If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked this question! 😉
One of the many reasons to switch to WordPress is that is makes SEO easier. That in no way means that WordPress is a "magic bullet".
Is your WordPress site MIA in the search engines? Do you wonder why you aren't getting found? Do you find your site on page 22 and that's just not good enough? Or, do you have a new WordPress site that is still not ranking and are bewildered as to why?
In my world questions about SEO are something I am asked about most. And to be honest not too much has changed in the over two decades I've been crafting and marketing websites. WordPress or not.
When I hear these questions, more come to mind.
- How long has your site been online?
- Do you offer anything unique?
- Are you adding content -- regularly?
- Are you active on social media?
- Why should your site rank higher than those that already do?
The answers to these questions lets me know if the site owner has realistic expectations or just pie-in-the-sky desires.
"I Moved My Site to WordPress Just for the SEO and I'm Still Not on the Top Page of Google!"
Recently I was having a conversation with a developer I know on this topic. We were fondly remembering "the old days" when you could literally put up a site, get found and make things happen. That was over 20 years ago and since then millions of websites and billions of web pages have been added to search engine indexes.
To say it takes time and a lot of hard work to make that top page now-a-days is actually an understatement! It is a pretty unrealistic expectation to have for any new site or simply because you moved your site to WordPress.
Yes, moving your site to the WordPress platform, which is inherently SEO friendly, was a great move! Add the ability to install SEO Plugins that will guide you on making your content and site optimized, makes it as easy as you can hope for.
If you don't have your site on WordPress or are thinking of putting up a new site -- WordPress is the way to go. All new sites take more time to acquire relevant rankings over established sites. Patience is a virtue here.
But SEO doesn't happen by osmosis. The act of "putting" your site on WordPress alone does not negate the other things you need to think about consistently and for perpetuity when planning and updating your site.
Where I See Folks Fall Short
SEO doesn't just happen on it's own. You need to be informed and aware of the variables involved and integrate them into your site with every bit of content you add. I have 26 articles on the topic of SEO. If you only read one, read my article WordPress How To: Learn About SEO.
When I think about what most of my clients struggle with when it comes to SEO, this is what comes to mind:
- Not adding content on a regular basis.
READ: 3 Easy Steps for Gathering Great Post Ideas
- The quality of content being added is subpar.
READ: Want Your Posts to be read? Then Don't Do These 5 Things!
- Not doing any keyword research or planning.
READ: Free Keyword Research Tools
- Integrating SEO basics into each page or post.
READ: How to SEO WordPress Posts
- Underestimating the power of internal linking.
READ: Crafting Link Worthy Content
- Site performance is not tracked and monitored.
READ: East Steps to a Lean Mean WordPress Machine
From the Horse's Mouth
Google does have their SEO Starter Guide online for you to bookmark and become intimate with.
Google's SEO Starter Guide Table of Contents
- Getting started
- Help Google find your content
- Tell Google which pages shouldn't be crawled
- Help Google (and users) understand your content
- Manage your appearance in Google Search results
- Organize your site hierarchy
- Optimize your content
- Optimize your images
- Make your site mobile-friendly
- Promote your website
- Analyze your search performance and user behavior
I wish there were a magic bullet I could offer to you. But there is no replacement for what needs to be done to have a chance at getting ranked even in the top handful of pages on Google. The numbers are overwhelming. For any search there are millions of results.
Read, learn, absorb and do. There are no "secrets", tricks or shortcuts. No schemes, programs or software to negate what the above resources advise.
Only by working hard and making your site the most stunning, zippy and useful website for your target market will you one day exclaim with glee "I found my WordPress site on Google!".
At your service,