Welcome to WordPress and SEO – Myths, Marketing and Metrics.So let me start by saying that I’m going to make the assumption that everyone has a basic understanding of how search engines work, and a lot of this information is entry-level to SEO. I know we probabaly have a few expert SEO’s in the room, so bear with me. Towards the end instead of doing a standards Q&A session for 15 minutes, I’m going to tee up a few “advanced SEO” topics for a group discussion. I’ll also be hanging around this afternoon so if you have any questions about the standard presentation I’ll be around.The main purpose of this talk is to address a lot of myths that I hear by novices to SEO. Not everybody wants to go off the deep end learning about SEO, and spend weeks doing keyword research, but you want to make sure you’re doing at least some of the basics to get a decent return on that content – the stuff that you’re really passionate about.However, I hear people pick up on the wrong thing and in some cases it’s misleading, can be harmful or just make you spin your wheels. So I’ve picked a few things I hear repeatedly and I want to talk about them to make sure you’re getting the most out of your content.So we’re going to talk about WordPress and SEO, Plugin’s, SEO basics and Search and Social Media.
WordPress isn’t special (from and SEO stand point)WordPress isn’t inherently better or worse than Drupal, Joomla, Blogger, etc.WordPress offers a wide variety of plugins that make SEO easier for the average person.Better Search Engine traffic comes from optimization and understanding what people are searching for
It’s a myth that all you need for SEO is simply a plugin. In reality most of the key areas you need access to for SEO are available in off the shelf WordPress, the Title tag, the URL, the heading, alternative text for images, and of course the content. What plugins allow you to do is customize a bit more and use additional features.
All-in-One SEO is one of the most popular plugins for SEO and WordPress. It’s easy to use but there other plug-in’s and themes that do SEO, Joost de Valk’sWordpress SEO Plugin (Beta) and the Thesis theme come to mind. There are still the key areas we need to watch – Title, URL, Meta Description, Meta Keywords (automated), and Canonical URLs. The first option I want to talk about is Post Title Format. I have this set to Post Title, then blog title. There’s a few reasons for this. One, there is data that shows the closer your keywords are to the beginning of the Title, the better. So I want to avoid throwing the blog title in first because I don’t want posts to rank for the blog title anyways – that’s the home page’s job. The second is that Google and other Search Engines only pay attention to the first 60-70 characters anyways. So by putting the blog title first, you’re removing characters that you could be using for keywords.The second option is to use tags for keywords. The advanced SEO’s in the room might get “Google doesn’t use meta keywords” and they’re right, but there is some evidence that shows that other search engines like Baidu, do use this as a factor. And heck, if you’re creating tags for your posts anyways – why not, right? No indexing categories. We’re going to talk about this in a bit so hold off to make notes here in a bit.Enable Canonical URL’s. There’s a few reasons for this – one, if you’ve managed do mess something up with your Wordpress install like duplicating content somewhere, this tells Google, that this particular page is the original content. Second, I’ve had it happen to me, and I’ve watched it happen to others. Some content theif comes by and scraps your content to put on their blog. In some cases they just copy and paste, or automate it. If they manage to grab this link, because they’re stupid thieves, Google sees your site as the authority.
Sometimes there is a big conflict, depending on the subject matter of crafting a “SEO title” VS, a “Catchy” title. With the All in One SEO plugin you can do both to a degree, by crafting a page title that differs from the blog title. In this case, the page title is the <title> element and the catchy blog title is the <h1> - the page <title> element is more important for SEO, but the post title, the catch title is the part that gets seen in RSS readers, Tweets and by most people. You should try to coordinate the keywords between the two titles as much as possible.
