about the tools people use, the products they swear by, and the things they can't live without. If that makes me nosy, then so be it! ;)
Some of my favourite content that other designers/developers create is the more personal posts where I get to see how they run their businesses and get their work done. There are a million and one ways to get to the same final result and I'm always fascinated to compare my own processes with my peers'. It's cool when there's overlap but it's equally interesting to see our differences, you know?
Today I'm giving you a look at 6 of my "must haves" to do my work as a web designer/developer. Some of them are going to be pretty standard for web designer/developers everywhere but others are a little more personal. Either way, they help me to get the job done right every time!
Let’s rewind to the early days of my business when I was starting out as a web designer/developer. I was honing my technical skills and getting better every day but one area that I knew I could improve on was organization. I realized that if I was going to take my business seriously and actually make a “go” at it, I would need to set up (and stick to) processes, systems, templates and project plans.
As part of my early journey to get my business organized, I created the first version of what is now my Client Questionnaire. It has been refined and tweaked over time but the core has stayed the same.
Client Questionnaires are something that I include in EVERY web design/development project and it’s a step that I wouldn't dare leave out. It helps me to do my best work for the client because both parties are ready to plan and prepared to execute the best website - right from the start. The Client Questionnaire is a way to gather a huge amount of information ahead of time and make sure that the client is clear, focused and intentional on the process as we move forward with the website. I use the document to guide our discussion, ask the necessary questions, and flush out the main points to consider when we begin the actual website build.
My friends! It has come to my attention that no everyone is as obsessed with Squarespace as I am and as such, they aren’t fully aware of all the features available! The horror.
Jokes aside, I use and love the Squarespace analytics app all the time and want to make sure it’s on your radar too.
As a web designer/developer, I work with Squarespace literally every day which means I know the platform inside out, like the label of my favourite green juice. That’s great because it makes things super easy, speedy and straightforward for me but I sometimes forget that not everyone has the same deep understanding of Squarespace that I do!
I was recently wrapping up a website project training session with a client and in an offhand comment mentioned the Squarespace analytics app. It was clear that this was the first she was hearing of my (beloved) app and I was happy to spread the love and encourage her to use it! Now i’m doing the same here, with you :)
Depending on how much of a Squarespace junkie you are, today’s post might be an intro to the app or a friendly reminder to actually log in and check your stats. Either way, I hope you learn something new and get more out of your Squarespace account!
Serious question : if you don’t have a website, do you even exist?
You might think I’m being a little dramatic here but trust me, you NEED to have a website if you have a business that you want to grow. And not just any old website either. You need a professional website!
It’s not enough to have an online presence on social media either because as we’ve seen in the past, platforms go in and out of popularity all the time (MySpace, Vine and Snapchat, I’m looking at you). You might build up an audience on one platform only to have all those people jump ship and leave you without a way to stay in touch with them.
That’s why it’s SO important to have a website. It’s your “home” on the internet that you own and it can’t be taken away from you. Websites are a way to share information with your audience, capture their contact info so that you can stay in touch with them (hello, email lists!), sell products or service, and generally build up your brand visibility.
All of this is well and good, and once you have a website up and running, it’s time to make sure that it’s working FOR you - not against you!
This is where the professional website comes into play. We aren’t talking about casual, personal blogs here. Those hold a special place on the internet but they aren’t the focus of this post. Instead, our attention is on professional websites that support a business, no matter the industry.
In my experience as web designer/developer who works with small, professional business, I’ve noticed that there are 6 foolproof ways that a professional website will grow a business, and I’m going to share those with you today. I’ve seen my clients grow their businesses many times over after they’ve redesigned or launched a new website, and almost all of them agree that there’s enormous ROI on our projects.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at how a professional website will grow your business!
That's a funny and loaded word, eh? It's a muscle we are always trying to flex and something we are constantly searching for.
There are times when we feel overwhelmingly inspired in many areas of our lives, whether it's on the professional or personal front. Ideas flow and we have thoughts buzzing in our brains faster than we can act on them all. It's an exciting time when anything seems possible! These are the periods when all I want to do is create, create, create because I feel like I have so much to put out in the world - critics and haters be damned!
But for every high there's a low and like most creatives, I've fallen into inspiration droughts that leave me feeling grumpy and exhausted. Creativity is a constant ebb and flow and as the saying goes, "use it or lose it". It's rare that you will always be brimming with great ideas but if you can manage to stay creative and inspired, these gems will be easier to hold onto.
The question I often ask myself is how can I get and (most importantly) stay inspired? How can I create on a regular basis?
Alright alright alright, today we are going to take a look at one of the most important aspects of running a successful website and that’s your email list! I’ve written before about why every website needs an email list and how important they are if you want to grow your website so if you haven’t checked out that post already, hop on over and catch up with us again in a minute. Email lists are a must have for any business and website, and I totally geek out over them!
Knowing how important it is to have an email list is one thing but getting started with it is the next step. I’m here to tell you that despite your best efforts and hours of research, you might not choose the right platform and email service provider on the first round. Whomp whompppp.
I’ve played around with MailChimp and ConvertKit and now I’ve moved my email list over to Mailerlite. Let me tell you why :
Recently I had the pleasure of completing a brand new website project for Current Talent, a career coaching and talent management consulting firm based in Vancouver, British Columbia. This project was a real joy to work on because our process was full of collaboration and the founder, Marketta Jokinen, was very receptive and open to my ideas on design, layout and digital marketing features. I loved being able to launch a website from idea to completion, and showcase the exciting business in a new digital platform!
In this blog post I’m going to walk you through the website design and development process from start to finish, tell you about our goals for the project, and also explain the different design features and decisions we made - and why.
“Bigger is better” - I bet you’ve heard that one before. Sometimes that statement rings true and in other cases, it’s more about what you do with what you have that matters.
When it comes to your website, however? Heck yes, 100% agree - bigger is better!
There are so many benefits to bigger and better websites - wide reach and impact, a deeper understanding of your audience, increased revenue from products/services/ads, affiliate opportunities, etc. An increase in website traffic almost always leads to better results and more money in your pocket, so it’s worth getting strategic here.
I’ve used the SEO tips below on my own website, as well as my client’s sites, and I know first hand that they result in higher traffic. Even spending just a few hours a month on SEO will lead to major growth, so it’s not like you have to become an expert to get results!
I'm sharing EVERYTHING you need to know about Squarespace SEO in this post so get comfy and settled, this post is gold.