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SEO, Improving Content Discoverability, and WordPress


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A presentation and on search engine optimization, content discoverability, and WordPress presented to the Austin WordPress Meetup group on 10/16/2017.

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SEO, Improving Content Discoverability, and WordPress

  1. 1. SEO, Improving Content Discoverability, and WordPress Garrett Nafzinger SEO Strategist Slides:
  2. 2. Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) • A quick look at SERPs • Organic results. • Top stories. • Paid text ads. • Product listing ads. • Featured snippets. • Local pack. • Images, maps. • People also ask. • Health info. • Always changing.
  3. 3. SERPs Organic results People also ask Knowledge graph
  4. 4. SERPs Paid ads Up to 4 ads in competitive industries, products, or services. This can push organic results to the bottom of the page on desktop and below the fold on mobile devices.
  5. 5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) • Optimizing content for discoverability. • Optimizing content for people. • Creating a great user experience. Google is measuring user experience and engagement and uses it as a ranking factor. • Be there at each step of the buyer’s journey.
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  7. 7. Why Search is Important • Organic search • One of the most popular marketing channels for many sites. • Pay-per-click (PPC, AdWords, Bing Ads) • An easy way to test your hunches. Will ranking for ___ achieve results for my business? • See immediate results. • You‘re in control of the budget. • Gather lots of data. • Target by search keywords primarily.
  8. 8. Why Search is Important • Search and search advertising aren’t disruptive. You’re reaching users when they are searching for your product, service, or company. • There are 3.5 billion searches per day and growing. • 65-90% of consumers report using search at some point during the buyer’s journey.
  9. 9. Popular WordPress Plugins for SEO • All in One SEO • Yoast SEO (The snippet preview is a great feature to remind authors how title and description will appear in search engines.)
  10. 10. What Does a Good SEO Plugin Do? • Takes care of page titles, meta descriptions. • Creates and updates sitemap.xml. • Takes care of canonical URLs. • Lets you tell search engines what pages to crawl. • Lets you update robots.txt.
  11. 11. What Does a Good SEO Plugin Do? • Adds social media meta data, also called Open Graph and Twitter cards. • Allows you to create and manage redirects. • Allows you to bulk edit page titles and meta descriptions.
  12. 12. SEO Plugin Settings • Set all of these page types to noindex. • tag pages • author pages • archive pages • paginated content • Create sitemap.xml & auto-update on a routine basis. Note: You must submit sitemap.xml once in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster tools. Manually resubmit after major content changes or redesigns. • Select default social metadata. Reference:
  13. 13. Other WordPress Plugins • Broken Link Checker (some hosts may not support) • All in One Rich Snippets (examples below) • Reviews code snippet from Get Five Stars or Whitespark Reputation Builder
  14. 14. How to Rank • There are likely hundreds of ranking factors (signals).
  15. 15. Aboutness • Search engines are looking for aboutness in order to match web pages with user queries. • Use primary keywords in the page title, meta description, headings & content to help search engines understand what a page is about. • Use primary and secondary keywords (synonyms) naturally throughout content. • Organize content in a thoughtful way. Use headings, lists, tables, images, as appropriate.
  16. 16. How to Rank (high level) • Content • Answer user’s questions. • Unique & in-depth content. Though not every piece of content needs to be in-depth. • In-depth content adds uniqueness and value, improves long-tail opportunities. • In-depth content sends more relevancy signals & generally earns more links/mentions. • Use primary and secondary keywords in a natural way throughout content. • Links • Internal & external links.
  17. 17. Links • Links are an important ranking factor. • Some links are more important, influential than others. • Internal links are influential. • Your most important content should be linked to frequently on your site. • Avoid click here, learn more, etc. Explain what you are linking to. • Importance of cross linking related products, articles. • Information architecture. If a piece of content is hard for a user to find, it may be hard for search engines to find.
  18. 18. Learn all you can about •Page titles •Meta descriptions
  19. 19. Page Title Guidelines Page Titles • 55 or fewer characters. • Unique for each page. • Explains content of the page. • Important words at the front. • Thought to be an important ranking factor.
  20. 20. Page Title Examples Page Title
  21. 21. Page Title Examples • Help!: XYZ Home Staging - 16 characters • Okay: XYZ Home & Commercial Property Staging - 39 characters • Great: XYZ Home & Commercial Property Staging in Kansas City – 53 characters Search to see what Google has indexed.
  22. 22. Meta Description Guidelines Meta Descriptions • 155 or fewer characters • Unique for each page • Gives more context than the title • Sells the page, content • Doesn’t influence ranking, but does influence CTR which impacts ranking.
  23. 23. Meta Description Examples • Help!: A home staging company in Kansas City. - 36 characters • Okay: XYZ Home Staging located in Kansas City provides staging services including interior design & commercial staging for homes & commercial properties. - 149 characters • Great: XYZ Home Staging provides home, condo & commercial staging services increasing the resale value of properties throughout Kansas City. - 134 characters Search to see what Google has indexed.
  24. 24. Do These Things ASAP •Move to HTTPs. •Measure and improve your site speed. • Review existing content. • Set up Google Analytics. • Don’t forget local SEO. • Reputation management.
  25. 25. Move to HTTPs • Add an SSL certificate with your web host (easiest). • Lets Encrypt SSL certificate is fine for information websites. • A paid SSL certificate is recommended for ecommerce websites. • Use Really Simple SSL plugin. • -or- Manual migration to HTTPs. • • After you move, check for content / code that still points to http. • • Update Google Analytics settings. • Reverify Google Search Console. • Be sure sitemap includes https URLs. • Resubmit sitemap.xml in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
  26. 26. Measure & Improve Site Speed • Measure using Google Page Speed, GTmetrix. • Aim for 5 seconds or less or Google score of 70 or greater. • Disable unused plugins and themes. • Enable caching. Plugins: WP Fastest Cache, WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache. • Optimize images. Smush plugin, some paid versions of caching plugins offer image optimization. • Move from shared hosting to VPS, or WordPress hosting.
  27. 27. Review Existing Content • Review page title and meta descriptions. It’s sometimes easier to get all of this into a spreadsheet or Bulk Edit with Yoast SEO Pro plugin. • Think about buyers journey and build out content strategy and content/editorial calendar. • Start small. A post per week, per month, etc. But stay consistent. • What content is currently popular? Check Google Analytics and Google Search Console. How can you expand on these topics?
  28. 28. Set up Google Analytics • Sign up for Google Analytics. • Plugin: Google Tag Manager Plugin. • Enter your Google Analytics or your Google Tag Manager ID.
  29. 29. Don’t forget local SEO •Moz Local •Try the the local SEO check. •Sign up for $99/year plan and sync with Google My Business account. •Whitespark Citation Building & Clean Up •Great if you have changed locations a lot or want to expand beyond what Moz Local offers.
  30. 30. Reputation Management • Get Five Stars • Whitespark Reputation Builder • Use Schema markup on your website reviews page. • This can be done using Testimonials or Reviews plugins or by adding the code snippet generated by the services above to your reviews or testimonials page on your website.
  31. 31. Thank You! Slides: https://www.