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  1. Hello Mak! The code that is injected is fine and isn't overriding the page titles/meta descriptions. That code is called structured markup (or schema) that helps search engines understand specific things, in this case, information about your business. I did a quick scan of your site and actually the site is set-up and displaying the page title and meta descriptions as you want them. However, what you are seeing is the new way that Google works. They are using artificial intelligence now to re-write page titles and meta descriptions based on what they think the searcher is looking for, rather than what you want them to see. And yes, this is super frustrating when you have a specific way you want it to look and read. So it's nothing you're doing wrong, it's just how Google is now doing things and at the moment there doesn't appear to be many ways around this. Edited for punctuation.
  2. Hello! The home page SEO settings are a bit different from the other pages, for whatever reason. It uses the site settings for page title and meta description. This page has some more info: https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/206016198 Just scroll down to the subheading, "Add an SEO site description". That being said, Google also ignores your site's meta description a lot of the time β€”like 70% of the time. (SOURCE) It can be very annoying when they get it wrong. For a photography site like yours, where your home page is made up of just photos displaying your work, Google might use the first text it comes across which might be in your footer. the only suggestion I can offer is to add some text to the top of the page but of course there's an aesthetic/design tradeoff too. Hope that helps!
  3. Yeah, you do have a few options here. This page outlines them pretty well: https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/360022347072-Hiding-pages-from-search-engine-results The easiest option is to flip the switch on the SEO settings tab of the page to tell it to not be indexed. This option is below the fold on the pop-up screen which is kinda annoying and may be why you didn't see it. The other option is to index some code into the page like this: <meta name="robots" content="noindex"> Hopefully the SEMrush crawler will obey these directives despite what the robots.txt file says. The code injection option often confuses Google Search Console because the page still appears in the automated sitemap.xml file but you're also telling them to not index it β€” so it'll keep sending you warnings.
  4. Hello! You do have a few options when it comes to form submissions. This article spells them out better than I can: https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/205814638-Managing-form-and-newsletter-storage Essentially your options are β€” (1) have it email someone the contents of the form submission; (2) have it save to a spreadsheet on a Google Drive; (3) integrate with a Mailchimp list; (4) utilize a Zapier integration; (5) embed a form from a third-party, like HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, Typeform, Mailchimp, etc.
  5. Hello! I did a quick technical scan of your site and while there are some SEO things that could be addressed, there were no glaring issues keeping you from being ranked. I did a Google search for site:stlouiscandleco.com which tells us that Google has indexed 9 pages of your site, which is a bit low for the 48 pages that you have on the site. I agree it is odd to not be found at the top of page 1 with your exact company name. Looks like it is currently ranking #36. If you put the name in quotes, like this "St Louis Candle Co", then that tells Google to search for that exact name and it does show up there. I suspect it is mostly because the site is new and Google is still understanding your site and how it will fit into their index. So much of Google search is machine learning that until they get enough data on your site, they aren't sure how to rank it. Do you have a Google Search Console account? If not, I would suggest setting that up and that will tell you how Google views your site from a search perspective. SEO takes time, unfortunately. I typically tell my clients that it takes 6 months at the earliest and 18 months at the worst case. The best thing you can do is create really valuable content and keep publishing it on your website. Not sure if I've been helpful here but if you have any other SEO questions, please let me know!
  6. It's definitely frustrating when a page of your website doesn't appear when you think it should. Google is looking at hundreds of factors when they decide what to rank things. Likely they have decided that the search intent of that search is to learn more about your event and at the time, the about page was a better answer to that question than the home page. It's also possible you have a few more external links pointing to your about page for some reason and it's causing that page to be a little more powerful than normal. I agree with @ArtByPino that the best thing you can do right now is to ask Google to reindex your home page so they see your updates a little sooner. If you are continually adding new (and useful) content and building up the site in general, these things tend to sort themselves out. It just takes some time.
  7. Hello! I'm seeing that your XML file is working now. Are you seeing the same thing on your end? I have nothing but anecdotal evidence to support this, but I believe that Squarespace's XML files are not generated dynamically. At best they only updates XML files daily. So I suspect that this is why Squarespace was telling you that you just needed to wait. But it's good that you checked this as I discovered there was an issue a few months ago where the XML was not regenerating properly and they opened a ticket and fixed a few things.
  8. Hello! This should be an easy fix. Go to Design > Logo and Title I believe the first field there is "Site Title" and this is where it is pulling from. I'm guessing you are using Squarespace 7.1? I have a couple of clients using it and there must be a bug where occasionally this field decides to erase itself. Keep an eye on this as you make changes to the site as this will likely happen again.
  9. Someone did a very recent study and Google only uses your site's meta descriptions about 30% of the time. Its kinda crazy. So the other 70% of the time they use copy from your page and build their own meta description based on the user's query and anything else that they feel is relevant. So in your case, they ignored your custom meta description and grabbed the only text on your home page and then the filenames of your images as what they displayed. I believe you can solve this pretty easily by adding some text to the home page that explains your product. Target 200+ words. Also rename your images to something a bit more descriptive, just in case they continue to do the same thing for awhile. After you make your changes, use Google Search Console to ask them to re-index your page. I had a client who had the same thing happen and it too 6 weeks or so before they displayed something that was better – so you might have to be patient! Hope that helps!
