I hear the questions all the time:
- I’m trying to choose between WordPress and Squarespace for SEO, which is better?
- I want my site to rank well on Google, so I should build on WordPress, right?
- I just built my site on Squarespace, but now I want to get found; can you help me move it over to WordPress?
- Yoast only makes a WordPress plug-in so I guess Squarespace isn’t a good option for SEO.
I’ve written before about the differences between WordPress & Squarespace, and which platform is a good fit for you based on your needs.
My site is on WordPress & I’ve built countless client sites on WordPress, so you probably think I’m going to tell you that it’s the best solution … but I’m not going to offer you the WordPress Koolaid.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there about WordPress being the best for SEO. But it’s not that simple.
Why people like WordPress for SEO
The reason people tend to prefer WordPress is thanks in huge part to a popular plug-in, called Yoast SEO, which reminds users about on-page SEO best practices (like choosing one keyword per page, including it in specific locations throughout the content, encouraging a long word count and recommending relevant links). Every time you complete one of these tasks, you get a little green light saying that you’re doing a great job. Those same tactics can still easily be implemented on other platforms, but you just don’t get a dopamine hit from green lights.
The platform you choose will not give you a huge SEO benefit. What matter is how you implement SEO best practices.
Here are the top SEO technical factors that impact your page authority:
- Your site loads quickly (3 seconds or less is best)
- Your site is secure (has an SSL certificate)
- Your site is mobile responsive
If you can check off those boxes (fast, secure, mobile responsive), Google doesn’t really care what platform you’re using.
Not sure what all that means? Here’s a secret:
All Squarespace templates are mobile-responsive. All Squarespace accounts come with a secure SSL certificate. All Squarespace sites load relatively quickly.
Squarespace sites tend to perform better out of the box than WP, because the SEO-friendly performance practices are built into their platform.
That’s why I recommend you choose Squarespace for SEO.
And if you already have a WordPress website that doesn’t meet those criteria? Put away those packing boxes, you don’t need to move! Here are some adjustments you can consider:
- If your WordPress site isn’t fast, decrease your image size &/or upgrade your hosting so that your site loads faster
- If your WordPress site isn’t secure, upgrade your hosting to include an SSL certificate
- If your WordPress site isn’t mobile-friendly, change your theme
But remember: The platform you choose has NO IMPACT on the quality of the content you produce.
If you have huge image files, minimal text, unconvincing page titles, and weak keywords … no amount of tweaking your platform will solve that problem. (“Tweaking your platform” sounds like a dance move. One that I am not flexible enough to even try.)
So stop about the tech specs of where you’re hosting your website.
Focus instead on choosing relevant keywords that align with your audience’s interests.
Or to put it succinctly: Create good content, consistently, that gets shared, and promote it.
And, of course, follow the standard SEO best practices and try to target specific keywords on each page.
As long as your content answers the questions that people are searching, Google will send traffic to you.