WordPress is a great choice for your new website, but it's not pre-packaged as search engine optimized.
WordPress is one of the most widely used content management system on the world wide web. WordPress is versatile, easy to use, highly customize-able and has plenty of plugins and themes available.
There are some common mistakes to make yourself aware of if using WordPress. Many believe that using WordPress automatically guarantees good search engine optimization (SEO).
That's not quite how it works, actually it's not even close to how it works. Below are some very important things that you need to make sure you do if you want your new WordPress site to be search engine friendly.
- WordPress Is Not An Automatic SEO Solution
The only value of WordPress for SEO is that it is simple. When using WordPress you don't have to worry about knowing any of the coding or dong anything difficult, luckily there are pre-coded plugins available for WordPress that help with SEO.
- WordPress’s default URL/permalink settings are not at all search engine friendly. You’ll want to adjust your "permalink" structure in order to make your site’s URLs optimized. The structure you should go for is something human-readable, thus search engine optimized and search engine friendly.
Disclaimer: If you have an existing WordPress site, DO NOT simply change your permalinks. This will change all the existing URLs and potentially result in 404 errors and most likely a loss of traffic and rankings.
- WordPress defaults external links to open in the same window. If a user clicks a link on your page, they navigate off your page and onto the new page or website, within the same window. In other words, you may have just lost a reader, user or customer.
- WordPress also doesn't automatically create XML sitemaps. This is highly problematic as a sitemap is an integral part of search engine optimization.
- Your Theme Is Not Automatically SEO-Friendly
- Truly, one of the greatest features of WordPress is the variety of themes. In a matter of minutes you can get your website a whole new look But what about SEO? Most themes will claim to be “search optimized.” A fully search engine optimized website requires high-quality content and with WordPress a stand-alone plugin.
Some thing to look for in a search engine friendly theme include:
- Lightweight or Streamlined Coding - Extraneous coding or coding mistakes slow a site down and reduce search engine friendliness. It may cost a small fee, but always use a trusted theme with streamlined code.
- With Google’s mobile algorithm, it’s essential that your site be mobile-optimized or responsive. A good theme will have built-in responsive capabilities.
- A SEO Plugin Does Not Make a Site Optimized (but it does help)
Just because you use a SEO plugin doesn’t mean that your site will be fully optimized. A plugin only enables you to do optimizing, it doesn’t do search engine optimization for you.
The purpose of the plugin is that it allows you to more easily modify, customize or enhance your site. With a plugin, you don’t need to access code files. You simply fill in blanks and check a few boxes and the plugin does the hard work.
A search engine optimization plugin may claim to optimize the meta descriptions on your site. It’s up to you, however, to write that meta description. So it doesn't actually optimize the data, it allows you the opportunity to optimize it easier.
I use the All in One SEO Pack. It provides a great array of search engine optimization tools along with streamlined code.
Here are some of the features from All in One SEO Pack that I find particularly helpful:
- Easy to adjust the site’s robots.txt for indexation control.
- Canonical URL for content including pages and posts.
- Auto generate meta descriptions.
- Dynamic and automatic XML sitemap generation.
- Google analytics and webmaster tools friendly.
- Reminders to optimize titles, meta descriptions, keywords and more
Using the plugin is as easy as being aware of basic SEO and filling in the right boxes.
You only need one SEO plugin and using multiple can cause coding errors, search engine confusion and possibly user errors with content. If you're chosen plugin does what it’s supposed to, there is no need to purchase or install additional ones.
- It’s Up To You To Optimize Your Site For Search
- If you want a truly optimized site, it’s up to you to make it that way.
Search engine optimization isn’t just about installing the right plugins or theme. You have to take control and make your website search-friendly by using the right plugin and theme.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Create UNIQUE Content - Most importantly, start creating unique content and put content on every page of your site.
- More Content - When you’ve optimized all main pages of your site, start creating more content. Blog articles, videos, guides, tutorials — create as much high-quality content as you can. Content with substance, more than 1,000 words can get indexed, ranked and start getting traffic faster than short content pages.
- Learn More About SEO - The more you know about search engine optimization, the better you’ll be.
- Don’t Install Lots Of Plugins - Plugins are helpful, but they can add a lot of code to the site and slow things down. The issue isn’t usually with the number of plugins, but more what the plugins are doing. Keep your list of plugins short and streamlined, it's better for the user and search engines.
In conclusion, don’t assume that you're search engine optimized and top-ranked site just because you’re using WordPress. It’s up to you to know good search engine optimization and adjust your SEO plugins... then start creating great content.
Pulse Media Solutions offers all of this expertise with their clients. Whether you don't have time or the expertise, Pulse Media Solutions search engine optimization can help your website. If you're interested in our SEO service, contact us today!