WordPress SEO: 5 Steps to Getting Started
 

WordPress SEO: 5 Steps to Getting Started

Written by +Will Hanke on June 15th, 2013

Business owners: Is your WordPress website a piece of junk?

There’s nothing more frustrating than building a website and having it sit there, not generating any leads.  I can’t imagine how frustrating it would be, after spending a lot of money on a site, for it to just waste away.

And why is that one competitor always ranking at the top? What is the secret to what he’s doing? And how can you get to the top (and push his ass down the page?) What WordPress SEO tricks can you do yourself?

Well, let me tell you – it’s possible.

Even if you don’t have a ton of time and money to spend on hiring a local SEO firm, there are things you can do to get your website moving towards the top of the search engines AND generating leads.

Wordpress SEOWhat if your website started generating just one lead a day? Would that keep you busy? What if it did two, or three, or five a day? Would you have more business than you knew what to do with?

In most cases, the answer is YES. That amount of leads would drastically change your business.

Well, let me help you get started in that direction.

Your First Brilliant Decision

First, let me congratulate you. Choosing WordPress, whether by accident or on purpose, was one of the best things you could have done for your online presence. WordPress now runs an estimated 17% of all the websites in existence. It’s huge, it has a great following, and the community and amount of help is staggering.Sio, congrats. Now, let’s get you started on optimizing your WordPress website for more leads.

So here’s the thing – your WordPress site  isn’t a piece of junk. It’s like a well-crafted, beautiful airplane that has never made it out of the hangar. It has all the potential of flying high, but you – the pilot – can’t get it out of the hangar

Step One – Understand Your Audience’s Online Habits & Frustrations

The first step in any SEO campaign is to understand your audience, their habits, likes and frustrations.  Understanding these things will lead you to create & modify the pages on your website so that they cater to these likes or frustrations.  While keyword research sounds pretty boring (and it is), it is essential to you being successful.

Knowing what words your audience is typing in to Google will lead you to create content and modify your site with those searches in mind. So sit down and take a few minutes to think about the benefits of your product or service. What things do you think people would type into a search box to solve their issue (and hire you?)

Step Two – Build & Optimize Pages Around Those Topics

This is where it may get a little time consuming – but the effort is worth it. Take the keywords that you’ve gleaned from Step One and start building new pages on your website tthat are designed to specifially answer one frustration or search that a customer would have.

For instance, a plumber may find that the phrase ‘clogged bathtub’ is searched 2500 times a day in his area.  So Mr. Plumber could write a blog post about typical reasons why bathtubs get clogged and why a product like Liquid Plumber doesn’t work in that situation.

Step Three – Add A Few WordPress Plugins That Will Boost Your Chances

The great thing about WordPress is that there are a TON of great add-ons (called Plugns) that expand what your site can do.  One of my favorites is the Yoast SEO plugin.  This plugin shows you how to modify your posts for the best SEO results by tying together your kkeyword, your content and some other SEO-related options that really increase your chances of getting to the top of Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

I’m also a fan of YARPP – a plugin that adds related posts to the end of each of your pages.  This one is great because it keeps people on your site longer, which establishes you as even more of an expert.

Remember our plumber? What if, at the end of his post on clogged bathtubs, there’s another article on ‘5 Tips to Keep Your Drains from Clogging’? Do you think a visitor is likely to click on that article and read it as well? You bet they would!  The YARPP plugin makes this possible.

Step Four – Fix WordPress Duplicate Content Leaks

With every great piece of software, there are still issues that require a little tweaking to work the best. WordPress is a great publishing platform, but it comes with a few inherent features that cause a business to be ‘penalized’ by the search engines.

One such penalty is the ‘duplicate content penalty’.   In short, if the search engines find a piece of content on a site that is a direct suplicate of someone else’s content, the offender is penalized by not ranking high. That sounds good, but it also applies to a website that has the same content showing up in multiple places on the same site.  And that’s something that WordPress does by default.

For instance, our plumber may write about ‘Three Ways to Save Money on Your Water Bill’.  This article will show up on his blog page, but it will also show up in each category and tag that he added to it as well. So…

http://www.ourplumber.com/blog/three-ways-save-money-water/
http://www.ourplumber.com/category/money/three-ways-save-money-water/
http://www.ourplumber.com/tag/budgeting/three-ways-save-money-water/

…are all different URLs to the same exact content. That’s a problem.

To fix this problem, you need to block these categories and tags from being indexed by the search engines. You can do that with the Yoast SEO plugin, or you can do it by adding a few lines of text to a file on your server called ‘robots.txt.’  Either way, blocking these categories will keep you from being penalized for having duplicate content on your own website. Your site will have more authority and a better reputation because of it.

Step Five – Give Every Page a Good Title and Description

Every page on your website should have it’s own unique title. This title should include a keyword you’re trying to rank for, and it should also make sense to the person who might see this title on Google.  It’s the title and description on the search engine  (which you control) which helps people decide whether or not they want to click to visit your website.

I’ve said it before – I think the meta description tag is the most under-utilized tag on a website. When done right, this description can lead to more traffic and more leads.  Do it wrong (or worse – don’t fill it our) and your site is bound to never see the light of day.

WordPress is Your Advantage to Better Rankings

I’ve spent a lot of time helping businesses get their sites to the top of the search engines and those that run on WordPress certainly have an advantage over the others. The ease of use, the huge assortment of plugins and the great community surrounding it have all led many businesses to better rankings and more leads.

Want to Learn More About WordPress & SEO?

If you want to learn more tips and tricks about SEO for your WordPress site, check out my 19-part video series that’s full of tips, tricks & videos that will teach you a ton about getting your WordPress website to the top of Google, Yahoo! and Bing!

About 

Will Hanke is the Chief Search Marketing Strategist at Red Canoe Media, a top St. Louis Search Marketing & SEO firm. In addition to helping some of the city's most recognizable brands with their online marketing strategy, Will also is an Amazon bestselling author, speaker and teacher.

 

4 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jan Roberg says:

    Thanks for the tips. Now I need to go put them into practice!

  2. Will Hanke says:

    Jan thanks for the comment. Putting them into practice is the hard part!

  3. Jon says:

    Great concise instructions for optimal results.
    Thx Will.

  4. Jon says:

    Great concise instructions for optimal results.
    Thanks Will

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