This (andrewnealjenkins.com) is my first WordPress blog, so the CMS, and it’s widgets, knobs, gears, cranks, pulleys and levers are all still very new to me. It can all be a bit overwhelming, but I love getting lost in the content manager, and I especially love when I dig up one of its many gold nuggets.
In my digging, I’ve found a handful of things that can really benefit an SEO campaign, so I thought I’d share my insights with you. This, of course, will be specific to WordPress’ CMS, but the principles will be general enough that you can apply them to your own site as well. So let’s do this:
- Google Webmaster Verification: What is Google Webmaster Tools, you ask? It is a free Google tool that provides you with detailed reports about your pages’ visibility in Google. All you have to do is open a Webmaster account, copy the tag they provide and paste it into your WordPress tools. Done. This will provide you keyword data, page errors, Google+ stats and more! I love it!
- Sitemap Submission: WordPress also automatically creates an XML sitemap which can be submitted to each of the search engines. And since you’ve already opened a Google Webmaster account, you may as well submit your sitemap to them so that they know your site exist. Best part about WordPress’ XML sitemap is that it’s dynamic! So if you create a new page or post, your sitemap will automatically update. Essentially, if you’ve submitted your site once, you’re good for life. If you don’t use WordPress but want to create and submit a sitemap, build it at XML-Sitemaps. Their tool is awesome. You will, of course, have to create and submit a new map if you add or remove pages, but that’s no biggie.
- Title Tag: Title Tags can be managed and KEYWORDED (hint hint!) within WordPress by editing your General Settings. WordPress refers to this editable field as the Site Title, so don’t fret when you don’t see a Title Tag field. By the way, what are title tags? Ask and you shall receive:
- Domain: This is probably my favorite functionality. Purchase your own domain with GoDaddy, Network Solutions or the like and set that domain as the primary for the site. This is a great opportunity to purchase and utilize a keyworded domain. For example, if you sell shoes in Kirkland, look for a domain that includes both Kirkland and shoes! Bottom line here is that you’re more likely to rank in keyworded search results with a keyword domain. There’s a bit of DNS work involved here, but it’s very straight forward and WordPress tells you exactly what to do.
- URLs: WordPress allows you to customize your URLs! This is awesome for SEO! I’ll use the same example as above…If you create a page about shoes in Kirkland, you can create the URL /shoes-kirkland with product info, images, etc.
- H1, H2, H3: Customize your Heading Tags by naming each page. That’s right! Simply naming your pages/posts will take care of this for you. For example, the title of this page is WordPress SEO. WordPress took that title and automatically made it my H1 for this particular page. This is another great opportunity to optimize by utilizing keywords.
- Alt Tag Images: WordPress allows you to customize the Alt Tags for each image on your site. Just like the domain, URL and H1, this is a great opportunity to use keywords. So if you have a shoe image on your site, give it an Alt Tag like shoes Kirkland. You might even see this being to appear in image searches within Google, Bing and Yahoo! Booya!
Side Note: You’re probably seeing a consistent message regarding the keyworded domain, URLs, H1 and Alt Tags. This is no coincidence!!! Consistent use of keywords within each of these content manageable fields can provide real value and higher rankings for your site. I’ve linked to this before, but I’ll do it again. SEOMoz created an example of a perfectly optimized page, and although it’s old, it still gets the job done.
- Social Buttons: It’s no secret that social media can benefit search rankings. The more your content is passed around socially, the more likely you are to receive inbound links, increased site visitation and SE ranking. That being said, WordPress allows you to add/remove social buttons to individual pages. My thought is, ADD THEM ALL!!! If someone wants to Tweet my content, awesome! If someone wants to share my content on Facebook, awesome! If someone wants to Google+ my stuff, AWESOME! Any Tweet, share or plus is going to help spread the word. So if you’re using WordPress, include social buttons.
Well, that’s all I have for you today friend. I hope this gives you something to chew on. Questions? Feel free to add them in the comments below, and I’ll get back to you. Also, don’t forget to Like, Share and Plus this post for me by clicking one of the social buttons below! Haha, seriously though…