Because index pages are collections of pages, search engines and social media sites interact with them differently than other pages in Squarespace.
This guide is for version 7.0. Version 7.1 doesn't support index pages, but you can use portfolio pages for a similar effect.
Index pages and their sub-pages' appearance in search results may vary, but there are some things you can do to influence what appears.
Optimize your index for search engines
To help search engines see your index page and understand what it's about:
- Follow our general SEO best practices and include relevant keywords throughout the index page.
- Optimize your headings for search.
- Add an SEO description and Alternate Social Sharing Image to the main index page settings.
- Making an index your homepage may help search engines prioritize it above other pages on your site.
Optimize index sub-pages for search engines
Both the index and the direct link for its sub-pages may appear in search results depending on their content.
To hide sub-pages from search engines, you can add noindex tags to them. For example, you may want to hide sub-pages from search results to avoid these visitor experiences:
- Stacked indexes - When a visitor opens a link for a sub-page from search results, it takes them to a URL only for that sub-page instead of the full index landing page.
- Sub-pages with special formatting - Some templates' sub-pages include URL hashtags and special formatting. Search engines don't index these hashtag URLs, so visitors opening the pages from search results won't see the special formatting.
When sharing index pages on social media, you can:
- Share the index page itself
- Share a hotlink to a part of an index page
- Share the standalone page (direct URL) for an index's sub-page
For any of these options, use the URL that appears when you're logged out or in incognito mode. The URL that displays when you're logged in, which includes /config, doesn't work for sharing. To learn more, visit Sharing URLs from your site.
Share the whole index
To share the whole index page, use the URL for the index page.
- If your index is your homepage, use the main URL for your site with no slugs at the end.
- If your index isn't your homepage, ensure the slug for your index page is at the end, with no additional page slugs.
Share a page or section within an index
The best way to link directly to a sub-page in each template's index depends on your index type.
- Grid and slideshow - Open your site in Incognito mode and click through to the page you want to share. Copy that URL from the browser and share it. The page will open with the index formatting.
- Stacked - Set up an index anchor link and share that URL. The page will open scrolled to the section you linked to.
Note: In some cases, the preview that displays on social media will show the full index, not the sub-page. To preview the sub-page, use the direct URL.
Direct URLs take visitors to specific pages on your site. To share a page within the index as a standalone page, use the direct URL by removing everything except your domain name followed by the page's URL slug, like this: https://yoursite.com/page-slug.
- If the URL includes a #, remove the # from the URL before you share it.
- If your index page isn't set as your homepage, remove the index page slug from the URL.
For example, if your page URL looks like this in the index:
Use this version for sharing:
Note: The direct URL version of your page may display differently than the version within the index. For example, in the Avenue template, gallery pages stack vertically when opened from an index. At the direct URL, they'll display as a slideshow. To learn more about your template's index page, visit Index pages in version 7.0.