So, you’ve taken our advice and built a WordPress website for your business, and your website is performing pretty well in search results. You Google keywords associated with your business, and it pops right up. This is because WordPress is naturally pretty great for SEO.
As the months roll by, however, you notice it starting to slip down the page of search results. Then, pretty soon, it doesn’t even appear on the first page of Google anymore.
If you aren’t actively optimizing your WordPress website for SEO, eventually it will stop performing well in search. Below are 3 of the best ways to help you keep your website competitive when it comes to search by optimizing WordPress for SEO.
Way #1: Use the Yoast SEO Plugin
One of your best friends as a WordPress website owner is the Yoast SEO Plugin, which pretty much does everything you need to do for SEO. The plugin allows you to ping various search engines (i.e. Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) to make sure they’re indexing your site, automatically creates XML sitemaps to ensure search engines keep indexing your site correctly, and even provides you templates for writing posts and pages that encourage best practices in SEO.
Especially if you’re confused by how to keep your site SEO-friendly over time, Yoast SEO is the way to go.
Way #2: Research Marketable Keywords and Include Them in Your Blog Post Titles
Keywords are the lifeblood of SEO. If you use the wrong keywords, no one will find your content. If you use the right keywords, but in the wrong way, no one will find your content.
First, you need to find the best keywords for your industry. We have a whole post on this, so we won’t repeat that information here, but: you need a good list of the best keywords for what you want people to search for.
As a rule:
- Use the simplest possible, natural-language keyword string you can: instead of “how to optimize WordPress for SEO,” use “WordPress SEO” or “Optimize WordPress for SEO.”
- Avoid single-word keywords: “SEO” is going to be ridiculously competitive when compared to “WordPress SEO” or “SEO for WordPress.”
- Avoid using the same keyword twice.
Next, publish a new blog post to your website at least once per week with a new keyword in the title, meta-description, and content of your post.
Way #3: Create Root Pages and Link Your Posts Back to Them
Instead of publishing multiple blog posts with the same keyword, which can negatively impact your site’s SEO, use a “root” page and link back to it. A root page is a page of your website that you want to rank well for a certain keyword. One of our main root pages is our Grow Your Business Online page, for example. We want to redirect visitors to that page where they can get a free quote, so we link our blog posts back to that page.
Linking blog posts back to root pages allows you to publish fresh content every week with new keywords while still ranking well for older keywords (i.e., the ones in your root pages).
No SEO Magic Bullet
All the research we’ve conducted, plus all the research of the smart people we follow, points to the fact that there’s no magic bullet for SEO anymore. Gone are the days when you could just keyword stuff to trick Google into thinking you have the best content. Google has gotten better and better at delivering optimized content to its users, which means it’s harder and harder to achieve real results in Google search results.
All you can do is use best practices like the ones we’ve described here. And be wary of people who promise to put you on the number #1 spot on Google, guaranteed. As one SEO guru put it during a talk of his that we attended: “being the top search result on Google is worth about $1 million dollars today.”
“What??!!?!” You may be saying.
In an upcoming post, we’ll explain the difference between national (and international) SEO and local SEO. Suffice it to say, though: you can reach lots of customers with good SEO. Just don’t set your sights so high that you miss out on customers right in your own backyard.