Why do you need this WordPress SEO Guide 2018?
WordPress has been around since the Internet became so popular. It is a really neat way to design a website.
The actual system hosts your Domain Name on the hosting company of your choice.Then you are free to sample and use all the incredible number of tools available within WordPress to create, design, build and publish your own website. It became very popular with Bloggers and then blossomed into a full-fledged business website because it was so easy to use, required very little code knowledge and has some really cool tools to show off your talents!
This is all well and good. However, there is a serious “flaw” within the WordPress Software System. It is only the tools.There is no training or education provided to teach you the requirements of a good website foundation.
As a result, just about everyone has hung a shingle out and declared they can and will build you a website.
For the personal applications, that’s really OK. However, for a business to put all their advertising into a website built on WordPress Systems can be a financial disaster waiting to happen.
The very reason WordPress is so simple is also its nemesis.
Before WordPress became so popular. Professional Website builders had to learn computer code and the basic protocols of the Internet.
They usually went to school to learn to code, then went to work for a website building company, perhaps as an apprentice and then grew from there.
During all this learning and training, this new website builder learned all the search engine “Rules of the Road” and how to properly apply them.
A terrible but very realistic analogy would be that we always drive on the correct side of the big Yellow Line. A typical WordPress designer/builder doesn’t even know there is a yellow line.
Please understand, I actually like WordPress as a means to achieve a beautiful end. The problem lies in the fact that a Business Owner relies on a person to build them a website to improve their business. This is where the problem comes in and what we need to discuss.
The only reason a business owner wants a website is to help market their business.
Search Engine Optimization:
SEO for short — is understanding how the Internet works, how the Search Engines work and then providing the correct and proper format within a website to put it all together.
The end result will be your business properly displayed in the category it belongs in, either as a big, beautiful expensive website or, a simple website, it won’t matter!
That’s quite a mouthful!! Let’s break it down.
The Internet is basically the White Pages of Domain Names. If you know the exact spelling of a business domain name, and its extension, you can just type that into your URL browser line, hit enter and the website of that domain is immediately shown.
Search Engines are basically the Yellow Pages. When the Internet started growing in popularity, Search Engine companies, Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc, quickly realized that if they could be your business consultant, just like the old Yellow Page ones — they could earn money providing that service.
As we all know, Google is world famous and very rich! However, the Internet was growing so quickly, those Search Engine Companies just couldn’t keep up with the demand of trying to manually organize and categorize domain name websites.
Instead, they started designing software that would literally read and memorize every word on a web page and “try” to understand what it was about and then categorize it, without any human help! If you’ve understood the above, this part will click instantly in your brain!
The Search Engines started looking for patterns and formats within each website and its pages to help itself.
They kept their methods extremely secret so web builders couldn’t trick the “system” and get their domain listed first within a search category.
Remember, the Search Engines are the companies that are trying to provide the correct information to an Internet user, based on only a few words typed. A monumental task!! Not only do the search engines have to instantly display results, but they had to be correct for what the person typed.
Their software systems started to become intuitive as well. If you’ve been searching for “Blue”, is that the color or how you feel? If you’ve been searching for depression and medical terms, odds are if you typed “Blue” you would get search results that are medical, not colors of paint!
Researching Search Engine Results has paid off with the good website builders. They’ve started to learn the patterns and reasons that a particular website gets displayed on page one.
Google and Bing also share a lot of their processing information within their tools sections.
Grant McArthur says that as a web person, those tools are readily available to learn from. When the Search Engines go out to look at a website and its pages for their category placement of a website, they look for certain “things” to help them understand what the website and each page are about.
All this may seem obvious, but to a computer, it isn’t. Just as it needs to decide if you are searching “Blue” for medical or color reasons, it needs to also “understand” what a website and its individual pages are about.
If you were an author and presented your book to the Library of Congress to get Cataloged, they have certain criteria to look for so that it gets properly sorted out.
There are so many books published that the Library doesn’t ask the author, the author provides the information to the Library. That’s the key to how the Internet works
WordPress SEO Guide 2018 – Website Structure and Formatting
That is a must!! Today, people are searching more with Smartphones and Tablets. iPhone and Android have now taken over Desktop or Laptop searches. Nothing more frustrating than trying to read a website that doesn’t adjust properly on a Smartphone.
Searchers today will just X out of your site and move on! Shopping queries are 2x more likely to happen from a mobile phone than from Desktop these days.
This is getting critical! As more and more people use cell towers to look at websites on their Smartphones, the “Load Time” is critical. Large picture file sizes will bring your website loading capability to a standstill!
ALL PICTURES on a website page should be below 50kb in file size. If you must use a large sized picture, at least re-size it down to below 50kb. Today’s average person will only allow 2 SECONDS for a full page load, otherwise they X out and search another site! A great test for your website is to go to Pingdom.com and test your website speed.
Use a city within the country you have the most visitors in. You have similar tools in Google and Bing that you can use to test your site.
Bonus: Reduce your page speed with this WordPress Optimization Guide. This guide helps you to integrate your WordPress site with Cloudflare.
This is critical, it tells the search engine what the page is supposed to be about. If it is your Home Page, it should be general content about the website and what to expect when reading it. It is not the About Us page, the Gallery Page, the Contact Us page, etc.
