The online marketing arena is murky with quick tips and strategies to optimize your WordPress site for the best free search engine rankings. It is a fact that search engine optimization can enhance your “natural” or “organic” listings. But within reason and only when done consistently with best practices in mind.
Beware of the “solutions” (I really hate that word) that don’t fall in line with this article. Read learn and don’t fall prey to the less experienced or those only goal is to line their pockets by taking advantage of what they know you don’t know. Online, “knowledge is power” applies times ten!
When you run into the following myths you will now be empowered with the truth.
- Using WordPress Guarantees Rankings: “Get a WordPress site and your rankings will shoot to the top!” Yes, using WordPress is more favorable than other site structures when it comes to search engines but no experienced professional running a legitimate shop will ever promise or guarantee future results – either is position or for length of time — regardless of the platform your site is on.
The fact is none of us have any idea what search engine algorithms will be tomorrow let alone a week or a month from now. Guaranteed positions can only be promised by participating in Pay Per Click programs and purchasing your positions.
Even after putting your site on WordPress you have to be aware of and do certain things on a consistent basis if you are serious about improving your rankings. WordPress alone won’t save the day.
- Just add a WordPress SEO Plugin — “Set and Forget!”: Plugins are great. SEO plugins are very helpful. However, you need to thoughtfully and with diligence complete the SEO plugin fields for every page and post with the details specific and unique for each page/post.
This means you don’t copy and paste the same text repeatedly into every field on the site. Yep, that takes some time and effort. By the way, nothing online is “set and forget”!
- Change/Update your Meta Keyword Tags: If only it were that easy! I have seen those who have been conned into paying high fees simply to have some designer update their Meta Keyword tags.
List whatever you want within that tag and you’ll get found when searched for. Baloney! The fact is the majority of search engines completely ignore or put little to no value on the Meta Keyword tag.
There are some sites and directories that still look at the Meta Keyword tag — but nothing of consequence to your search engine rankings which is what most folks are interest in. Do what I do — fill that field in with your top three 2-3 keyword phrases for that post. Then make sure those terms are peppered in your title, text and headlines.
This is a great way to double check your focus and cover all the bases. There’s a great article on this topic over on SEOMoz.org if you are interested in further reading on this subject.
- Creating Mini WordPress Sites with Duplicate Content: Yikes! WordPress sites created with duplicate content for the sole purpose of manipulating search engine rankings is waste of time and money. (The Google Farmer update penalized sites trying this approach!)
The same site or info on a different domain name to create links to your main site simply to garner duplicate rankings is trying to game the search engines and they know this — so they ignore those additional pages.
Anyone offering you this solution is surely not playing by the rules or worthy of your hard earned dollars.
- Don’t Link Off Your Site: This one has been popping up allot lately. Don’t know where it is coming from but it isn’t bad to link off your site to valuable, credible and helpful resources that your site visitors will appreciate.
I do not hesitate to link off my site to articles that contribute to or add to a topic I’m discussing. As a matter of fact I do so in this article.
Once we get that issue out of the way, clients then wonder if creating link partnerships is of value. Yes!
Know that link programs are only successful when done properly. The Reality of an Effective Reciprocal Linking Program. A key factor in any successful link program/partnership creation is that all the sites have something in common in topic or site focus that benefits the site visitors to each site.
This takes time and consistency to build (just like anything that produces results online). When it comes to links, a site owner’s search engine ranking desires need to take a back seat to offering site visitors quality resources.
When contacted for advice, I have yet to run into a WordPress site that I cannot make suggestions to optimize for better organic listings. Heck, I know I can find issues with my own sites where I could optimize further if I just had the time.
If optimization was not considered during the development and content creation stage of your WordPress site — you having catching up to do.
This includes having intuitive navigation that is not only consistent throughout your site, but speaks to what your site visitors will understand and will allow them to intuitively know what is where. This requires planning way in advance of any copy being created.
For those who have read some of my other WordPress SEO articles, you’ll find the same reoccurring theme. There are no quick fixes or short cuts.
Your SEO goals should include implementing proven strategies that are the core of any successful WordPress Web site. There are far too many companies out there that willing take advantage of the hungry uniformed site owners with the desire for “quick, cheap and easy”. Now you have no excuse — you are now armed with the facts.
It really isn’t all that complicated. If you are overwhelmed with the whole SEO thing start with my article How to SEO Your WordPress site. Doesn’t cost a thing but your time — then, get to work!
At your service,