Last week was the first of a three part blog series discussing all the reasons why we at PTE often advocates using WordPress for your custom website platform. Now that we know why WordPress Dashboard makes a great CMS, we’ll cover how WordPress can improve your website’s search engine visibility. The importance of being visible in search results is paramount in Internet marketing. Search is the primary traffic driver of most websites, so anything that helps a website rank highly in search engine ranking pages (SERPs) should be considered. Well, WordPress definitely helps, and hopefully this blog will do a good job of explaining why!
- Built-In SEO Features – WordPress actually has some impressive SEO features included with installation. For example, basic WordPress settings can be adjusted to notify you of incoming links to your blog entries. You can also easily manage and build out categories and keywords for your various entries. Perhaps the greatest built-in feature is the way that WordPress automatically formats the website HTML to establish the hierarchy of information.
- Hierarchy of Information – These sites are SEO-friendly, right out-of-the-gate. Content is easy to scan and index, and is pre-formatted with a hierarchy of information. This is done via “Heading Tags” in HTML. These tags are numbered from 1 to 6, with 1 being the most prominent, or most important content. Search engines can easily scan everything on your website and sort content from greatest to least importance.
- Built-in Blog – Search engines love blogs for several reasons: they’re ease to scan, they attract a lot of links, they’re packed with keywords and they’re updated frequently. Included with every WordPress website is a WordPress blog, built-in. Blogs are an excellent content driver for any social media effort, and are arguably the most valuable asset for a search engine optimization effort. They are ALSO a great source of fresh content for your website and social media, establishing your brand as a source of valuable information on a particular topic.
- SEO Add-ons – Going back to previous points, there are many add-ons for WordPress that can aid with Search Engine Optimization. A couple of my favorite SEO plug-ins are Yoast SEO for WordPress and the All-In-One SEO Pack. While they are not a substitute for professional SEO services, they do make a basic SEO effort possible with minimal knowledge, effort and cost. Another great widget, for keyword research (a component of SEO), would be the tag cloud. It provides a visual representation of the various keywords for blog entries, with the most commonly used keywords at larger sizes, and vice verse.
While WordPress doesn’t “do it all” when it comes to search engine optimization – it DOES help significantly. With search engine visibility so vital to online success, it’s great to work with a platform that has so many convenient features. Next week, we’ll discuss how WordPress “Themes” are different than website templates – So don’t forget to check back, or add us to your RSS reader.
If you’re considering a custom website for personal use or for a small to medium sized business – shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 239.221.2858. We’re open to answering any questions you may have, as well as discussing how some of these ideas might apply to your website.