WordPress Encyclopedia: Everything you need to know for your WordPress Website
WordPress SEO is an essential concept when designing a WordPress website. In order to properly optimize your site effectively, one should have a basic understanding of what SEO is:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the processes, strategies, and techniques used to optimize a website or blog so that it has an increased chance of appearing higher on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page). Studies show that 75% of users rarely look beyond the first page of search results. As a result, SEO has become a critical marketing strategy. SEO practices capitalize on the information that search engine providers such as Google and Bing release about their ranking algorithms.
SEO traditionally focuses on using keywords. Internet marketers and SEO professionals perform keyword research, sifting through massive amounts of data to identify relevant, popular search terms. Ideally, experts will select keywords that many people search for, but not many competitors use on their own sites. This strategy helps them cut through Internet noise and reach potential buyers by honing in on more tailored long-tailed keyword phrases most commonly searched. This a common strategy used by most experts even those building outside WordPress SEO
Identified keywords will be implemented on certain pages that were identified during a site SEO audit to determine an SEO strategy typically through a SWOT analysis. Areas of keyword implementations include:
- The H1 and H2 section headers on a page or post
- The first and last paragraphs
- Captions and alternative text for Image Optimization
- Meta tags– The title, description, and keywords that appear at the top of the underlying code. The description will appear in the search results list.
While keywords are still widely used, Google has shifted its focus in recent years to emphasize more on robust, informative content. Google’s algorithms will give more consideration to valuable content than pages that simply infuse text and code with keywords. Combining these two strategies may yield the best results, and are commonly done simultaneously.
Backlinks are another key aspect of SEO. These are links that point to your content. Backlinks can be either external (on other sites) or internal (pages on your own site that link to your content).
Search engines give greater weight to external links from websites that link back to content on your site. The more authoritative (Domain Authority & Page Authority) the backlink, the more ‘SEO power’ or ‘link juice’ the search engine provider assigns to your page. If the New York Times links to your site, for example, that link will boost your search engine ranking more than a link from an individual’s personal blog.
Using a plugin to generate a sitemap will also make it easier for search engines to find and index your content.
There are several WordPress SEO plugins for managing your site’s SEO strategy. Yoast SEO is one of the most popular SEO plugins that many WordPress developers and SEO professionals use.