How To Build a Squarespace Website For Lead Generation in 4 Steps

 Building a Squarespace Website For Lead Generation

Designing A Squarespace Website For Lead Generation

You may have built a Squarespace website that has a fantastic portfolio but because you know your site could be a valuable tool in attracting new business you would like to take it further. The images look great, have captions and descriptions, you have a well written about page and people can reach you through a contact page form. So, what are the next steps?

Getting your Squarespace website online isn’t where it ends. Having a portfolio based website that generates leads and increased business, takes additional work. Why? Portfolio-based Squarespace websites tend to have less written content and the text on your site is what Google uses to determine where your site will rank on search engine results pages. Your website is a reflection of you and your firm and it should be updated to convey who and what you stand for and what separates you from your competition.

An architectural, landscape design, design-build or interior design or any construction or design website should be structured for content marketing. Content marketing is an educational form of writing that attracts customers to your business by giving them answers to questions they are researching online when seeking home design and construction services. The other option is irritating people with repetitive messaging by advertising. Think of the phrase “Wag more; bark less.” Content marketing is the wag. Outbound marketing is the bark. Consumers today expect access to helpful information. So, make it easy for them to get that information: wag at them.

Here are four essential components of an effective Squarespace website designed for lead generation. These web design tactics will attract potential clients to your site, increase your chances of selling home design services and encourage them to tell others about the work you do.

1) Search Engine Optimization for Your Squarespace Website

To get people to your site, you’ll need to use tools such as inbound backlinks, on-page SEO like title tags, sitemaps, and 301 redirects to prevent broken page links. While it might sound complicated, It's not overly complicated. Fundamentally the aim is simple: Give people as many avenues as possible to get to you.

Squarespace SEO and link building

Search engine optimization involves using keywords to improve the visibility of pages on your website on search engine's results pages or SERP's. Search engines try to provide the most helpful/accurate information possible based on the search terms used. The idea behind blogging and additional website pages is to create answers and provide information surrounding all aspects of the services you sell to be able to match the queries submitted by prospective clients. The more pages with information sought about your service on your website, the greater the chance your pages have of being offered by a search engine. The higher and more frequently you appear in a search, the more of the search engine's users are likely to head to your site.

Off-page SEO is all about is getting good websites with some clout to link back to you. Search engines value the number of inbound links you have, the quality of those links and the amount of traffic to your website as part of its determination of where you rank on page results.

Here are a few ways to build backlinks to your website:

  • Website Copywriting - Copy on your website should be well-written, of high quality and educational or entertaining. If people like what you post, they will want to share it with other people and they will want to return to your site for more.

  • Seek out opportunities to write guest posts on other blogs. Pick quality blogs and establish yourself as an expert. Include your website URL so people will link back to you.

  • Ask vendors for linkbacks - Look for opportunities to build links with other websites, but make sure they are quality, legitimate websites. Never beg for or buy links.

  • Use Exceptional Shareable Images - Include images in blog articles and share them on social media as "link bait."

On Page SEO - Formatting Your Squarespace Website Pages

On-page SEO is accomplished by putting keywords relevant to your business within the content of the page. The best results come from placing keywords in headlines, meta descriptions, sub-headlines, the body content, in your image tags and links. Moderation is the key to success. Do not exceed a 1.5% keyword insertion rate or risk the fate of being seen as a spam website and being blocked by search engines on results pages. Too few keywords and you will lose prospects because they won’t be able to find you. Follow these rules.

Put your primary keywords in your headline and sub-headline. These are the areas most important to the search engines.

Include keywords in content in context. Don’t try to senselessly pepper keywords throughout your copy.

Put keywords in your image title or the ALT tag, which, among other things allows blind readers to “see” the picture in the context of your content when using screen readers.

Write for your audience first and then optimize the article for search engines

Pick a primary keyword phrase for each page and then build a dedicated page around that word. Here are some examples of keyword phrases that will get you thinking about how to structure pages and what to write about.

  • How Interior Designers Choose Traditional Home Colors

  • Preparing for a Design-Build Remodeling Project

  • Architect Advice For an Addition to a Victorian Home

  • How Sasaki Inspired Modern Landscape Architecture

Title tags, Sitemaps and Broken Page Links

Search engines crawl meta tags to learn what a page is all about. Title Tags are the H1, H2 and H3 settings you use to format titles in the style editor section of your Squarespace website. A sitemap is an outline of all of the pages on your website. broken page links need to be fixed using 301 redirects or you will suffer a penalty from search engines. A meta description is the 156 characters of text that show up under your page title in search engine results.

Title Tags - Search engines crawl meta tags to learn what a page is all about. Meta Tags are the H1, H2 and H3 settings you use to format titles in the style editor section of your Squarespace website. If you're blogging, and you should be, we have an article on properly formatting your page using title tags. These best practices can be used on any page on your site.  Click here.

