WordPress SEO Assistance
This is a starter guide on the basics of “on-page”, or “Content” SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for pages and posts on your WordPress website. If you are looking for Professional WordPress SEO Assistance – Check out our WordPress Support page for more details.
Continue reading if you would like to learn the basics of on-page SEO, and discover how this page in particular is an example of the benefits of SEO.
Firstly, this Page serves a few purposes.
- It helps those looking for professional WordPress SEO Assistance to find our services.
- It is a basic guide on WordPress SEO.
- It is a demonstration of what can be achieved with good on-page SEO practices.
About this WordPress SEO Guide
This primer covers SEO considerations that can be implemented “on the page” – and doesn’t cover “Off-the-page” SEO – like Architecture, Social, Authority, Link SEO etc.
Nothing too technical here – just some best practices that should be employed when creating a page or post on your WordPress website.
SEO is a very broad and detailed subject – there are many dedicated Blogs and Online Communities relating to the topic; I recommend you seek these out and subscribe to newsletters – and keep to date with the latest news and tips in the world of SEO.
Why should we do “Content SEO”?
A large part of SEO is developing a website that has optimised architecture, content, and coding; Which helps search engines find your website, ascertain what the website is about, and then rank in search results appropriately. SEO can be a very technical subject. However, when it comes specifically to “Content SEO” – a few easy to follow best practices will give you a good SEO boost.
Search engines use algorithms to understand what your web pages/posts are about – but these algorithms are not perfect; so you should structure your content in a way that helps Search Engines understand what your Website/Pages/Blog Post content is really about – which will in turn help someone searching for a specific service you provide, or topics you write about – find you.
What about keywords? Where do I put them?
Quite simply, they just appear within the words that make up the plainly readable content on a Page.
Once upon a time, “Keywords” were a big part of how SEO was done. This typically involved sticking targeted words at the bottom of a website or hidden within the code of a page.
This practice worked in the early days of the internet, and Google was okay with asking:
“To help us put you in the right place in Search Results, you tell us which “keywords” and “tags” are relevant to your website”.
This method was open to exploit. Websites were using keywords irrelevant to their website to get more traffic, or “keyword stuffing” – which involved piling every possible combination of a phrase related to their offering, in an effort to capture those “questions” asked in Google Search.
The solution? Google now takes a more semantic approach:
“Our bots will scan the natural words, content structure of your website, and context of mentions on other website – and then we will determine what your website, and pages therein are all about”.
Quite simply, if you want to fool Google by putting irrelevant or overly used words all over your website, then prepare to have the deception plainly visible to all Humans and Bots who visit.
The answer here is: Write detailed information related to your services/interests – and include within this information the exact words that will form the paraphrased “Question” someone asks Google.
Let’s talk about Keyphrases
The internet has evolved to a point of Keyword saturation. It is very unlikely that you will break into high Search Engine results with a single “Keyword”. For example: A new Online Shoe Store will likely not rank in Google if they just focus on the Keyword “Shoes”. That ship has sailed. They will instead need to combine “keywords” into a “keyphrase” – for example “Buy Men’s Shoes Online”. This is a Keyphrase, and again, this is the “Question” that someone is likely to ask Google. Another great example of a Keyphrase is: WordPress SEO Assistance – If someone types this into Google, they are very likely going to find the page you are currently reading. Google will determine that: “This website has these words in this order on this page. Surely this is the kind of thing you are looking for”.
How to find a good Keyphrase
Use a string of three to four words that relate directly with something you are offering on that particular page. Ensure it is a complete phrase that is likely to be searched for. You will also want to ensure that this Keyphrase isn’t being overly represented by other websites (not too much competition – although, even if the keyphrase is being used on another website, you can still rank higher if you use that Keyphrase more effectively).
A note about “LSI Keywords”…
Google is getting pretty clever, they now take into account “Latent Semantic Keywords” – this is, you can use words that are similar to each other (like synonyms) on a page ; and Google will take into account (and boost rankings) if you are using language that re-enforces a pages targeted keypharase. For example – a keyphrase like “Buy Gumboots in our Store“, will be made more relevant if the page also includes the phrase “Purchase Wellies at our Shop“.
The Keyphrase for the page you are currently reading is: WordPress SEO Assistance. Prior to creating this blog post, I did some research and found that this particular Keyphrase only had 8 Results. Although there is a little bit of competition for this Keyphrase – by employing some of the steps below, I can almost guarantee it will be at the top of Search Results. (Update: It is.)
This is something that should be considered if you provide a local service, like a local shop or a mobile trade. Focusing on a specific geographical region for your Keyphrase will prove more fruitful than attempting to reach the generic market. Also take into account location surrounding your business. Google is engineering their Search Engine to be more tailored to the geographical location of a searcher and businesses.
How to best use a Keyphrase
Each page on your website should be dedicated to one Keyphrase. Milk that page for all that Keyphrase is worth. Essentially you get one chance per page on your website to use a Keyphrase to its full potential. Another thing to consider – every page on your website has the potential to come up in Search Results – so treat every page as a “Landing Page” – that is – every page on your website is as important as your Home Page (as they may just be the first page people see after doing a Google Search).
The Keyphrase will be the Page Title (what you call the Page at the top of your WordPress Page/Post).
Note: When creating a Menu Item to link to a WordPress Page, it will take on the Page Title. The appearance of the “Navigation Label” can be changed without affecting the actual Page Title. Find this option Under Appearance > Menus > ‘Menu Item’:
The Page title for this Blog Post is WordPress SEO Assistance.
