How Does WordPress Affect SEO? Here Are The Top 6 Aspects to Consider!
WordPress can be a big benefit with SEO, but understanding the difference between SEO friendly and SEO optimized is critical in truly understanding how WordPress will Affect SEO.
Search Engine Optimization is one of the primary concerns of a website owner and should be for a website designer as well. Unless the website is optimized to appear at the top of Google search results, it will fail to draw visitors. Without a large number of visitors, the whole purpose of the website will be lost. All that to be said, often times the goals of a website designer are not inclusive of SEO and further more there is a huge difference between SEO friendly and SEO optimized. Understanding how all of these factors work together is essential in understanding how WordPress will affect your SEO.
For many website developers and designers, WordPress has emerged as the perceived answer to all their problems. Most listings of best content management systems (CMS) on the internet place WordPress right at the top of the heap, and not entirely without reason. However, web designers need to be aware of the fact that WordPress is not a plug-and-play solution to their SEO objectives. It requires high involvement before, during and after use so that the website can be truly optimized. We spoke to Springfield MA SEO experts who gave us some handy advice on what to keep in mind if your website is being built on WordPress.
First off, these experts wanted to clarify that WordPress is in fact SEO friendly — it is NOT SEO optimized.
What’s the difference?
Many CMS (content management systems) such as WordPress provide an SEO friendly system to give it’s users the best opportunity to rank in search, however none of them come optimized for SEO. Optimization is the ‘hands on’ practice and implementation of the right content paired with the right site structure and tagging.
Most website managers or small business owners aren’t savvy enough to distinguish between the different terminology used in the industry, and speaking frankly — it all does start to sound the same.
To clarify, WordPress can be beneficial when it comes to SEO, however it is not a magic system that allows you to bypass SEO strategy and implementation to rank your content.
It’s impossible to talk about WordPress SEO without mentioning the Yoast SEO plugin.
Yoast SEO is the original WordPress SEO plugin since 2008. It is the favorite tool of millions of users, ranging from the bakery around the corner to some of the most popular sites on the planet. With Yoast SEO, you get a solid toolset that helps you aim for that number one spot in the search results. Yoast: SEO for everyone.
Yoast SEO does everything in its power to please both visitors and search engine spiders. How? Below you’ll find a small sampling of the powers of Yoast SEO:
Taking care of your WordPress SEO
- The most advanced XML Sitemaps functionality at the push of a button.
- Full control over site breadcrumbs: add a piece of code and you’re good to go.
- Set canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content. Never have to worry about Google penalties again.
- Title and meta description templating for better branding and consistent snippets in the search results.
That being said, there is no plugin that is going to solve all of your WordPress SEO issues or again, magically get you ranked.
Here are a few important items that can impact how WordPress affects SEO:
- Upgrading WordPress, plugins, or even installing new plugins or themes will alter your website’s code. These changes can negatively impact your site’s SEO if not properly accounted for, which could cost you lost rankings.
- Adding new plugins can slow your site down or in some cases break your site completely. Site loading speed is an important ranking factor in Google’s algorithm — one that Google is taking very seriously as of late.
- Content marketing is critical for every online business. Researching, writing and optimizing content unfortunately can not be automated and WordPress alone will not be able to advise on keyword trends around which you should build this content.
- Running periodic SEO audits can ensure that your site is always optimized and able to stay abreast of the changing SEO environment. Having the right tools, the time and a good consultant is going to help.
What Other Items Are Going to Affect Your WordPress SEO?
Here Are the Top 6 Aspects to Consider Moving Forward with Your Site:
1. Language across regions
Unless a website has been created specifically to cater to local demand, it would need to be accessible and understandable to people from across the world. In fact, even a local business would do well to plan for the future and keep its website translatable. For this, the designer must ensure that all themes and plugins should be easily translatable into at least the ten major languages of the world.
There are many translation plugins available for WordPress, and they can be characterized in two main categories:
a) plugins that allow you to create multilingual content on your website. The main benefit of these plugins is the quality of your translations will be significantly better than any machine-generated online translation tools.
b) WordPress translation plugins that use online translation services to translate your content. These plugins don’t require you to write content in multiple languages, but the quality of translations is not as good as it can be.
*As a website owner, you should know that the first option is the best and you should hire professional translators to ensure that your message delivered the right way for a specific audience.
2. Thoughtful headings
Each paragraph on a website’s content has headings, and HTML5 names these headings as H1, H2, H3 and so on, in decreasing order of importance. The first paragraph usually has an H1 heading tag, then the next one has H2 and so on. Typically, the size and thickness of the lettering of H!, [email protected], H3 tags are also in reducing order. So some developers are tempted to use H1 tags for more than one paragraph. It would prevent the page from being viewed as spam by the search engine.
How do you like this headline?
“Win 5 free secret pix of Miley Cyrus and Ryan Gosling in your town!!”
Made you want to know more right away,
The scary thing is that using current headline how-tos, these phrases contain correct ‘magic words’ to draw viewers into a blog – even though it’s a string of popular keywords, it’s a good bet that if you were to actually use it, a larger number than usual would click to read more.
But there are some critical things smart bloggers should do differently: don’t lie (unless you really do have photos you’re willing to part with), and don’t overdo it — you may get a spike in visitors with such a blatant headline, but most visitors will go away and stay away from future posts.
Instead, you should bring more visitors in by making every post interesting and honest. Don’t forget that your blog title is also indexed by search engines or shared on social networks, so there’s always the possibility many beyond your usual audience may run across it.