XML Sitemaps - Search engines have what are known as “web crawlers” or “spiders” and they do kind of what it sounds like: they crawl over a page looking for important bits of information to rank you in the search engine. A sitemap makes it easier for them - thus more beneficial to you - to make sense of it. A sitemap is a web file that lists all of your pages and when they were updated. It’s like a road map to your website for crawlers or spiders. Submitting your sitemap on Google Search Console is very important. Read this article on how to connect Google Search Console to your Squarespace website and submit your sitemap for crawling.

301 Redirects - Many of us have clicked on a link to end up with a 404 message “Page Not Found”. What has happened is that a page was moved, and the old link wasn’t set up to redirect people to the new page. Using the traffic metaphor again, it’s like a detour, without which your prospective clients may never find you. That’s lost traffic, lost opportunity and possibly lost revenue. Be sure to use 301 Redirects or risk having your reader leave your website. Click here to learn how to create 301 redirects on Squarespace.

Meta Descriptions - In Squarespace website vernacular a meta description is called a page description. They are used to entice people using search engines to click on your link. Think of them as both a description of what they will find by clicking through to your site and a call to action. 

2) Design Your Squarespace Website With The User In Mind

At the minimum, your website is your branded online business card. It is used to make a good first impression, after all, you only have one chance to make that first impression. People want to get immediately the sense that you and your site are credible, professional, stable and worthy of trust. You wouldn’t show up at a job interview in shorts, a tank top, and flip-flops; don’t have a sloppy, outdated and unprofessional website.

Here’s why that is important to you: People do pay attention to how your site looks. In fact, a Stanford University/Consumer Web Watch survey found that people perceived a site’s design to be more important to a company’s credibility than awards, privacy policies, and certifications.

When it comes to the design of your site, think of enticing people, not annoying them. Loud, colorful animations and all the colors of the rainbow won’t make people want to stay on your page; quite the opposite. Here are four things to keep in mind when designing your site:

Don’t put anything on your site that doesn’t belong there. Stay away from cute animations and background music. People won’t be able to focus on your message if you throw everything on the page that you can find. Remember: In this case, less is more.

Choose colors wisely. While you have a huge palette of colors available to you, don’t try to use them all. Use two to four colors at most for templates and marketing materials.

Be consistent. Find a look and stick with it so there is a natural flow from page to page. Don’t use one style on your homepage, another on the “About Us” page and yet another on your products page. Fonts, colors, and navigation should be consistent on each page. This is easier on the website visitor and conveys your brand in a consistent and professional way. luckily, Squarespace websites have "guard rails" that keep you from overdoing the design of your website.

Pick images carefully. Photos of real people are more effective than irrelevant stock photos with fake people, according to a study by Marketing Experiments. So put relevant, meaningful images on your site that convey a positive and sincere message to people.

Create an Easy To Understand Navigation

Few things are more frustrating than pages that are difficult to navigate: you can’t find links, you don’t know where to go, and the information is hard to find. Good navigation supports all search preferences, makes information easy to access and prevents people from having to think too much about getting from page to page. There are plenty of other businesses to visit on the Internet - if you make things too complicated, people will simply go somewhere else, and you’ve lost an opportunity.

These navigation elements are crucial for your Squarespace website:

  • Simple page navigation and use navigation in the footer of your site.

  • Create links or "breadcrumbs" so that users can keep track of their location on your site and make it easy for them to find their way back to where they started.

  • A search box should be on every page. On your blog page, you may want to limit the results to only show blog posts.

  • Keep navigation options simple.

  • Include links, buttons, and calls to action but be certain it is obvious where they go.

  • Finally, make sure anyone can see and use your site. Remember that people are using different browsers, smartphones, and tablets to access content. Your website must be built using responsive design.

Click here to see how to use the Squarespace website builder to create a multi-tier portfolio that has SEO as a priority.

3) Create Well-Written, Informative Content on Your Blogs and Website Pages

We’ve come to the most important part of your Squarespace website: Written content. Perhaps you’ve heard the (possibly too) oft-heard phrase, “Content is king”? It’s true: Content rules. Without great content, none of the rest is going to matter. If you get people to your site, but there’s nothing interesting for them there, they won’t stay, and they won’t come back. And you’ll have lost an opportunity.

Content is what both search engines and real people look for, so you should take some time to make sure you have something valuable for them to find.

Provide Clear Messaging and Start with a Long Tail Keyword

First, you’ll need a clear call to action - a way for people to respond to you - by filling out a form or pressing a button. “How to manage your debt - get started now,” “Sign up for our free newsletter,” or “Have us improve your web results - click here,” are all calls to action. Calls to action:

  • Make it clear as to what your focus is

  • Make it easier to measure results

  • Give your customer prospects clear direction

  • Calls to action are offered that will attract the different types of customer you are looking for to your website. Limit how many calls to action you have: keep it as simple as possible so people won’t have to think too much about what they’re doing.

Ensure Your Written Content is Easy To Understand and Avoid Insider Language

Keep the message of your content clear. Content should answer the following questions for consumers:

  • What does your company do?

  • What page am I on and what is it about?

  • What do I do next?

  • Why should I click on or buy or download anything from you rather than somebody else?

