SEO-or search engine optimization in English – is the art of making Google like your website. More precisely, to make Google like your site so much that you are shown in Google’s search results when someone searches words relevant to your blog or company page. Whether you just want more readers on your blog, more sign-ups for your newsletter or more sales in the webshop, Google is a partner that you just can’t get around. There are many myths and outright bad advice to find on the web, so in this article I intended to give some basic tips on how to make your WordPress site most palatable to Google and at the same time avoid the pitfalls that can be harmful. The article contains a bit of technical jargon, but even if you do not 100% understand what the individual terms mean, I hope that the meaning appears anyway.
WordPress is good at SEO, but not good enough!
One of the reasons why WordPress initially became so popular was that the platform as a starting point was well SEO optimized. Most people probably don’t think about that, but when you have seen other CMS systems and platforms, even payment solutions, which are filled with SEO errors and duplicate content (see explanation below), then you learn to appreciate WordPress, which is mostly really sensible in this regard.
But to make your WordPress blog super-optimized and make Google happy, here are a few good tips:
1) Install an SEO plugin
One of the things I’m most fond of With WordPress is how easy it is to add extra functionality using Plug-Ins. It saves a lot of manual work and the first thing I do when I miss a feature is to search for it in the Plugin archive. For the most part, someone else has had the same desire and therefore has programmed a smart plugin for the purpose.
This also applies when we need to search engine optimize our site. The first step is therefore to install a plugin that can help with this. Here I definitely recommend the very popular Yoast SEO that has all the features you could want and more. Alternatively, I can recommend Platinum SEO, which is a lot simpler but in many cases sufficient. Both can do what we will change in this article.
2) Write good long, relevant and unique texts
Before we dive into the technical so it is important to begin with the beginning, so to speak. There is no need to optimize your blog or company website if you do not have any good content. Now, good content can be much more than text, such as video, audio or images, but Google’s search engine is still only good enough to understand text, even if they will probably be able to listen or understand the content of a video some time in the future. However, it’s not just tomorrow that happens, so until then, Google is mostly about text.
Therefore, you also need to write good, long texts, which for everything in the world should be unique. It is a mortal sin to ‘borrow’, copy or steal other people’s texts and put them on your own page. Even if you have copyright, you will create what is called ‘duplicate content’, duplicate content or duplicate content depending on how you translate. Since Google is not interested in displaying the same content multiple times in a search, it means that one of the copies will be filtered off.
Instead, you should write long texts that make your users wiser on the topic you are writing about. But you should not write unnecessarily long texts either. Write as you would like to read an article. The more words you have on your page, the more opportunities there are to get more ‘long tail searches’ – searches of more than 2-3 words – and these searches usually convert really well. On my side Billigbilforsikring.nu have I used this strategy to try to really get written so everything there is to know about car insurance which has resulted in an article of over 3000 words. I hope that both my visitors and Google will like it, and especially to be able to get something positive out of the article.
3) manage your Titles and Meta Descriptions
Thus immediately on to the slightly more technical namely Title tags and Meta Descriptions. The Title tag is incredibly important for SEO, maybe even up to 50-60% of when it comes to telling Google what your site is about. Therefore, be sure to write Title tags that tell which keywords you would like to be found on. Do you, for example, have a page on gardening, yes then ‘gardening’ should be in your Title tag.
The title tag is an HTML code snippet that determines what is at the top of your browser when you visit a page. Try looking at the top of the browser now. Here you can see this page’s Title tag.
By default, WordPress uses your blog post or page header as the Title tag, and that’s mostly fine enough. Mostly because there can be many situations where you would like a different headline than your Title tag or vice versa. In addition, it is an advantage to have your keyword at the beginning of the Title tag, but this does not look very good on a page. Let’s take the gardening example. A good title tag could be:
“<title & gt;gardening-get tips and tips for working in the Garden</title & gt;”
Here the keyword appears at the beginning of the tag, but it does not read as well as “good tips for gardening” or something similar. Here we can then use our SEO plugin, where you under your text window now have more options. One of them is to write a unique Title and you do so and make sure to include your keyword. In addition, make sure that your titles are unique and do not go again. If they do – that is, go again-then you create duplicate content and we would love to avoid that.
Meta Descriptions is the text you see in Google’s search results under the heading-which is the Title tag. Having a good meta description is essential to capture the attention of the user. You do not get higher up in the search results by cramming keywords in here, so do not do that, but rather write your description so that it pops into the eyes. Meta Description also lets you type under your text field when you write a new entry.
The most important thing is that you remember to get your keyword into the Title tag and that you do not reuse titles for different articles.
4) beware of duplicate content in archives and categories
Duplicate content is the big problem to avoid when you search optimization. Identical content on your site can in the worst case cause your site to smoke completely out of Google, so you should be very aware of that. Fortunately, WordPress is really good at avoiding this. An exception is with category, Tag and archive pages. Depending on how your Theme is built you risk that a category has the same content as an article page and then there are two pages with the same content and since Google will only show one, you risk that none of them will get good rankings.
You can easily avoid this by using your SEO plugin to add a ‘follow, noindex’ tag to your category and tag pages. This tag is intended only for crawlers and search robots and tells them to follow links on the category page but not store this in their index.
Duplicate content in this regard is mostly a problem if you have many categories where there is only a single post in and especially if the settings in WordPress are set to show the entire post on the category page and not just a snippet. If you only have a few categories or each category has many posts displayed as snippets, then you do not need to add a ‘follow, noindex’ tag.
5) Create a user on Google Plus and add your blog to your profile
You probably couldn’t help but notice the little faces next to search results in Google. They are the result of Google’s social network Google Plus. There is every reason to get started with Google Plus, as shares and ‘pluses’ from here are guaranteed to be used to rank websites over time. In addition, if you use the ‘Authorship’ feature, you can see your profile picture next to your page in the search results. This significantly increases the number of clicks. Then create a Google Plus profile and use this guide to link your blog and profile.
As a small point 6., you should also click by Download.dk/SEO, which has a number of great programs that can help you with the keyword optimization.
Guest post written by Erik Hamre
How to SEO optimize your WordPress site – for beginners
SEO-or search engine optimization in English – is the art of making Google like your website. More precisely, to make Google like your page so much that…
Written d. 29 apr 2013 – 3 comments