  10. Even if the content is exactly the same from the old site to the new site, moving from one platform to another will always generate a small decline (10 to 15% are rough estimates) in SEO and traffic performance for a month or so. Best way I can describe it is that Google sees the code changes on each page and takes a short step back to reassess everything. It usually only temporary and if the benefits to moving off Weebly to Squarespace are big enough then its usually worth it.
  11. Hello! Not sure if I'm among the "smart people" but I'll chime in since I primarily do SEO work for photographers on Squarespace. πŸ™‚ I did a scan for "Steve Marais" and "Steve Marais photographer" on Google US, Google Germany, a localized search from Berlin, and Switzerland and indeed I am not seeing it anywhere other than "Steve Marais photographer" on page 3 for the Berlin localized search. A Google search for your domain name does put you at #1 which at least means we have something to work with. I do enough SEO on Squarespace to know that sites can rank as long as you have enough content. Your site does have a beautiful simplicity β€” that unfortunately makes SEO harder. If only Google could translate art into text for us! These would be my suggestions: Optimize the three pages you have a little more by customizing the page title, meta description, and image ALT text. Looks like the page titles are defaults and only the home page has a meta description. Writing custom ALT text for each picture in your galleries might help if you add your name into some of them as the photographer. If you don't mind compromising the "About/bio" page a bit more, I would add some more text in that page that expands on your services and professional expertise. I've also found that sometimes Google mis-categorizes photographer websites if the home page is only a gallery of pictures. I suspect they put you into a category as an image-centric site and not a professional photographer who is offering services. So as hard as it might be to , I would look to add some kind of text to the home page that at least says something like, "Steve Marias β€” Professional Photographer" or "Steve Marias β€” Lifestyle & Fashion Photographer" somewhere. Your backlink profile is good. You have a decent number of links and different domains. I don't think that's the issue here, although I see some links pointing to a page that no longer exists on the current site. So you may want to do a 301 redirect of https://www.stevemarais.com/everyday-people/ to your home page. Instructions >> https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/205815308-URL-redirects You have some fantastic PDFs available and those have some text in them. Again, I know I'm recommending things that aren't adding to the simplicity, but having that content on pages would certainly help. I noticed too you have a great Tumblr feed that gets updated regularly. I might suggest doing the same thing on the website. I know it's not as easy as Tumblr probably is for you, but having regularly updated content on your own branded property will likely help too I think it just boils down to the fact that simplifying the site so much probably doesn't give Google enough information to index and use your site as a search result. I'd try a few of the things above and let us know how it works for you!
  12. I have a client who has been having a sitelinks issues so your post caught my attention. You are correct that there are almost no controls anymore over what Google displays in sitelinks. We used to be able to at least ask to remove something if we didn't want it there, but even that was removed a few years ago. So, Google tries its best to determine what the most important links are on your site. And in your example, they recognized that the main navigation links, which are front and center, were the most important. I don't know that i would add a link in there and hide it and try to recenter everything. In general Google really frowns on hidden text that is only seen by search engines and they are basically spidering sites as a user would see them these days, so it might not even help. I can offer 2 suggestions. (1) Put the a second shop link in the center navigation. I know it might drive you crazy and ruin some aesthetics but at the same time if it is that important and it does the job, then it might be worth it. (2) Add another shop link to the footer of each page in an effort to show google through internal links that the shop page is important to you. Sorry I don't have a better answer!
  13. I can't verify for sure that the two are connected, as there was a big Google core update earlier this month that has caused a lot of changes. However, I can provide some guidance on how to resolve #1 and then you can see if that has any benefits for you. So this is a common issue with Squarespace and they should provide a way in the admin to keep the built-in domain from being indexed. until then, follow the steps I've outlined here in this blog post and that will tell Google to remove your built-in domain from their index. https://modsquare.io/blog/remove-squarespace-domain-google-search-results It may take a few weeks for this to take effect but it's worth a try.
  14. I have no special insight into what Google is doing on their Chrome home page. The only thing I could think of why your name is truncated is that maybe they didn't like the hyphen in your name. I wish I had a more insightful answer, lol.
  15. This question intrigued me and I did a bit of research. Here's a quote from Google Search Console support site: Obviously Google's algorithm hasn't done a good job in your case, but I'd be wary of hiding pages from Google that you really don't want hidden. The last thing you want to happen is have them de-index anything important. I would just take a long-term approach and work on your internal linking, pointing more internal links to your higher-profile pages. Google will see what pages are more important to you and should follow along. If it helps, those sitelinks only display when Google is 100% sure that the query is looking for your website. So for most searches, where someone isn't aware of you yet, these odd sitelinks would not appear to them.
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