WordPress SEO your dog could understand might sound a little simplistic, especially when it is one of the most misunderstood parts of any web development, but WordPress SEO is one of the first questions I get asked, when either quoting a new customer or helping to educate a current customer is SEO (Search Engine Optimization), not to be confused with SEM (Search Engine Marketing), but how to optimize the content you create for search engines. Having SEO needs no magic, it is about having the setup of your website solid (any decent web developer can do this) and creating unique targeted content on a regular basis, if I could repeat that last sentence 50 times I would, because that is the only true way to having great SEO and online success, every other way is a shortcut, that usually results in tears and an empty wallet. So let’s get to it.
Here is the first thing to know about SEO.
Over a 10 year lifespan of owning or operating a website, you will no doubt receive hundreds’s if not thousands of emails from companies telling you how they can improve your search engine ranking. Sometimes you will receive direct calls. Most, if not all promise to get you to number one in the search engines. You must understand, anyone or any company promising you this a charlatan.
First of all, type in a keyword or phrase into Google and you will more than likely get millions of results for that one search query. There would be hundreds if not thousands of natural keywords and natural key phrases you would like to get to number one Google with. So anyone promising you number one results for what you need, which is a vast array of key words and phrases, is a complete and utter liar, they are promising something they simply cannot and never will deliver.
Secondly, unless they break the rules set by search engines such as Google (link farms, back-linking etc), they will only be able to legally work with keywords and key phrases of content actually used in your website, otherwise, you will eventually be caught out by the search engine and demoted severely and for years in rankings. If Google dont find out through their algorithms, you can be assured that your competitors will inform them. So in short, ignore every single one of them and sit back and learn this short lesson for yourself.
WordPress SEO Basics
So, here are some WordPress SEO basics you need to understand, before you even consider hiring a company. Write about what you love, what you do, the services you provide, what you provide for your audience, inform them with your unique content, targeted at your audience. Continually create great content for your readers and you will eventually succeed. My most successful clients, do not get this way through luck, they get it through hard work, but it is work that they love!
Write frequently, let your audience become aware over time that you, say every Tuesday at 11am in your time zone – will have a new article, your audience will then grow naturally, their expectations and anticipation will grow and you will eventually gain a strong following. The best advice I can give to my clients, is to set a side time each week to write something. That means becoming a disciplined writer. No one should be able to disturb you during this time. You do not have to write long essays, but write enough content that will inform them about the subject you are addressing.
Tag your posts with only content relevant tags. As an example I usually set rules around tags and follow them fastidiously. People, Places, Products, Companies, Services are pretty much all you need. Putting as many tags as you can has a negative effect. Tags should only be of exact content found in the article, nothing more or you lose search engine brownie points.
Natural Key Words and Key Phrases for better SEO
Think about your audience, think about words people might type into search engines so that they can find what they are looking for and that you may be found. If I were searching for a WordPress Designer in Miami Beach, I wouldn’t head to Google Search and just type in the search term ‘WordPress’, I am more than likely to use the term ‘WordPress Design Miami Beach’, or if I were needed to see a WordPress Designer, I would more than likely type in ‘WordPress Designer Miami Beach’. These are what we call natural key phrases. What you are eventually looking for is to be on the first page of results for your best natural key phrases.
So, when I am writing a post, I might refer to myself or another team member somewhere in the article with the words. Yakadanda has been a WordPress Designer in the Miami Beach area for over 15 years. Or ‘we at Yakadanda Miami Beach WordPress Website Design have been operating on the Beach for 15 years and so we know a thing or two about WordPress’.
Dont be Silly
Now, don’t overdo it, if when reading the article back the phrase you use sounds silly, scrap it or amend it, it has to flow with the content you are creating or it is useless for your audience. But by being clever, you can slowly but surely increase your visibility on search engines.
Learn your Keyword Results for better SEO
You only need to look at your Google Analytics results to see how you are going. Create some reports in Google Analytics, learn using the Google Analytics to not only improve your SEO, but better understand your SEO.
Learn your Keyword Weaknesses for better SEO
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is one place so many website owners know little about. But it is where you can go to learn about all the different key words and key phrases you are listed in Google Search with and then in turn improve your SEO with. You can see what pages in Google search your key words and key phrases appear in. As an example I could see where I appear in WordPress Designer Miami Beach, and therefore seek to improve that SEO standing. I can also see where my weaknesses are.
Learn to Tag Images for better SEO
If you are going to use images in a post. Make sure you rename the image before uploading. Make the image name similar to your post or page name, describe something in the name of the image that is relevant to the content. Make sure you complete the title, alt and description of images and caption of image if applicable. You spend so much time creating a great post, dont waste it at the final hurdle, spend 5 minutes getting everything just right.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
There are a number of plugins that can help you improve your standing in Search Engines. WordPress SEO by Yoast, helps you improve how you create posts and pages for SEO benefits and gives you a rating. You can do the work in the general tab, see each pages analysis, there is also an advanced tab, where you can set the page to be seen, or not seen by search engines. You can also create special titles and phrases for when you share on social networks.
If you get a comment on your post, respond immediately. Welcome respectful dissent, this is a great way to start an intelligent conversation, and always be respectful, even if your commenter isn’t. Try to inform further with your comments, link to relevant articles which will help them, either on your site or an external link.