Here at Basic Blog Tips, most of our blogging articles are focused on WordPress, but today we turn our attention to the topic of Squarespace.
Squarespace offers a wealth of tools for building your blog or website. It was designed from the ground up with the intention of having features that other website builders lacked. In 2010, TechCrunch offered an interesting perspective on Squarespace, including the discussion of these intentions and how Squarespace meets (and exceeds) them.
Moving forward to today, things have only gotten better with time.
Squarespace is a wonderful addition to the Internet space. The only real problem is that few people know how to fully implement Squarespace and utilize its vast array of advantages. Through no fault of their own, these people fall short of leveraging the amazing potential that Squarespace has to offer in creating a viral blog experience.
Fortunately, we can research the best way to utilize the advantages that Squarespace presents and use them to the fullest. In that endeavor, let's examine three tips that can get you started on that path. These are three tips that you can utilize to make your Squarespace blog or website start buzzing from all the viral sharing of your content across the Internet.
These tips may seem like “common sense” that would apply to any site, but that is the beauty of it. Sometimes, we simply need to go back to basics, roll up our sleeves, and get down to business. So, are you ready? Let’s get your Squarespace going viral.
Tip 1: Cater to Your Traffic
The first thing you should do is examine what your current visitors already love. This will help you to determine what content has the best potential for going viral, and going viral quickly. After all, for something to be classified as “popular content,” it needs to have shares. So, that is our first goal, to get people sharing.
Now that we have determined that we want to cater to our audience, we need to figure out what it is that our audience likes. In reality, we want to find what our audience loves.
The best way to accomplish this is to use Squarespace's built-in statistics, called “Metrics.” Another way to analyze what our visitors love is to add Google Analytics to your Squarespace site.
It may take a few days for data to accrue, so continue to add content to your Squarespace while you are waiting for that data accrual. You may find that you've created something popular by mistake. That isn’t uncommon. In fact, many times, I have found what my audience loves in just that manner — examining the statistics. In some cases, content that I felt was “filler material” turned out to be the most popular content on the site.
Not so sure how to use Google Analytics or Squarespace’s built-in analytics? We have the answer for you. Here are some resources to help you in that endeavor: Rather than giving you just one article, let’s look at a Pinterest board that is full of helpful articles, put together by Ms. Ileane Smith herself, about understanding Google Analytics.
Do you want to understand Squarespace’s Metrics? Here is a tutorial from Squarespace: Using Squarespace Metrics. Elle & Company Design also shared their take on using Squarespace’s Metrics in their article, “A Look Inside Squarespace Metrics” And, finally, after you have reviewed all of the articles on Google Analytics and Squarespace, check out this article, “Adding Google Analytics to a Squarespace 7 website.”
After you have familiarized yourself with the analytics, whether it is the Squarespace Metrics or Google Analytics (or both), it is time to peruse the data that has been accumulated.
When the data is ready for you to read, look through the keywords that your visitors are using. This is your way of finding out what your visitors are using to reach your most popular content. You should look for “groups” and “themes” when reading through the keywords. Check to see where you have a pattern. By doing this, you can ascertain what content is the most appealing to your visitors.
Once you have an idea or theme that is popular, you need only to put the right spin on it. This can help you create amazing content that will rapidly spread. This process will help you to build out your editorial calendar when it comes to your Squarespace content.
Be sure to jot down the popular themes that you have identified. When you are planning content, refer to your list and find content that fits within those themes, since they have already proven to be popular with your visitors/readers.
Don’t let these themes be too limiting. While creating content that appeals to your visitors, continue to review your analytics and metrics to ensure that you are identifying any new themes that are emerging. By doing this, you are keeping a finger on the pulse of what your visitors look for when they visit your site. This is a direct route to success in creating shareable content that has the opportunity (and likelihood) to go viral.
Tip 2: Make It Shareable
Another key feature that Squarespace provides is the ability to share media and content on your website. You don't have to perform any complicated steps, nor do you need to install plug-ins like you do with other platforms.
To make your content shareable, you simply need to “enable share buttons” on your Squarespace site. The share buttons can be turned on or turned off. By checking the box for the specific social network (i.e. Facebook), the coding for the sharing button will be enabled within the template. The settings are found on the left side of your Squarespace: Home > Settings > Marketing > Share Buttons.
Making your content shareable is only one part of the equation. You also need to post content that users want to share with other people. We already talked about providing and producing content that your audience wants (Tip 1). Now we are taking it a bit further and ensuring that there are shareable components within those content pieces.
It is one thing to draw your audience in and to have them like your content, but it helps if there is something that is appealing that they can share, to draw others in to view your Squarespace site.
This means you should focus on sharing images, quotes, statistics, and other content that users will find interesting. Content that is easier to digest or is more surprising will be shared more often.
Remember, the article in its entirety may be interesting, but include those bite-sized components that people can share to attract additional viewers/visitors. That is why we say images, quotes, click-to-tweets, etc. are easier to share. Then, those little morsels will draw them back for the full article.
Keep this last fact in mind, as it establishes a strong foundation for viral content. When you understand the concept of providing appealing, shareable components, this will help you in blogging, social media marketing, and beyond.
Tip 3: Be Controversial and/or Informative
The world is full of controversial topics that people love to read. I have to admit, sometimes when I’m viewing something else or reading an article, and some tempting headline pops up on the screen, I want to switch to that article. That is why those controversial topics are effective in grabbing attention.
But, what if “controversial” is not your thing? That’s ok. The key is to be engaging and appealing. You have other options besides controversial content. Or, you may want to do a 90/10 approach with only 10 percent of your content being controversial. And, that 90/10 or 80/20 can apply to any combination of content types.
In some ways, the Web is lacking when it comes to informative posts. Maybe you want to provide your readers with very informative, detailed, or how-to type content. Even with informative posts, you can switch it up a bit.
Don’t feel like you can pull it off daily? That’s ok. Aim for once a week with that really appealing content piece and fill in the other days with lighter “fluff” that is still appealing. Maybe you are starting with a 20/80 (20 percent engaging; 80 percent fluff), but you can work your way toward the 80/20. No one says you have to be perfect right out of the starting gate; you are finding your groove and learning what works for your Squarespace audience. (Don’t forget to refer to Tip 1 and review those Squarespace Metrics, to see what is popular with your audience.)
If you can cater to one or both of these needs (i.e. controversial or informative), then you'll find your blog will be swimming in visitors.
Putting It All Together
The trick to making controversial or informative posts into must-reads is how you deliver them. You should use a catchy title that may appear to go against something established. You can then delve into the details after luring your visitors to your site and into your post.
“Smoking Cigarettes — Could It Be Good for Your Health?” is an example of a headline that could explain the obvious, then elaborate upon how alternatives like e-cigarettes may be a healthier alternative to smoking. The headline draws people in because it is so contradictory to what is expected.
Keep your posts fresh, and always support new information with sources. This will make your posts trustworthy and viral.
And, finally, spice it up with some visuals. Use Canva to create images that cater to your content. When you find something that grabs your audience, you can duplicate the image in Canva and spawn off a new, equally viral, version.
We have just scratched the surface on how to make your Squarespace blog or site shareable and viral. Now, it is time to get out there and do it. The more you practice these basic tips, the more your skill set will evolve and the more likely it is that you will succeed and grow in that success!