It is a great CMS, it is by far the most popular platform to build your website on and everyone has heard of it: WordPress. One of the benefits of WordPress is that there is always a plugin that can solve your problem, also for SEO. We have shown you what the most popular plugin, Yoast, can do for you.
You have your page titles sorted, got your URLs up to scratch and Yoast established a connection to your Google Search Console. Yoast is the must-have plugin to make your WordPress site SEO optimal. However, if you thought that Yoast would fix everything for you, you were wrong. There are a few SEO basics that Yoast can not help you with.
1) Creating the Right Content
Where you ticked the box and got a green light from Yoast for using your focus keyword often enough, your content can still lack quality. If you have not given your content marketing enough thought, your efforts are likely fruitless. As we addressed in the SEO Ranking Factors for 2017 it is important to know what internet users could possibly want from you.
As the age of RankBrain has dawned upon us, user intent is really something you have to think about. RankBrain wants you to strategize by engaging with your users as if Google was a human being reading your content. There are many tools out there that can help you with your topic and keyword research, but get your engine started by exploring ideas on Google Trends.
2) Sharing Content
Once you have your content written, it is time to publish it. You write to be read, so you have to find an audience. Study to ranking factors in the US and Germany shows that Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus have the greatest influence on search engine ranking. It is therefore recommended to have an active presence on these three social networks. If you want to reach the B2B market, presence on LinkedIn must also be considered.
Make sure the links to your social media profiles are saved in your Yoast Plugin and that you proactively share content and landing pages. An active presence means that at least once a week a link to your website should be shared. If you want to make it easier for your users to share your content on their social media, consider installing social media share buttons.
3) Google My Business
If your website is representing a business with a physical address, it is essential to register for Google My Business. This is a sure way for your business to be found in Google Search, Google Maps and Google Plus. Check out this tutorial if you are new to Google My Business.
It is one thing setting up your account, but another to make sure your account is complete. Add attractive pictures of your business and make sure all the special opening hours are known. WordPress would not be WordPress, if you can also install a Google My Business plugin. This plugin lets you display your Google ratings on your website.
4) Structured Data
Have you ever wondered why some search results stand out by means of an extra image or a linked news article? This is not the result of magic, nor is this favouritism by Google. All the publisher did is adding so-called structured data, also known as schema.org or microdata. These mark-ups, also known as rich snippets lead to fancy extras like you can see in the example below. The sitelinks search box can be shown in the search results when the corresponding mark-up is added to your source code.
There are two reasons for adding structured data to your website. First, it is very easy for search engines to recognize the type of content that can be found on your website. Second, when a thumbnail of this content gets added to the search result, your share of space on the result pages increases. This increased visibility leads to potential higher click-through-rates. This at its turn can have a positive impact on search engine rankings. Again, this WordPress plugin can do the dirty work for you.
5) Internal Links
Unless you don’t mind to pay for the premium version of Yoast, you will have to sort out your internal links yourself. Do it, because they are a crucial part of search engine optimization. If you’ve paid attention, I’ve just put an internal link to our landing page for SEO. These internal links help search engines and users to find other content on your website. Because of that it is likely that users will spend more time on your website. The free version of Yoast is adding a great quick fix, by adding ‘bread crumbs‘ to your website. This is however not enough. Make sure that all your relevant landing pages have sufficient internal links, and more importantly that they are working.
By spending time on the above five basics, and by installing Yoast, you can give your WordPress site a great push in the right direction when it comes to SEO. Feel free to contact me if you need any more help.