Things change rapidly in the WordPress world. The content in this post is more than a year old and may no longer represent best practices.
More than 200 factors go into determining your site’s ranking in Google.
You see results from optimization faster with WordPress than with HTML sites.
Lou Anne took her example client from 189 to 1055 keywords—those are the terms real people actually used to find the site.
Keyword research is critical. The most searched term was “weight loss”, which the client thought was 90% relevant. “Fitness” was 100% relevant.
The trick is to find the words that people haven’t found your site with, that you want them to.
Tip: When people phone you, they may actually tell you the keywords they used, or would use, e.g. “I’m looking for a 3-bedroom home in…”
KEI: Keyword Effectiveness Index
From her keyword research, Lou Anne creates categories so she can organize the site. She works with the web designer in the early stages. If the only pages you have are services ABC, you’re only appealing to people who are already ready to buy. Use the terms people use when researching. The site will end up larger, but it will appeal to a greater range of people.
Ellen asks how SEO for WordPress differs—Lou Anne says in the implementation. (Regular websites don’t necessarily have categories and tags.)
Lou Anne doesn’t know how much tags affect SEO. But think of them in terms of keywords anyway.
Note: No search engine uses the keyword meta tag field. Lou Anne only uses them to keep track of what her client is trying to optimize on.
Don’t change your permalink structure without setting up 301 Redirects. (You can use the Redirection plugin (see list below) for this.)
Lou Anne’s preferred permalink structure is %category%/%postname%
• Page title—THE MOST IMPORTANT
• Page slug
• Description—Not used for ranking, but people will click based on this.
Search for “site:yourdomain.com” to see what your page descriptions look like now.
You want every page’s title and every description to be unique.
Plugins for SEO
• Headspace2 rather than All in One SEO. It lets you put your Google Analytics code and other IDs
• Robots Meta plugin helps take care of duplicate content
• Automatic SEO Links
• SEO Smart Links
• SEO Friendly Images
• Google Sitemap Generator
• MaxBlogPress ping optimizer
• Redirection to fix broken links and otherwise create 301 redirects
• Surveys (search-friendly) http://wordpress.org/…
• PollDaddy (not searchable, if you’re asking about something not relevant to searches)
• Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP)
• Folding Category Widget
Work on the words/phrases in 5th to 9th position. Those are the ones you can move, and make a difference with.
The reason you might use “noindex” is if you’re writing something not related to your main topic.
For more SEO expertise, contact
Lou Anne McKeefery,