Monday, September 3, 2012

Wordpress SEO | How and Why

Recently I attended a Wordpress Meet-up in Columbia, Maryland to learn more about how Wordpress allows users to implement, maintain and analyze SEO for their websites. Here are some of my notes for you to review. Keep in mind that these are notes!

Speaker: Web Mechanix (co-founder), Arsham Mirsha

Need a Textbook Definition of SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) vs. SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Why does Wordpress work for SEO?
1) There is less source code "between" the search engine and the keywords - it's very easy for spiders to navigate your website.
2) Again, easy to read - clean and organized
3) Ease of managing SEO through well-built plugins
4) Versatility

How does Google look at your website?
1) Nav bar is one of the first things that google looks at - by using <div id="nav"> and other content-relevant code makes the website easy to crawl.
2) Number of links to the interior pages can effect how a website is crawled (e.g. home page has 100 links, sub page has 20 link, this other page has 6)
3) Sitemap Data provides a specific path for the robots to crawl along
3) PageRank or the number of links to your content from external websites. This is interpreted as a measurement of your content's quality, which is the new emphasis behind Google's search algorithm.

Google Search Algorithm is affected by a lot of things, some of these thing include:
Permalinks, "quality" content, URLs, Metatags, Title Tag, Sitemap, Internal Links, Page Load Speed, Keyword Density etc.

Wordpress Posts vs. Pages
One of the differences, from a search engine's perspective, is that posts have time stamps and dates, and pages do not. Google sitemap has more priority/seniority than your pages. 
  • Sometimes you are penalized for having numbers in posts (is this true?)
  • Hierarchical data vs. chronological
  • There are usually many ways to get to your post - typical page is one shot straight in
  • Yoast SEO plugin lets you rewrite your slug. (yay)
Google Webmaster Tools
Works great with Google Sitemap. Where are my errors? What can I do to improve my pages?
Need to be using this tool - Google wants to see that your care and are updating and improving your website frequently. What can you see? Broken links, server errors, people that link to you. Important: FIX YOUR BROKEN LINKS - that is one of the first steps to a better Google ranking.

Wordpress Plugin for Broken Links?
Will identify all the broken links on your website. Search "Broken link check".

Google hates iFrames?
Well it doesn't hate iFrames, but iFrames aren't doing you any favors since the content within the iFrame is not indexed or considered valuable content.

Links back to your website
When you post to "Public" on Facebook, Google can index your Facebook posts that link back to your website. Something to consider - you still need quality content that people want to view and link to.

Yoast is Your SEO Boyee
He can explain how great his tool is better than I can - so read up!

Google Alert
Track your content. Setup a Google Alert and see how long it takes for you to get indexed.

What about if you have a long standing html/css website with great SEO that wants to switch to Wordpress? How do you preserve this website?
There are plugins for that even add the .html extension in order to avoid redirects.
You want the permalinks to be very similar if not the same if you have good ranking.

Meta in Your Images
You can program Wordpress to pre-populate information, associated within photoshop, into the required image fields after an image is uploaded. It will need to be coded into the development of the theme to push out to the frontend based on the meta information in the image. Which is great because Google looks at your Alt tags and this can streamline your content load.

A Suggested Paid Service:
Developers licenses to install on many sites - $27/month. Similar to Yoast..but...
Why is it paid? It helps you with keyword research. Uses API's to hook into keyword research tool. Does more in-depth analysis - know what your keyword is and put it near the top.

Another service:

Yoast - actually has incorporated keyword analysis and research into their plugin.

Some Neat Upcoming Events

Some Cool People/Companies

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