Home » Optimising WordPress For Search – A Brief Guideline

Optimising WordPress For Search – A Brief Guideline

One thing that all WordPress bloggers can agree on is that having traffic is a good thing. And getting free traffic is even better! For the past 20 years, there has been no better source of free, on topic and relevant website visitors than search engine referrals. Whether you’re running a niche blog talking about a highly specific subject or you’re running a blog that contains content from some of the most high traffic and lucrative niches out there – search engine traffic should still be at the forefront of your promotional efforts and traffic generation concerns.

The only issue with search engine traffic is the fact that it’s free which means everyone wants in on it and the fact that it’s limited. You’ll seldom get anything out of it unless you’re in the top three positions. Well, perhaps you will, but it will be of such low quality that the hope of converting said traffic into a lead or even sale is slim. Competition is rife in the organic SEO arena so you’re going to need a really good site to even compete. What makes a good site though is different from what you might think. There are a whole bunch of things you can do to make your site more geared up for organic search and this article is going to give you a run through of what those are.

Get Responsive

A responsive web design is something that all webmasters should have in this day and age. There is no excuse not to. Especially if you’re running on WordPress. There are countless free and premium themes available that are both great looking, cheap to buy and responsive. But what does this have to do with traffic I hear you ask? Well, firstly, outside of traffic, think of the mobile experience. Mobile traffic is around 60% of the web at the last count, everyone has a smartphone or tablet so the term “mobile first” could not be more true when it comes to site building.

Google is also rewarding sites with higher rankings in their search if the site is mobile responsive. And rightly so. If someone is searching via a mobile phone then you should have the sites designed for mobile phones above those which have a sole desktop offering.

Consider Page Speed

Page speed is another factor that gets overlooked and is another one that Google are rewarding sites for. There are tons of modules and plugins out there to help you speed up your site so there is really no excuse not to. If your site is faster than the sites around you in the organic top 10, Google will reward you for it with more traffic. Especially if people are clicking back from your competitors websites because they’re too slow!

The Perfect Permalink

Permalinks are one of those elements that spark a lot of debate. Some say they should be as short as possible. Some say you should work in as many keywords as possible and some say you should avoid the date at all costs. Personally, I think a good permalink is something that remains top level e.g. appearing directly after your domain name (so avoid dates and categories) and it should contain solely your page title. No keyword bolt ons. That isn’t to say that your article title shouldn’t contain keywords. It should. But don’t load up and make sure the article title reads well if you’re consciously optimising it.

Content, Content, Content

You’ve no doubt heard the phrase content is king. This couldn’t be more true. Your website content if produced right will maximise your optimisation efforts 10 fold. You need lots of it, long articles covering as many subjects as possible in a well written, easy to read format. If you produce the right content and your page is optimised properly your promotional efforts will come close to taking care of themselves!

Meta Info – Is It Necessary?

Another debatable question. Meta tags, are they a thing of the past? Personally I feel it’s all about the page title. This is one that definitely should be optimised but the use of meta descriptions and keywords is questionable. Personally, I use the meta description solely as a way of making my page enticing to someone viewing the snippet via the search results. I don’t worry about keyword loading so much, I just make sure when a visitor reads it that it’s something they’d want to click. Meta keywords I don’t touch at all. They really are a thing of the past. If you’re not familiar with optimising your titles and meta info there are some great tutorials on it which also go into detail about the other areas where you can work in some keywords etc.

Traffic generated via search engine optimisation via the organic listing is in no way guaranteed. You’re at the mercy of Google and it’s algorithm effectively. All you can do is build a good site and take the right steps to optimise your site in the way that the likes of Google want to see it. There are no short cuts, it takes a lot of time and effort to product something that is both of quality and capable of yielding the holy grail of free organic search traffic.

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