Once you understand the basic concept of search engine crawling, you will most likely reconsider how you word and place content on your WordPress website pages, posts and imagery. Search engines “crawl” your website in a hierarchical nature in attempt to identify the revelancy of content against a users particular search keywords. So for example, a search engine would look at the html title of your website, then your web page and blog post titles then crawl the content of those pages & posts to ensure that the content delivers on what the title keywords reference. To put it simply, search engines try to think like a human would: judging the content of a website (in a hierarchical manner) for its credibility on a particular topic, subject, service or product.
Here’s a list of the most basic WordPress
SEO tips & tools you need to better
optimize your WordPress website
for search engines.
What are Keywords?:
Keywords are the core elements of the content within your website that help make your site more visible to search engines. Think of keywords and keyword phrases as the “summaries” of your core content on the website. So if your site is about, ski and snowboard rentals in South Lake Tahoe, your keywords should be totally focused on the variety of words that a particular person may use when they are searching for ski and snowboard rentals in South Lake Tahoe. Make a list of any and all related words to the basic keywords of “ski and snowboard rentals South Lake Tahoe.”
Page and Blog Post Titles:
Be sure to write page and post titles so that they clearly spell-out the content contained within your page or post. It helps to consider how someone conducting a Google search would go about typing in their keywords. Ask yourself, if I were trying to find this content on the internet, what words would I use to conduct my search?
Search engines will also check to see if the search keywords appear near the top of a web page, such as in the title, headers and first. It’s also smart to include the keywords in the last paragraphs of the text.
Descriptions (Meta Descriptions):
With the SEO Plugins recommended below, every page and post that you create offers you an opportunity to write a meta description about the individual page or post. If you don’t write the description yourself, the search engine will put whatever content it wants to generate a description. When you write this description, write it in a natural style and don’t load it with too many keywords. Remember that this description is what appears in the search results pages so consider how it will look to a person searching the internet.
Internal and External Linking:
Providing links in a blog post or page to other parts of your website is a great SEO tool. Be sure to only add these internal links if they are relevant to the topic you are blogging about or relevant the content on your page. Linking to external websites is also a smart SEO strategy. If you’re writing a blog post about a particular subject, say Diabetes, it’s smart to provide links for your readers so they can get more information about that subject. So if your writing about Diabetes, a good link to add would be to the American Diabetes Association website.
Note: Do not overuse external linking. Only use external links when it adds revelance and more value to your potential website visitors.
Blog Post Tags:
When completing a blog post in WordPress, the template ask for tags. Tags are very similar to keywords in that the provide the short summary of the content within your blog post. Be sure to provide tags as the search engines do consider them when crawling your site.
Make sure you “optimize” every image that gets uploaded to your WordPress site. When you upload a photo, WordPress asked you to fill out a few sections: Title, Alt Text, Caption, and Description. Take the time to fill these in. Note: Alt Text is meant to provide a description of the image in the event that someone’s browser has disabled image viewing or that simply an image can’t be “seen.” If you do anything, be sure to fill in the Title and Alt Text.
Spelling and Grammar:
You can get dinged by the search engines for poor grammar and spelling mistakes within your website. These mistakes can make your site look less credible and authoritative… and even appear as spam to the search engines.
Must Have WordPress SEO Plug-Ins:
There a some awesome SEO Plugins to add to your WordPress website. These Plugins add a few more layers of optimization than what the WordPress template provides. The top two search optimizing plugins available for WordPress are:
All-in-1 SEO Pack by Michael Torbert
WordPress SEO by Yoast
Whichever of these SEO Plugins you choose, they both provide tutorials and support forums to get you started.
Google XML Sitemap by Arne Brachhold
This is an important SEO PlugIn for your WordPRess site. This Plugin does two important things. First, it creates a xml sitemap to help the search engines better index your site. Second, it “alerts” the search engines whenever new content is added via posts to your website.
In order for you to understand the activity on your website, its crucial to set-up a Google Analytics account. To do this you must first create a Gmail email account then sign-up for Google Analytics. After you set-up the Google Analytics account, install the above Plugin. Simply follow the set-up instructions.
Google Analytics provides you with in-depth information about traffic and behaviors on your website, including the keywords used by searchers to find your website.