If you’re new to blogging and want to create interesting titles, there are some different strategies and ingredients.
a) Abandon Newspaper Rules
If you came into blogging through traditional media and learned how to create ideal newspaper headlines, forget it. Though there once was much skill required to design witty, wordy and well-balanced titles, the Internet has changed the entire rulebook. “City Council Mulls Local Impact Fee Increase Tonight” isn’t going to fly in an SEO world, but “Is your mayor trying to raise your taxes?” might be stronger. If you still want to be inspired by print media, check out supermarket tabloids, which make bolder promises.
b) Encourage Action
Rebekah Radice, a blogger with Social Media Today, created several suggestions to engage and build the audience. One suggestion is to include a hook to compel millions of potential people to click on your post. Visitors may want to verify that you have a solution to whatever problem is perplexing them, or even a satisfactory answer to a question you’ve asked. The catch is to make sure the payoff is worth the investment of a click. You may have more action items in your post, but all your title needs to do is get them to take that one step.
c) Make Life Better
This was the top suggestion offered by ProBlogger. A good way to get people to buy is either to convince them that using a product or service will improve their life (think fragrance commercials), or that not using it will potentially make them lose out (think insurance commercials). If your post answers a common quandary, or teaches something new, visitors have justified their click.
d) Offer Help
Your post can end up making you an instant expert. http://InternetProviders.com is an excellent example of a site that shares all sorts of interesting trends taking place in the world of internet services and web hosting, as it compares and reviews various services.
e) Get Personal
Instead of offering generic info for anyone and everyone, act as if you’re talking directly to one reader at a time. Blogelina, a popular content blog, suggests using a lot of “I,” “you” and “your” references. Essentially, you should be having a discussion and making a connection with the reader.
3. SEO friendly themes
Themes for WordPress are available in large numbers, many of which are free. While that is an attractive feature, some themes are not suitable for a website’s SEO as they might not be responsive for mobile viewing or might slow down the loading speed of the site. Again, if a theme is free, it is likely to have less stringent security features, and might not provide adequate support for transitioning to newer releases of WordPress.
Your going to want to check out the recent guide published here for the absolute best SEO friendly WordPress Themes.
*Having a website that is seo friendly is obviously a great thing. However, if you are expecting rankings — you will need to understand that incorporating an off-site seo strategy is essential.
4. Correct Plugins
Check out this post that covers the top search engine optimization elements that using WordPress Plugins can help you automate and enhance.
Plugins are useful pieces of code inserted into WordPress websites for achieving specific functions. Most of them aid in SEO ranking, although there are some that have entirely different functions such as providing analytical data to the owner of the website. When choosing plugins, it is critical to check features like compatibility and technical support.
As we move further into 2018, there as some newer WordPress SEO plugins that your site can really benefit from:
a) Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
AMP is a new initialtive from Google that aims to speed up the user experience on mobile devices. The basic concept is simple: a content delivery network for your site. A CDN is a system of data centers that cache and load your site. Whenever someone clicks on your site and you are participating in AMP, they will be served by the data center closest to their physical location. That makes the site load up to four times faster.
Plus, because it is a Google product, your site will rank above competitor sites that are not using AMP. It’s totally free to use and easy to install. Google will begin linking to AMP versions of pages in the coming months, so now is the time to get on board.
b) Schema Creator – Use Rich Snippets
Rich Snippets are important pieces of information that Google will display below your link in SERPs. For example, a product link could display ratings, price, availability and the number of ratings that product has. A business link could display hours of operation, payment methods, and contact information. These are very attractive to searchers, and if your snippets are formatted according to Schema.org standards, they are attractive to Google as well. Schema is a free plugin that will quickly and automatically make microdata for any and all of your posts in the right format.
5. A good host
Many website designers and companies prefer to get their own virtual private server to host their website, but that is heavy on time, resources and bandwidth. That is why hiring a managed web hosting service is the more popular choice for most people. The web hosting service would provide real estate for the website to sit on, and also take care of administration, security, performance and technical issues. So while selecting a good web host, the web designer should look at how well they support various WordPress plugins, whether they provide a test environment apart from the production server, how good their reputation is and whether they bring along some unwanted guests (like affiliates) or not.
But with so many different web hosting services available, how do you know which one to choose?
No Worries, just check out our complete Guide to WordPress Hosting here.
6. Continuous involvement
A WordPress website might hit the top rankings fast after going live, but it can slide down equally quickly if not nurtured continuously. Most sites take the easy way out and hire the services of a consultant to help them keep the website attractive from an SEO point of view. However, there are also companies that hire a full-time employee for just that. It is required because updates and modifications are necessary whenever things like content, plugins, or themes change on a website. Only when such updates happen on time can a site continue to gather impressive rankings.
There can be a lot to maintain with WordPress, but we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive WordPress maintenance guide and checklist featuring 50+ website maintenance tips that will assist you in optimizing your site. These tips are tried and tested methods. Plus, there are various tools that are mentioned in this guide that will help speed up your maintenance process and a handy infographic. Check it out here.
Taking care of these aspects before and during the use of WordPress can result in much better SEO efficiency. WordPress has built up an enviable reputation as a reliable CMS, but if these elements are not taken through a process of due diligence, the results might be a bit disappointing. On the other hand, if these are taken care of right from the start, you can get off to a good start as far as optimization of your website is concerned.