Basic WordPress SEO

SEO Basics for WordPress

WordPress is hands down one of the best content management systems for SEO. A lot of people see spending the time required to get good search engine visibility as time wasted. Nothing could be further from the truth. Optimizing your site takes diligence and hard work, but it will definitely pay off. Using the tips offered in this article can help you optimize your WordPress site to gain more subscribers and improve your website. We think that good SEO should be an integral part of your online strategy. Checkout these WordPress plugins to help manage your SEO strategy.

Search engine web crawlers, also known as spiders, don’t spend a whole lot of time on your website. The web crawlers of today comb through your site and collect content, ignoring your meticulously placed CSS and HTML style elements. To begin with, it’s a good idea to pick a theme that places content at the top of the page. Most search engines will not scan past the first half of your page. There are just way too many pages to index and a third of a page is usually enough to get an idea of what a website is all about.

Write for Humans and Optimize for Search Engines

You need to makes sure your content is visible to the search engine yet readable for your target audience. Even if you have an amazing product, if it’s not visible then you are going to have trouble promoting it. This takes a bit of a balancing act to get things in order. No matter what your niche is, you want to have content that your readers will enjoy that will also be noticed by the crawlers. You want to anticipate what your audience will search for.

Think of keywords that you can use in your content but don’t stuff anything in that doesn’t sound natural. For example, if you are selling local honey, don’t just use keywords such as “local honey.” Try and be a bit more specific, such as “local honey from Modesto California.” This can help people in your area locate you easier. I’d try to use 5-10 keywords for every page of content that you have (500 words). This is based on Google’s recommendations.

Keep the Code Clean

Web crawlers will navigate your website through the backend. If your code is very clean then you already have a better chance at ranking higher. If your site has a collection of broken links and poorly written code the bots will not respond well at all. These bots hold no mercy and having poorly written or organized code will take its toll. Keep your CSS files and templates as clean as possible. Use external JavaScript and CSS since the web crawlers don’t pay attention to those anyways.

Content is King

SEO Content

This goes without saying but I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “content is king.” While it may be catchy, it’s pretty played out and quite annoying to those of us who have to hear it every day, yet still holds true. I like to say content is key to break up the monotony, but we all know that is not nearly as catchy. Google search engines don’t look for images or elaborate layouts even if they are fabulous.

The web crawlers will browse only the content of your site. This means all the words including alt image titles, links, articles, titles, <h1>, <h2> etс. The search engines pay more attention to your content than anything else. Every word makes a difference so you should make sure and have quality text on your website.

Create Original Content

Original and engaging content not only goes a long way with your audience, it helps with SEO as well. Copying, spinning or just plagiarizing other peoples content can really hurt you. Google is always updating their algorithms to prevent bad content from ranking highly. Besides the penalties you get from search engines, think about what you are doing for your business.

If you are putting up bad content that you know will get noticed right away you may be able to get some quick conversions, but at the expense of your reputation and integrity. Try not to rehash old ideas that are played out, you’ll just be beating a dead horse. I personally can tell when someone has put up plagiarized or spun content that hasn’t had any care or effort put into it.

That turns me off right away as a reader and I’m more than willing to let my friends know about it. This happened before the internet and will continue to happen. Bad knockoffs can help you get traffic, but is it the traffic you are looking for? Consider the process of finding inspiring and original content. If you need to measure your traffic, WordPress SEO by Yoast is a great tool for analyzing your sites traffic.

Many site owners tend to think in terms of economics. How cheaply can I get this for? While it may be easier it’s probably not the best way to make money or build a reputation. Any economist will tell you a quick way to ruin an economy is to choose short term gain over long term benefits.

Remember you get what you pay for. There are many people that understand the value of good content and what it can bring. If you are not interested in putting up quality words on your site, then you are probably not interested in building a quality audience. This kind of thinking is rampant across the web and in business and is quite a problem. You can’t run a Fugazi forever, eventually consumers wise up and drop your site like a bad habit.

Build Authority and Trust

WordPress Trust and Authority

In order to build trust and authority amongst your audience you need to blog often and tell the truth. If you don’t have a companion blog for your site, consider setting one up to share on social media channels. Blogging daily is a great way to increase your presence and help brand your business.

It’s hard to blog daily if you are also running a business, but you can try to post as often as possible. This can help build a bridge between you and your audience. Below are some tips for creating authority and trust within your site.

Write actionable content — For example if you are writing non-fiction, make your posts about something that people can do. Everyone loves tips and life cheats that make their daily routines easier.

Write what you know — If you can talk the talk, you should be able to walk the walk. Write what you know or hire someone who does know. You should write about things you know, so you are better able to provide answers to your visitor’s questions.

Provide accurate information — to build authority you should consistently provide accurate information and source any places that you drew information from. Interviews, websites, books and firsthand experience are all great sources of information.

Linking — consider what sites you are linking to. Make sure you trust those sites as well, because nothing is worse than a bunch of links to bogus sites. It really reflects poorly on your judgement and taste.

Add URLs to Forum Posts — Commenting on other blogs can help bring in traffic and bring more visibility to your WordPress website. Consider guest blogging to get people to check out your own site as well.

Create Strong Headlines

You can turn a skimmer into a reader by creating inviting and engaging headlines. Draw them in with the headlines and keep them there with your content. It’s good to break up the content as well, into readable chunks so people aren’t turned off by large blocks of text. Many times I’ve visited pages based on headlines alone. A good headline is inquisitive and interesting, you should make the reader want to find out more about the topic. A successful headline for an SEO blog might be “5 ways to Increase Site Traffic”. Remember to cater to your audience. What’s good for one site might be terrible for another. Don’t forget that you can use keywords in your headlines as well as your links to help optimize your content.

Link Building

Search engines will boost your ranking if other places are creating links to your website. If you can become an authority in your niche you will enjoy the benefits of ranking higher and drawing in much more traffic. Your site will be the big brother to a lot of new sites on the same subject.

It’s all about who links to you, so try not to fall for spammers and low quality sites that want to link to you. You can check the links your website has using with web services like wholinks2me. The more links to your site from quality sources, the better off you are.

Image SEO

Graphics and images can be helpful and really spice up your site. Don’t overdo it though, too many images can be just as bad as none at all. It’s important to balance image quality and load time. You want an image size that is not too large, but still looks good on any advice. Also consider adding links and appropriate title to your images. Use alt text to optimize images for your visually challenged visitors. If you want an comprehensive package to manage your SEO duties, check out All in One SEO Pack, and Premium SEO pack. Both of these WordPress plugins are powerful and handy.

Final Word

WordPress is very easy to setup and install, but most beginners don’t understand how much of a task it is to generate traffic and market their website. Optimizing your site for search engines is a free and easy way to boost traffic as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort. It’s not rocket science but it will take some diligence and discipline.

You don’t necessarily have to pay someone to do it if you don’t have the budget. You can yield great results on your own, but you will need to understand the ins and outs of SEO. If you are completely lost I recommend hiring an expert to consult with. Don’t forget that there are tons of tools and information out there including SEO plugins for WordPress. If you have any of your own SEO suggestions or tips feel free to put them leave them in the comment section. Sharing is caring!

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