WordPress is a free, web-based content management system that was designed to allow anyone build and maintain a website or blog. It was originally intended as a way of writing and publishing blog articles but due to the ease and flexibility of WordPress, it has also become a platform for developing websites as well. Since its creation in 2003, it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on millions of sites and seen by tens of millions of people every day. WordPress describes itself as both free and priceless at the same time, we take a look at what it has to offer if you want to use it to create your own SEO friendly website.
Choosing a theme
One of the main benefits of WordPress is that you can create web pages without having any interactive design know how whatsoever. They have a range of ‘themes’ or templates to choose from for free, or you have the ability to buy a unique theme designed by someone else or upgrading your customisation options and having access to more font and themes.
The blogging features in WordPress allow you to update your website/blog frequently, to receive and respond to comments from your readers. This is great for SEO purposes, because search engines love fresh content. With regards to SEO benefits, WordPress features take care of it automatically, requiring hardly any effort including clean code, customised permalinks, tags, RSS feeds, customer comments and default themes. There are also quite a few third party plug-ins which can help with search engine optimisation. In short, it’s a stress-free way to get your content out there and make sure it gets noticed.
Getting the most from a WordPress website
On-page SEO: On-page SEO relates to anything that gets published within your website that is visible to the public and search engines. If structured properly, good on-page SEO and valuable content makes it possible for every piece of content you publish to become a constant source of traffic.
Search engine optimisation in WordPress is a combination of effective headlines, the writing style suiting your demographic, your on-page structure being correct, as well as the usefulness and share-ability of the content.
The headline and article title: The headline is the most important part of the entire copy. People generally scan read copy and focus on the titles in order to decide whether it’s interesting enough to read. The perfect headline is one that entices the reader to read more, describes the topic clearly and includes your keywords.
The main content: The main content must be informative, succinct and include keywords and phrases.
Clean code: It’s essential for a website to contain good quality content that is appropriate to the website and is keyword-rich. The search engine will pick up on these keywords and give the website a good quality “score”.
Customised permalinks: Permalinks are in essence links or URLs to each page on your website. When you create a new page within your website in WordPress, a new url is immediately created. WordPress provides great flexibility with regards to url structure, you can alter the structure of permalinks to your liking and add keywords you want to focus on, i.e. If your website is all about car insurance, ‘car insurance’ would be your keyword. Search engines even look in to the URL when ranking webpages.
Use of tags: With WordPress you have the ability to tag your posts and images; it not only gives you an additional navigational option but also allows search engines to find your internal pages and posts more easily. WordPress also lets you to post your tags on your homepage which eases the process further for search engines. If you upload images or media and want them to be visible on Google image search you will need to add the alt tags when you upload them to WordPress. Wherever possible, use your main keyword phrase in the alt tags of your images as well.
RSS Feeds: WordPress comes with a built-in RSS feed. So, your content can go onto a feed directory with a link coming back to your site, meaning they can read your blog as you post new content. They will be alerted each time you post new content.
WordPress comments: This function allows people to comment on blogs and posts and is also another great way to boost your search rankings. Search engines give greater importance to posts with more comments.
Default theme: WordPress now has a great default ‘theme’. The design and stricture is flexible and loads really fast. This is significant as the latest search engine from Google takes site speed in to consideration when ranking your website.
Yoast plug in: WordPress SEO is the most complete SEO plugin that exists for WordPress users. Not only does it take care of all the technical optimisation, it helps you write better content. You are asked to choose a plug-in when writing your articles, and then makes sure you use that focus keyword everywhere.
WordPress is designed so that the average person can create a website and manage the content of it on a regular basis. It’s easy to use, has great features and most importantly can help you achieve a great SEO friendly ranking. It is designed to help guide search engines through posts, pages, and categories to help the relevant information be taken into consideration in the SEO ranking. I would highly recommend using WordPress to create your website – the Red C website is a great example of this!