The Keyphrase forms a part of the Page URL “The link to this page”. (This will automatically take on the name of the Title, but can also be changed later by clicking the Edit Button beneath the Page Title)
The URL for this Page is http://snugsite.com.au/wordpress-seo-assistance (Google will ignore the hyphens)
Link to your Page from another Page on your website. Don’t use irrelevant Link Text when doing so, this would be counter-productive. Always ensure that you use the Keyphrase as the Link text.
For example: Snug Site also provides a WordPress Maintenance Service.
That link above points to another page on our website that uses “WordPress Maintenance Service” as its Keyphrase. This internal linking tells Google that these words are relevant to this other page, enforcing the Keyphrase.
This especially applies when linking from other websites or Social Media Pages.
This Page will be linked to from another Page on our website, and Social Media with the Link Text: WordPress SEO Assistance
Use the Keyphrase as a Heading somewhere on your Page (in a Heading Tag). Don’t overuse Headings on a Page. Use one H1, one H2 above 50+ words and H3 to break up smaller sections.
The First Heading of this Page is: WordPress SEO Assistance
The Keyphrase should also appear within the body of text on the page. At least once per 150 words. Don’t use the Keyphrase excessively in the content though, as this will have a negative effect on Google Ranking.
The Keyphrase “WordPress SEO Assistance” makes up 0.63% of the content on this page.
Google will automatically grab the first few sentences of your page and make this the Description of your Page (The bit that appears beneath the Link in Search Results). You can override this by inserting a meta-tag on the page. This aspect of Page SEO is included as a part of the recommended SEO plugin below.
The Meta-Description for this Page is: “An introductory guide for those seeking WordPress SEO Assistance. Written by Jonathan Hinson of Snug Site WordPress Assistance, Maintenance and Hosting.”
You can also go a step further by ensuring that images placed on this specific page have the Name or alt-text containing the Keyphrase.
The featured image of this post has the filename of “WordPress_SEO_Assistance.PNG“
Content of Quality
Ensure that the content you provide on a Page is sincere and informative. Always aim for at least 300+ words, and try to engage your visitors. Give them something to share or bookmark. If a visitor to your website leaves quickly, doesn’t click any other links on your site, or doesn’t return to your website – this all contributes to your “Bounce Rate”. Google can use a high “Bounce-Rate” of a website utilising Google Analytics to determine and impose a lower Search Rank.
WordPress SEO Plugins
There are many plugins for WordPress that will assist with getting the most out of Google’s Search Algorithms. The best by far is Yoast’s SEO Plugin. There are others that will assist with Google Rich Snippets, Social Media Integration etc. however, Yoast’s offering is the only plugin you will need for substantial gains. Read the guide on that linked page after installing the plugin for the basics of how to use.
Always have a dynamic sitemap submitted through Google Webmaster Tools. Again, Yoast’s Plugin has this covered for us, it’s easy to set up and implement, just ensure you don’t forget this.
Page Loading Times can also affect your overall rank. Check out the Google PageSpeed Insights Tool, and “Analyze” your domain. If you score below 80 in either Mobile or Desktop browsing, then seek methods to make WordPress pages load faster – or seek professional help.
Google also places great importance on your mentions on Social Networking Sites. It is assumed that if people across Social Media Sites are talking about you, and sharing links to your website – then you must be a relevant authority on a particular topic or resource. Google also places great importance in your shareable content – if content from your website is being shared across the web, then your content is considered important and relevant.
With Social Integration, remember these three words: Publicise – Join – Share.
Publicise – Ensure you at least have a Business Page on Google Plus and Facebook. Share your content, updates, news on your website and your Social Media Page.
Join – Ensure there is a way for your visitors to join your official Social Media Pages.
Share – Ensure there is a way for your website visitors to share a page on your website with their friends on Social Media. ie. ‘Like this’ ‘Share’ buttons embedded on your website.
Do not have duplicate content on your website. A few words or a sentence is fine. However, if you have a paragraph on a page, copied from another page on your site (or another website) you can expect your page (and website) to be flagged for plagiarism. Google actively encourages original content by diminishing the reach of sites with repetitive content or content lifted from other websites.
Refine your Keyphrases
Set up and use Google Analytics. Check the stats on your Rankings and Click-thru rate etc. for a chosen Keyphrase. If you are not seeing positive results after a month – consider changing the Keyphrase. This will mean rebuilding the whole page around the new Keyphrase.
Note: If you include a URL change as a part of this update, ensure that you set up a ‘Redirect’ from the old page to the new Page.
Google is concerned with more than just content
Although content is still the King, Google is now placing a heavy interest in your Social Media presence, the mobile-friendliness of your website, and the amount of engagement you have with the outside world. Content and Keyphrases are important to get your foot in the door, but you must provide a dynamic web presence that exudes activity and buzz.
Now for the proof!
By just using the tips outlined in this Guide, This blog post is now on the first page of Google Search results. Go ahead and Search Google for WordPress SEO Assistance and see where we are currently placed in front of over another 800,000 results!
This is just the tip of the iceberg for SEO. Other facets include: Writing articles and social media posts that resonate with your target audience, investigating further your audience profile, developing an editorial time-line, and rigorously measuring your SEO outcomes are very important. If you would like to eke even more out of your websites ranking after following this guide, I can recommend subscribing to a reputable SEO related Blog or Newsletter. Don’t buy an old book on SEO – the industry and Google standards/algorithms change often; and new tools are always appearing. Using an “old-school” SEO method could easily be of detriment to your Google Ranking.
This page will be updated if any standards or methods change. I hope you enjoyed this Guide on WordPress SEO Assistance – Further SEO tips will be posted on this Blog in future.”