On the weekend of July 21st-22nd, I attended WordCamp Sydney, a gathering of over 200 likeminded people to discuss all things WordPress. This series of posts is an attempt to provide a brief summary of some of what I learned there. The slide sets for all the presentations are available on Slideshare.
SEO (search engine optmisation) refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in the organic / natural search results (as opposed to paid search results you would get via Google AdWords).
Matt Cutts at Google recommends using WordPress!
WordPress is an excellent tool for building websites:, with great usability as a content management system, and search-engine-friendly URLs.
There is no excuse for poor SEO on a WordPress site, as you have so many things to hook search engine relevant information onto:
Design websites for people, not for search engines!
- Keywords heading tags
- Keywords in title tag
- Keywords in domain name
- Keywords in image title & alt text
- Internal link popularity
- Quality content
- Regular updates to your content
404 Pages (this is the error page you get when the page you try to go to doesn’t exist).
- Don’t make it boring – have some content there
- Make sure it has navigation back to home page and contact details
- Include a site map
301 Redirects – if you remove a page or change its name, you need to have a redirection in place so visitors trying to go to the old page land on the new one. There are a number of ways to do this, but the one that is best for search engines is a 301 redirect.
Write good content that contains your target keywords, in natural language. Google’s algorithm will penalise you for not using natural language – again, write for people, not search engines!
Keywords should appear in the first two paragraphs of your copy.
Include longtail keywords (these are longer, more specific phrases that people might be searching on, rather than just one or two words).
Keep your copy realistic and relevant.
Images – make sure you include a keyword in the image name before you upload them e.g., if you are selling blue widgets, “blue-widget.jpg” means a lot more to search engines than “DSCF0123.jpg.”
Make sure you include an address in your site footer – Google knows where people are searching from, and delivers results accordingly.
Use custom permalinks structure in WordPress to make more SEO-friendly URLs
Title tag – Use different title tag on each page, and include keywords – don’t just have “About Us”.
Description Tag – Include contact information in your Description meta tag. This will show up on the Google search results page, and allow people to call you straight from the results page without even clicking through to your site.
Check out the source code of your competitors’ websites and see what tags they are using.
Need quality inbound, outbound and internal links.
Use social media well – make it easy for people to share links to your content. (Google rankings is directly influenced by tweeted and shared links.
WordPress Links tab – include high ranking links that are relevant to your site
Add your business to Google Places
List in True Local directory – check your listing, and make sure it’s correct.
Don’t Get Penalised!
Google frowns upon:
- Blog spamming
- Content farming
- Keyword stuffing
- Over optimisation
- Low quality content
Handy SEO Plugins
- WordPress Meta Keywords
- All in One SEO – allows you to do tags on multiple pages in bulk – handy if you have a large site.
- Open Graph – adds metadata to pages to identify them as ‘social objects’, esp use of Facebook Like button.