How Do I Change My Squarespace Template Without Ruining SEO?
I get this question all the time. Maybe you built your website on Squarespace last year and it’s finally ready for an upgrade.
You are bored of the template you chose initially and know that a new template would bring your website (and brand) to a new level.
But, you’ve built up some good will with Google in the last year and you don’t want to tear down all the progress you’ve made for a new design.
How do you change your Squarespace template without ruining your search rankings?
Does your template affect SEO?
The good news - Google feeds off of the actual text content on your site and not the visuals. When Google crawls your site, it’s not looking at brand colors or how you’ve laid out your images.
That means you can make almost any design changes to your site without impacting SEO as long as the text content on your site stays the same.
What’s the caveat?
Some Squarespace templates are better for SEO than others.
Choose the best Squarespace template for SEO
When choosing a new template, look at the design of the homepage.
Are there at least 500+ words of demo content on the page?
If not, can you make any customizations that would allow for more text content?
Google LOVES text. That’s the #1 indicator to Google what your site is all about and without text, you are leaving Google with little to analyze.
If your site content doesn’t plainly state who you are and what you do (and most importantly where you are located), you’re leaving it up to Google to guess and Google doesn’t like guessing.
That’s going to hurt your chances of showing up in search results.
Also think about all the features you need in a new website design. Check out the template comparison chart and make sure that whatever template you choose has the features you want.
There’s nothing worse than choosing a new template, building out your site and then realizing that the blog layout doesn’t work for you.
Start with your end goal for a new site and work backwards to find a template that fits your needs.
How to switch Squarespace templates?
Once you’ve chosen the perfect template, you can install that template and “preview” it on your existing site.
Go to DESIGN > TEMPLATE
in your Squarespace dashboard and choose “Install New Template.”
Find the template you want to install and choose “Start with [template name]”
Once the template is installed, you can preview the template. This lets you make changes to the template styles without disrupting your live site.
Keep in mind, you may see new “demo” pages in your main navigation. You can delete these or add them to your “Not Linked” navigation section for now.
Here is a list of what’s affected by the template change when you’re previewing a new template.
The items on the left are customizable on the template in preview mode and won’t affect your live site. The items on the right will update on both the previewed template and your live site.
Make the changes and when you’re ready, switch your new template live!
Improve your SEO overtime.
Use this new visual change to improve your SEO. If you’re redesigning your site, design with SEO in mind.
Think of ways you can creatively add new text to pages. Are you using headers effectively?
What kind of questions would your site visitors have when they land on your homepage? How can you answer those questions?
Add content that tells Google what your site is about. Your potential customers will appreciate the content you’ve added.