  • Make it clear on your pages what you are selling and what visitors should do next. And offer them a bright and attractive value proposition - what will they receive of worth by further engaging with your company? Use headlines and sub-headlines on important pages to get your point across.

There are tools available, such as HubSpot's A/B testing, to test the strength of your content. A/B testing will help you find ways to tweak your web pages to maximize potential customers’ interest.

Educate and Provide Value to Readers

You want to provide information about your product, but you have to remember it’s not all about you. Think about your customers. They want to know what’s in it for them: how are you going to solve their problems? After all, that’s what marketing is all about: solving customers’ problems. They have a need, and you have a product to take care of that need.

But today’s customers want to be in control of what they buy. Don’t tell them; show them. Educate them by providing unique content in the form of white papers, videos, eBooks and how to’s. Talk to them as if you are talking one-on-one. The two of you are working together on this. Once they decide to buy, they will feel they are making an informed decision - all thanks to you!

When creating content, don’t try to get tricky. Avoid the use of jargon of your profession; sound like a human. Professional, but human. The following are terms you should avoid using if you want to keep prospects attention:

  • Next generation

  • Flexible

  • Robust

  • Scalable

  • Easy to use

  • Cutting edge

  • Groundbreaking

  • Be clear, forthright and easy to understand and you will build trust. Being slick will have just the opposite effect.

Write a Blog Article Every Week

If the written content is the most important part of your site, blogging may be the most important part of your content strategy. This is especially true if your website is primarily built as a portfolio with images of your work. Here’s why:

Blog articles provide linkable content for developing backlinks.
Each published blog article is considered a web page.
As more articles are published, the website ranks higher in searches.
Each blog article has different keywords that can be highlighted. This improves the chances of showing up in a search.
Still not convinced? Here are some statistics from HubSpot:

  • 57 percent of businesses acquired customers through their blog

  • Companies that blog have 55 percent more customers

  • B2C companies that blog generate 88 percent more leads

  • Companies that blog have 97 percent more inbound links

  • It’s important to note that it’s not enough to have a blog and occasionally post to it. HubSpot found that businesses that blog 20 times a month get five times more business than companies that blog four times a month. Blogging is a commitment. Don’t worry if you’re not a writer, there are tools and services that can help you out without breaking the bank.

Other Content Considerations

Blogging is important, but content consists of more than just words: other forms of content include pictures, video, audio, online utility tools, and games. Having a right mix of these different types of content provides what is called a “content-rich” experience for your customers.

Other content to think about includes case studies about your product or service and giving people the ability to review what you do.

And don’t forget about the old-fashioned testimonial. People like to hear from other people about their experiences with your company. Post short, powerful testimonials with real customers’ stories that show potential customers the people who are pleased with your product or service. Do not forget to use alt tags on your images. Alt tags or alternative tags provide another opportunity to get keywords on your site and they are used by the visually impaired to know what the image is depicting. If you're intentionally not using alt tags, shame on you. Click here to learn how to create alternative tags for images on a Squarespace website.

4) Converting Prospects To Leads

Let’s go back to the Call to Action. The CTA gives you a tool to convert a prospect into a lead by having visitors give you the information you can act on.

Include a Visually Strong Call To Action

Where you put a call to action and how you display it can make all the difference in conversion rate. CTAs should be highly visible and above the fold of the page. They should catch your eye but be consistent with the page design.

A CTA should include a button or hover effect that looks so attractive people will want to click on it. Pay attention to the colors you use: experiment with different colors to see what works best.

Create Landing Pages with an Offer People Want

When a potential customer has clicked on your CTA offer they should be taken to a landing page. A landing page is where you convert prospects into leads by having them complete a form in exchange for an offer or provide information about themselves. Things that should be on a landing page include:

  • A headline and possibly a sub-headline

  • A short description of the CTA offer

  • At least one related image

  • A form

  • Little else should be there. You want the prospect to take action without distracting them with anything else. And having them take action is the entire reason you want them to be on that page.

Landing Page tips:

  • Keep the page simple

  • Don’t use your homepage as a landing page

  • Remove main site navigation from the page so prospects don’t wander

  • Make the offer clear and irresistible

  • Use a form that collects only the information you need. Each new field makes more work for the prospective client. You want to make it easy for them.

  • One other way to collect some information about prospects is by offering a newsletter. Not only will it help you to continue to educate and inform people, but it will also give you email addresses for prospects interested in what you have to offer and help you nurture a relationship that will end in a sale.

So there you have it. Four simple must-have elements for a killer website. Some 40% of companies still don’t have a website, so think of how far ahead you will be by having one. And you’ll be even further ahead by making a commitment to doing it right. By doing it right, you’ll create opportunities and have the ability to make the most of those opportunities.

Additional Articles On Lead Generation And Blogging On Squarespace

About Means-of-Production

Click here to learn more and see a client list. Means-of-Production works for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. You can see our portfolio of websites by clicking here. Contact me for a free-of-charge website review. I’ll send you a 15-minute video and a list of actionable improvements and SEO reports. Thanks.