WordPress has free SEO (Search Engine Optimization) tools. Using them with a little thought can position your website at the top of Google searches.
Search engines assess website content and incoming links to position websites in search results. This article examines website content.
How does Search Engine Optimization work in WordPress?
This is the most important field for search words, but some owners put only the company name, not what it does or where.
It is important to make these descriptive. WordPress codes these as H1 headings that are inspected by search engines for search words.
Home Page: Don’t call the home page Home unless you are only trying to attract visitors looking for a home. Include a word relating to the purpose of your website. E.g. use Thingy (if that is the subject of your website). Welcome to Thingy is okay but remember that no one searches Google for Welcome. Call it Thingies for Plumbers (or other target group).
About us: Change to The Thingy Company
Contact us: Change to Contact a Thingy Expert.
Shop: Change to Thingy Shop.
You get the idea. You are making the H1 headings meaningful.
One of the most important elements in the content is the Title Tag. This can be seen in some browsers at the top left outside the website. WordPress automatically creates the Title Tag for all pages from the Page Title plus the Site Title.
So a thoughtful page title and a thoughtful site title makes an ideal Title Tag.
This works well for all inside pages, but you may want to change it for the home page. To us, the challenge is often getting all the important words within the recommended first seventy characters of the title tag.
Sometimes the Title Tag created by WordPress for the home page might repeat some words. Here you can use an SEO plugin to rewrite the Title Tag for the home page, or any page.
This is usually a summary of what the web page is about. Search engines will automatically provide a snippet of the first 140 characters of the text on the web page. But if the first 140 characters don’t actually summarize your web page, you can use an SEO plugin to rewrite the Meta Description,
The plugin that works best for us is Yoast SEO. This lets you rewrite title tags and meta descriptions for even product categories in an ecommerce system. It also gets you to think about a Focus word for each web page and tells you how each SEO field scores for that word. It also guides you on the volume of information for each page.
The web page URL is in the format http://www.domain name.com/thingy-shop. Permalinks is listed under Settings in the Dashboard. Here you can tell WordPress to use %postname% instead of a meaningless default PageID=1234 in the web page URL. For an ecommerce website, you can also personalize the URL for product categories and products so that e.g. the words thingy-type replace the words product-category in a URL.
Of course, the words on the web page are the most important element in SEO and create purpose for all of the above tips. Here the plugin Yoast SEO will guide you to having enough words on a page and also their score for readability. Words in widgets are not counted in this as they are usually repeated on every page.
More SEO points can be gained by having sub-headings coded as H2 or H3. (Change in the editing screen by highlighting the sub-heading and selecting H2 from the dropdown that starts with Paragraph). In the body of a page making a search word a link to another page gives you even more points.
The most difficult task for many website owners seems to be expanding the text on a page to more than the recommended 300 words. Help in this could be sought from someone looking at it from the outside.
Important information for every website to include:
What are you promoting?
Where do you provide it?
Who should want it?
Why should they use you?
How do they contact you?
Product categories and product names should automatically be search words. But you may need to add words to these to help search engines. E.g. if your product name is P9XYZ it would help if you rename it to P9XYZ-Thingy – if you want visitors who are searching for thingies and have never heard of a P9XYZ.
There is nothing magic about SEO. Ask this question. How relevant is your website to each of various search words that you want to attract visitors. Then make sure that these words feature in each of the above headings. Compare your position with that of a competitor.
Attention to the above will help you get to the top of Google for content. We have seen it work very quickly for websites that were lacking search words under some of the above headings.
These articles were first published on www.platywebs.com.au and have been re-published on many other websites and ezines over the years. New readers are still finding them to be of value and up to date with today’s conditions. We believe they illustrate common sense and the value of thinking through situations. Please check out the other articles advising on small business, web design, search engine optimisation, web hosting and domain names.