WordPress has made it super easy for any business or individual to have a website of their own that can easily be updated and maintained. What most people fail to realize is that once their blog is up and running, there is more to optimizing the website than content creation alone.
WordPress plugins have made it very easy to optimize your website and to customize the installation to enhance performance and well, as much as I hate to say it, make Google like you better. With a WordPress installation you can customize many of your sites SEO elements, as well as automating them to cut down on the time it takes to post a new item to your site. I know how busy life can be and any time I can automate processes on my websites, I am a much happier blogger. Here are a few tips to get you started…
WordPress vs. WordPress.com
Having your blog hosted at WordPress.com limits changes you can make to your template or theme. More importantly, it restricts your SEO. Having your site hosted on WordPress.com only benefits WordPress.com in terms of backlinks generated.
If you want to test the waters to see if blogging is right for you, that’s one thing, but if you are truly interested in making your blog a money making business, you will want to make sure that you’re in control by hosting your blog on your own domain. That is the only way to ensure you get all the credit for backlinks generated and reap the rewards for strengthening the overall reputation of your domain in the search engines.
SEO plugins are a great way to optimize your site and make blog management easier. We all like easier, don’t we?
There are several useful WordPress plugins, so all you have to do is find the ones that work best for your needs. My personal favorites for SEO are:
You can find most plugins from within your WordPress dashboard by going to Plugins and then by clicking on ADD NEW.
Stay up-to-date and Avoid Malware with Google Alerts
WordPress hacking for malware is common. Google now provides alerts on hacking risk within Webmaster Tools because of the issues it creates with their search results.
Make sure that you stay up-to-date and check all malware reports in Google Webmaster Tools to make sure everything is safe.
SEO for WordPress
WordPress is set up for SEO, in terms of header optimization, title tags, internal/cross-linking, etc. Plugins, such as All in One SEO, helps a great deal at improving this further.
However, as easy as it is to think WordPress and plugins can do all the work, they do not. You are still responsible for your own keywords! Plus, you must make sure you optimize your URL structure and internal linking, to make your blog as optimized as it can possibly be.
If You Write Well They Will Come
As for optimizing each page or post within the main body text, there are several key elements to focus on, such as the inclusion of target keyword phrases in headlines and the body of the post.
More importantly, make sure you are writing for your readers. SEO is important – but never sacrifice quality content for SEO. Content that is stuffed with keywords does not read well and it becomes obvious to your reader that you are not writing for them.
Links are the most important single ranking factor in SEO, so when your content is well-optimized, with no links, it will likely be out-ranked by un-optimized great content with lots of links.
You might get ranked for the “freshness” factor alone, in the short-term – but as with Google’s Panda update, we have learned that long-term quality content wins the rank.
‘Optimization’ at its Best
To really achieve optimization, your content HAS to be great. You can see examples of that by looking at sites like ProBlogger and SEOmoz. They will rank for tons of long-tail searches. While they do use “keywords” they obviously focus on great content that attracts readers who want to link to their material.
The lesson here is to use the SEO plugins. Even when you feel your site or blog is optimized, look at your URL structure; your title tags; the use of internal linking; image alt tags, and your text formatting.
More times than not, you will find that you’ve missed out on some SEO technique that could thrust your page the shadows of page two to the top of page one in the search engine results.
If you have any questions, please let me know. I am always happy to answer. Also, if you do utilize the instruction in this post, please let me know how it works out for you.
If you are leery of installing plugins or would like a website audit, drop me an email – I do provide blog audit services.
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