As marketers or small business owners, it is easy to look at Search Engine Optimization and see it as being complex compared to the other projects we are doing to get in front of customers – but not with a WordPress website. In reality, much of what we need to do with SEO starts with marketing essentials – insight, creative writing, and the right tools. These five SEO essentials are easy to implement if you have a WordPress website because you can easily add and edit page content, including title tags, meta description, and alt tags.
Before you begin, you must know who you are writing to (target audience), and what you are writing about (keywords that your target audience is searching for). Often, a basic understanding of your company and products can be enough to get you started. Other times, more research may be needed using keyword research tools like keyworddiscovery.com or SeoMoz. Just like copywriting and blogging, the words we use for SEO are important to how our readers find us, percieve us, and engage with us (unlike the Yellow Pages, where companies are “categorized”, SEO allows us to paint a broader picture of our niche products through focused writing though out our website).
Five Search Engine Optimization Essentials:
1. Page Content
Obvious, but often overlooked, your page content is vital to your website’s SEO. Write compelling page content for your readers that is keyword-rich for the search engines (always write for your target audience first, but search engines second). Be creative in how you write your copy so that the content is SEO’d without your readers knowing it (be careful not to over-do the same keywords).
2. Meta Title Tag
Title tags are the clickable links to your site on search engines or social networking sites. When you write your title tag, use that page’s content as a guide and keep it under 70 characters. Be creative, each page should have a unique title tag that is not duplicated within the site. Company and/or brand names can be included in the title tag, with other keyword phrases.
3. Meta Description
The meta description is the paragraph of text under the title tag that will be seen in Google or often times, when the link is shared via social media. Keep it relevant to the page’s content, concise, and interesting in less then 165 characters. Write the text with the goal of getting people to click to read more. Meta keywords are also editable, but are reported to have very little effect on SEO, especially compared to the other meta data.
4. Photo Alt Tags
Alternate Text, also known as a photo or image alt tag, are clickable image attributes that search engines see your photo as. When you add an image to a page or post in your WordPress website, add alt text to the photo that describes the photo and contains niche keywords (Hover over any of the images in this blog post to see the photo alt tag).
5. Fresh New Content
With your WordPress website optimized with keyword-rich page content, meta data, and alt tags, you can focus on the golden nugget of SEO success – fresh new content. Creating original, consistent content with the SEO essentials listed above will give you the greatest results. Try tools like Scribe or Inbound Writer to keep your blog posts on target.
Each of these SEO essentials are easy with WordPress at anytime. Although it is ideal to optimize your website right away, rest assured, it is never too late to optimize your pages; you can go back and add them later. The pillars of your website’s SEO are still the content – your page content, and the fresh new blog posts that you publish on a regular basis. Attracting other buzz through likes, follows, and +1’s through social media will also help give you an added boost. Wrap your website’s meta data and alt tags with great content for the best Search Engine Optimization results.