A lot of small and medium sized businesses use WordPress to power their websites.
According to BuiltWith over 1/3rd of all of the internet’s websites are powered with WordPress.
Why Do People Use WordPress?
WordPress provides a truly flexible platform. Plugins, off-the-shelf components, and other themes allow businesses to spin up complicated websites much more efficiently (and cheaper) than before.
Unlike some similar platforms, WordPress is considered much easier to use. A lot of our clients have moved from other systems like Joomla and Drupal due to their complicated user interfaces. There’s a much shorter learning curve for WordPress, and non-tech types can usually make updates to their own website without much assistance.
SEO with WordPress
Off-the-shelf, WordPress has a solid SEO platform. Add in the Yoast SEO plugin, and you’re well on your way to having all of the tools needed for optimum SEO.
Most savvy SEOs and site users are using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. This plugin provides a lot of the functionality needed to optimize your WordPress site. For most companies the free option has more than enough features to get started with.
The remainder of this article will show you some tricks for optimizing your WordPress site with this plugin:
Settings > General
In this main tab, we want to ensure we have named our site and set up a description. Sometimes this is erroneously ignored, but it is an important step of local SEO.
- Protocol. HTTP or HTTPs. Does your site use a secure SSL ceritficate? If so, your main URL should be the HTTPS:// version.
- Subdomain. To use www. or no www. leading up to it.
- Tagline. Ensure your tagline has some relevant top-level keywords for your company.
Settings > Permalinks
I always recommend using the http://www.yoursitehere.com/sample-post/ or, “post name,” format for your site. Whenever you change your URLs, ensure that you use a 301 redirect tool or plugin to redirect old links to the new ones. Having dead links and bad links on your website has a negative impact on SEO.
SEO > Titles & Metas
This section allows us to configure our page titles and customize indexation of all post types and taxonomies. Page titles are extremely important to your site, as this is often what shows up when the site is displayed in a Google search result. It’s usually also what is shown when the link is shared via social media.
SEO > XML Sitemap
Sitemaps help search engines like Google understand your website. Think of it like a table of contents for search engines to determine the core concepts and pages of your website. In this section of the WordPress plugin, you can configure the sitemap for Google.
Local Search Engine Optimization with WordPress
The most important part of local search is ensuring that the format of your business name, address, and phone number is consistent on your website. For example, with my company:
Jay Nine Lessons, Inc.
2945 Bell Rd #332, Auburn CA 95603
This is what’s referred to as a “citation.” The more places this information is shown on the web, the more likely that your website will rank higher in local search. It’s imperative that the format remains consistent (for example (916) 259 – 9694 VS 916-259-9694).
Secondly, ensure you have “location” pages. For example, I have several blog posts targeting things like “Auburn CA Web Design.” This is quick and easy, and ensures you have different content for local cities close to you.
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