Welcome to the fourth and final article in our WordPress strategy blog series. In this article, we’ll be looking at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), what it is and why it’s essential to your WordPress website.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
To put it simply, it’s what will help you appear as high as possible on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) like Google. Beyond that, it also helps inform search engines how relevant your website is to its users.
Let’s say that you own a bakery called “Nick’s Pies” in a small town called “Sometown”. In this hypothetical situation, your potential customers will likely be searching “best pies in Sometown”; so you need to optimise your content to fit this scenario.
If you want to learn more about writing content for your website, we covered optimising your website’s copy in WordPress Strategy – Part 3: Content, and in another post, we covered keyword stuffing and why it’s bad. Beyond composition, there are also several more subtle and sometimes technical aspects to SEO that we’ll cover in this article.
SEO Tools in WordPress
The first and easiest step you can take to improve your SEO is utilising SEO tools to benchmark and analyse your content. Doing so will give you a foundation to identify and act on SEO shortfalls on your website.
There are many SEO tools available online, each with pros and cons. Google’s Search Console, Google Analytics, and Google My Business tools are stand out options, and they’re free. Google also offers a WordPress native plugin called Google Site Kit which combines their suite of tools.
There are other plugins such SEOPress, Yoast SEO, and many more that offer a variety of capabilities to end-users. If you’re unsure where to start, it might be worth testing out a few options in a development environment and finding what works for you.
Defining your SEO Strategy
When defining your strategy, you need to consider what your speciality or niche is. Why do your visitors want to find you? What is your expertise in this area?
Once this is clear, you need to keep this front of mind when developing your website content. It’s essential to keep your message and wording consistent.
In our “Nick’s Pies” hypothetical, the specialty or niche, in this scenario, is “pies”. So the author would write the website’s copy to revolve around the pies and various types of pies in Sometown. Likewise, in an eCommerce situation, the product names, descriptions, tags and other meta information revolve around pies.
Sticking to a common theme across your website will help build credibility. Furthermore, it helps search engines identify what your website offers and how relevant it is to the user searching for it. On relevance, if you’re operating bricks and mortar storefront, it’s crucial to consider location-specific content and meta that calls out your business’s physical location.
In our hypothetical pie store, location-specific content will increase the store rank higher on SERPs when users search terms like “pie shops near me” or “best pies in Sometown”.
The bottom line is that the more you cover your specialty topic, the more likely your content will be called upon elsewhere and rank higher as a result.
Having an SEO strategy is probably the most critical part of forming your WordPress Strategy. However, it’s also essential to keep in mind that search engines such as Google can take months to reflect the changes you make to your website accurately.
For onsite SEO strategy, meaning the things you do or show on your website, there are a few key points you can refer to when building an SEO strategy:
- When it comes to content, you need to consider what it is and where you’ll put it. Written copy, pictures, images, links and product descriptions all form part of your website and inform search engines of what it is you’re conveying.
- Plan your use of tags and other meta information ahead of time to assist with creating dynamic meta links between your content. This article for example has a category of “learning” and a tag of “SEO”, both of which assist search engines to identifiy the content. In eCommerce senarios product atributes such as “type=pie”, “meat=beef” and “style=homemade” can help you create reusable meta.
- Defining your websites schema information is a great way to inform search engines of the type of content you’re posting and other key pieces of information around that content. It’s essentially a predefined set of information that you can provide.
In some cases can take weeks, months and years of dedication to rank well. However, it’s also worth noting that if you chop and change your strategy all the time, you’ll have trouble improving your website’s rank in the long run.
SEO can be a complex beast, and I’ve only covered the surface area when forming a strategy. It’s often best, but not essential, to engage an SEO professional to advise you on a plan if you’re having trouble. Most SEO experts will also provide you with a detailed SEO analysis report that will detail issues and remedies.
This article concludes our four-part blog series on WordPress Strategy! We hope you found it informative and of use. Keep an eye out for our next series of WordPress posts on eCommerce.