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Technical SEO for WordPress aka stop wasting time on Yoast

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Talk delivered at the WordPress Stockholm Meetup 2017-03-30

Do you already have great content and want search engines to value it higher? How do you make sure Google knows about all your products in WooCommerce? How do you correctly configure sitemap.xml and robots.txt with WordPress? What are OpenGraph and Schema.org, and how do they help your site get more visitors?

WordPress core contributor, author of multiple plugins and full stack developer Otto Kekäläinen from Seravo.com explains everything a WordPress site owner needs to know about technical SEO so that their content can shine. And yes, the first advice is to get rid of Yoast and move on to the next level.

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Technical SEO for WordPress aka stop wasting time on Yoast

  1. 1. Technical SEO for WordPress Installing Yoast SEO is not enough WordPress Stockholm Meetup 2017-03-30 Otto Kekäläinen @ottokekalainen Seravo.com
  2. 2. ● Seravo.com – WordPress hosting and upkeep ● CEO, sysadmin and developer ● Linux and open source advocate ● Contributed to WordPress Core, fi and sv translations, Linux, Docker, Nginx, Redis, MariaDB… ● Twitter:@ottokekalainen Otto Kekäläinen
  3. 3. ● Google’s robots and others crawl our sites ~789160 times a day ● Google.com and others sends visitors to our customers sites ~100179 times a day ● Senior enough to remember Altavista… Why do I talk about SEO? statistics from March 27th 00:00–23:59
  4. 4. DO YOU WANT TO BE NUMBER ONE IMMEDIATELY? Then buy ads. SEO is all about improving organic ranking over time. Nobody outside Google knows how their ranking works in detail. Google penalizes spammers.
  5. 5. GROUND RULE: MAKE THE SITE GOOD FOR HUMANS, AND GOOGLE WILL LIKE IT TOO
  6. 6. Choosing WordPress is a great strategy for good SEO, as your quality content from blogs, WooCommerce etc boosts your domain’s reputation.
  7. 7. “Google loves WordPress” – Matt Cutts, Google WordPress is also a good technology
  8. 8. LEVELS OF SEO MATURITY 1. Acknowledged Easy! 2. Fully crawled robots.txt sitemap.xml No errors No link rot 3. Given relevance Relevant contents Semantic structure Microformats Pretty URLs 4. Given value and high ranking Links to site Social media Popularity Responsive Fast HTTPS HTTP2 IPv6?
  9. 9. TECHNICAL SEO 1. Acknowledged Easy! 2. Fully crawled robots.txt sitemap.xml No errors No link rot 3. Given relevance Relevant contents Semantic structure Microformats Pretty URLs 4. Given value and high ranking Links to site Social media Popularity Responsive Fast HTTPS HTTP2 IPv6?
  10. 10. WORDPRESS AND BUILT-IN SEO
  11. 11. WordPress built-in: robots.txt
  12. 12. WordPress built-in: language markup
  13. 13. WordPress built-in: pretty urls Never use example.com/?p=123 anymore, ok? In posts, the title becomes the url by default
  14. 14. WordPress built-in: image settings url Think about these next time you upload an image. alt attribute
  15. 15. WHAT ABOUT WORDPRESS THEMES?
  16. 16. TYPICAL IN WORDPRESS All modern themes are responsive by design, and most follow good semantic practices: - unique <title> for each page - one <h1> per page - <article>, <section> etc..
  17. 17. IF YOU ROLL YOUR OWN THEME Strive for (standards) valid and clean code! Google’s robots value what G’s engineers value.. Read up on the standard semantic tags in HTML5, explore microformats and adhere to schema.org vocabulary.
  18. 18. SEMANTIC MARKUP EXAMPLE Feed search engines with semantic data and they will use it.
  19. 19. SEO PLUGINS
  20. 20. FORGET YOAST – USE SEO FRAMEWORK! ★ Smaller, leaner, faster ★ Creates nice clean /sitemap.xml ★ Canonical URL wordpress.org/plugins/autodescription/ ★ No bloat, no annoying ads ★ And it even looks better!
  21. 21. YOAST ⇢ SEO FRAMEWORK MIGRATION = Yoast ≅ SEO Framework
  22. 22. OPENGRAPH (FB) AND TWITTER CARDS Don’t worry – SEO Framework generates these for you
  23. 23. SITEMAP.XML SEO Framework added sitemap.xml automatically
  24. 24. AVOID DUPLICATE CONTENT Spamming does not help SEO! (Unless you are really good)
  25. 25. ACCELERATED MOBILE PAGES We’ve been building websites mobile first for years already, but now Google et al wants us to go back to the m.example.com paradigm, this time the url can be example.com/amp/ though..
  26. 26. / /amp/
  27. 27. REDIRECTION – AVOID LINK ROT wordpress.org/plugins/redirection/
  28. 28. MULTILINGUAL PLUGINS? Polylang is best! Polylang is best! Polylang is best! It does automatically hreflang attributes too. Yes, I have issues with WPML.
  29. 29. GOOD HOSTING AND ACTIVE UPKEEP ● low response times ● https ● http/2 Make sure your site and server are being looked after by progressive Linux admins.
  30. 30. WITH GOOD TECH IN PLACE, IT’S SAFE TO START INVESTING IN CONTENTS AND SOCIAL 1. Acknowledged Easy! 2. Fully crawled robots.txt sitemap.xml No errors No link rot 3. Given relevance Relevant contents Semantic structure Microformats Pretty URLs 4. Given value and high ranking Links to site Social media Popularity Responsive Fast HTTPS HTTP2 IPv6?
  31. 31. THANK YOU! SERAVO.COM @Seravo @ottokekalainen

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