The sub-pages (other than the Home Page) should have a clear and minimal URL word(s).
Again, think like a search engine does. If you are creating a sub-page about something, that is the wording that should be there. If you are using a Software System that uses numbers and symbols as part of the URL, THROW IT OUT NOW!
Example: website.com/test.html is correct — rather than — website.com/id#384?*!
What the heck is that about?
Pretty much what a Search Engine robot will think when it comes to memorizing your page, as well.
The first example tells the Search Engine this particular page is about Portfolio, nothing else. Now, on that page itself, it had better be about your portfolio, nothing else!!
Internal Page Links:
Do you drive down a dead end street?
The robots don’t like that either. Have a Breadcrumb type Link on the bottom of every page you build. This way the robots and the humans can follow to the next “street” — without getting lost or mad.
This area at the bottom tells the Search Engine quite a bit. Leave it off and you lose “points” Tell it the full business name, full address, phone, Copyright from XXXX to now.
European Cookie Widget:
This must be activated on your website since October 2015.
Page Structure Itself
- Whatever your sub-page is about should also be the exact Title on your page.
- Whatever that word is, it should be used within the first 90 characters of the first sentence exactly.
- That same word should be used approximately once every 100 words.
- The “Title” word should be listed as your first of 5 total keywords or phrases.
- All pictures must have “Alt Text” utilized. Search Engine Robots cannot read a picture, only words.
- A minimum of 400 words of original content about the “Title” of the Page.
- In the Header of the Code area (before the Body) — be sure to tell the Search Engines: a) what the Title is; b) the 5 keywords are and c) a description for viewing when it is displayed within the Search Engine results.
- The website should have at least 20–30 pages MINIMUM.
Search engines look at that as being serious about your site.
Lower, they won’t take you as seriously either.
The keywords are critical in describing what this page is about.
This is your chance to “categorize” each page. Use the “Title” keyword in the first sentence and approximately every 100 words.
The other 4 keywords for this page should be used at least once within the first sentence and once within the 400 words content.
Providing this type of format and structure within your building of the website enables the Search Engines to clearly “see” what each page is about.
As they crawl each page, through each link, they will get a very good understanding that this site is about X.
When a person types that same “Title” or keyword within their Search Engine request box, you stand a much better chance of coming up on page one of those results — not page 15!
A good example of a very useful Keyword would be your location if you are a restaurant.
Remember, you are trying to get your website properly cataloged within the Search Engines.
You must help them understand what your business is all about.
Example for Home Page:
This would be: Title in the coding: Merchant onlinerockershub| SEO Help | eCommerce | Small Business | Web Design
Title on the Home Page itself: Merchant OnlineRockersHub
Keywords: Merchant OnlineRockersHub (page URL is always first), SEO Help, eCommerce, Small Business,
Web Design First Paragraph Sentence: Merchant OnlineRockersHub is a Small Business Web Design Company that provides SEO help and eCommerce Solutions 400 words of content will have the Merchant OnlineRockersHub mentioned about once every 100 words and the other 4 keywords will be mentioned once within the entire content.
When the Search Engine “robots” memorize this page, they will know exactly what that first page is all about!
If this were a Restaurant or something with a location-specific business, I would’ve listed my town for sure, perhaps even the state within the various items above.
A good example is an RV Park.
We’ve seen many parks not come up within a specific town search because no one bothered to structure in that the RV Park is in xx town, State, right off Interstate Ixx.
Then the owner sits there with a big beautiful colorful slide show website with no customers, always wondering why people are driving by!
Blog Style WordPress Website:
The Blog Style WordPress or also known as One Page template, will probably never be found or get to page one of Search Engine Results!
The Blog Style is the website that is just one page and you keep scrolling down forever.
It will have all the so-called pages (according to the Navigation Bar on top) contained within that one page.
So, the very top section will be on the website, the next section may be the About Us, then what they offer, then how they do something, etc. etc.
It again will look really pretty. However, and a really important “however” is the Search Engines will have NO IDEA what the website is about.
The entire website is on one page!!
Google needs a clear and concise way to understand what a website page is about.
That’s why each page on a conventional website is a dedicated page discussing only one subject with a Title, Keywords, Description, proper page formatting, etc.
Kinda like listening to a person giving a speech that is totally disorganized! They will ramble from one subject to the next from sentence to sentence.
Think about that for a moment.
That’s the type of problem that is presented to the Search Engines when you have everything on one page.
The Search Engines are clueless in understanding what your site is really all about. As a result, you may be categorized under the totally wrong keyword for your primary website function.
How bad would that be? Like a Pizza Restaurant being displayed under a Chinese Restaurant!
As you can see all these changes are going in the favor of the user. Google lately is giving more weight than ever User Experience Signals such as site speed, website content. If the content is good users are more likely to stand on the website than to leave which decreases bounce rate (average time on page) which now is an important Google factor.
Always make sure that when you publish a post, design your website, to look over your website with your eyes, see if you can surf on it without a problem, you have navigation correctly, internal linking. If you think that’s good, you’re good to go and publish the website. Also asking your friends (beta testers) before launching to the public would be a good strategy.
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Note: This WordPress SEO Guide 2018 was a guest post by Darleen Prangue. If you want to contribute your own article to OnlineRockersHub, follow our Guest Blogging guidelines.