So I said we would talk about blocking things from being indexed – but I wanted to make a few clarifications. <Bullet Point 1> <Bullet Point 2><Bullet Point 3> Because category pages don’t usually offer content, but rather a list of blog posts. Some SEO’s make the argument that category pages should be blocked because they are duplicate content. This is some what true, but the reality is that Google knows these structures by now. The wordpress platform is pretty widely used and Google doesn’t typically want to index these pages, but rather moves on to the individual posts. However – some people use categories for actual content, in these cases you don’t want the categories page to be noindexed. This is typically with more customized themes, if you’re using a basic wordpress theme it’s probably a safe bet that you want to noindex categories.You want to enable nofollow on comments. It’s a common spam tactic to comment on posts just to get a link. Akismet takes care of most of this, but more links on a page devalues the “pagerank” being passed, and I typically pass pagerank either internally or to sites that I chose to write about in blog posts.
When to Index Categories. Like I’ve said, you should understand exactly what you’re doing when you noindex categories. The example on the right is a traditional Wordpress categories, there is no unqiue content on these pages and it only serves as a feeder page and there is no reason why you’d want those category pages to show up in SERP’s and detract from your actual content. On the left, there is a substantial amount of unique content on this category page and you DO want to index this. As a side note, you can accomplish this same process by using “pages.”
Everything we’ve talked about is for naught if you don’t understand this following concept. These are North Texas Polar bears. There are only 3 of them in the world – literally nobody is searching for them because they don’t exist. I made them up in Photoshop, I know you’re shocked. There are however _____ searches for just “polar bears” because they actually exist. It doesn’t matter how many back links, plugins and SEO tweaks you have done, if you don’t write about something people are actually searching for – you will get little to no traffic from it, even if you rank #1 for all of your keywords. Search usually responds to demand, it does not create it.
To start generating traffic from social media takes a bit of time. You need to get people to follow you, promote your blog/site and then you need to find out what's working for you, what you can get other people to retweet or share. With SEO, assuming you’ve been indexed you can start developing traffic without manually acquiring visitors. Not to mention, what as we’ll talk about, that Social Media can help you rank higher in SERP’s to your followers. Additionally, Search and Social are two different audiences, Not everyone that searches uses social media and people who use social media always search for their content.
All-in-One SEO<br />Post/Page Title – Blog Title<br />Use tags for meta keywords.<br />Probably no-indexing (but following!) categories.<br />Enable Canonical URL’s<br />www. Vs. non-www<br />Example.com/ vs example.com/index.html<br />Example.com/?utm_source…<br />
Titles for Search Engines Are Lame, Dude.<br />Chill, Man.<br />Fun Title<br />SEO Title<br />
Myth 3: I need to block …. from being indexed.<br />Think about what that means – you don’t want those pages to show up in search engines?<br />Noindex blocks pages from being indexed, nofollow blocks pages from being spider’d<br />Typically want to noindex categories<br />Nofollow comments<br />
What are my keywords?<br />Do people search for them?<br />Google AdWords Keyword tool, SEMrush, Trellian, etc. *<br />Where do they go?<br />Title, Content, URL, Alternative Text, Anchor Text<br />Check & Check, but I don’t rank!<br />Are you being indexed?<br />Are you authoritative?<br />
How can I find better keywords?<br />Search Volume Tools<br />PPC campaigns<br />Google Webmaster tools<br />Google Analytics<br />
Gee… that sounds like a lot of work – I’ll just use Social Media<br />SEO is more time consuming to Tweet, Share, Like and monitor?<br />Social Media complements SEO<br />Search and Social are two audiences<br />Sync Social Media and SEO Keyword Strategies<br />
I thought Social Media links were nofollowed?<br />Sure are.<br />Logged-in Google Search's favor tweeted pages in SERP’s.<br />PageRank now… insanity later.<br />Social media links still boost logged in rankings, increase “secondary linking”<br />
Advanced Topics<br />Social’s Impact On PageRank<br />Is PageRank even important anymore?<br />What to do if someone steals your content<br />How will SERPs’ Change In the Next Five Years?<br />
XML Sitemaps<br />Rules about Sitemaps Under 10MB and 50,000 links. <br />Google XML Sitemap Generator by Arne Brachhold, http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-sitemap-generator/<br />Only include important content you want indexed, no categories, confirmation pages, etc.<br />
Other Plug-In’s<br />Sociable<br />Related Posts<br />Google Analytics <br />