Last week I went to the Melbourne WordPress User Group Meet Up. The topic was Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) which was presented by Chris Burgess, Michael Jones and Peter Mead, who all covered a lot of useful information. I’ve included the tips I found most useful in this article.
Let’s Start With Why Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Is Important
SEO is the terms that covers everything you do to help your website appear higher up in organic search results when people search for your target keywords.
The higher up your website appears, and the more different search terms it appears there for, the website visitors you’ll get and the more opportunities you have to achieve your website objectives.
WordPress SEO Tips
1. Quality is at the heart of SEO.
Create content that you’re proud of. Put your heart and soul into it. This is the kind of content that gets shared on social media and that other bloggers will naturally want to link to.
2. For link bait purposes, a unique, well enacted idea can trump a big marketing budget.
Link bait is high quality content that you add to your website that other website owners will want to link to. Unique ideas and concepts will often get linked to and shared more than well created content that is bland by comparison.
3. Look for keywords that you can make great content about.
I particularly loved this tip. In the past we’ve discussed selecting keywords that are most relevant to your topic, that have the highest search volume and that have the least competition. In my opinion this tip trumps that approach, because if you can create an awesome piece of content that happens to have a long tail keyword included in the Page Title, Headline etc, then that situation is win-win all round.
4. Use Yoast’s WordPress SEO Plugin.
This plugin guides you though everything you need to optimise your WordPress website.
5. Have an XML Site Map.
This feature is also included in Yoast’s plugin.
6. Review your Page Title and Meta Description using the Preview Snippet.
This snippet (which is generated by the Yoast plugin mentioned in No.4) shows how that page of your website will look when it appears in a Search Engine Results Page. Have a look at the snippet and think “If I saw this in the Google search results, would I want to click on it?”.
7. Do your onsite optimisation first and then do the offsite optimisation.
Onsite optimisation includes your content, keywords, website usability, clear Calls to Action etc. Whereas offsite optimisation includes building links from other websites to yours.
No matter how good your onsite and offsite optimisation are when you launch your website, keep in mind that, similar to how a plant needs constant water and light in order to thrive, your website needs content, ongoing updates and new inbound links in order for it to maximise its potential to grow your business. If you leave it in isolation with no visitors, interaction or nourishment, it won’t fulfil its potential.
8. Use the Broken Link Checker for WordPress plugin
Search engines don’t like broken links. This plugin will help you identify broken links on your website so you can fix them.
9. Improve your Site Speed
Having a site that is fast to load is a critical part of giving your website visitors a great user experience.
During the presentation, Chris suggested that we “Think of search engines as librarians of the internet.” Not because they shuffle between sliding shelves of books all day. But because they make it easy to find the information that you’re searching for amongst the vast array of web pages that have been indexed from all around the world.
Another thought that I had, inspired by the presentation, is that a key skill in SEO is doing it like you’re not doing it. What I mean is that Google doesn’t want to rank the website of the business that has the biggest SEO budget, it wants to rank the highest quality website with the most relevant content. So, making updates to improve the quality of your website and to make your content relevant to your target audience is a great way to approach SEO.
Thanks again to the guys for a really valuable presentation. Find out more about the presenters by visiting their websites:
– Chris Burgess – The slides from the presentation are online on Chris’ website