WordPress is a popular and highly useful tool for bringing websites and blogs to life. When it comes to these websites and blogs, all experienced digital marketers should know how to apply the certain tasks that go into optimizing them. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) should be at the top of your list when launching a website. Afterall, what’s the sense of having a beautiful and functional website if nobody can find it? There is no question that it’s important for your site to be visually pleasing, but your website also needs to be easily found by the search engines, and it all starts with proper SEO. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds. WordPress is one of the best platforms for SEO. If your website or blog was created with WordPress, you should most certainly be using these tips!
Content and Content Management
It’s been said time and time again, content is king, especially in 2016. Content is important all-around, but WordPress is by far the best for content management because of all features offered. WordPress allows multiple users to create content easily while your website remains functional and maintainable. Providing updated and well-researched content is a great way to begin your SEO campaign.
While adding regular content to your WordPress website or blog is important, remember that it must be quality content. Google hates bad content: duplicate content either from your own site, or even worse from someone else’s; content that is fluff meant to fill space or content that is overrun with useless, spammy or irrelevant backlinks will hurt you more than help undoubtedly. The best way to combat that is to write for your readers, not for a search engine. That’s not to say you shouldn’t research your topic or find keywords and phrases that are well searched. Just use that information to better reach your readers–and Google will take notice. Even better so will your readers.
Bottom line: Produce great, unique and useful content with relevant focus and links. Reap the benefits from both Google and increased readership.
Along with quality, length is also important. In a relatively recent trend, search engines rank websites with more content higher so that users are provided with the most useful and informative search results. Just like search engines want to provide the best for the users, you should want to provide the best for your readers!
Don’t forget to format the content. Search engines take headings and subheadings into consideration. When formatting your web page or blog post, utilize H1 through H6. The H1 is used to inform the search engines of the importance of the topics on your page. Thanks to WordPress’ set up, the H1 is already there for you when you import the title. Don’t continue to use H1 in the body, your site can be penalized for using more than one H1. Using H1, H2, H3, and so on allows for a cleaner look and better readability. It also shows your content has a decent amount to offer and helps Google to prioritize what your content is about.
Only Use What is Visible to Search Engines
There are a number of formats that search engines can’t see, or more accurately, crawl. Flash is an example. Youtube and Vimeo are a better alternative for video, especially with the WordPress plugins that are available and easy to use.
By installing a video XML sitemap plugin, you can notify search engines that your post includes an embedded video and it gives the search engines a hint as to what your content displays. Content that also includes a useful video is even better, so make sure it’s known!
You can go one step further and Ping your sitemap. After installing the plugin and generating the sitemap, there will be an option to Ping. Doing this allows search engines to be notified that the website is still active and you have made changes or updates. Your website will be better indexed this way.
There are some areas of the appearance that can benefit SEO and there are various WordPress settings that can help. You should focus on themes, reading, permalinks, and social media sharing.
Numerous themes are offered on WordPress, but there are some that are more SEO friendly than others. An SEO friendly theme is one that is mobile responsive, light on code, user friendly, loads fast, customizable, and so on. Themes such as Seos Business are purposely created with SEO in mind. You can read the theme’s description to see what it includes.
The reading of your website is important. You’ll want readers to be able to see the whole piece of content on each page without having to click on something to read more. By going into settings and choosing reading, you can choose the full text option to make this happen.
The permalinks setting should not be overlooked. By going into settings and choosing permalinks, you’ll see the different options in which the URL will appear. The best choice for SEO purposes is post name because of its simplicity and its focus on what the page has to offer.
Social media sharing plugins can be easily placed on your page. This will make your page more likely to be shared on different social media accounts, allowing for further exposure. Just one click by a reader and it’s shared with other potential readers!
Titles and Meta Descriptions
Tiles and meta descriptions play a large role in SEO. You’ll want to install an SEO focused plugin, like Yoast. Then it’s time to optimize, optimize, optimize!
Starting with the title, you’ll want to choose one that relates to that web page or blog post. Let’s use this blog post for example. “SEO Tips for WordPress” could go right into the title bar. This will be what appears in the search results and it tells the search engines and readers what the blog post is all about. Since this blog post lives on Fourth Source, you’ll want to indicate that, just like you would want to put the name of your own business or blog. Your title should then read something like this: SEO Tips for WordPress | Fourth Source. It’s a clean and focused title.
The meta description pushes it even further. The meta description bar is usually located right under the title bar. This is where you take the time to describe the blog or web page in 160 words. Choosing your words wisely is the most important factor and you may even need the assistance of some keyword research.
I’ll continue to use this blog post as the example and ask myself what people would be searching if they were looking for some WordPress or SEO tips. You can then research by using tools like Google’s Keyword Planner. After finding out about what people are searching for, you can create a meta description that reads well. Don’t try to squeeze in every keyword, neither humans or search engines will find that useful.
When it comes to WordPress, there is a great deal that can be done to improve the SEO of a website or blog, and even more than I’ve discussed here. The tips given above are ones you should be implementing every time you create a new page or post. Next time you’re on your WordPress, remember all of these factors. Every little bit helps. You’re on your way to a better optimized WordPress website or blog!