5 ways to make your Squarespace website work for you behind the scenes

In this week’s guest post, specialist Squarespace trainer Kerstin Martin provides her insight into methods that you can apply behind the scenes to make the CMS work more efficiently.

 

My Squarespace website is my business hub, it not only hosts my website, my blog and my eCourses, it’s also where I manage all my products and sales, my statistics and my email marketing.

I truly love the ease and consistency of having it all in one place.

Today I wanted to share some of the behind-the-scenes processes and pages I use on my website that help me be more effective and productive, as well as support my SEO because they potentially keep my site visitors engaged for longer.


1. ABANDONED CART SURVEY

I upgraded to the Advanced Commerce plan because I wanted to try out the abandoned cart feature. So worth it! I’ve recovered way more sales because of it than it cost me to upgrade. Then I decided to take this a step further by including a link to a survey with the abandoned cart email. This link takes people to a page on my website where I use a simple form to ask a couple questions about their reasons for not completing the purchase. As a reward for taking the time to complete the survey, they are entered into a draw and once a month one person wins a free course! I’ve been doing this for the last three months and it’s so gratifying to see someone’s joy when they win. Doing this has two benefits:

  • I gain valuable market data about the reasons why people don’t complete their purchases and can fine-tune my offerings accordingly. For instance, price is one the most common reason given and even though my courses are exceptional value for what you get (I’m often told that I over-deliver and under charge) and generally priced at the lower end of the spectrum of Squarespace courses, it still is a lot of money for some people, and the survey results confirm that. Based on this data I decided to run my 30% October sale again this year, so to give more people the chance to take my classes.

  • It creates a connection between my business and a potential customer. Building a successful business is all about relationships and trust. Sending the abandoned cart email keeps the connection alive for a little longer while making it easy for potential customers to complete their purchase if they wish to do so. Offering the chance to win a free course adds an additional layer to this connection as the customer now trusts me with their name and email address. And of course, I love making someone happy each month when they win a free course!


2. NEWSLETTER SIGN UP PAGE

Sign-up boxes throughout your website are great but I also highly recommend to have a dedicated page for your newsletter. Here you can use visuals such as photos or a video, as well as provide more information on what potential subscribers can expect. I link to this page via my footer and from my Facebook page, and also email it to anyone who asks “Where can I sign up to your Studio Notes?”


3. THANK YOU PAGE

Once someone has subscribed to your newsletter redirect them to a thank you page. In my case this is actually a page reminding subscribers to please check their inbox and to confirm their subscription (I use double opt-in for my newsletter to be GDPR compliant). But I also thank them for signing up and I offer a couple of links to explore other parts of my website or services. Keeping visitors a little longer on your website is also great for your SEO!

Adding this redirect URL is easy within the Squarespace newsletter block:

Squarespace-newsletter-block
 

4. INSTAGRAM LINKS PAGE

What do people see when they click on the (one and only!) link in your Instagram profile? Many Instagrammers use 3rd party tools like Linktree but you don’t actually need that. You can create something very similar right here on your own website! This has a few advantages such as brand compliance, easy to implement, free and you can include any of Squarespace’s features such as the newsletter block.

There are two way of doing this:

  1. Use a cover page

  2. Create a regular page and remove the header and footer

Cover Page

I really like the cover page method as that is easy to set up and looks great. One thing to note here is that when you use the newsletter block on the cover page you cannot customize the form title, it will always say “Newsletter Form.” Which is why I use a regular page right now because I am using the newsletter block for sign-ups to a special project that has nothing to do with the newsletter, so this form is misleading on the cover page. But if you are using it for newsletter subscriptions then this is a good solution!

Regular Page

Instructions for setting this up:

instagram-squarespace
  1. Create a new page in the Not-Linked section. Call the URL something like /instagram or /links or /start-here.

  2. Add your links. Either use straighforward links or the Squarespace buttons. I do the latter. You can even get creative here and for instance use a large button at the top to stand out and medium buttons for the rest. I also made the buttons the same width, here is the code:

    /* Small Button Styling */
    .sqs-block-button-element--small {
      width: 80% !important;
    }
    
    /* Medium Button Styling */
    .sqs-block-button-element--medium {
      width: 80% !important;
    }
    
    /* Large Button Styling */
    .sqs-block-button-element--large {
      width: 80% !important;
    }
      
  3. Remove the header and footer of your page. Here is the code for templates from the Bedford and Brine families. Replace the collection ID with your own page ID.

    Brine

    /* Hide Header and Footer on Instagram Page */
    #collection-ID .Header, #collection-ID .Footer {
      display: none !important;
    }

    Bedford

    /* Hide Header and Footer on Instagram Page */
    #collection-ID Header, #collection-ID .pre-footer-inner, #collection-ID #footer {
      display: none !important;
    }
      
  4. Add a newsletter sign-up block! That’s right, you can get people to subscribe to your newsletter right there and then, without needing to direct them to another page on your website (even though we now have a fantastic page for that!).

  5. Add a photo. That’s what I did before I added the newsletter block instead. Just makes it look pretty.


5. CUSTOMIZED 404 PAGE

Did you know that you can customize your 404 page in Squarespace? The 404 page is triggered when someone enters a URL on your website that does not exist, this usually happens when they try to acess a page that’s been deleted or where the URL has been changed, or they mistyped the URL. Adding your own 404 page is easy, simply create a new page with the slug /404 and connect it via > Design > Not Found / 404 Page.

Having a customized 404 page has a few advantages:

  • It looks nicer! Rather than displaying the standard boring 404 message you can style it and make this page more engaging so that people don ‘t immediately leave it.

  • You can add links to other pages. This way you are not stranding your site visitor with nowhere to go and keep them on your site for longer which is always great for your SEO.

  • Add a search box. This encourages your site visitor to keep searching for the content they were looking for.

  • Add a form where the site visitor can add the broken URL. This way you are made aware of it and can either fix any issues or implement a 301 redirect from that broken URL, so when someone uses it again they are redirected to an actual page on your website


6. BONUS: FAQ PAGE

ask-kerstin

I call this bonus but this could actually be the most important page on your website!

As anyone knows who manages a growing online business, email is the savior and bain of our existence. I don’t know about you but I used to get pretty inundanted with daily email inquiries and eventually I realized that I need to do something to manage this more effectively and without keeping people waiting for days, and sometimes even weeks, before I was able to reply.

I link to my FAQ page from my auto-responder email as well as my contact page and my footer. Doing this has significantly cut down email inquiries but also increased my eCourse sales! Which was a nice side effect I did not expect! I guess it makes sense because now people who have questions about my courses can get the answers quickly without having to wait for my reply, hence they are able to make their decision to purchase there and then.


View Kerstin’s latest Squarespace courses via the button below and don’t forget to join PixelHaze Academy to claim your unique discount!