Five SEO Tips for Small Business WordPress Websites
You take pride in how your WordPress website looks, how extensive your online portfolio is, how clear and vivid your product images are, and how well-thought of and directed your videos are. But none of these matter if your website itself, with all this impressive content, does not abide by the rules of search engine optimization.
One thing to keep in mind is that major search engines care more about how well optimized your website – every part of it – is than how aesthetically pleasing your overall site is. They actually put more importance on stuff like alt tags, keywords, file names, metatags, and literally hundreds of other technicalities that you think may be boring, but are extremely critical to your site’s success.
Understanding what these “boring” (more like, misunderstood) terms will actually increase your chances of success. Neglect them, and you may soon find yourself out of business.
WordPress SEO Services: What is it All About?
First and foremost, let us talk about search engine optimization, or SEO. What is SEO in the first place and why does everyone involved in the world of the Internet keeps talking about it?
At its core, SEO is the process aimed to improve both the quality and the volume of traffic flowing into a website. Fueled by major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Bing just to name a few, this traffic is, in other words, the people who visit your website. There are many different ways to bring more traffic to your site, but only those considered “legit” (also known as “white hat” techniques), get included in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
How Sites End Up Earlier or Higher in SERPs
Through the use of strong SEO services, for instance, unpaid natural, organic, or algorithmic methodologies, a website can increase its chances of making it to the first page (or the top first pages) of SERPs. This is important, as most, if not all Internet users prioritize links that appear at the top most part of the results list.
Basically, the goal of a properly-developed, well-managed SEO plan is to make a site appear earlier or higher in the search results list. In theory, the earlier a website appears in the list, the greater the number of visitors it will receive via the search engine they use.
SEO comes in many different forms and targets various types of search, including news, blog, local, image, and video search among many others.
The Good – Even Great – that SEO Brings to WordPress Sites
Now that you know more about SEO and its importance to websites, let us talk about the good and the great things it can do to sites utilizing or focusing on WordPress.
There are plenty of things you can do to make major search engines notice you and prioritize your website, and here are 10 of the top ways to achieve this goal.
1. Optimization is critical, but content is king.
The best type of optimization takes the form of content. There is a reason why you will always hear and read the phrase “Content is king.”
Whatever type of optimization strategy you implement, know that it will only produce the best results when used in conjunction with top quality, interesting, non-plagiarized content. Ideally, your content should use keywords relevant to what the post talks about. Make sure you keep in mind readability and understandability, tailoring it to the niche and age bracket your business targets. Use keywords and key phrases wisely, keeping in mind the number of times they appear in the content’s body.
2. Authority sites are your best buddies.
Start looking for websites – authoritative ones – relevant to your specific niche and target market. Make a list of them, and do your best to exchange as many backlinks with them as you possibly can, carefully choosing those relating to your topics and theme.
3. Permalinks with keywords matter.
When you create permalinks, make sure they include keywords. When you use default permalinks, all your site visitors and major search engines will see are a jumble of letters, characters, and numbers. For instance, when talking about a specific topic, like the best coffee in New York, use the permalink http://mywebsite.com/best-coffee-new-york/.
The mywebsite part refers to your domain name, and the best-coffee-new-york is the keyword. This looks a lot better and more professional than http://mywebsite.com/page-id?267/.
Also, remember that search engines, particularly Google, only considers the first four words used in permalinks as relevant. Any other word after the fourth no longer has any impact.
4. Being social improves your online authority.
Facebook has billions of users. Millions also use other social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and a whole lot more. So whenever you create optimized content for your WordPress site, make sure you add them to your social network accounts. Keep in mind not to hardsell or over-promote your brand. You should instead promote other websites and posts that you really like (but are still relevant to your niche).
By doing so, those who own the promoted sites or content will look at you favorably and chances are, they will promote your site and content too.
5. Black hat techniques and mirror sites are a big no-no.
Do not even try to trick Google. No matter how smart or tech savvy you are, Google makes use of the latest, most impressive algorithmic functions and formulas that will discover your tricks and sneaky ways. Whether you implement black hat techniques or use mirror sites, you can expect Google to find out one way or another. And once it does, get ready for some huge consequences. The giant search engine may even blacklist or ban your website.
Just in case you need proof of how smart Google is, do a quick research. You will find news surrounding high-profile portfolio sites that Google penalized for the use of these illegitimate and unscrupulous techniques.
Last but not least, is to be honest when it comes to your abilities. How extensive is your knowledge when it comes to WordPress and optimizing your site’s content? Skimping on professional WordPress SEO services may do you more damage than good, especially if you cannot meet the rigorous regulations and strict laws major search engines enforce.